The tiger barb (Barbus tetrazona) is from Sumatra and Borneo. It is a small orange fish with vertical black bars that resemble the stripes of a tiger, hence the name tiger barb. Tiger barbs are now available in many different color variations. They belong to the family Cyprinidae.
Tiger barbs are small fish that reach an adult size of about 2.5 inches or 6.4 cm in length.
They can be kept in a community tank providing that there is a lot of space and that the other species of fish in the tank don't have long flowing fins. Unfortunately, tiger barbs commonly nip the fins of other fish. You should keep at least 6 tiger barbs together because they are shoaling fish. They generally swim at the midlevel of the aquarium, and prefer tanks with plants located on the sides of the tank to allow plenty of swimming room in the middle.
They prefer soft, slightly acidic water, and a water temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit or 20-25 degrees Celsius.
They will eat flakes, frozen, freeze-dried, and live foods. They are omnivores, eating both meaty and plant based foods.
Breeding Tiger Barbs
They are egglaying fish and will breed in the aquarium. Sexing tiger barbs isn't too difficult. Like most fish, the males are more colorful than the females. In particular, the males have more red on their fins, and when in breeding condition, only the male develops a red nose as seen in the photo above.
They are most likely to spawn in soft water (pH about 6.5) and at a water temperature of 77-78 degrees Fahrenheit (around 25-26 Celsius). As with most other fish, feeding them live or frozen meaty foods will help to get them into breeding condition.
Once you have a pair that is in breeding condition they should be placed in a breeding tank. You should have marbles on the bottom of the tank. During spawning they scatter their eggs. Tiger barbs will eat the eggs, and that is why the marbles are there. The eggs will fall through the spaces between the marbles so that their parents can't get to them. After spawning is over, remove the pair from the breeding tank.
The fry will hatch about 36 hours later. When the fry become free-swimming they should be fed infusoria if you have it available. If not, feed them liquid fry food for egglaying fish. When they are large enough to eat them feed them newly hatched brine shrimp. About a week or two later they should be able to eat finely crushed flakes or powdered dry food for fry.