Tiger barbs are a very popular fish that are currently seeing solid growth in their popularity within the fish keeping community.
With the demand for tiger barbs increasing, a number of people have started to breed their own tiger barb fry but this is not as easy as most people think so we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
For the most part, tiger barbs are relatively easy to breed in the grand scheme of things. The problem is that so many tiger barb fry perish before they become adults so we hope that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible get a better idea of how they should be raising their tiger barb fry to have the best success rates possible!
We also have an article going over how to take care of a pregnant tiger barb too prior to her spawning but in this article, we will be focusing on specifically taking care of your actual tiger barb fry.
These simple, easy to follow tips should be able to help you reach a survival rate of over 75% with your tiger barb fry.
Use A Breeding Tank If Possible!
The first and most important tip that we can give you is to use a breeding tank if at all possible.
This is going to be the best way for you to increase your tiger barb fry survival rates because it will allow you to better control the environment that your tiger barb fry are living in and remove any potential predators (including the parents).
A breeding tank is simply a smaller tank that can even be a cheap 10 gallon tank.
You will want to make sure that the breeding tank has a lid on it because tiger barbs are known to be jumpers and you do not want any of your fry jumping out after a couple of weeks and drying up and perishing on the floor.
You will also need to make sure that the breeding tank is properly heated with a good quality aquarium heater as tiger barbs prefer water temperatures in the range of 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also want to make sure that the breeding tank has a lot of hiding places for your tiger barb fry because they are going to be very timid and skittish when they are first born.
If You Can’t Use A Breeding Tank, Use A Breeding Box!
If you are not able to use a breeding tank for whatever reason, your next best option is going to be using a breeding box.
A breeding box is simply a smaller version of your main fish tank that you can use to house your tiger barb fry until they are big enough to go into the main fish tank.
You will want to make sure that the breeding box is sat as deep as possible in the water of your main tank while preventing the other fish in the tank from getting into it. This should maximise the available space for the breeding box as they really as small.
Although a breeding box is cheap and easy to use, it is only a temporary solution and most tiger barb fry will need to be release at around the four weeks of age mark.
This usually means you have to put them back into your community tank when they are still small enough to be eaten by the other fish.
Offer Plenty Of Places To Hide In A Community Tank!
If you do have to breed your tiger barbs in your main community tank then try to make sure that the tank is heavily planted or offers plenty of hiding places.
There are a number of different things that you are able to use as a hide for your tiger barb fry though.
If your community tank has minimal hiding spots available for your tiger barb fry then expect very low yields and in some tank setups, all of the fry may end up being eaten with none reaching adulthood.
Offer Your Tiger Barb Fry A Suitable Food Source!
So many people make mistakes with the food they should be feeding their tiger barb fry essentially causing them to start within the first week.
Once they get larger you can start to integrate vinegar eels, brine shrimp, daphina, bloodworms and other food sources. While they are small, they really do need a specialist food source due to most other types of food just being too large for them to eat.
Some people will take their regular fish flake food and grind it between their hands to break the flakes down into much smaller pieces.
This will usually cause the flakes to be much smaller than usual and at least offer your tiger barb some type of food but it is still not the best option, especially in the first week.
Select Bright Male Tiger Bars And Fat Female Tiger Barbs For Breeding!
When you are ready to start breeding tiger barbs, you will need to make sure that you have selected the best tiger barbs for breeding.
You should look for tiger barbs that are bright in coloration and have good body shape. The males should be particularly bright with large fins and the females should be plump with a gravid spot to show they are ready to breed.
You can usually tell the tiger barbs apart by their coloration with males being much brighter and females having more muted colors.
Brightly colored males usually have a better chance of causing the female to spawn her eggs where as fatter tiger barbs usually contain the most eggs for the males to fertilize.
That said, all male and female tiger barbs can produce fertilized eggs so you can just choose your breeding fish randomly if you want.
Brighter males and fatter females usually just produce more fry to increase the total yields of your breeding operation rather than randomly colored tiger barbs.
Remove The Parents Once The Eggs Are Fertilized!
The tiger barbs will lay their eggs on just about any surface in the tank including plants, decorations, and even the glass.
Once they have laid their eggs, the male tiger barb will then fertilize them but after that, the eggs are fair game and fish will eat them, including the parents!
You need to remove the tiger barbs from the breeding tank once they have laid and fertilized their eggs to prevent the parents from eating their own eggs.
If you are using a breeding box then there is a good chance that you can go through the same process in the breding box but most people will try to catch the fry and then add them to the breeding box afterwards.
If you are serious about breeding your tiger barb then an actual breeding tank is definatley the better option.
Feed Your Tiger Barb Fry Three To Five Times per Day!
Tiger barb fry need to be fed small meals three to five times per day in order to keep them healthy and growing at an optimal rate. If you only feed them once or twice a day then you will notice that they do not grow as quickly and are more susceptible to diseases.
Depending on the age of the tiger barb fry, you may have to manually feed them with microworms or other fry stater foods but older fry can usually eat foods that an automatic fish feeder can drop into their tank.
You should always try to overfeed your tiger barb fry a little bit since they will not be able to eat all the food that you give them and it is better for them to have too much food rather than not enough.
We know that this is the opposite to how you should feed adult tiger barbs but until the fry get to that juvenile stage, over feeding is usually considered the best option to help increase survival rates as much as possible.
Maintain Stable And Consistent Water Parameters!
Tiger barb fry are very sensitive to changes in water parameters and will not do well if there are any sudden or large changes. You need to make sure that you keep a close eye on your tiger barb fry tank and check the water parameters often.
The most important water parameters for tiger barb fry are the temperature, pH, and hardness but you should also keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
The ideal water parameters for tiger barb fry are a temperature of around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH of 7.0, with low ammonia and nitates.
You will want to do regular water changes to help keep these parameters stable and consistent to offer your tiger barb fry the best conditions possible in their tank.
Daily Water Changes Are Often Essential!
Daily water changes can sometimes be essential to maintain steady water parameters for your tiger barb fry. If you notice that the ammonia or nitrates are starting to rise then you will want to do a water change as soon as possible.
You should also do regular water changes even if the water parameters are steady since it will help to remove any waste or uneaten food from the fry tank.
A good rule of thumb is to do a 20-25% water change every day but you can do smaller water changes more often if you prefer.
Once your tiger barb fry are older you can reduce the frequency of water changes but until they are at least a few weeks old, daily water changes are often necessary.
When you do choose to reduce the frequency of the water changes, a 30% change around once per week is usually considered the norm.
Keep Vibrations To A Minimum!
Tiger barb fry are very sensitive to vibrations and any sudden movement or noise can startle them. This can cause the fry to panic and swim into objects in their tank which can injure or even kill them.
You will want to keep the tiger barb fry tank in a quiet area of your home where there won’t be any loud noises or vibrations. It is also a good idea to avoid moving the fry tank too much since this can also cause the fry to become stressed.
Keep in mind that your TV and music system can create a surprisingly high amount of vibrations so it is best to keep the fry tank as far away from these items as possible.
Foot steps can also cause vibrations that may effect young tiger barb fry so try to keep the tank out of a highly trafficked area of your home if possible!
Not All Of Your Tiger Barb Fry Are Going To Make It!
One of the hardest things for tiger barb fry owners to accept is that not all of their fry are going to make it. Tiger barb fry have a very high mortality rate and it is not uncommon for only a small percentage of fry to survive until they reach adulthood.
Following the tips in this article should be able to help you increase the survival rates of your tiger barb fry to over 75% but never fall into the trap of expecting all of your tiger barb fry to survive as it is extremely unlikely.
Don’t Think You Can Sell Your Tiger Barb Fry For A Profit!
Many tiger barb fry owners think that they will be able to sell their fry for a profit but this is usually not the case. The tiger barb fry market is saturated and unless you are able to offer a unique strain of tiger barb fry, it is unlikely that you will be able to sell them for anything other than the going rate.