Green Tiger Barb: Diet | Breeding | Sexing | Lifespan

Green tiger barbs are freshwater fish known for their playful, semi-aggressive temperament. While the species requires a specific diet and environment for optimal health, Green Tiger Barbs are relatively easy to care for. To help you out, here is a complete guide to keeping green tiger barbs.

Green Tiger Barb Appearance and Characteristics

Mature green tiger barbs reach three to four inches long and one and a half inches wide. Depending on the size of the tank and the number of fish, captive tiger barbs may not grow as large.

green tiger barb

The green tiger barb is also called the moss green tiger barb. It has a green body with four vertical black stripes. The fish has red or orange markings near the snout and fins.

The shade of green varies. Some green tiger barbs have bright, fluorescent green bodies while others have a dark green color. The markings make it an attractive choice for any tank.

The average lifespan for a green tiger barb is six years. The conditions of the tank, diet, and other fish influence the longevity of any species.

Green Tiger Barb Species Profile

Scientific NamePuntius semifasciolatus
FamilyCyprinidae
OriginSouth East Asia, Borneo, Indonesia
Size2.5-3 Inches
Water Conditions74-79° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.0-7.0
DietOmnivore
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentSemi-aggressive

Tank Conditions for the Green Tiger Barb

Green tiger barbs are freshwater fish found natively in Sumatra, Borneo, and Indonesia. To prevent overcrowding, ensure that the tank is big enough. Six green tiger barbs should thrive in a 20-gallon tank.

The general rule is one inch of fish per four liters of water. As tiger barbs typically reach about three inches, six barbs need at least 72 liters of water, which is just under 20 gallons. However, choosing a larger aquarium provides fish with more space to swim and promotes a healthier environment.

Fill the bottom of the tank with a sandy substrate or gravel. As tiger barbs are mostly found in shallow streams, adding a few large rocks to the bottom of the tank helps mimic their native habitat.

Green tiger barb
GREEN TIGER BARBS AT TYNE VALLEY AQUATICS

These fish prefer slightly warm water, with temperatures between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining the right temperature may require a tank heater.

The water should be soft and slightly acidic. The target pH level is between 6.0 and 7.0.

The tank should also contain hiding places, such as aquarium plants or driftwood. Adding items to the tank provides hiding spots for tank mates and the tiger barbs, decreasing the risk of aggressive behavior.

Green Tiger Barb Fish Diet

An ideal green tiger barb diet should include a combination of flake food, frozen food, and live food like Bloodworms and Brine Shrimps. Feed tiger barbs once or twice per day, depending on your schedule.

Leftover food increases the risk of bacterial growth and fungal growth. When feeding once per day, only feed as much food as the fish can consume within five minutes. If feeding twice per day, the fish should consume the food within three minutes.

Try feeding the fish several pinches of tropical fish flakes along with some of the following foods:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce

When adding vegetables with high water content, such as lettuce, boil the food and allow it to cool before placing it in the tank.

How to Breed Green Tiger Barb Fish

Green tiger barbs reach sexual maturity at about seven weeks old. They typically measure about 0.8 to 1.2 inches at this point. Follow these steps to successfully breed tiger barbs:

  • Distinguish the sexes
  • Prepare a spawning tank
  • Remove the adult fish
  • Care for the tiger barb fry

Tiger barbs are easy to breed, making them a common choice for beginners. Tiger barbs are social fish and naturally pair up to start breeding. If left in the tank, males and females may breed, spawn, and eat their own eggs.

Females spawn hundreds of eggs, averaging about 300 eggs during each spawn. A healthy female tiger barb can spawn at two-week intervals.

Sexing Green Tiger Barb Fish

Breeders need to distinguish between male and female barbs to separate the sexes. When sexing tiger barbs, the females tend to have a rounder belly and a mostly black dorsal fin. Males often have red snouts and distinctive red lines above the black markings on the dorsal fins.

Overall, females are smaller and have plumper bodies.

Preparing for Spawning

To prepare for breeding, place the males and females in separate tanks. Keep the males and females separated for about three to four days.

Each pair should receive its own spawning tank. The temperature should be kept slightly warm, averaging about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place one female and one male in a spawning tank measuring at least 10 gallons. Introduce a protein-rich diet, such as brine shrimp and other live foods or frozen foods.

The breeding tank should also have spawning sites. Suitable options include spawning mops and live plants. Adding marbles to the floor of the tank is another option. The marbles provide a safe spot for the eggs, preventing the adult tiger barbs from reaching them.

Spawning tends to occur quickly after placing a pair of tiger barbs in a tank. The male chases the female. The female then releases eggs over the spawning sites. The male tiger barb leaves a trail of sperm to fertilize the eggs.

Hundreds of eggs should appear near the bottom of the tank. The eggs are very small, measuring just over one millimeter in diameter.

Some breeders choose to skip separating the sexes in their own tanks. If you carefully monitor a group of tiger barb fish in a community tank, you may notice the fish starting to pair off naturally. When two fish seem interested in each other, place them in a breeding tank.

Green tiger barbs

Removing the Adult Fish After Spawning

After spawning, the mature fish must be removed from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. Place the adults back in the community tank or in their separate tanks.

The adults can be kept in a community tank with both sexes and other fish species. While it is possible for the mature fish to naturally pair off, spawning does not occur as quickly in a community tank. However, if a female barb becomes pregnant, consider placing it in a spawning tank as soon as possible.

Another option is to use separate tanks for spawning and breeding. After the female spawns her eggs, use a cup to scoop the eggs and place them in a bare-bottomed spawning tank kept at the same temperature as the breeding tank.

Caring for Green Tiger Barb Fry

The tiger barb fry should appear within several days. At first, the fry clings to the glass sides of the aquarium. After about five days, the tank should contain hundreds of free-swimming little fish.

Newly hatched tiger barbs should receive a diet of brine shrimp. However, very small fry may need liquid food until they grow big enough to eat solids.

Purchase liquid fry food to bridge the gap. Feed the small fish only what they can eat within three minutes.

At two weeks, move the fish to a larger tank. Many breeders sell tiger barb fry when the fish are about three months old. If you plan on keeping the fish, avoid keeping too many in the same tank.

Follow the same rule for the initial fish, using a tank that offers at least four liters of water per inch of fish.

Common Green Tiger Barb Illnesses and Diseases

Tiger barbs are susceptible to the same diseases as other fish species, including fin rot and ich. However, the most common illness is cottonmouth (columnaris).

Columnaris is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria that enters through the gills or mouth. It causes fraying or ragged fins and the appearance of ulcers on the skin. The fish may also develop cloudy patches and mucus on the gills

Overcrowding and poor tank conditions are often to blame for cottonmouth. Treatment often involves the use of antibiotics and a medicated fish bath.

Green tiger barb

Are Green Tiger Barbs Aggressive?

Tiger barbs are considered semi-aggressive, especially when kept in small numbers. These fish are very active and may nip at the fins of other fish.

Fin nipping is more common when pairing tiger barbs with a larger, slow-moving species. Angelfish, bettas, gourami, and other species with long fins are more at risk.

While barbs may attack slow fish, groups of green tiger barbs are compatible with a variety of other species. Pair green tiger barbs with fast-moving fish, as they are less likely to fall victim to fin nipping from the tiger barbs. Suitable tank makes for green tiger barbs include:

  • Platys
  • Danios
  • Clown loaches
  • Mollies

To limit the aggressiveness of the fish, try keeping at least five or six tiger barbs in the same tank. As shoaling fish, Green tiger barbs prefer to live in groups. When kept in groups, barbs are more likely to chase each other and may ignore other species.

Last Thoughts on Keeping Green Tiger Barb Fish

Green tiger barbs are easy to care for. However, as with any fish species, they require a healthy environment and the right diet.

Remember to keep tiger barbs in groups, with at least five or six barbs in the same tank. Only use fast-moving fish as tank mates and a combination of fish flakes and real food for the diet.

Carl Broadbent
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