Green Tiger Barb – Species Profile & Facts

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One of the most interesting tiger barb color varieties, green tiger barbs are highly active fish that require enough swimming space and do best in schools, where they usually establish a pecking order.

They’re a beautiful variant of tiger barbs and they’re the result of years of selective breeding that focused on accentuating the naturally occurring green coloration of tiger barbs.

Like their tiger barb cousins, green tiger barbs are also semi-aggressive fish that will pester or nip at the fins of slow-moving, docile fish, so you should be careful when you add them to community aquariums.

For more information on green tiger barb compatibility and keeping requirements, read my guide on this active and lively fish species.

What is Green Tiger Barb?

The Puntius Tetrazona originates from Indonesia and Malaysia, but it has been introduced to other parts of the world as well including Australia, Singapore, Colombia, and even the U.S.

In terms of physical traits, the green barb reaches 2-3 inches in the wild, being slightly smaller when kept in captivity. They have rounded bodies with a high back and pointed head.

Their coloration ranges from a deep fluorescent green to a metallic blue-green and the signature black stripes that tiger barbs usually sport is missing in this color morph.

However, the red color that appears in their parentage can be found on these fish as well on the outside of the dorsal fins, in the tail and ventral fins as well as on their snout, when spawning.

With proper care and good tank conditions, green tiger barbs can live 6 years on average.

Green Tiger Barb Water Requirements

Green tiger barb fish are generally described as hardy fish that are relatively easy to keep. That said, they’re a bit weaker than the tiger barbs they’re developed from.

Green tigers are susceptible to ich; therefore, water cleanliness and stress-free tank conditions are a must for this species.

1. Tank Size

Because they should be kept in a school of 6 to 7 and because they’re an active bunch that love to swim around in the tank, a 30-gallon tank is what I recommend for this species as the bare minimum.

This will allow you to offer them an open swimming space and add enough plants and decorations for them to feel comfortable. Add a sandy substrate and you’ll be able to successfully recreate their home environment.

Plants, rock caves and driftwood are especially important for the weaker individuals in the tank, so they can have places to hide while the pecking order is being established.

Good water movement, efficient filtration, and regular tank and water cleaning are crucial to keep these fish in good health and help males develop beautiful colors.

2. Water Parameters

As I mentioned, the tank set-up is important for these fish to feel comfortable and clean water is a must. With that said, here are the water parameters that are the most ideal for these fish:

  • Water Temperature: 68 – 79 °F
  • Hardness Range: 2 – 30 dGH
  • Water pH: 5-7.5

Moderate water movement, normal lighting, and an open swimming space in the mid-levels of the tank are most suitable for green tiger barbs.

Green Tiger Barb Tank Mates

As I mentioned, green tiger barbs are schooling fish and the bigger the school in which they’re kept, the better for the fish.

Another reason why it’s best to keep these fish in groups of at least 6 or 7 is because of their aggressive tendencies when kept alone or in smaller groups.

A green tiger barb kept singly in a community tank will be highly aggressive and pester other fish. When kept in more sizeable schools, their aggressive tendencies can be diffused.

When in a school, they’re also more likely to bother their own mates rather than other tank inhabitants.

Green tiger barbs do best with other active fish like other species of barbs, loaches, catfish, danios, etc.

Slow-moving, docile fish that also sport long fins are a hard no when it comes to selecting tank mates for tiger barbs.

Therefore, angelfish, bettas, guppies, and goldfish are not suitable tank companions.

Because green tigers are quick eaters, keeping them with slower fish can be a problem at feeding time, therefore, make sure that slow-moving fish get enough food too.

Whenever you add green tiger barbs to an aquarium, check for signs of misbehavior and monitor social behaviors to prevent any fights and injuries.

Green Tiger Barb Diet

As an omnivorous species, they aren’t picky eaters and will feed on a variety of frozen, flake, freeze-dried or live foods.

As with other omnivorous species, variety is key to maintain good health, develop beautiful colors and raise strong fish.

You can feed them a quality flake food every day throwing in brine shrimp, blood worms, and even some lettuce or boiled zucchini as a treat.

They’re opportunistic eaters, so be careful not to overfeed, which can cause digestive problems plus water chemistry disbalance problems from the higher bio load or decomposing foods.

Feed green tiger barbs two times a day with an amount they can eat within 3 minutes. If you’re feeding them only once a day, offer them food they’ll eat in 5 minutes.

Therefore, aim for variety and avoid overfeeding to maintain your fish in good health.

Breeding Green Tiger Barb Fish

Breeding green tiger barb fish in home aquariums is possible and there are many instances of spawning that occurred in home aquariums.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to breeding these fish.

According to one method, the best way to breed them is to keep them in a shoal and allow them to select their own pairs.

The other method — and the one that I also use and will describe to you below — is the same method that’s used to breeding tiger barbs.

Here are the steps to the breeding method I use for green tiger barbs:

1. Sexing Green Tiger Barbs

Green tiger barb fish reach sexual maturity at 6-7 weeks of age, when they reach almost an inch in size.

If you’re planning on breeding them, I recommend selecting breeding pairs with strong coloration and great markings.

You’re also going to need to know how to tell the difference between a male and female green tiger barb.

Here are some helpful tips to determine the gender of these fish:

  • Males develop a bright red color in their noses during spawning season;
  • Females are usually heavier than males and less colorful;
  • Dorsal fin of females is mainly black, males usually develop a red color above the black marking.

2. Conditioning

Conditioning is a process that’s used when breeding tiger barbs, but also various other barb species.

It involves separating green barbs based on sex and putting them on a spawning inducing diet. This includes feeding them various protein-rich foods such as brine shrimp.

3. Breeding Tank

The breeding tank should be no smaller than 20-gallons and it should have a substrate with marbles that can catch the eggs, a heater, plants and a sponge filter.

As for the water parameters in the breeding tank, here’s what you should aim for:

  • Temperature range: 74 and 79° F;
  • Water hardness: 10° dGH (medium hardness);
  • Water pH: 6.5 (slightly acidic).

Add the female first to the breeding tank, then after a few days add the male too. The spawning process starts with a courtship-like period, when the male will swim around the female and spread his fins to get the attention of the female.

Spawning usually occurs in the early morning, when the female will scatter her eggs in the tank (as many as 300 eggs will be released or even more). Eggs are sticky and will fall onto the substrate.

Because there is no exact spawning site as is the case with other egg-laying fish, removing the eggs from the tank is difficult since they’re scattered all over the place.

Removing the adult fish is much easier, and you should absolutely do that or else they’ll eat the eggs and you won’t be left with any fry to raise.

Unfortunately, barb fish aren’t parental at all and they’ll readily eat the eggs instead of caring for them. Artificial hatching is the only way to obtain eggs.

4. Hatching Eggs

After the parents are removed, you can focus on hatching the eggs, which will happen in about 48 hours after spawning.

First, they will still be in a wiggler or larval stage, and they won’t become free swimming for at least 5 days. Once their yolk sacs are absorbed, you’ll notice them swimming and they’ll take fry foods.

You can feed them baby brine shrimp, infusoria, liquid fry foods, and other foods for small fry.

Be careful not to overfeed them and keep the water clean, so they won’t get sick.

Final Notes

There aren’t any striking differences between caring for green tiger barbs in comparison with regular tiger barbs. Therefore, if you know how to care for one, you’ll easily care for the other too.

Maintain good water conditions as these fish are susceptible to Ich disease if tank conditions aren’t optimal. Also, feed them a varied diet, offer them enough space and choose compatible tank mates.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.

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