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 BarbPuntius tetrazona. The basic form of this variety has a yellow or creamy-colored background with whitish stripes. Anumber of Albino variations are available that havea gold and platinum body color. They all sport beautiful red accents on the nose and fins. Mature specimens dotend to fade a bit, but 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 tothe 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 havebeen less popular than the regular Tiger Barbsbut arestill readily available. However, with somegreat developments in red, gold, and platinum strains, they are becoming more sought after. These variations are sold under namessuch as Gold Tiger Barb, Golden Platinum Tiger Barb, Albino Golden Tiger Barb, Red Tiger Barb, Blood Red Tiger Barb, and so forth.

These fish are easy to keep, so well-suited to aquarists of all experience levels. Their aquarium needs, care, and feeding are the same as those of the Tiger Barb. They are quite hardy as long as their water is kept clean with regular water changes. These lively, active fish need plenty of room to swim. Plant their aquarium around the sides and back but leave them plenty of open space for swimming.

Theseactive, fast-swimming fish need to be kept in a school andwill do best withat least 6or 7fishes. They are rather nippy and will quickly establish a “pecking order.”Their nipping tendency seems to be demonstrated most when they are kept individually or in a smaller group. Ina larger school, they are too busy chasing each other to bother withother tankmates. 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

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.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Puntius
  • Species: tetrazona
Albino Tiger Barb – Quick Aquarium Care
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
  • Size of fish – inches: 2.8 inches (6.99 cm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 15 gal (57 L)
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Temperature: 68.0 to 79.0° F (20.0 to 26.1&deg C)
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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 prefersquiet forest streams and tributaries with clear, highlyoxygenated 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. Red, gold, and platinum strains have also been selectively bred and are available under such names as Gold Tiger Barb, Red Tiger Barb, Golden Platinum Tiger Barb, and Albino Golden Tiger Barb. 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.


The Albino Tiger Barb has a round, deepbody with a high backand a pointed head. Unlike the Tiger Barb, Albinos do not always have gill covers. Thesesmall fish only reachlengths ofup to about 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) andare 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 in the Albino,are reduced to whitish stripes. Albino Tiger Barbs havered on the outside of the dorsal fins as well as on the tail and ventral fins. When spawning,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 very hardyand a great choice for the beginning aquarist. They are usually notpicky eaters and willthrive on quality flake foods. As with any inbred fish, however,the Albino is a bit weaker than the regular Tiger Barb.Their tankmustbe kept clean as they are susceptible to ich. With clean, clear, well-filtered water,these fish will do very well. Be cautious when selecting tankmates as Albino Tiger Barbswill 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 every day. 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 ofsize, all need some maintenance. Over time, decomposing organic matter, nitrates, and phosphate build up andwater hardness increases due to evaporation. To combat these ever-changing conditions, water should be replaced on a regular basis, at least 20 to25%every month. It the tank is densely stocked, the tankwater should be replaced every other week.

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

Aquarium Setup

The Albino Tiger Barb will swim in all parts of the tankbut 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,a tank that is 30 inches long and 30 gallons or more is recommended. 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 thatsimulate their natural habitat. As with mostbarbs,they are most at home in well-planted aquariums. They also need alotof open swimmingareas. A well-planted,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&deg C)
  • Breeding Temperature: – Breeding temperatures between 74 and 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 AlbinoTiger Barb makes a good community fish, especially when kept 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, and kept singly, theywill be highly aggressive.

Tiger Barb VarietiesGroups of this fish will be hierarchal. Keep them in a school of at least 6or 7to diffuse some of their aggressive tendencies and help prevent them frombullyingother fish. In schools, they bother each other instead ofother tank inhabitants.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive – They are good community fish when kept in groups and with other fast-swimming tankmates. Kept singly, these fish will be highly aggressive.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species – conspecifics: Yes – They should be kept in a school of at least 6 or 7.
    • 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
    • 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 duringspawning season. The males are more brightly colored and smaller. During spawning, males 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. These fishbecome 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 fishare 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, whichcan 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 of10° dGH, slightly acidic with a pH of about 6.5, and a temperature between 74 to79° 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 aresusceptible to Ich if good water quality is not provided. Anything you add to your tank can introducedisease. 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 as 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 dealt withat an early stage. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give your Barb the proper environment anda well-balanced diet. The more closely their environment resemblestheir natural habitat, the less stress the fish will have, making them healthier and happier. A stressed fishis more likely to acquire disease.

These fish are very resilient, but fish keepers should stillread up oncommon 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.


The Albino Tiger Barb is readily availablein stores and online andmoderately inexpensive.