If you are looking for a bright and energetic fish to stock your freshwater tank, look no further than the Tiger Barb. These fish are one of over 70 different species of barb and they are one of the most popular species in the freshwater aquarium industry. Tiger Barbs are known for their striped appearance and their tendency to travel in schools, adding both color and movement to the freshwater aquarium. If you are interested in keeping Tiger Barbs in your tank, keep reading!
About the Tiger Barb
The Tiger Barb is known by the scientific name (Puntius tetrazona). These fish are also known by the name Sumatra Barb because they are native to Sumatra as well as regions of Borneo, Cambodia and the Malaya Peninsula. The Tiger Barb grows up to 4 inches long and a little over 1 inch wide, though they may be smaller when kept in captivity. These fish have silver or light brown bodies ornamented with vertical black stripes and red on the fins and snout. Tiger Barbs tend to be found in tropical climates throughout Asia and they can make a good addition to the community tank. The thing to remember about these fish is that they can be aggressive if kept in groups that are too small – they do best when kept with at least 5 of their own species.
Tips for Care and Maintenance
Tiger Barbs are hardy fish and, with proper care, they can live to be 5 or 6 years old. These fish tend to prefer warm water in the range of 77 to 82°F. The ideal pH level for Tiger Barbs is between 6.0 and 8.0 with a water hardness between 5 and 19 dKH. Because these fish are often found in swamps – an environment subject to changes in water level – they are adaptable to variations in water quality. For the health of your fish, however, it is recommended that you maintain good water quality and circulation in your tank on a consistent basis.
Breeding Tiger Barbs
These fish reach sexual maturity when they achieve a length of 0.8 to 1.2 inches – this usually occurs around six to eight weeks of age. It can be difficult to sex Tiger Barbs, though females tend to be larger with rounder bellies and a black dorsal fin. The average spawning for Tiger Barbs produces about 300 eggs, though numbers up to 500 have been reported. Tiger Barbs tend to lay their eggs in clumps of plants in the early morning. These fish do tend to eat their own eggs so, if you want to raise the fry to maturity you will need to separate out the adult fish. If properly conditioned, female Tiger Barbs are capable of spawning every two weeks or so.
Other Tips and Tricks
As is true with any species of freshwater fish, water quality is absolutely essential. If the water in your tank is not clean, your fish are not going to be healthy. Luckily, it is fairly easy to maintain high water quality in your tank as long as you engage in a few routine maintenance tasks on a weekly or monthly basis. Performing weekly water changes and replacing your filter media once a month will work wonders for your water quality. Another easy thing you can do is add an EcoBio-Stone to your tank. EcoBio-Stones come in various sizes and they are made from volcanic rock and cement. These stones are infused with beneficial bacteria and the nutrients they need to thrive and multiply in your tank, establishing and maintaining the nitrogen cycle. Installing an EcoBio-Stone in your tank is easy to do and it will help to keep your tank water clean and clear.