Skip to Content

Do Tiger Barbs Change Color? (Does It Indicate Illness?)

Do Tiger Barbs Change Color? (Does It Indicate Illness?)

Share this post:

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tiger barbs are very popular fish overall. Many people gravitate toward these fish because they’re hardy.

They aren’t hard to take care of and they happen to be very pretty. These fish will look excellent in your fish tank if you choose to get some.

When observing the fish, you might be concerned if you notice that they’re changing colors. Is it normal for tiger barbs to change color?

Are these fish even capable of changing color or are you imagining things? Continue reading to get all of the pertinent information so that you can understand what is going on.

Do These Fish Change Color?

Yes, tiger barbs are capable of changing color. Many types of fish will change color depending on what is going on.

Sometimes this is perfectly normal and you won’t need to worry about it. It could also be an indication that the fish is having some issues in the tank.

First, it’s good to learn about the normal reasons why these fish might change colors. Sometimes they will change color when you change the lighting.

Turning the lights on could cause the tiger barb’s stripes to change from black to a slightly more faded color. This is typical and is nothing to worry about at all.

Males will sometimes get darker when they’re doing certain things. It’s well-known that male tiger barbs will have a darker appearance when they’re breeding.

They also get darker when they’re fighting with other tiger barbs. You might notice the fish getting darker simply because they’re fighting to establish dominance in the group.

If the fish are just getting darker from time to time, it’s likely nothing to worry about. The fish losing color might be a different story.

Why Are My Tiger Barbs Losing Color?

Light Colored Tiger Barb

Typically, when tiger barbs start losing color, it’s an indication that they’re stressed. These fish will sometimes have a faded look when they’re dealing with stressful situations.

There are many things that can cause tiger barbs to become stressed. It could be that the fish are being kept in dirty water.

If you do a poor job of maintaining the fish tank, it’ll be easy to cause the fish stress. Fish get stressed when kept in dirty water or water that is too cool.

You might need to make some adjustments to protect the fish. If you don’t, the tiger barbs could get sick.

Fish will get stressed when kept in overcrowded fish tanks as well. Perhaps you crammed too many fish in a tiny tank and caused them to experience significant stress.

Keeping fish in community tanks with fish that they aren’t compatible with will also cause stress. Some of the fish might be bullying others, and this can cause so many issues.

Try to determine what is going wrong to turn things around. If you can eliminate the source of the stress, the tiger barbs should return to normal over time.

Doing nothing could easily lead to the fish getting sick. Don’t ignore signs of stress.

Why Is My Tiger Barb Pale?

As mentioned above, tiger barbs will start to lose color when they’re stressed. Your tiger barb could be pale due to extreme issues with stress.

Normally, tiger barbs should appear to be quite vibrant. If your fish looks pale, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

Try to figure out what is wrong with the fish tank. You might be able to solve the problem and help the fish get better.

If the fish is very pale, it could be that the fish has already become sick. It might have some type of disease that you will need to address.

Sick fish might become lethargic and they might have physical symptoms of illness. Look for abnormalities to identify what might be wrong with the fish.

If you need help, you can always speak to an exotic veterinarian. An expert will be able to figure out what is wrong and guide you down the right path to treat the fish.

Of course, not everyone is going to be willing to spend money on an exotic vet. You can always try to match the symptoms with known tiger barb illnesses to get a good idea of what is likely wrong.

Treat the fish as soon as possible to try to get it better. You’ll also want to fix any problems in the tank that might have caused the fish to get sick in the first place.

Keep Your Fish Healthy

Thermometer in a Fish Tank

Keep your fish healthy by monitoring the condition of the tank regularly. Do your best to keep the water parameters in the right range.

Tiger barbs like the temperature of the water to remain between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. They do fine in pH balances between 6.0 and 8.0.

It’s said that the ideal pH balance for these fish is 6.5. It’s wise to clean the fish tank regularly to keep them from getting stressed.

You should be doing regular tank maintenance to prevent the water from getting dirty. Be sure to do weekly water changes as well.

Feeding the fish a balanced diet should help them to stay healthy as well. You want to give them a varied diet that will meet their nutritional needs.

You also need to know that these are schooling fish. To keep them happy, it’s best to keep them in groups of six or more.

So long as you keep all of this in mind, it’ll be easy to care for the fish properly. Do your best to keep them safe in your fish tank.

Final Thoughts

Tiger barbs can change color when certain things happen. Sometimes they will get darker when different things happen in the tank.

It’s common for males to go darker when they’re fighting or breeding. Stress might cause tiger barbs to lose color.

If your fish appears to be pale, it’s likely a sign that it is very stressed or sick. Try to turn things around and nurse the fish back to health.

Protect the fish by monitoring the tank conditions carefully. These hardy fish aren’t too hard to care for, but you should put in some effort so that they will thrive in your aquarium.

Share this post:


Saturday 4th of June 2022

Thank you for the info. It helps a lot!


Monday 6th of June 2022

I'm glad the article was helpful!