Albino Tiger Barb

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

Family: Cyprinidae Albino Tiger Barb Fish GuidePuntius tetrazonaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I have 2 regular tiger barbs 1 albino barb and 1 green barbs.. 1 of the regular one is chasing thr other 3 .. What can i do please  Kurt

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. A number of Albino variations are available that have a gold and platinum body color. They all sport beautiful red accents on the nose and fins. Mature specimens do tend 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 to 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 have been less popular than the regular Tiger Barbs but are still readily available. However, with some great developments in red, gold, and platinum strains, they are becoming more sought after. These variations are sold under names such 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.

These active, fast-swimming fish need to be kept in a school and will do best with at least 6 or 7 fishes. 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. In a larger school, they are too busy chasing each other to bother with other 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

  • 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
  • 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° 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 prefers 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. 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, deep body with a high back and a pointed head. Unlike the Tiger Barb, Albinos do not always have gill covers. These small fish only reach lengths of up to about 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) and 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 in the Albino, are reduced to whitish stripes. Albino Tiger Barbs have red 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 hardy and a great choice for the beginning aquarist. They are usually not picky eaters and will thrive on quality flake foods. As with any inbred fish, however, the Albino is a bit weaker than the regular Tiger Barb. Their tank must be 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 Barbs 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 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 of size, all need some maintenance. Over time, decomposing organic matter, nitrates, and phosphate build up and water hardness increases due to evaporation. To combat these ever-changing conditions, water should be replaced on a regular basis, at least 20 to 25% 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 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, 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 that simulate their natural habitat. As with most barbs, they are most at home in well-planted aquariums. They also need a lot of open swimming areas. 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° 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 Albino Tiger 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, they will be highly aggressive.

Tiger Barb VarietiesGroups of this fish will be hierarchal. Keep them in a school of at least 6 or 7 to diffuse some of their aggressive tendencies and help prevent them from bullying other fish. In schools, they bother each other instead of other 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
    • 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 spawning 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 fish 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, which 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 of 10° dGH, slightly acidic with a pH of about 6.5, and a temperature between 74 to 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 susceptible to Ich if good water quality is not provided. Anything you add to your tank can introduce 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 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 with at an early stage. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give your Barb the proper environment and a well-balanced diet. The more closely their environment resembles their natural habitat, the less stress the fish will have, making them healthier and happier. A stressed fish is more likely to acquire disease.

These fish are very resilient, but fish keepers should still read up on 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.


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


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

Kurt - 2016-01-11
I have 2 regular tiger barbs 1 albino barb and 1 green barbs.. 1 of the regular one is chasing thr other 3 .. What can i do please

Kianie - 2014-12-28
I have two regular tiger barbs, a green tiger barb, and an albino tiger barb and the albino one seems to be picking on the other regular barbs a lot. How do I stop him?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-12-29
    Barbs are fast nippy fish, but hang out with  and chase their own kind mostly. The best things to do are increase the number of barbs to at least 7, and then make sure you have some plants to offer hiding places.
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.
  • Anonymous - 2014-10-07
    Get at least 10-12 more to stop nipping
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.