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Cyprinds / Barbs / Tiger Barb

Tiger Barb, Sumatra Barb
Puntius tetrazona

Synonyms: Barbus tetrazon
Physical description: The Tiger Barb is high-backed fish with no barbels. Its back is brown to orange and the belly is white to silver. The flanks are silvery orange with a white iridescence. The body is marked with four, transverse bands; the first running through the eye, and the last running along the base of the caudal fin. The caudal fin is light orange but transparent. The dorsal fin is mostly black with a red fringe the edge. The other fins are transparent with an orange tint. The tip of the snout may be reddish.
Size/Length: To 3" (7.5 cm)
Similar species: Banded Barb ( P. tetrazon partipentazona)
S: bottom, middle
Habitat: Still and slow moving rivers. Southeast Asia; Borneo, Indonesia, and Sumatra
Aquarium: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (38 L) is adequate for small fish under 1.5" (4 cm) in length. Larger fish should be kept in a 24" (61 cm) tank with a volume of 20 gallons (75 L). The tank should be well-planted with hardy plants. Use a sandy or fine gravel substrate for burrowing.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-7.5 (6.7); 3-10 dH (5); 68-77°F (20-25°C)
Social behavior: Not recommended for a "typical" community tank because these fish are usually a nuisance toward tank mates. They are a shoaling fish. Don't combine with fish that have long or flowing fins (Angelfish or Siamese fighting fish) because Tiger Barbs will nibble at them. A large tank helps reduce this aggressiveness.
Suggested companions: Danios, Gouramis, Loaches, Doradids, Loricarids, Epalzeorhynchus.
FOOD: Flakes, vegetable foods; live; insect larvae, insects, Brine Shrimp, Tubifex worms.
SEX: The male is redder and smaller. It is paler during spawning season.
Breeding techniques: Use bunches of fine-leafed plants and use a substrate of marbles. The parents should be fed on white worms during the spawning. The female produces between 500 and 1000 eggs in slightly acidic (6.5) water, which hatch in 24-30 hours. The parents should be removed after eggs have been laid. Feed adults whiteworms during spawning so they don't eat eggs as they are laid.
Breeding potential: 6. Breeding is fairly easy as long as the eggs are saved from the parents.
Remarks: Several cultivated varieties exist, such as the Albino Tiger Barb, the Blushing Tiger Barb, and the Green Tiger Barb. Very susceptible to the parasite, "Ich."
Difficulty of care: 4. A sensitive, but colorful aquarium fish.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com