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Tiger Barb

Puntius tetrazona



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Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Annath
We have 18 tiger barbs, 8 larger ones and 10 smaller ones, in a 55 gal. tank with 5 angels of various sizes, 2 rainbow shark, 5 bala sharks and 14 fancy tail guppies (left over from when this tank was a feeder tank for our Oscar, food afterall should taste good AND be pretty). We haven't had any trouble with aggression past the first day of introducing the new angels to each other and increasing the # of barbs. The barbs keep to themselves mostly with the littler ones schooling with the bigger ones most of the time or drifting off on their own to explore. So far so good anyway.
From: Adam B
I agree with what Cancer said! I have done the same with my tank. The convicts keep my barbs in line. I noticed that they would pick on my smaller fish so I decided to put them in my cichlid tank and the picking stopped promptly. They now group together, tigers and albinos both and don't bother a thing. I would also recommend placing these fish in schools of 5 or more that way they can pick among themselves and leave the others alone.
From: DJ Cancer
OK Tiger Barbs are a bad idea for community fish. I started off with 3 then they started taking the fins off of my other fish. So I got 3 more for them to chase around. They ended up killing 2 of the new ones. So I decided to start putting Cichlids in my tank. Boy did this stop them. They stay in a group and they stopped chasing each other. My cichlids could care less about them. So if you like the tiger barbs and you want to keep them in a community tank I would go with more aggressive fish. I would make sure that they wont get eaten by bigger fish.
From: Jason
For people truly wishing to breed this I highly recommend this article:
A Manual for Commercial Production of the Tiger Barb, Capoeta tetrazona,A Temporary Paired Tank Spawner.
It is for commercial production of breeding Tiger Barbs but I found it extremely useful and gave me alot of ideas. As far as the fin nipping, I kept mine with Blue Gouramis, Rosy Barbs, a Bala and a Red Finned Shark and they never had a problem. I only had three and yet they were extremely happy and pretty much never showed aggression. A had a light gravel substrate with a single plant, but with plenty of structure to hide in, though it was rarely used.
From: Michelle R.
I love my Tiger Barbs. I have 3 and they are a hoot. The trick to keeping them in a community tank is to make certain of 3 things: 1. They are the last fish introduced to an established community 2. They are the smallest fish in the tank, and 3. Never keep less than 3 of them - 6 is better. By following those rules I've had no problems.
From: Don
You will read almost everywhere (mostly I think from people repeating what they have read somewhere) that Tiger Barbs when kept in groups of 6 or more will chase themselves and not bother their tankmates much. Baloney. I had a shoal of 18 Tiger Barbs that absolutely terrorized my rainbowfish, clown loaches and cory catfish in my 75 gallon aquarium. Being part of a large group did not settle down the Tiger Barbs in the least-and this large shoal when it worked together to attack other fish was much more dangerous and destructive than any individual Tiger Barb could have been. An entertaining fish when it isn't acting up-but if you get Tiger Barbs be prepared to move them into their own tank when the bad behavior begins.

From: Stevie
This is not a beginners fish period! That was a mistake I made. I got 2 baby tiger barbs and 2 neons and a silver tip tetra for my first fish at the pet store. The neons and the silver were fine and the barbs chased eachother around playfully. then one of the barbs got bigger than the other one and started picking on it. then he killed him. then I got two guppies which was a big mistake. As soon as I put them in there the barb started chasing the male around and the next morning he was dead and when we got back from church the female was dead so i decided to not bye any fish for a while. then yesterday i got some baby white clouds because they were only a dollar for three. as soon as I put those guys in he went for them but i got him with the net before he could do anything. my advice is to get atleast 3 or 4 or else they'll go after your fish.
From: Keri
I got 2 tiger barbs and 2 bala sharks because the guy at the pet store recommended we start with just 3 or 4 fish, but DO NOT get only 2 tiger barbs! One nipped the other only u could see its ribs... we have them separated now, but know that they are mean!
From: Andy
I have 6 tiger barbs which I bought about 9 months ago. They're doing pretty well despite living in a 12 gallon tank with a couple of peppered corys. I couldn't tell the females from the males because they look alike and there are no signs of breeding yet. They are lively fish and eat a lot of food although I do tend to feed them only twice a day with flakes, brine etc. I think they are quite strong compared to neon tetras which I had prior to these ones. When I introduced the corys, they became aggressive and nipped the fins but I believe it was only an initial reaction. A day later, they get along quite well. No sickness/disease as to date.
From: StlShrk
While some people say that these rather spirited fish are not good in a community tank, I beg to differ. There are simply guidelines to be followed, such as keep a half dozen or so (buying them together helps by having similar sized fish) this keeps them from being killers. Don't add aggressive fish to the community because tiger barbs can fight back. Keep the long or flowing finned fishes away as well. This keeps the barbs from being lured into the habit of fin nipping. Also since this is a community tank and you already have 6 fish that are one breed, having a large enough aquarium set up is vital, at least 25 gallons. The set up of this tank is also important. Some outlying live plants, with a good sized center free swimming area with slow moving water (not still though) is agreeable. Follow these suggestions and you will own some of the most active fish you can have in a community aquarium.
From: Holly
I think this fish is very delicate and fragile but I also still wonder if most varieties have the red tail
From: Bob
I have 6 Tigers in my "Activity" tank. 2 Albinos, 2 Green, and 2 Standard Tigers. Since there are six of them they have not nipped, actually get along quite well with, my Swordtails, Neons, Glowlights, White Clouds, Serpae Tetras, Bloodfin Tetras, and Giant Danios. They do love to hassle my Golden Chinese Algae Eater but that is fine because it keeps him busy enough not to hassle anything. If you want to see a feeding frenzy just feed some Tiger Barbs. I started with the two regular Tigers but they nipped everything until I added the other varieties so now everyone is happy and full finned!
From: Adam
I have had a tank since I was 8 years old. I can clearly remember the whole nine years of owning a tank, I always have at least three tiger barbs in the tank. I have had Gourmai in the tank with them twice too, and I never have any problems. I also notice that Tiger Barbs are able to live with most of the fish, Even the aggressive ones. I have two Tin Foil Barbs that are about 8 inches long and a Maroon Shark (or Sultan Fish) that is 6 inches long and none of them ever bothered the Tiger Barbs and the Tiger Barbs never bothered any other fish. So every time someone asks me what kind of fish to buy, I always strongly encourage them to buy at least a few tiger barbs because they can live with almost anything under almost any situtation. They are most spirited fish I ever know of.
From: Michele
My Tiger got bigger than expected (nearly 3 1/2 inches) and I found that although quite aggressive once I got something bigger than him he was OK. Note: Gouramis worked really well!
From: Dan
I have been caring for fish for more than 25 years and have had experience in salt water as well as fresh water species. I currently have a 135gal tank setup for fresh water. I found it to be less messy to maintain. But really no easier. Anyway I have several different species of inhabitants living together in this tank including plecos and danios, catfish among others, my Barbs are my pride and joy I currently have around 60 tigers, 20 or so greens, and about the same number of tinfoil barbs all living in good harmony with one another for the most part, we all have our bad mood days. I have found it much easier to maintain larger numbers of barbs that with fewer than 6 they always seem less aggressive in larger schools. I've also noted keeping them well fed "BUT NOT" overfed helps to subdue their aggression towards the other inhabitants in my tank. I think also that water current has some to do with a happy tank. The tank I'm using was originally designed and used for a saltwater reef tank but I did some modifications to accommodate fresh water life. I found that my Barbs like a little current not strong but moderate so I kept the backflow system intact and modified the defusing ports to allow the current direction to be changed from one day to the next. I have them setup on different timers so the current direction and flow time are on regular intervals, the lighting hasn't made a lot of difference that I've noticed but I run HO light for better plant growth. The only time I pay special attention to it is during breeding. Water temperature seems to be an important factor though I keep mine between 72-74 degrees any higher (except during breeding which I've always done in a separate tank.)The Barbs tend to become more aggressive.
From: Brent Ford
Tiger barbs are very interesting and entertaining fish if kept in schools. I have a school of 12 along with 2 plecos, 4 platys, 2 Kuhli loaches, a Kissing Gourami, 2 dwarf frogs and a Japanese Fighting Fish (beta). They get along great with everybody and never pick on anyone. If you feed them a wide variety of food their colors will be very vibrant. Variety is the key in feeding. Tiger barbs are a beautiful and active fish if kept in the correct conditions.
From: Kyle
The first time I bought Tiger Barbs I got 2 of them. After about a week they were chasing each other around playing. Then When I came home from work one day I found one of them dead behind the tank. It must of jumped out because of frustration. They are excellent jumpers.







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