Are you thinking about adding tiger barbs tank mates to your aquarium, but you’re not sure if they will be compatible with the fish you have now? Tiger barbs are smaller than many other types of fish, so you might think they would get picked on or eaten by the larger fish in your tank, but that isn’t always the case. With just a little bit of research, you can find out which types of fish are good tank mates with tiger barbs and which ones should be avoided.
Tiger barbs are colorful, fun fish from the Cyprinidae family that make the perfect addition to any aquarium. However, since they can get pretty big, it’s important to know their tank mates before you add them to your home aquarium. This way, you won’t have to worry about your tiger barbs destroying other fish or vice versa when they start getting bigger.
Freshwater tiger barbs tank mates are important because they help tiger barbs live long, healthy lives. Some fish tank owners choose to keep tiger barbs as the only fish in their tank, but this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, it’s not recommended, especially if you own more than one tiger barb, or if you want your other fish to live long lives as well.
Described below are 25 of the best tiger barbs tank mates and tips on how to keep them all happy and healthy!
Tiger barbs tank mates
As one of our favorite barbs, tiger barbs need to be kept in groups of at least three and prefer tanks with plenty of hiding places. Their bold colors make them a great addition to planted tanks, and they are compatible with many other peaceful fish.
More importantly, keep in mind that all of these tiger barb tank mates need plenty of hiding places and thickets in order to feel comfortable. Tiger barbs are bottom-dwellers and won’t bother other species as long as they have their own place to live.
Here are 25 great tiger barbs tank mates that you can choose from:
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
Cherry Barb fish are great Tiger Barb tank mates, as they tend to stay small and keep out of trouble. They also add some color with their bold stripes and cherry red fins. As Cherry Barbs have become more common in pet stores, they’ve grown in popularity among aquarium hobbyists looking for good Tiger Barb tank mates.
In general, Tiger Barbs get along well with most small schooling fish, including other species of livebearers. They’re considered peaceful community fish. This is why they make such good Tiger Barbs tank mates. However, if you plan on keeping them with larger or aggressive fish (such as Angelfish), you should introduce them slowly so that neither party feels threatened.
Rosy Barb (Pethia conchonius)
This species, which gets its name from its rose-red body and fins, is known to live in large groups—which makes it one of the very good tiger barbs tank mates too. In fact, not only are rosy barbs easy to keep with tiger barbs, but they will also serve as a lively addition to any community tank.
They can grow up to 5 inches (13 cm) in length, making them one of the most popular tiger barbs tank mates on our list. Their peaceful temperament allows them to get along well with other fish too. However, you should avoid keeping rosy barbs with larger fish because they might be intimidated by their size.
Also, make sure that you add these fish at least 10 days after introducing your tiger barbs into their new home so that they have time to adjust before meeting new tank mates.
Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus oblongus)
The Siamese Algae Eater is one of my favorite fish for a community tank and one of the best tiger barbs tank mates you can have. Not only do they help keep algae down in your aquarium, but they’re also very personable fish that can become quite friendly if acclimated properly.
These little suckers will clean your tank and eat any leftover food your fish don’t eat — essentially being a free cleanup crew. They are not aggressive towards other fish, nor are they picky about what they eat. It’s important to note that these guys grow pretty big; most reach around 6 inches long, so make sure you have enough room in your tank before adding them to it!
Red Spotted Severum (Heros efasciatus)
The red spotted severum can be kept in an aquarium with other peaceful community fish that are a similar size.
They may nip fins of slower-moving tank mates, but they are not aggressive towards them. They will also eat live plants, so it’s best to avoid keeping them with live plants. They prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.5, dH range of 5 – 12, and temperature range of 74°F – 82°F (23°C – 28°C). These fish have been known to jump out of tanks. It is recommended to keep a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.
Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)
Kuhli Loach are very peaceful and one of the perfect tiger barbs tank mates that help to keep down algae in your tank. They are small and should be kept with other small fish such as tetras. They are best kept in schools of at least 6-8 individuals. They can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length but are generally smaller than that.
Keep them in a tank with a sandy substrate and plenty of plants for them to hide in. Do not keep them with larger or aggressive fish that may pick on them, as they have poor eyesight which makes it difficult for them to escape from predators.
Tinfoil Barbs (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii)
The Tinfoil Barb is one of a few schooling species of fish that can successfully live with tiger barbs. These fish are hardy and playful, making them an ideal addition to your tank. However, due to their small size and ability to thrive in dirty water conditions, tinfoil barbs should only be added if you have very clean water.
In fact, most hobbyists find it beneficial to keep tinfoil barbs in their own tanks. They do well with other types of rasboras, as well as danios and tetras. If you decide to add these fish to your tank, remember that they need plenty of room for swimming and enjoy hiding spots like caves or plants. They’re also known for jumping out of tanks so make sure you have a lid on your aquarium!
Black Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
A small and peaceful freshwater fish, ideal for community tanks with a pH of 6.0-8.0 and temperature of 68-86 F (20-30 C). It should be kept in groups of at least six. Due to its small size, it can be eaten by large or aggressive tank mates. This is why it’s suggested that you keep it in community tanks with nonaggressive species.
The Black Skirt Tetra will readily eat most flake foods, freeze-dried bloodworms, and tubifex worms. It prefers soft water but will adapt to harder water over time.
Zebra Loach (Botia striata)
The loach is a good candidate for any community aquarium. They grow to a length of 2-3 inches and are very peaceful fish. They can be kept with most other mid-to-large-sized fishes and rarely cause problems in an aquarium. The zebra loach will eat almost anything they can fit into their mouths, but they prefer live foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and brine shrimp.
Zebra loaches should not be kept with small or slow-moving fish because they may become lunch. These loaches also have fairly long life spans (up to 20 years) so it’s important that you provide them with plenty of hiding places and caves when you first introduce them into your tank.
It may take several weeks before your zebra loach becomes accustomed to its new home. They require a minimum tank size of 55 gallons due to their adult size and activity level.
Red Tail Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)
The Red Tail Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) is a fish native to Indonesia, and it grows to only about 3-5 inches long. It lives in both fresh and brackish water. They have been known to get a little aggressive with other members of their species and also with some of their tank mates.
If you are planning on keeping more than one red tail shark in your tank, make sure that they are at least six months old before introducing them into your aquarium. If you do decide to keep more than one Red Tail Shark together, try adding them into your aquarium at different times so that they do not fight each other during introductions.
Rainbow Shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum)
In captivity, rainbow sharks are peaceful, colorful schooling fish that are great for active community tanks and one of the best tiger barbs tank mates. They get along with most other species of similarly-sized barbs, danios, and tetras. Rainbow sharks do particularly well when kept in groups of eight or more. In general, they will not thrive if kept in a tank with less than four to five total fish.
The only potential downside to keeping rainbow sharks is their adult size – they can grow up to 7 inches in length! As far as feeding goes, these guys will eat anything from live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp to flakes and pellets. Because they’re omnivorous, it’s best to feed them a balanced diet comprised of both meaty foods (like bloodworms) and plant matter (like spirulina flakes).
Yoyo Loach (Botia almorhae)
The Yoyo Loach gets its name from its ability to live for a short period of time on land. This is an easy-to-care for fish that prefers cool water and will help keep your tank clean by consuming algae. They are peaceful tiger barbs tank mates and can be kept with other loaches, as well as with silver or golden pearls, dwarf gouramis, danios, rasboras, and tetras. These small fish grow to only 2 inches in length. A 40 gallon tank is sufficient space for two or three yoyos. Their life span is about five years.
Common Plecostomus (Hypostomus plecostomus)
The Plecostomus is a very tough and hardy fish that makes a good resident to any tank, but they are also very territorial. They will get along with other Plecostomus’ and other bottom dwellers if enough hiding spots are available. The more Pleco’s you have in your tank, however, the more hiding spots you will need to provide.
Be aware that like most catfish-type fish, Plecostomus grow quite large. Common Plecostomus can reach up to about 18 inches long and weigh as much as 3 pounds. Common Plecostomus eat algae, so you may not need to supplement their diet with algae wafers or tablets unless there aren’t enough algae growing in your tank for them to eat. If there isn’t much algae growth, it might be beneficial for you to feed them a small amount of sinking algae wafers or tablets every few days.
Odessa Barb (Pethia padamya)
The Odessa Barb is one of those hardy fish that does well in a tiger barbs tank and will eat any leftovers. It’s a hardy livebearer that reaches about 5 centimeters or 2 inches in length and it is popular with tropical freshwater aquarium hobbyists. It requires clean water but not necessarily pristine conditions.
The odessa barb should be kept in schools of at least 5, as they are highly social fish. They can also be kept with other peaceful species like tetras, rasboras, catfish and loaches. They can even be housed in a community tank if there are no aggressive species present.
Black Ruby Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata)
The Black Ruby Barb is an active, territorial fish that serves as one of the best Tiger barbs tank mates and most other tropical fish. It reaches about 2.5 inches long and should be kept in groups of at least five individuals. It can eat flakes, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae, freeze-dried bloodworms, and daphnia.
When kept as a pair, they tend to breed more readily than if kept alone or in groups. They are best kept in a species tank but can also be housed with larger tetras, rasboras, and gouramis. They are sensitive to nitrate levels above 20 ppm so ensure your filter does not produce much waste.
Silver Dollar Fish (Metynnis argenteus)
Silver Dollars are one of the most popular small tiger barbs tank mates kept in community tanks because they are beautiful, relatively easy to care for, and fun to watch. However, Silver Dollars shouldn’t be kept with tiger barbs in a small tank because they won’t get along.
Silver Dollars like to spawn with other Silver Dollars and will become very aggressive toward any other species that gets in their way. In addition, tiger barbs can harm silver dollars when they move around too much. These two species should never be kept together in a tank that is less than 150 gallons.
Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Bolivian rams are very hardy fish that can survive in conditions ranging from cold, blackwater streams to warm, tropical environments. They’re actually one of just a few species of cichlids able to adapt to and thrive in such widely different water conditions, which makes them a solid choice for community tanks containing more fragile fish.
Bolivian rams are peaceful toward other fish but will eat any invertebrates they come across. Be sure not to keep them with shrimp or crayfish, as they may see these as potential food sources instead of pets!
Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlid (genus)
The Apistogramma dwarf cichlid is another species that thrives with Apistogramma. These fish have a peaceful temperament and do well in community tanks as long as you choose fish of similar size. The males are territorial, so make sure to only house one male per tank.
A healthy adult Apistogramma dwarf cichlid will reach 2-3 inches, making it a great choice for an aquarium with a low stock count. Like other dwarf cichlids, these fish prefer slightly acidic water and soft substrate. They’re also known to be egg layers!
Green Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri)
Also known as Mexican Hogfish, Swordtails will eat bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. A larger school of about 10 or so is ideal for a group of Tiger Barbs.
Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus Pictus)
The Pictus Catfish, also known as Pim catfish or Peppered Catfish, is native to South America. Hardy and active catfish, they will readily accept flake food and a variety of small live foods. The pictus is extremely aggressive and should not be kept with other similarly-sized fish.
However, due to their algae eating habits, it’s advisable to keep them in planted aquariums that contain plenty of hiding places. They are excellent jumpers, so make sure you have a tight lid on your tank.
They can grow up to 8 inches long and require at least 75 gallons of water (more if you plan on keeping multiple specimens). These fish need strong filtration systems because they produce large amounts of waste. If you are looking for an interesting species to add color and activity to your aquarium then consider one or more pictus catfish!
Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
The Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) is a freshwater fish originating from South America. It gets its name from it bright blue stripe. The Neon Tetra is often called a mini neon light fish because of its coloring. This fish loves to swim and loves to school with other neon tetras.
They are great community fish that are easy to care for, so they make a great addition to any tank and good tiger barbs tank mates. If you want them to really show off their colors, they should be kept in groups of at least 6 or more. They are peaceful fish that get along well with others but will become stressed if they do not have enough room or enough companionship.
Platies are extremely peaceful fish that get along well with their tank mates, including Tiger Barbs. While they may not be as large as other species of barbs, platies can grow to about 4 inches and should not be kept with smaller varieties of barbs or other types of barbed fish.
Platies also get along very well with small species of catfish and loaches, making them an excellent addition to any tank. In fact, some aquarists have even reported success keeping tiger barbs with larger cichlids like angelfish and discus.
As long as you have a minimum of a 20-gallon tank for each additional species of fish in your tank, it’s possible to keep a variety of different kinds of fish together. But make sure you know what kind of temperament each type has before mixing them all together in one aquarium!
Cory Catfish (Corydoras)
An excellent choice to add to your tiger barbs tank mates, these catfish are schooling and require a fair amount of space. These fish tend to be on the smaller side, with adults reaching between 1-2 inches in length. If you decide that you want more than one Cory catfish, you should be prepared for some territorial battles within your tank.
The best way to avoid fighting is by adding only one male per school of females. They are peaceful fish and can live well with other non-aggressive species such as tetras, rasboras, danios, gouramis and many others.
Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)
While not as flashy as some of their other tank mates, mollies are hardy fish that will school with your tiger barbs. The downside is they are a little less fun to watch, but if you’re looking for an active but peaceful tank mate for your fish, these might be just what you’re looking for. If you do decide to go with mollies, make sure you have at least five or six of them so they can maintain their social structure.
Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)
The clown loach is an ideal first fish for a beginner. This hardy, active fish makes for a lively display and loves to dart about in schools with its colorful companions. Avoid keeping more than four clown loaches in one tank, as they are social creatures and will feel lonely if kept on their own. If you have small children, do not place a school of clown loaches on top of your aquarium as they have powerful jumping abilities!
Clown loaches should be kept in tanks containing other bottom-dwelling species that enjoy similar water conditions. They can be housed with bottom-dwelling barbs, tetras, danios and gouramis. They are also compatible with catfish such as plecos or armored suckermouth catfish. These larger catfish will keep any predators at bay while allowing your clowns to graze freely at night.
These peaceful, schooling fish are very small (1.5 to 2.5 cm), and they’re native to South America and Central America. They won’t eat all of your plants, but they will nibble on algae that grow on them. Otocinclus do best when kept in schools of five or more, so be sure to have a group of at least six if you want to keep these little guys as tank mates for your tiger barbs.
It is possible to keep otos with other small fish species, such as neon tetras and guppies, but they can also be aggressive toward other smaller species if there isn’t enough space. If you don’t have much room in your aquarium already, it might not be worth keeping otos because they can get territorial.
Do tiger barbs tank mates make good pets?
Many different types of fish are used in aquariums as tiger barbs tank mates, but not all are easy to live with or will thrive in your home. But there is plenty of information online that can help you make a good decision if you’re thinking about adding one of these exotic fish to your home aquarium, or as one of the perfect tiger barbs tank mates. It’s also important to understand what makes them unique and how they fit into your ecosystem before you decide whether or not they are right for you.