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The Best (And Worst) Tiger Barb Tank Mates to Consider

The Best (And Worst) Tiger Barb Tank Mates to Consider

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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 have a bit of a reputation as bad tank mates. You might have heard that tiger barbs like to nip fins.

While this is true, it’s still going to be possible to put tiger barbs in a community tank setting. You simply need to take the time to pick out appropriate tank mates.

Even if tiger barbs aren’t the best community aquarium fish in the world, they can still thrive. There are a number of good options to consider when looking for tank mates for tiger barbs.

Keep reading to learn about various tiger barb tank mates. You’ll learn about compatible fish as well as some that you’ll want to avoid putting in a tank with tiger barbs.

Once you’ve read all of the information, it’ll be easier to set up a community tank with tiger barbs in it. You should be able to have a good experience so long as you do the research.

Are Tiger Barbs Community Fish?

Generally, tiger barbs aren’t thought of as very good community fish. They can be kept in community tanks, but these fish are a bit too aggressive for many community aquariums.

Even so, they can be kept in community fish tanks with the right kind of fish. The key to getting things to work out is to put enough tiger barbs in the tank.

You see, tiger barbs do better when they’re kept in small groups. If you keep too few tiger barbs in the aquarium, they’re going to be overly aggressive.

The recommended number of tiger barbs to keep in a tank is at least six. You can keep six or more tiger barbs in a tank and expect good results.

Fewer than six tiger barbs will wind up causing the fish to be aggressive toward tank mates and each other. This is when you notice severe issues with fin nipping and other such problems.

Keeping this in mind, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough room in the community tank for at least six tiger barbs. This means getting a big enough tank so all of the fish will be comfortable.

What Fish Can Live with Tiger Barbs?

There are actually a number of fish that can live with tiger barbs comfortably. Remember that all of the fish that can live with tiger barbs will have a better time if there are at least six tiger barbs in the tank.

You need to have the right number of tiger barbs to keep aggression levels in check. If you do things right, there are many tiger barb tank mate possibilities.

Below, you’ll learn about common fish that people like to keep with tiger barbs. There are also some options mixed in there that people want to keep with tiger barbs but aren’t actually compatible with them.

Learning about what fish you should choose will help you to create an ideal community fish tank. You truly can have a nice community fish tank with tiger barbs if you take the time to plan things out appropriately.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Angelfish?

Zebra Angelfish

Angelfish are gorgeous freshwater fish that you might be interested in. It’s pretty common for people to keep fish like this in community tanks.

Sadly, they’re not going to be compatible with tiger barbs. Since tiger barbs are fin nippers, they’re likely going to stress the angelfish.

It could lead to significant issues. You’d be better off not putting angelfish in a community aquarium with tiger barbs.

If you want to buy some angelfish, it’d be better to keep them in a separate tank. You could always have a second community tank that includes these fish.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Cherry Barbs?

Cherry Barb

Cherry barbs will be fantastic tank mates for tiger barbs. These fish are fairly close to the same size as tiger barbs and they’re also easy to care for.

These are shy fish that usually mind their own business in community tank settings. They also have similar care requirements to tiger barbs.

Keeping them in the same tank will be rather easy. The two types of barbs will be able to thrive alongside each other without coming into conflict.

To keep the cherry barbs comfortable, it’s recommended to keep them in groups of six or more. They can become stressed when there aren’t enough of their own kind in the tank.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Tetras?

Two Neon Tetras

Tetras can live with tiger barbs under the right conditions. It’s sometimes going to be tough for tetras to put up with particularly aggressive tiger barbs.

This means that you must have six or more tiger barbs in the community tank for this to work out. Otherwise, the tetras are going to get bullied by the tiger barbs.

Many people have had success keeping tetras in community tanks with tiger barbs, though. It seems to work out nicely so long as there are at least six tiger barbs in the aquarium.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Mollies?


Mollies are incredibly popular fish that you can put in community tanks with tiger barbs. They’re docile fish that are only rarely aggressive toward other fish.

They should get along nicely with tiger barbs in the community aquarium. It’s also nice that they’re very easy to care for.

As a beginner, it’ll likely be a good choice to pick mollies for the fish tank. They’re hardy fish that won’t die easy so long as you take care of the basics.

Much like tiger barbs, these fish do best when kept in groups. To get optimal results, keep one male and three or four females in the same tank.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Bettas?

Blue Betta Fish

Bettas are among the worst tank mates for tiger barbs. Tiger barbs are very likely to aggravate the bettas and nip at their fins.

Since bettas have long fins that are very prominent, it makes sense that tiger barbs would go after them. Putting bettas in the same tank as tiger barbs is like asking for trouble.

The bettas will wind up becoming stressed due to the aggression of the tiger barbs. They could even wind up dying in the community tank.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Rosy Barbs?

Rosy Barb

Rosy barbs are another type of barb fish that tiger barbs are compatible with. These fish can live in a community aquarium with tiger barbs without it being a problem.

These fish are larger than tiger barbs since they grow to be six inches long. They’re very peaceful fish, though.

Rosy barbs will remain peaceful so long as they have other rosy barbs in the tank. You’re supposed to keep at least six rosy barbs in the same tank.

You’ll love how pretty and lively these fish are. They’re great jumpers, too, and that means you’ll need to have a good lid on the tank to prevent them from jumping out.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Goldfish?


Goldfish will not be compatible with tiger barbs either. These fish are going to get nipped and hurt by the tiger barbs.

Tiger barbs are just way too aggressive for the goldfish to handle. They have long fins as well, and this makes the tiger barbs more likely to nip at them.

This would be one of the worst choices you could make when choosing tank mates for tiger barbs. Stay away from goldfish when looking for tiger barb tank mates.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Tinfoil Barbs?

Tinfoil Barbs

Tinfoil barbs are compatible with tiger barbs. They aren’t quite as easy to care for as tiger barbs, but they’re still not delicate fish.

You have to know that these fish grow to be rather large, though. They can reach 14 inches in length at maturity.

As such, they might not be the perfect choice for your community tank. They require 75-gallon aquariums or larger to thrive.

If you want to keep a smaller community tank, it’d be better to choose rosy barbs or cherry barbs. Regardless, many people do think that tinfoil barbs are great fish.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Guppies?

Multiple Guppies

Tiger barbs and guppies simply don’t mix. You want to avoid keeping these two fish in the same aquarium.

The fin-nipping nature of tiger barbs will make life tough for the guppies. Tiger barbs have been known to seriously injure guppies in community tank settings.

If you want to keep all of the fish under your care safe, it’s best to avoid such poor pairings. Guppies are great fish, but they can’t be kept in fish tanks that contain tiger barbs.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Cory Catfish?

Bronze Cory Catfish

Cory catfish are bottom-dwelling fish that many people put in community fish tanks. They’re going to be good tank mates for tiger barbs.

One of the reasons why these fish work out so nicely is that they likely won’t ever interact with the tiger barbs. Tiger barbs don’t generally go to the bottom of the tank, and cory catfish are peaceful fish that do their own thing.

You have to keep cory catfish in small groups. They also like to have many hiding spots in the tank so that they can feel comfortable.

Overall, cory catfish will be stellar community tank members. They get along with many types of fish and they’re very easy to take care of.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Cichlids?

Peacock Cichlid Swimming Near Rocks and Pebbles

Cichlids will be another bad option for community tanks that contain tiger barbs. You see, cichlids tend to be aggressive fish themselves.

The aggressive nature of the cichlids won’t mix well with tiger barbs. The two fish will very likely come into conflict.

It could wind up being the case that the two types of fish will hurt or kill each other. Never put cichlids in fish tanks with tiger barbs.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Plecos?

Bristlenose Pleco

Plecos are fish that many people love keeping in community tanks. There are many types of plecos that you can look into.

Some of the larger types of plecos will grow to be huge. Others are smaller and will work better as tank mates for tiger barbs.

Smaller or medium-sized plecos should get along okay with tiger barbs. These fish are generally peaceful and easy to take care of.

Just do a bit of research on the types of plecos before buying them. Some might grow to be too large for the community tank that you’re planning.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Platy Fish?

Platy Fish

Platy fish will be another good choice when looking for community tank fish. They can get along just fine with tiger barbs.

Platies come in many different varieties. They’re very colorful fish that are simple to care for overall.

To add to this, they have a peaceful temperament. It makes it easy to find tank mates for them.

Sometimes platies and tiger barbs will nip each other. Even so, it shouldn’t become a serious problem in the aquarium.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Red-Tailed Shark Fish?

Red-Tailed Shark

Red-tailed sharks are semi-aggressive fish. They will often bully fish that are a lot smaller than themselves.

However, they make okay tank mates for tiger barbs. A red-tailed shark will get along with tiger barbs without giving them any problems in a community aquarium setting.

One thing to keep in mind is that these fish usually fight with each other. As such, it’s recommended to only keep one red-tailed shark in the tank.

You’ll also need a tight-fitting lid on the tank when keeping these fish. They’re jumpers that will jump out of the aquarium if you don’t take precautions.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Swordtails?

Swordtail Fish

Swordtails are fish that are commonly kept in community fish tanks. You’ll be glad to hear that these fish can live alongside tiger barbs.

These are great fish to own when you’re a beginner. They’re so easy to care for that you’re unlikely to encounter problems.

It’s also nice that these fish are so peaceful. You can find many potential tank mates for swordtails.

Although they do get along okay with tiger barbs, sometimes the fish might nip at each other. Such issues can be kept in check by keeping the right number of tiger barbs in the tank.

It’s also notable that male swordtails don’t get along. You should avoid keeping two male swordtails in the same aquarium.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Black Ruby Barbs?

Black Ruby Barb

Quite a few different barbs are compatible with tiger barbs. Black ruby barbs are no different.

These fish are a bit on the small side as far as barbs go. They’re meant to be kept in groups of five or more.

Overall, black ruby barbs do an admirable job of living alongside tiger barbs. They’re also much better community tank fish than tiger barbs since they don’t nip at other fish nearly as much.

To keep these fish happy, ensure that you place them in a well-planted aquarium. They like having many hiding spots as well as ample room to swim around.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Clown Loaches?

Clown Loach Highlighted Above Gray Rock

Clown loaches should be among the first fish that you choose to buy for the community tank. They’re some of the best tank mates for tiger barbs that you can find.

Many people consider clown loaches to be the prettiest loaches that you can buy. They truly do look stunning in home aquariums.

Since these fish hang out at the bottom of the tank, they won’t come into conflict with tiger barbs. The tiger barbs should largely leave these fish alone.

You do need to keep at least five clown loaches in the same tank. They’re schooling fish that need to live among their own kind.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Pictus Catfish?

Pictus Catfish

Pictus catfish are predatory fish, but they can live in the same tank as tiger barbs. These fish will go around and eat smaller fish that will fit into their mouths.

Tiger barbs are large enough to avoid this fate. They should be left alone by the pictus catfish.

Know that pictus catfish are active during the night. You need to keep the lights dim and not bright to avoid disturbing the fish.

You’ll also need to set the community fish tank up with a sandy substrate. They like tanks that are planted and prefer to have hiding places such as rocks and pieces of driftwood.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Gouramis?

Male Dwarf Gourami with Long Dorsal Fin

Gouramis are popular fish that many people like to put in community aquariums. Will they be able to live with tiger barbs, though?

They actually work pretty well as tiger barb tank mates. Many people have kept these two types of fish in community tanks and encountered no issues.

It’s nice that gouramis are relatively simple to care for. You just need to avoid keeping them with much larger fish that might bully them.

They’re even easy fish to feed since they’re omnivorous. You shouldn’t have a hard time keeping gouramis healthy in a community tank.

Can Tiger Barbs Live with Zebra Danios?

Zebra Danios

Zebra danios will be another inspired choice when you’re seeking tiger barb tank mates. Much like clown loaches, these are some of the best tank mates for tiger barbs.

These fish are very simple to care for and they happen to be beautiful. The striped pattern on these fish does indeed resemble that of zebras.

You’ll find that zebra danios are fin nippers just like tiger barbs. That won’t be a problem when you’re putting them in the same tank as tiger barbs, though.

These are very active fish that will be lively in the tank. You might not want to put them in tanks with fish that are more subdued since they might stress them out.

Advice for Setting up a Community Tank

Remember that setting up a community tank isn’t something you should rush. You need to consider many factors.

Note that you need to consider the compatibility of all of the fish that you wish to include in the tank. Some fish might be compatible with tiger barbs, but they might not be compatible with other fish that you plan to add to the aquarium.

You must research the compatibility of all of the fish or you will get bad results. It would be a shame for some of the fish to wind up hurting each other due to you not doing the necessary research.

Researching everything that you need to know will take some time. Aside from general compatibility, you also need to consider the care requirements of each fish.

Some fish might not fit in with the community tank due to needing the water temperature to be slightly too high or too low. You need to ensure that all of the fish can survive and do well in the right water parameter range.

So long as you remember this, it shouldn’t be hard to get a community tank going. You’ll have a great experience if you put in the necessary effort.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned about many different potential tank mates for tiger barbs. These fish aren’t necessarily the best community tank fish since they’re known to be a bit aggressive.

Tiger barbs are fin nippers, and that can be a significant problem. They won’t be able to live with fish with long fins such as angelfish, bettas, and goldfish.

They are less aggressive if you keep them in groups of six or more. Even so, it’s imperative to put them in a community tank with fish that they’re actually compatible with.

There are more compatible tank mates that you can choose from than you might have thought. Tiger barbs can live alongside clown loaches, mollies, zebra danios fish, and so many others.

You’ll want to pick out your favorite tank mates for the tiger barbs and then get your community aquarium set up. It’ll take some time to research things and get it right, but it’ll be well worth the effort.

Move forward and enjoy your new community aquarium. You should be able to have fun caring for this fish tank for years to come.

Be sure to let your friends know what you learned about tiger barb tank mates today. You might be able to help others who are interested in tiger barbs to find good tank mate options.

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Saturday 2nd of March 2024