Tiger Barb

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Puntius tetrazona - (Bleeker, 1855)
Tiger Barb

An admirable small fish whose tendency to nip fins can be curbed by keeping it in schools of at least three. JJPhoto.dk


The Tiger Barb is a wonderful little fish with distinctive stripes and a spirited personality. A large school makes an impressive display. The Tiger Barb today is mostly commercially bred and comes in a variety of color morphs, including albino and moss green.

Family: Cyprinidae

Other common name(s):

  • Sumatra Barb

Native range:

Habitat: Looks best against a background of aquatic plants. It makes little difference if the plants are live or plastic, as the Tiger Barb is not known to be tough on greenery. What is important is to leave plenty of open areas for swimming.

Maximum length: 7 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater.


Omnivore. Tiger Barbs are good eaters that will accept any aquarium fare they can fit in their mouths, including flakes and pellets. Supplement their diets with frozen and live foods, such as brine shrimp and black worms, and include vegetable matter like Spirulina-based foods.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Tiger Barb is an active schooling species that should be kept in groups of at least three to avoid becoming a fin-nipping nuisance.


Adult Tiger Barbs will spawn in a community aquarium, although it is unlikely that any of the eggs will escape being eaten. If you wish to raise the fry, use a separate breeding tank with clumps of Cabomba or other bushy plants.


Keep with fishes of similar size and temperament and avoid long-finned tankmates, such as angelfish and bettas.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW