Green Tiger Barb: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Green Tiger Barb is a highly active freshwater fish that has drawn many fish lovers’ attention for obvious reasons.

Firstly, they are one of the most exciting Tiger Barb color varieties, and even if you don’t love their small body sizes, you won’t ignore their insanely alluring bodies.

Also, they are a semi-aggressive species, just like ordinary Tiger Barbs, but with a distinctive green coloring that readily accentuates any aquarium.

There could be no better time for passionate fish lovers to try out something new. And in this guide, we will tell you exactly why the Green Tigerfish should be atop your list of priorities the next time you visit a pet store.

The forthcoming paragraphs will teach you everything you need to know about the fish’s origin, lifespan, appearance, tank size, potential diseases, diet, behavior, tank mates, breeding, and more.

Species Overview

Green Tiger Barb, or Puntius tetrazona, is a highly sought-after color morph of the traditional Tiger Barbs, known for its unique green coloring.

They belong to the Cyprinidae family and are original inhabitants of the Borneo Island in Asia. Also, they’ve been discovered in different regions around the Asian continent, including Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Green Tiger Barbs have been famously kept because of the enticing color variation they can introduce to community tanks.

You will discover other cute nicknames in the aquarium hobby, including the Moss Green Tiger Barbs, Moss-Branded Barbs, Blue Tiger Barbs, Moss Green Platinum Tiger Barbs, and Moss Barbs, among the rest.

Color Metallic blue-green or deep fluorescent green
Lifespan6-7 years
Care LevelEasy
Behavior & TemperamentSemi-aggressive 
Compatibility Other peaceful fish
Food and DietOmnivores
Size2-4 inches
Tank SetupPlanted community
Tank Size (Minimum)15 gallons


On average, a typical Green Tiger Barb will live for about 6-7 years in a pristine environment. We think that’s a solid lifespan for such a colorful freshwater fish. However, we can never guarantee that your selected species will reach the same standards in captivity.

Always prioritize ideal tank water conditions to help maximize the fish’s lives by only providing what they need to survive. That entails a balanced diet, proper tank setup, and possible tank mates.


Green Tiger Barb is magnificent in a unique way. And that’s usually attributed to their captivating, round bodies, with prominently pointed heads.  

The captive-bred species aren’t as large as the wild varieties, but that doesn’t compromise their general appearance in captivity.  

As the name suggests, the Green Tigerfish have their truly stunning bodies covered entirely in metallic blue-green or deep fluorescent green coloration.

They may not have the 4 distinct black stripes in the traditional Tiger Barbs, but that doesn’t take anything away from their magnificent bodies.

Besides, their dorsal fins are equally beautiful, taking on a beautiful red coloration at the edges. The same pattern is noticeable in the ventral and pelvic fins, which are just as stunning.

Like most Barbs, the adult Green Tigers have more vibrant colors during the spawning period,


Green Tiger Barbs aren’t the largest freshwater Barbs you will ever find in the aquarium community, but certainly one to keep an eye on if you need variety inside the tank.

They are medium-sized fish, with a fully grown adult measuring about 2-4 inches at home. The captive-bred fish are on the lowest end of the growth spectrum and may not reach the 4-inch mark in a substandard environment.

But that shouldn’t kill your dream of owning a beautiful Green Tiger fish. As long as the tank water conditions are just right, you can be certain to see your Green Tigers in their optimal sizes.

Green Tiger Barb Care

We might even call them the most resilient freshwater Barbs because Green Tigers are hardy enough to withstand most conditions in captivity.

Their hardiness readily makes them an excellent option for newbie aquarists. And even if you are unsure where to begin, these barbs’ less demanding traits should simplify everything in captivity, giving you the best chance of keeping a beautiful Cyprinid fish at home for the first time.

Now, keep reading to understand all the factual details about Green Tiger Barb care;

Tank Size

So, what would be an ideal tank setup for the beautiful Green Tiger fish? You could be wondering. Well, to set the record straight, any freshwater fish craves a spacious room to freely roam about the tank while going about their daily lives.

As much as captivity life can get exciting, a home-based aquarium will never match the calmness of the natural habitat. So, the easiest way to make captivity life more favorable for your Green Tigers is to provide exactly what they need to flourish. And that’s always tied to the actual tank setup.

That being said, the minimum tank size for Green Tiger Barbs at home is 15 gallons. Don’t focus on the fish’s body sizes alone when designing the aquarium because they are active swimmers with a keen eye for a spacious environment all the time.

Water Parameters

Green Tiger Barbs will flourish in quiet water bodies with proper aeration and enough plants.

A little flexibility when creating the fish’s habitat is pretty normal but be sure to match them to the best possible conditions. And there’s no better way to achieve that than simulating the natural environment.

With an ideal cleaning routine, Green Tiger Barbs should be satisfied with the following conditions;

  • Water Temperature: 68°F-79°F
  • Water Hardness: 2-30 dGH
  • pH Levels:6.5-7.5

The right aquarium test kit is a significant investment for any Green Tiger lover. And with that, it will be easier to monitor the water status every time to be sure the common contaminants like nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia stay at undetectable levels.

This is the right time to adopt simple yet effective strategies like weekly water changes to maintain clean, clear, and properly aerated tank water. And that also means a robust filtration system is an essential must-have if you keep Green Tiger Barbs at home.

What to Put in Their Tank?

If you understand their cravings, Green Tiger Barbs are an exceptional freshwater fish. Usually, they are more inclined towards serene environments, with clean waters and plenty of live plants making an important part of their habitat.

The river bottoms in the natural environment feature sand and rock combinations, easy to replicate in captivity.

Regardless of the size of the aquarium, always ensure Green Tigers have a smooth sandy layering as the right substrate in captivity. A well-planted aquarium makes your barbs more comfortable, giving them the freedom to roam their habitat without worrying too much about safety.

Another critical aspect of Green Tiger Barb care is an open swimming space. As a schooling freshwater fish that craves constant attention, there’s no point in crowding Green Tigers’ habitat with excessive objects.

Instead, you should use the right amount of decorative elements while giving your fish enough room for effortless exploration.

As with plenty of Barb fish varieties, bogwood can be used to create a natural feel. And as part of quality care, don’t forget to include good filtration besides performing frequent water changes.

Many people don’t understand how easy it can be for Green Tiger Barbs to jump out of the tank. So, when introducing them to a community tank, factor in the right sealant to guarantee the fish’s safety even when no one’s watching.

Common Diseases

Green Tiger Barbs are a hardy species, and you shouldn’t be worried about many diseases if you keep them at home.

Still, they can be vulnerable to a range of common freshwater fish diseases with reduced tank water quality. We find them particularly susceptible to Ich, a common parasitic infection resulting from reduced water quality.

Ich is a highly transmissible infection and devastating at a late stage. So, take care when introducing new tank mates to the tank or feeding your Green Tigers at home.

Always maintain proper cleanliness to ensure your Barbs are safe from Ich and any other condition that’s easily triggered by low water quality.

The best thing about Green Tiger Barb varieties is that they are resilient and less demanding. And a potential disease outbreak may never affect the entire community with timely intervention.

However, that doesn’t eliminate the need to quarantine the infected fish in case of a full-scale outbreak. What if the symptoms don’t go away? Perhaps you will ask.

Well, in that case, you should seek an expert’s advice straight away. If they can’t save the fish’s life, they will offer helpful tips to help maintain the remaining species in the best possible shape.

A stressed Green Tiger Barb will be easy to identify if you focus on their swimming pattern, eating habits, and relationship with fellow tank mates.

What Do Green Tiger Barbs Eat?

Like the typical omnivores, Green Tiger Barbs are expected to eat anything they can find inside the tank. Their ordinary diet entails all kinds of high-quality fish foods like flakes, pellets, and live foods.

Use flakes as the foundation of their everyday meals. Then, give them quality live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp as an occasional treat.

It’s important to feed your Green Tiger Barbs on small amounts of food multiple times a day to eliminate the risks of overfeeding.

Also, close monitoring during meals is mandatory to ensure each feeding session takes just a couple of minutes (2-3 minutes) at a time.

Behavior & Temperament

Green Tiger Barbs are famous for their social behavior, happy to live together with other peaceful fish inhabiting the same aquarium.

They are a semi-aggressive species, perfect for a community tank when kept with similar-sized, fast-moving fish. Like most Barbs, Green Tigers have fin-nipping tendencies when kept with long-finned, slow-moving species at home.

Also, keeping these Barbs in isolation will only subject them to more stress inside the tank, triggering an aggressive behavior in the process. So, you must keep them in groups of at least 6 species to eliminate unwanted hostility.

Green Tiger Barb Tank Mates

So, who can live with the stunning Green Tiger Barbs at home? Perhaps the Guppies? Maybe the Bettas? Or probably none at all? Let’s find out.

Tiger Barbs can readily flourish in a community tank. However, their temperament poses the biggest challenge when introducing new tank mates.

Every time you are bringing a new fish to a Green Tiger Barb’s habitat, a careful analysis of the newcomer’s behavior is mandatory to ascertain that they can coexist in the same space.

Green Tiger’s agility and lively personality make them scary to most shy, slow-moving fish. Also, the Green Tigers will readily eat any small freshwater fish that appears inside the tank.

Similarly, caution must be taken when introducing long-finned fish to the same aquarium. And that means the gouramis, fighters, and guppies will never fit inside a Green Tiger’s habitat.

For ideal companions, you can try to introduce the following species cautiously to a Green Tiger’s habitat;


Green Tiger Barb breeding has been done in captivity and is possible with the right conditions. But before anything commences, set up a new tank with ideal spawning conditions.

Consider fine-leafed plants like java moss at the bottom of the tank to create ideal breeding conditions. Then, add enough water while targeting the ideal temperature (About 79°F).

The mating partners will need proper conditioning during the breeding season, and you can introduce them to quality live foods like brine shrimp.

You can pick a random mating partner for the female Green Tiger while paying attention to their behavior as spawning begins.

The entire breeding period requires close monitoring because the male fish can get excessively aggressive, even threatening to attack the naturally defenseless females.

Successful spawning should take at least 24 hours. And if it’s taking longer than the stipulated duration, you’d better consider ending it altogether to be on the safer side.

The females can lay up to 500 eggs, with the incubation period only lasting about 36 hours. If everything’s successful, the new fry will survive off Cyclops and nauplies of artemia before they learn how to swim.

Final Thoughts

Green Tiger Barbs have flexible requirements in captivity, making them a great option for beginner-level aquarists. While everybody is amazed by their beauty, we’ve been a huge fan of their less demanding nature ever since we first met them in the aquarium trade.

As a passionate fish lover, nothing’s more satisfying than seeing your beautiful pet fish thriving as part of a community tank, creating an all alluring tank display in the process. And it only takes a simple decision to keep the right species at home.

If it’s Green Tiger Barbs, everything will revolve around the type of food they enjoy in captivity, tank setup, and the possible tank mates.

Aside from that, everything else should be pretty straightforward if you keep these barbs as part of a community tank. For first-time Barb keepers, we can only imagine an exciting relationship with beautiful Green Tigers as part of your home aquarium.