How to Breed Tiger Barbs


Tiger barbs, Puntius tetrazona, are a medium-size, somewhat-aggressive, scaled fish that can live up to seven years. They are best kept in schools of five or more. Barbs are best kept with other moderately aggressive fish. Barbs are known to nip long fins, so short-finned fish are their best tank mates. Aside from the classic silver body with black stripes and red fins, tiger barbs can also be gold, green and albino. Tiger barbs are a fairly easy to breed egg-laying species. They lay many eggs at a time to ensure the survival of some fry, as tiger barbs do not rear or protect their young.

Things You'll Need

  • Freshwater testing kit
  • Tank partition
  • Fish net
  • Aquarium heater
  • Thermometer
  • High-protein food
  • Spawning mops
  • Small brood tank

Test the hardness and pH of the water using the freshwater testing kit.

Adjust the water chemistry slowly to soft water (5 to 10 dGH) with a pH of 6. Using distilled water in the tank is one way to lower the pH and the water hardness at the same time.

Install the tank partition by hanging it over the sides, and pressing the bottom down into the gravel.

Increase the temperature in the aquarium to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Feed high-protein food to the tiger barbs. Frozen shrimp and freeze-dried or live tubifex worms are good choices.

Remove the partition after three or four days and allow the females and males to mingle.

Insert two breeding mops into the tank.

Prepare a brood tank for the fry using water taken from the main tank. Move the egg mops to the brood tank once the eggs have been laid.

Feed the tiger barb fry liquid fry food until they are larger.

Tips & Warnings

  • The small, round tiger barbs are the females.
  • Tiger barbs have very large broods. Cull some of the fry, or prepare a large aquarium in which to raise them.
  • Monitor the tank temperature closely while increasing the heat. It's possible to overheat the tank, which will stress or kill the fish.
  • Do not allow uneaten food to soil the tank. Feed the fish a bit at a time until they stop eating the food immediately.
  • Tiger barbs will eat their own fry.

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