Tiger Barb (Puntigrus tetrazona) Fish Species Profile

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Tiger Barbs are very popular in the aquarium hobby. They are easy to take care of, very active and relatively hardy.

However, this fish is not recommended in a community tank as they can be mildly aggressive and do nip other fish that display flowing fins.

This species of barb sport four black vertical stripes on a yellow-orange body, making it obvious where it got its common name. They also display a red face and red-edged fins that add even more colour to the famous Tiger Barb.

Over the years, selective breeding has created several different colour variations including, green, red, black and albino. There is also a long-finned version of the Tiger Barb

Scientific NamePuntigrus tetrazona
Other NamesGreen Tiger Barb, Albino Tiger Barb, Sumatra Barb, Moss Barb, Partbelt Barb
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 7 years
Maximum Sizeup to 7.5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 79 ℉ (20 - 26.1 ℃)
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH3 - 10

Origins of the Tiger Barb

The Tiger Barb is native to Malaysia and Borneo, including Kalimantan and Sarawak. They can also be found in Thailand, Cambodia and the island of Sumatra.

Non-native tiger barbs have been introduced in Australia, Singapore, Columbia and the United States.

In their natural habitat, these fish inhabit peaceful, tributaries lined with rocks, sand and thick vegetation and tree-lined rivers, where they can find algae, insects, invertebrates, and debris from plants. They prefer highly-oxygenated and clear waters.


Tiger Barbs will accept virtually any food you offer them. Feeding them a wide variety of foods will help to preserve a strong immune system.

Quality flake food should be the staple of their diet but also feed them frozen, live, and freeze-dried foods such as Bloodworms, Daphnia and brine shrimp. They will rapidly eat up small aquatic invertebrates and even blanched vegetables.

Sexing the Tiger Barb

It is relatively easy to determine male barbs from the females. The females have a broader, more rounded belly than males and are larger and heavier, whereas Their bright colouring and the red nose that develops during the spawning process identify males.

Breeding the Tiger Barb

When breeding Tiger Barbs, it is advisable to set up a separate tank that can also be used as a grow-out tank for the fry.

The tank should have a lot of fine-leaved plants as well as soft acidic water, you will need to raise their temperature by a few degrees than usual as this will encourage spawning, and a bare bottom is advisable.

Some breeders use marbles, pebbles or a spawning mesh on the bottom of the tank allowing eggs to drop between or through them, keeping them out of the parents reach or they will consume them.

Place half a dozen of your healthiest, brightest fish in the breeding tank and allow them to pair off and then condition them with plenty of live foods. Once paired off remove the other fish from the tank.

Spawning will typically take place early morning. The female will lay around 200 clear to yellowish eggs; the male will then immediately fertilise them. After the eggs have been fertilised, the parents will need to be removed.

Around 36 hours later the eggs will hatch and then 4-5 days after that the fry will become free-swimming.

You will need to feed the fry newly hatched brine shrimp until they are large enough to accept finely crushed flake food.

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Date Added: 8/27/2020 - Updated: 8/27/2020 2:16:42 PM