Tiger Barb
(Puntius Tetrazona)
Alternate Names:
Sumatra Barb
Gold Banded Barb

Tiger Barb

(Puntius Tetrazona)

Size: Can grow to 3 Inches

Temp Range: 74°F to 82°F

pH Level: 6.0 to 7.5

Lifespan: 5 to 7 years

Tank Size: 30 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen

Difficulty: Easy

Geographic History

These Barbs are found in the swampy streams of Borneo, Sumatra, and Thailand.


These little guys should be kept in groups of five or more. They will need an aquarium with lots of middle level horizontal swimming room. Provide tall plants for cover.


Do not keep this Barb with long finned fish like Bettas, Guppies, or Angelfish. They work well with Danios, Platys, and peaceful Catfish. Clown Loaches will school with these fish because they have similar color patterns. These fish love fast moving mid-tank swimmers of other species.


Sexing this fish when they are very young can be difficult. As adults, females are fatter with black dorsal fins. The males are much slimmer and have red tips on their dorsal fins. Adult males will also have red noses.


These colorful Barbs are school fish and you should keep them in groups of five to seven or more. Smaller groups are more aggressive fin nippers and tend to hide a lot.

These interesting little fish will form a "pecking order". Schools are often led by a dominant fish. They can be observed sparring by pushing each other in a "mouth to mouth" fashion. Submissive fish will tilt their bodies to recognize a more dominant fish.

One odd thing about these guys, they will school with similar sized and marked fish of other species. This is why small Clown Loaches are often kept in aquariums with them.


Breeding this fish is fairly simple. Provide a breeding tank with tall plants and excellent water quality. Spawning pairs will court each other in the plants with the male twisting around the female. The female will scatter hundreds of eggs throughout the plants. Once the eggs have been laid, remove the adults. Adult Tiger Barbs will eat their own eggs.

The eggs hatch in about 24 hours. The fry should be fed brine shrimp nauplii and then crushed flakes as they get bigger.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Tiger Barb page.

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