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Tiger Barb Breeding Guide (Answers to Common Questions)

Tiger Barb Breeding Guide (Answers to Common Questions)

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

Tiger barbs have long been considered to be great fish for newcomers to the hobby. They’re fish that look nice in a fish tank and they aren’t too hard to learn how to take care of.

If you enjoy the ease of caring for these fish, you might wish to get more of them. Instead of buying more tiger barbs, perhaps you’d like to get your current tiger barbs to breed.

Are tiger barbs considered to be easy to breed? Or is this process going to be too much for a beginner to handle?

Below, you’ll get information about the tiger barb breeding process. This will ensure that you understand how to breed tiger barbs as well as what you can expect as someone who has never done this before.

Do Tiger Barb Fish Lay Eggs?

Yes, tiger barbs do indeed lay eggs. Like many other types of fish, female tiger barb fish will lay eggs every so often.

These fish can lay many eggs at once, too. It’s possible that your female tiger barb fish will lay hundreds of eggs at once.

Since these fish lay so many eggs, it’s possible that you could wind up having more tiger barbs than you’ll know what to do with. Overall, the breeding process isn’t that tough.

Of course, it won’t be so simple if you keep the fish in the same tank with other fish. Typically, people who are breeding tiger barbs will separate breeding pairs into breeding tanks where they won’t have to worry about the eggs getting gobbled up by the other inhabitants of the main tank.

When Do Tiger Barbs Lay Eggs?

Female tiger barbs are going to become sexually mature once they’re approximately seven weeks old. Some fish might take a bit longer to reach sexual maturity.

There isn’t a specific time when female tiger barbs start to lay eggs. Once the female has reached sexual maturity, it’ll pair off with a sexually mature male tiger barb.

At this time, the two will go through the tiger barb mating routine. The female will lay its eggs and the rest will go as it’s supposed to.

You’ll learn more about the mating process later in this article. For now, you should know that female tiger barbs can potentially lay eggs every two weeks.

This is assuming that they’re conditioned properly. Since females can lay hundreds of eggs at once, it’s possible to wind up with a large number of baby tiger barbs.

Where Do Tiger Barbs Lay Eggs?

There are a few common spots where female tiger barbs choose to lay eggs. Generally, they try to lay eggs in spots where they will be protected from other fish.

Often, you’ll find tiger barbs laying eggs near plants. Female tiger barbs might also lay their eggs on rocks or other types of fish tank décor.

You should be able to spot the eggs if you look in those common spots. It’s not as common for tiger barbs to lay eggs in the middle of the tank or somewhere extremely out in the open.

It makes sense that fish would want to try to obscure their eggs. They’re trying to make it so that other fish won’t eat the eggs to give them a chance of hatching.

What Do Tiger Barb Eggs Look Like?

You’ll find that tiger barb eggs are very small. They’re only going to be a few millimeters in diameter.

Since they’re tiny, spotting the eggs in the tank might be hard at first. Remember that there are likely to be dozens or potentially hundreds of these eggs.

The eggs should have a round shape to them. Sometimes the eggs will be oval-shaped, but this isn’t always the case.

Typically, tiger barb eggs will have an orange or tan coloration. They can sometimes be slightly darker than this, too.

As you get used to breeding tiger barbs, it’ll be easier to recognize the eggs. You’ll get used to what they look like before too long.

Do Tiger Barbs Eat Their Eggs?

Sadly, tiger barbs are known for eating their own eggs. Once the female tiger barb has laid its eggs, the male will fertilize them.

During this time, the aggression of the parent tiger barbs will be heightened. They might sometimes choose to eat some of the eggs that have been laid.

These fish will often eat the eggs, and they might eat so many of them that barely any of the eggs will remain. If you want to try to breed these fish, it’s best to separate the parent fish from the eggs once they’ve been laid and fertilized.

You should also know that tiger barbs will eat their own fry. The baby tiger fish that manage to hatch will be in danger of getting devoured by their parents.

This might seem cruel and unusual, but it’s pretty common in the fish world. Many other types of fish do this as well.

It makes sense to separate the parent fish from the eggs as soon as you can. Put the parent fish back in the main tank and continue to look after the eggs in the breeding tank.

How Often Do Tiger Barbs Lay Eggs?

Tiger barbs have the potential to spawn every two weeks. If the conditions are right, female tiger barbs might be able to lay eggs every two weeks without fail.

It might not always happen this way, though. They can lay eggs every two weeks, but it might take slightly longer than that depending on various factors.

Regardless, these fish are capable of breeding and laying eggs regularly. If you want to try to breed these fish continuously, it’ll be fairly simple to get many baby tiger barbs.

Most people agree that tiger barbs are relatively simple to breed in captivity. You can use this to your advantage if you want to.

Are Tiger Barbs Live Bearers?

No, tiger barbs are not live bearers. Like the majority of other fish, these fish lay eggs to reproduce.

Live bearers are fish that get pregnant and carry their young. Tiger barbs simply don’t reproduce this way.

If you hear people use terms such as “pregnancy” when referring to tiger barbs, they’re just using the wrong word. A lot of people say that a tiger barb is pregnant when it’s really just ready to lay eggs.

Fish become gravid when they’re ready to lay eggs. It’s not the same as pregnancy, but some people still think their fish are pregnant for whatever reason.

How Long Are Tiger Barbs Pregnant for?

Tiger barbs aren’t pregnant for any period of time. They don’t get pregnant.

A female tiger barb will become gravid when it’s getting ready to lay eggs. You might notice the belly of the female fish looking more swollen than usual.

Some people refer to this as the fish being pregnant. It’s simply a misuse of the word.

Female tiger barbs lay eggs and that is completely different from pregnancy. Now that you know this, you’ll be able to focus on the eggs.

How to Tell If a Tiger Barb Is Pregnant

Since tiger barbs don’t get pregnant, it isn’t possible to tell if they’re pregnant. Female tiger barbs will appear to have swollen bellies when they’re getting ready to lay eggs, though.

This is a normal thing that can act as a sign that eggs will soon be laid somewhere in the tank. As mentioned earlier, female tiger barbs can potentially lay hundreds of eggs at once.

They’re also capable of breeding pretty often. If the conditions are right, tiger barbs can lay eggs every two weeks.

You can keep an eye on the tiger barbs to see if there are signs that they’re ready to mate again. Looking to see if the female is gravid might be the most obvious sign.

How Many Babies Does a Tiger Barb Have?

The number of eggs that are laid by female tiger barbs will vary each time. It’s said that female tiger barbs can lay as many as 300 eggs at once.

It’s very common for female tiger barbs to lay at least 100 eggs or more. Not all of these eggs are going to hatch, though.

Of course, the tiger barbs might eat some of the eggs. Other fish could eat the eggs as well if you don’t put the mating pair in a breeding tank.

Even in ideal conditions, it’s unlikely that every single egg will hatch. Regardless, you could potentially see dozens or hundreds of tiger barb fry hatch.

With so many eggs being laid, it makes sense that many tiger barb babies could be hatched. You’ll need to look out for them to help them survive.

How Do Tiger Barbs Mate?

Tiger barb mating is pretty straightforward. A male and a female tiger barb will form a mating pair.

There will be a period of courtship where the male tiger barb attempts to gain the approval of the female. You’ll see the male chasing the female around during this time.

Eventually, the female tiger barb will get ready to release eggs. During this time, you might notice that the belly area of the female will be swollen.

The female tiger barb will choose a spot to lay its eggs. As noted earlier, these fish normally lay eggs near plants, on rocks, or on other decorative objects that will help to hide the eggs.

The male tiger barb is going to follow the female as it lays the eggs. Male tiger barbs will release semen in the water above the eggs leaving a trail behind.

When the male sprays the eggs with its reproductive fluids, it fertilizes them. This is necessary to make the eggs viable and give them a chance to hatch.

It’s not uncommon for male tiger barbs to miss fertilizing some eggs because females will sometimes lay hundreds of eggs at once.

Tiger Barb Breeding Behavior

Tiger barb breeding behavior is pretty standard among fish. Males court females and wind up forming a breeding bond.

A male and a female fish will form a bond and then they will start mating. The female lays the eggs and the male fertilizes the eggs.

They aren’t good parents, though. These fish are very bad parents that will eat the eggs and will even eat any tiger barb fry that manage to hatch.

If you want fish to survive in the fish tank, you must separate the parent fish from the eggs once they’ve been fertilized. Otherwise, very few of the eggs will survive.

How to Breed Tiger Barbs

Breeding tiger barbs is pretty easy, but you still need to do things right to get good results. To start, you’re going to need to set up a breeding tank.

Pair male and female tiger barbs off and place them in breeding tanks. This will allow them to breed in an environment where the eggs will have a chance of survival.

If you keep the fish in the community tank, other fish are going to eat all of the eggs. Tiger barbs aren’t good parents and won’t do as much as they should to protect the eggs.

Conditioning the tiger barbs to get them to mate is necessary. Place the fish on a diet that gives them plenty of protein.

Ensure that the water in the breeding tank is set to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll also want to do daily water changes to keep the fish safe.

Change 20% of the water each day. Continue to feed the tiger barbs twice per day and give them foods that are high in protein.

Good food options for these fish include beef hearts, bloodworms, and even fish flakes that have a high protein content. The conditioning period should go on for about three or four days.

The tiger barb pair should be ready to spawn at this point. These fish don’t bond for life, so it’s fine to pair off different tiger barbs in subsequent attempts.

The breeding tank should be at least 10 gallons to get the best results. Keep aeration to a minimum to try to protect the eggs.

Once the female lays the eggs, the male should follow behind and fertilize them. At this time, you can remove the male and female tiger barb from the breeding tank.

You want to do this because tiger barbs are known to eat their own eggs. If you leave the parent fish in the breeding tank, they’re going to eat all of the eggs.

It’s easier to remove the parent fish from the breeding tank than it is to remove the eggs safely. Put the parent fish back into the main tank when the time is right.

How Long Does It Take the Eggs to Hatch?

Tiger barb eggs take approximately four days to hatch. You’ll need to care for them in the absence of the parents.

Set up aeration for the eggs so that they will get enough oxygen. This is easily accomplished by using air stones.

You also want to protect the tank from fungal growth. Fungal growth has the potential to keep tiger barb eggs from hatching.

Some enthusiasts choose to use antifungal agents in the hatching tank. One such option is known as methylene blue.

Once the tiger barb fry hatch, they won’t be swimming at first. They remain attached to the yolk and feed off of that for three days.

On the fourth day, you’ll need to feed the tiger barb fry. Most people choose to feed tiger barb fry freshly-hatched brine shrimp.

It’s recommended to feed the fry three or four times per day. This will help them to develop as fast as possible.

Don’t overfeed the fish, though. Overfeeding can lead to various health issues.

You’ll be able to tell when the fry are satisfied by looking at them. They might stop taking food, but you’ll also see that they’re fed properly when they have round and orange bellies.

As the tiger barb fry grow, they will be able to eat commercial foods. Once they’re large enough, you’ll be feeding and caring for them the same way you would standard tiger barbs.

Are Tiger Barbs Easy to Breed?

Most people agree that tiger barbs are very easy to breed. These fish can lay hundreds of eggs at once.

Since they lay so many eggs at once, there’s a good chance that many tiger barb babies will hatch. So long as you separate the parents from the eggs, many of the tiger barb fry will survive.

It’s also nice that tiger barbs can breed as often as every two weeks. Sometimes it might take a little longer than two weeks for a female to lay more eggs, but it’ll be quite frequent.

Being able to breed the fish so often will allow you to get many tiger barb babies. It’s very possible that you’ll wind up with way more tiger barbs than you want.

In fact, it might be hard to figure out what to do with them. You might need to try to donate many of the tiger barbs.

If you only want to breed these fish once or twice, it’ll be easy to keep more tiger barbs from breeding. They might breed in the community tank, but the eggs will get gobbled up by the other fish and won’t likely make it to the hatching phase.

Even beginners should have a fairly easy time breeding these fish. The conditioning process mentioned above isn’t that hard to wrap your head around.

The sheer number of eggs being laid by the female tiger barbs will give you plenty of chances to get things right. If you’re interested in breeding these fish, the only thing that’s stopping you will be your ability to set up a breeding tank.

You can’t successfully breed these fish in a community tank. It’s just very unlikely that any of the eggs will hatch, and if they do, the tiger barb fry will be eaten up fast.

Are Tiger Barbs Good Community Fish?

No, tiger barbs generally aren’t considered to be good community tank fish. People still put them in community tanks, though.

These fish can be sort of aggressive. If you have lots of tiger barbs in the same tank, issues with aggression will be mitigated.

For whatever reason, tiger barbs that are kept in small groups are more aggressive. Two or three tiger barbs would become terrors in a community tank.

Keeping them in groups of six or more will get you good results. Even when you keep them in groups of the right size, they can only get along with certain types of fish in a community aquarium.

Be careful when picking out tank mates for tiger barbs. You can find good options, but you need to do the necessary research.

You might want to use some of your new baby tiger barbs as community tank fish. Just be sure to keep them in groups of six or more and everything should go okay.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned everything that you need to know about breeding tiger barbs. Overall, breeding tiger barbs is a lot easier than breeding many other types of fish.

If you’re new to the idea of breeding fish, starting with tiger barbs might be a good idea. You need to separate the parents from the eggs, but that shouldn’t be too tough overall.

So long as you set up a breeding tank, you’ll be able to breed the fish often. You can see the female tiger barb lay more eggs every two weeks or so.

These fish lay hundreds of eggs at once. You could wind up with hundreds of tiger barb fry depending on how things go.

You might not want to keep breeding these fish too many times. If you do, you’ll wind up with an absurd number of tiger barbs in your fish tanks.

Finding room for all of these tiger barbs will be challenging for many fish tank owners. You might be in a position where you’ll need to donate tiger barbs to local pet stores or otherwise give them away.

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