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Perches / Lobotidae / Tiger Fish

Siamese Tiger Fish, Tiger Fish
Datnioides microlepis

Synonyms: None
Physical description: A thickset, high backed fish with lateral compression. The front portion of the dorsal fin is inconspicuous, lying close to the body. The caudal fin is fan shaped and the anal fin is small. The body color is white to yellowish brown with five broad, black vertical bands, The first runs through the eye, while the last marks the caudal penuncle. The first rays of the pelvic fin are white, while the rears parts are black. The other fins are white to brown.
Size/Length: To 24" (61 cm) in nature, although rarely exceeds 16" (41 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: Datnioides quadrifasciatus
Habitat: In brackish waters of Borneo, Cambodia, Sumatra, and Thailand
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallon (132-170 L) tank is sufficient for fish up to 8" (20 cm) in length. Larger fish require a tank measuring at least 48" (122 cm) with a volume exceeding 50 gallons (190 L). The tank should have subdued lighting possibly with a cover of floating plants. This species requires hiding places such as rocks, wood, or caves. Use plants that can tolerate brackish conditions along the rear and sides of the tank.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-7.5 (7.0), 6-15 dH (8), 72-82°F (22-28°C). A 1-1.5% addition of salt is suggested. Add 7.5-11 TSP of salt per 10 gallons (10-15 g/10 L).
Social behavior: Keep only with other large, hardy brackish water fish. The Tiger fish is tolerant of its own species and may battle over territory with other species. A good candidate for a species tank.
Suggested companions: Scats, Archers, Monos, Puffers, Arius.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, Tubifex, insects, crustaceans; meat, beef heart; occasionally pellets
Sexual differences: Unknown
Breeding techniques: Unknown. Reported to spawn in freshwater rivers in nature.
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding has yet to be accomplished in captivity.
Remarks: There is a variation of Datnioides microlepis that had wider bands from the Chao Phraya river.
Difficulty of care: 7. This hardy and aggressive species requires live foods and brackish water conditions. It reaches a large size and demands a large tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com