The Tiger Barb must stay in school

26 Nov

Here’s a controversial fish, the Tiger Barb. Are they fin-nippers? Can they be put in a community tank?

Yes and yes, I would say. They WILL nip fins of male Bettas, Veil-tail Angelfish and others.  And fin-nipping eventually means fish-killing. The nipped fish has to hide and try to escape and it just wears them out eventually.  BUT it is also true that when Tiger Barbs school they tend to nip each other mostly.  So get a group of them, at least 4 or 5, and it helps if they are of equal size. I had a single large adult and added several mid-sized ones. The big guy beat the heck out of the smaller ones (and killed one) until they were his size.

My single biggest fish disaster was because of some ich-infected Tiger Barbs. I had quarantined them for two weeks, and after I added them to my communtiy tank…ICH, a parasite, as I am sure you know.  I lost a LOT of fish, but that could happen with any fish you buy. Set up a little 3 or 5 or 10 gallon quarantine tank if you can.

I like the Tiger Barbs, their vertical bars are striking. The more you can get  the better.  Usually they cost 2 or 3 dollars each but I see them for a dollar apiece sometimes.

Female in the foreground. More colorful, thinner male in the background.

Let me sum it up. A 10 gallon tank is too small unless they are in with very tough fish like the Corydoras Catfish and Blackskirt Tetras and other Barbs. Platies might be alright, too. If you put them in a larger tank, they will generally mess with each other and ignore all others. Mine are in a 30 gallon tank. They are with Long-fin Zebra Danios and a Paradisefish and Harlequin Rasboras. They are great!!

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