Tiger Barb

A fish that can nibble off other people’s fins is usually not a good aquarium fish. Unless it is very conspicuously colored like the tiger barb and there is plenty of other fish with which it can be socialized.


  • Name: Sumatran barb (Puntigrus cf. navjodsodhii)
  • System: barbels
  • Size: 6-7 cm
  • Origin: Southeast Asia, possibly Borneo, Central Kalimantan
  • Attitude: easy
  • Aquarium size: from 112 liters (80 cm)
  • pH value: 6-8
  • Water temperature: 22-26 ° C

Interesting facts about the Tiger Barb

Scientific name

Puntigrus navjodsodhii

Other names

Barbus tetrazona, Puntigrus tetrazona, Puntius tetrazona, four-belted barbel


  • Class: Actinopterygii (ray fins)
  • Order: Cypriniformes (carp-like)
  • Family: Cyprinidae (carp fish)
  • Genus: Puntigrus (striped barbel)
  • Species: Puntigrus cf. navjodsodhii (Sumatran barb)


The maximum length is 6 cm. Males stay smaller than females.


Four wide, black transverse bands with shiny green scales run through the eyes, from the back to the abdomen, from the base of the anal fin to the dorsal fin (which is also black), and over the caudal peduncle. The head, edge of the dorsal fin, pelvic fins, lower anal fin, and the outer edges of the caudal fin are bright orange-red. The rest of the body is light beige. There are numerous color forms. The best known are the moss barbel (green, shiny body on a black background), gold (yellowish without black, little red) and albino (flesh-colored without black, but the red is still there), and red (body red, the bands are light beige).


The exact origin is uncertain, but it is probably not Sumatra. If it is actually P. navjodsodhii (since this species is not traded as wild-caught), it is Kalimantan on Borneo. There they occur in almost plantless, relatively cool, easily flowing waters.

Gender differences

Females are noticeably fuller and have a higher back than males. As young animals, the sexes are difficult to distinguish.


One or more well-nourished pairs – the females should be clearly round – are used in a small aquarium with spawning rust or fine plants (mosses) on the substrate and water from the housing aquarium at 24-26 ° C. Then 5-10% is replaced with cool fresh water. The fish should spawn after two days at the latest. Up to about 200 eggs can be released per female. The larvae hatch after a day and a half at the latest and swim free after about five days. They can be fed with infusoria and after about ten days with newly hatched Artemia nauplii. They are sexually mature after about five months.

Life expectancy

The tiger barb can live a maximum of seven years.

Interesting facts


Sumatran barbs are omnivores. It can be based on flake food or granules that are served daily. Live or frozen food should also be served once or twice a week.

Group size

So that the tiger barb can show its full behavioral repertoire with harmless little skirmishes and hunts, at least a troop of ten specimens should be kept, whereby the gender composition is not important.

Aquarium size

An aquarium for these lively and swimming-happy barbels should hold at least 112 L (80 cm edge length).

Pool equipment

The pool setup does not play a major role. Roots, stones, and lots of plants in which the fish can withdraw from time to time make sense. The colors appear stronger over a dark substrate.

Socialize tiger barbs

Sumatran barbs may only be cared for with other fast swimmers, such as other barbs, danios, loaches, etc. In slow swimmers, especially those with large fins such as Siamese fighting fish or guppies or those with pelvic fins such as angelfish or gourmets, they nibble on the fins can annoy and damage the other fish very severely. This also applies to slow bottom fish such as armored catfish, whose dorsal fins are endangered.

Required water values

The temperature should be between 22 and 26 ° C, the pH value between 6.0 and 8.0.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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