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Tiger barb

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The tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona) or sumatra barb, is a species of tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Puntius genus of the minnow family. The natural geographic range reportedly extends throughout the Malay peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo, with unsubstantiated sightings reported in Cambodia. Tiger barbs are also found in many other parts of Asia, and with little reliable collection data over long periods of time, definite conclusions about their natural geographic range versus established introductions are difficult.

The tiger barb can grow to about 7 centimeters long and 3 centimeters wide, although they are often smaller when kept in captivity. Native fish are silver to brownish yellow with four vertical black stripes and red fins and snout. The green tiger barb is the same size and has the same nature as the normal barb but has a green body. Albino barbs are a light yellow with four stripes just visible, the stripes are white.

It has been reported that the tiger barb was found in clear or turbid shallow waters of moderately flowing streams. It lives in a tropical climate and prefers water with a 6.0–8.0 pH, a water hardness of 5–19 dGH, and a temperature range of 77 – 82 °F. Its discovery in swamp lakes that are subject to great changes in water level suggests a wide tolerance to water quality fluctuations. Its average lifespan is 6 years.

The tiger barb is one of over 70 species of barb with commercial importance in the aquarium trade. Of the total ornamental fish species imported into the United States in 1992, only 20 species account for more than 60% of the total number of species reported, with tiger barbs falling at tenth on the list with 2.6 million individuals imported. (Chapman et al. 1994). Barbs that have been selectively bred to emphasize bright color combinations have grown in popularity and production over the last 20 years. Example of colour morphs (these are not hybrids) of tiger barb include highly melanistic green tiger barbs that reflect green over their black because of the Tyndall effect, gold tiger barbs, and albino tiger barbs.