Albino Tiger Barb

Gold Tiger Barb, Red Tiger Barb, Golden Platinum Tiger Barb

Family: CyprinidaeAlbino Tiger Barb Fish GuidePuntius tetrazonaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I have 2 Albino Tiger Barbs and 1 Tiger Barb in a 15 gallon tank. They are in there with a Red Flame Honey Gourami and a Rainbow shark. Surprising they do not nip... (more)  chris

The Albino Tiger Barb is active and playful, making a lively aquarium when kept in a school!

The Albino Tiger Barb is an attractive color morph of the Tiger Barb Puntius tetrazona. The basic form of this variety has a yellow or creamy colored background with whitish stripes. There are a number of Albino variations that emphasis a gold and platinum background. They all sport beautiful red accents on the nose and fins. Mature specimens do tend to fade a bit, but still a school of these lively fish in a nice sized aquarium makes an awesome display.

The biggest difference between these and the Tiger Barbs is that Albinos do not always have gill covers. When first introduced in the aquarium hobby these fish were received with mixed reactions. This mostly seemed to relate to a matter of taste. Some folks fell in love with these little pretties, while others were indifferent. Consequently they had been less poplar than the regular Tiger Barbs, but were still readily available. However with some of the great developments in red, gold, and platinum strains, they are becoming more sought after. These are called such things as Gold Tiger Barb, Golden Platinum Tiger Barb, Albino Golden Tiger Barb, Red Tiger Barb, Blood Red Tiger Barb, and so forth.

These varieties are easy to keep so are well suited to aquarists of all experience levels. Their aquarium needs, care and feeding are the same as their parentage. They are quite hardy as long as their water is kept clean with regular water changes. They are lively and active so need plenty of room to swim. The aquarium can be planted around the sides and back of the tank to give them lots of open swimming area in the middle.

They are very active, fast swimming fish that need to be kept in a school. They will do best in a school of at least six or seven fishes. They are rather nippy and in a school they will quickly establish a "pecking order". Their nipping tendency seems to be demonstrated most when they are kept individually or in a smaller group. With a larger school they are too busy chasing each other to bother with their other tank mates. Still they should not be kept with slow swimming or long-finned fishes such as gouramis and angelfish, but will do very well in a community tank with other active species. Kept singly they can become aggressive.

For a very attractive effect in your aquarium try a mixed school by combining the pretty Albino Barbs with some regular Tiger Barbs. This provides a nice contrast of swift moving, darting color. You can add other varieties as well, including the Longfin Tiger Barb which was developed for longer finnage, and the Green Tiger Barb. Mixing more varieties works equally well and creates a really exciting effect.

For more Information on keeping freshwater fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Freshwater Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Puntius tetrazona
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Puntius
  • Species: tetrazona
Albino Tiger Barbs

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Some Albino Tiger Barbs enjoy swimming with their tankmates.

Four Albino Tiger Barbs swim amongst their tankmates and peacefully search for food. Note the difference between the Albino Tiger Barbs and the regular Tiger Barbs; the Albinos look much more orangish whereas the normal Tigers present dark vertical strips and a much more brownish body coloring.

Albino Tiger Barb - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 15 gal (57 L)
  • Temperature: 68.0 to 79.0° F (20.0 to 26.1° C)
  • Range ph: 6.5-7.5
  • Hardness Range: 2 - 30 dGH
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Tiger Barb Puntius tetrazona (previously Barbus tetrazona) was described by Bleeker in 1855. They are found throughout the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, and possibly Thailand and Cambodia. They are native to the island of Borneo and found in both the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island. Feral populations have been introduced to Singapore, Australia, the United States and Colombia.

This fish shows a preference to quiet forest streams and tributaries with clear, highly oxygenated waters. The substrate is normally composed of sand and rocks and grows very dense vegetation. In nature this fish feeds on insects, diatoms, algae, small invertebrates and detritus.

The Albino Tiger Barb is a captive bred color morph developed from the Tiger Barb. Many of these barbs are captive bred for the aquarium industry with red, gold, and platinum strains being selectively bred as well. These are called such things as Gold Tiger Barb, Red Tiger Barb, Golden Platinum Tiger Barb, and Albino Golden Tiger Barb to name a few. There are no wild populations of this color morph.

  • Scientific Name: Puntius tetrazona
  • Social Grouping: Groups
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed - There are no wild populations of this color morph.

Description

The Albino Tiger Barb has a round shaped body with a high back, deep body and a pointed head. Unlike the Tiger Barb, Albinos do not always have gill covers. They are small fish reaching lengths of only up to about 2 3/4 inches (7 cm), but are generally a bit smaller in the aquarium. They have a lifespan of 6 to 7 years with proper care.

Picture of Albino Tiger BarbsThe body has a creamy or yellow background. The four very distinctive black stripes in the parent Tiger Barbs, though still present are reduced to whitish stripes. There is red on the outside of the dorsal fins as well as on the tail and ventral fins. When in spawning mode they have a bright red snout.

  • Size of fish - inches: 2.8 inches (6.99 cm)
  • Lifespan: 7 years

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Albino Tiger Barb is a very hardy fish and a great fish for beginners. They are usually not very picky eaters and will take and thrive on quality flake foods. As with any inbred fish, they can be a bit weaker then the actual fish they originate from. Their tank does need to be kept clean as they are susceptible to ich. With clean, clear well filtered water; these fish will do very well. Do take caution picking their tank mates as they will nip the fins of slow swimming and long finned fish.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

Foods and Feeding

Since they are omnivorous the Albino Tiger Barb will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat. This fish will eat as much as you feed them so the aquarist should determine a reasonable amount. The rule of thumb when offering food several times a day is to offer only what they can consume in 3 minutes or less at each feeding. When offering food just once a day, provide what they can eat in about 5 minutes.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - Offer only what they can consume in 3 minutes or less with multiple feedings per day.

Aquarium Care

These Barbs are not exceptionally difficult to care for provided their water is kept clean. Aquariums are closed systems and regardless on size all need some maintenance. Over time decomposing organic matter, nitrates, and phosphate build up and the water hardness increases due to evaporation. To combat these ever changing conditions water should be replaced on a regular basis. At least 20 - 25% of the tank water should be replaced every month. It the tank is densely stocked the tank water should be replaced every other week.

  • Water Changes: Monthly - If the tank is densely stocked the water changes should be done every other week.

Aquarium Setup

The Albino Tiger Barb will swim in all parts of the tank, but prefers to swim in open areas in the middle. Since their maximum size is less than 3 inches, a school will need at least a 15 gallon aquarium. However because they are very active swimmers it is better to have a tank that is 30 inches long and 30 gallons or more. Provide good filtration and do regular water changes. Additionally, the tank should be covered as these fish may jump.

These fish will do best and are most effectively displayed in tanks which simulate their natural habitat. As with most of the barb species they are most at home in well planted aquariums. They also need stretches of open swimming areas. Along with the plants, a sandy substrate and bog wood will echo their native habitat. An efficient filter and good water movement are needed for the male fishes to develop their coloration.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 15 gal (57 L)
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 68.0 to 79.0° F (20.0 to 26.1° C)
  • Breeding Temperature: - Breeding temperatures between 74 - 79° F (24 - 26° C).
  • Range ph: 6.5-7.5 - Hobbyists intending to breed their stock should keep the water more acidic (6.5).
  • Hardness Range: 2 - 30 dGH - Tiger barbs are not very sensitive to hardness levels.
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All - These fish will swim in all areas, but prefer the middle of the aquarium.

Social Behaviors

The lively Green Tiger Barb makes a good community fish, especially with other fast moving fish. However they have been known to get a bit nippy, especially when kept singly or in very small groups. They have a tendency to nip the fins of slow moving and long-finned fishes, such as gouramis and angelfish. A singly kept fish will be highly aggressive.

Tiger Barb VarietiesGroups of this fish will be hierarchal. It is a good idea to keep them in a school of at least six or seven to diffuse some of their aggressive tendencies. This can help to prevent bullying of other fish. In schools they bother each other instead of the other tank inhabitants.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive - They are good community fish when kept in groups and when other tankmates are also fast moving fish. A singly kept fish will be highly aggressive.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes - It is a good idea to get at least six or seven.
    • Peaceful fish (): Monitor - Barbs are notorious for fin nipping. Fish that have long fins and/or runners, like gouramis and angelfish, should not be kept with this fish.
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Monitor
    • Aggressive (): Threat
    • Large Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
    • Large Aggressive, Predatory (): Threat
    • Slow Swimmers & Eaters (): Monitor - This is a rather quick fish at feeding time. Make sure any slower fish get enough to eat if you are keeping them with barbs.
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
    • Plants: Safe

Sex: Sexual differences

The female is heavier especially during the spawning season. The males are more brightly colored and smaller. During spawning they will develop a very red nose.

Breeding / Reproduction

The Albino Tiger Barb is developed from the Tiger Barb, which is moderately easy to breed and raising the fry is relatively simple. They become sexually mature at about 6 to 7 weeks of age when they have attained a size between about 3/4 of an inch to just over an inch in length (2 - 3 cm). Select breeding pairs from the school that have excellent markings and strong color.

These fish are egg layers that scatter their eggs rather than having a specific breeding site. The eggs are adhesive and will fall to the substrate. These fish can spawn in a 20 gallon breeding tank. It can be set up with a sponge filter a heater, and some plants. Marbles used as substrate will help protect the eggs. The water should be a medium hardness to 10° dGH, slightly acidic with a pH of about 6.5, and a temperature between 74 - 79° F (24 - 26° C).

Condition the pair with a variety of live foods like brine shrimp. Introduce the female to the breeding tank first and add the male after a couple of days, when the female is full of eggs. The courting ritual will start in the late afternoon with them swimming around each other, and the male performing headstands and spreading his fins to excite the female. The spawn will take place in the morning, with the male chasing and nipping the female. The female will begin releasing 1 to 3 eggs at a time. Up to 300 eggs will be release, though more mature females can hold 700 or more.

After the spawn, remove the parents as they will eat the eggs. The eggs will hatch in about 48 hours and the fry will be free swimming in about 5 days. The free swimming fry can be fed infusoria, a liquid fry food, or newly hatched baby brine at least three times a day. Pay close attention when feeding, as foods if uneaten can quickly foul the water. The fry will require clean water to survive. See the description of breeding techniques in: Breeding Freshwater Fish: Barbs. Also see Fish Food for Fry for information about types of foods for raising the young.

  • Ease of Breeding: Moderate

Fish Diseases

Albino Tiger Barbs are hardy and disease is not usually a problem in a well maintained aquarium. They are primarily susceptible to Ich if good water quality is not provided. Anything you add to your tank can also bring disease. Not only other fish but plants, substrate, and decorations can harbor bacteria. Take great care and make sure to properly clean or quarantine anything that you add to an established tank so not to upset the balance.

A good thing about these barbs is that due to their resilience, an outbreak of disease can often be limited to just one or a few fishes if you deal with it at an early stage. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give your Barb the proper environment and give them a well balanced diet. The closer to their natural habitat the less stress the fish will have, making them healthier and happy. A stressed fish will is more likely to acquire disease.

These fish are very resilient, but it is recommended to read up on the common tank diseases. Knowing the signs and catching and treating them early makes a huge difference. For information about freshwater fish diseases and illnesses, see Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments.

Availability

The Albino Tiger Barb is readily available both in stores and online and they are moderately inexpensive.

References

Author: David Brough CFS, Jeremy Roche
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Lastest Animal Stories on Albino Tiger Barb

chris - 2004-11-02
I have 2 Albino Tiger Barbs and 1 Tiger Barb in a 15 gallon tank. They are in there with a Red Flame Honey Gourami and a Rainbow shark. Surprising they do not nip at his fins like so many rumors say they do. They are great fish and very energetic and cheap too! I got mine for 99 cents apiece. I recommend these to anyone.

  • Katie - 2012-06-23
    In my oppinion that is too small of a tank for that many fish. 15 gallons is not enough. I have a problem With my Albino Tiger Barbs too. I have 4 albino tiger barbs in one (20 gallon) tank. I have a bubbler and another ornament. The fish keep messing with one another a little too rough sometimes and tried to eat my other fish wich now in a different tank with neon tetras. One of them has tattered fins so bad she can hardly swim and kinda stays near the top of the tank. To toarrow morning we were gonna clean the tank and see what happened. I think she might have fin rot but I am not sure. We have a filter and heater but don't have test strips. We feed them flakes but she started pooping more and it is stringy. Can any one help?
  • Breezy - 2013-03-16
    If the school of fish is not big enough then they will start picking on other fish. I have a school of 12 barbs, 4 albino tiger barbs,4 regular tiger barbs and 4 green tiger barbs and they leave my fish alone.
Reply
Goh88 - 2012-01-27
Can I breed a albino barb with a tiger barb?

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-27
    They have to do the breeding (joking a little) but yes they probably will.
Reply
fish - 2012-03-31
Tigers are safe with long finned fish once they are used to their surroundings and are in a large group. This will give them something else to do rather than nip other fish.

Reply
-[?]- - 2005-07-26
My first tropical fish. they are pretty easy to keep with other fish but they nip on fins and that sucks. they killed my mollies, pleco, and sharks. Pretty good eaters and fast swimmers avoiding predators, but they will become the predator.

Reply
karen nott - 2009-04-14
I have a albino barb and a tiger barb in my tank, and up until recently, I had a red tailed shark, which I have had to remove because of constant nipping and chasing. My albino barb has been the only one that has been nipped, and as a result, has lost his lower finn and his lower tail. Does anyone know, or have advice about what we can do to help him recover back to normality, so to speak, as he is struggling to swim. Many Thanks.

  • Kerem - 2010-05-17
    It might be PAINFUL for the poor thing treat it only if it didn't die ok thanks.
  • m freeman - 2010-06-08
    I too have the same problem at the moment I am using something called melafix antibaterial fish remedy and it does help them grow back their tails and fins.
  • Harrison Graydon - 2010-11-25
    You need, and I emphasize need, 5 or more tiger barbs in a tank, or else they will nip each other and other fish incessantly in the tank. I currently own 10, and it's worth it to own lots, as they are very interesting fish to own when in a large group, their behavior is very interesting.
  • Matt - 2011-01-06
    Personally I have an assortment of barbs in my tank such as the albino and the branded barb. The albino is not a very aggressive tiger barb and will not nip at fins etc. But the tiger barb will, personally the best you can you is either choose between a tank of tiger barbs or albino and a mixture with other fish but make sure they are similar to the barb family!
  • Michael Brown - 2011-08-21
    If you have 6 to 8 tigers they will not bother any other fish I have tigers with long finned fish and they don't bother them at all I hope this helps you.
Reply

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