Tiger Barb (Puntius tetrazona)
The Tiger Barb has a shiny yellowish gold body with four striking black stripes: it’s a popular fish for good reasons, and a shoal of these lively and stunning looking fish in a medium sized aquarium makes an eye catching display. They like a planted tank, but make sure they have plenty of clear space for swimming and chasing each other about.
Originating from Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo, they do not tend to be wild-caught nowadays, but farm-bred in the Far East and Eastern Europe. There have been other colour varieties developed, such as more reddish and silverish strains, plus an albino version. They are easy to keep and quite hardy, so long as their water is kept clean. They are very active, forever on the move, and can be a bit nippy with other slower tank-mates, particularly ones with long fins like angel fish. Tiger Barbs seriously need their own species for company, and will do best in a shoal of six at the very least. Kept singly, they will be aggressive towards other tank-mates; kept in too small a shoal, they will be likely to pick on the lowest in the ‘pecking order.’
Tiger Barbs will eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. Brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms can be given as a treat. It is easy to over-feed these fish, as they will eat whatever they are given, so limit feeds to as much as they can eat in three or four minutes.
Size (fully grown): 7cm (2.8″)
Water temperature: 20 – 26C
Water pH: 6.5 – 7.5