When it comes to schooling fish, Tiger barbs have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they do like to live in a reasonably-sized group, and they need a good amount of space to move around in.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the sort of space and school size that Tiger barbs need, and what fish best suit a 10-gallon tank, so you can be sure you are giving them the right environment in which to grow.
How Many Tiger Barbs Can You Keep in a 10-Gallon Tank?
If you want your Tiger barbs to be healthy and happy, a 10-gallon tank is too small.
Despite their small size, Tiger barbs need a lot of room to move around in and they are unlikely to thrive in a 10-gallon tank. A school of 5 or fewer might survive in a tank of this size, but Tiger barbs like to live in larger groups and generally need a lot more space.
One of the main reasons that Tiger barbs are so wonderful to care for is their energetic personalities and lively attitudes. They are highly active fish and are always moving around, which makes them very entertaining and attractive for a display tank. The other side of this, of course, is that they need to have a big enough tank for them to move about in.
Don’t be fooled by their small size, these fish get around!
Will Tiger Barbs Die in a 10-Gallon Tank?
Like many other fish, Tiger barbs can survive in a space that is too small for what they ideally need, but they will be unhappy and are much more likely to die young.
Tank size doesn’t just affect their physical health, it will also affect a fish’s mood and energy levels. If you are interested in Tiger barbs because they are so active and vibrant, you definitely need to be providing them with an environment in which they will flourish.
Tiger barbs might live for a short while in a 10-gallon tank but it won’t be the life that they deserve.
Recommended Read: Top 5 Reasons Tiger Barbs Die And How To Keep Them Alive
What Size Tank Do Tiger Barbs Need?
In order for Tiger barbs to live happily, they should be kept in a tank that is at least 20-gallons in size. This tank size is not as common for beginners as a 10-gallon or smaller, but these fish simply require at least 20-gallons of room for swimming around in and playing together.
Combined with their need to stay active and keep moving, Tiger barbs are social fish, and they should be living in groups of at least 5 or more. This is another reason why a 10-gallon tank isn’t realistically big enough. 2 or 3 Tiger barbs may have more room than 5 or 6 in a smaller tank, but they will be unhappy in such a small group.
A 20-gallon tank is about right for 5 Tiger barbs, and you should be increasing the size by around 3 extra gallons for each additional fish. That means that 8 Tiger barbs would need a 29-gallon tank, and 9 Tiger barbs would need a tank bigger than 30-gallons.
Are Tiger Barbs Good Beginner Fish?
You might be looking at the type of tank that Tiger barbs need and start to wonder whether or not they are the right choice for someone who is just starting out in the hobby. Despite their need for space, Tiger barbs are actually great fish for beginners, and they really stand out in an aquarium.
In comparison to other fish, Tiger barbs require little effort or maintenance, and they don’t need to be kept in overly specific conditions in order to thrive.
In their natural habitat, Tiger barbs live in tropical waters, so they need a reasonably warm tank, and they enjoy a varied diet.
If they are well fed, have enough room to move around in, and the water quality in their tank is well monitored, you can expect these vibrant little fish to live for 5 years or more.
Tiger Barbs Basic Info
|Temperature:||73°F – 82°F (23°C – 28°C)|
|Lifespan:||5 to 7 years|
|Size:||2 to 3 inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 gallons|
|Minimum School Size:||5|
|Tank Environment:||Freshwater: tropical, planted|
How Long Does It Take for a Tiger Barb to Grow to Full Size?
A common mistake that beginners make when they are choosing fish for their first tank is forgetting how much these little animals can grow. Tiger barbs start life very small, and are likely to remain small if they are kept in a small space, but in a big enough tank they can grow up to 4 inches or more in length.
Tiger barbs don’t grow as quickly as some other freshwater schooling fish. You can expect to see them gain between ¼ and ½ an inch about every 6 months. After about a year, they are usually as large as they are ever going to be.
Which Fish Can Live With Tiger Barbs?
Alongside having such vibrant and active personalities does come a small amount of unwanted aggression, and Tiger barbs have a bit of a reputation for nipping the fins of their tank mates. Fortunately, they rarely cause any serious damage and are usually more of an annoyance than a threat to other fish.
In their own groups, Tiger barbs are very competitive, and they will quickly establish a social hierarchy. If their group size is too small, they are more likely to compete with other fish in the tank and act more aggressively.
As a general rule, Tiger barbs don’t usually get along too well with fish that have long, flowing fins as they have a tendency to nip at them. They are also more aggressive if they are introduced to a tank first, rather than joining a tank that already has fish in it.
Some of the fish species which are likely to get along well with Tiger barbs include:
- Corydora Catfish
- Cherry Barb
- Rosy Barb
- Red-tailed Sharks
- Zebra Danios
- Clown Loach
What Schooling Fish Can Fit in a 10-Gallon Tank?
If you like the idea of seeing a nice group of fish swimming around in your tank, but you only have a 10-gallon to work with, then Tiger barbs are probably not the best option for you. Fortunately, there are many other schooling fish, including other barbs, which are more than happy living in 10-gallons of water.
Some of the best freshwater schooling fish for a 10-gallon tank include:
- Golden Dwarf Barbs: One of the lesser-known barbs, Golden Dwarfs are smaller than Tigers, only growing to 1.5 inches, and they will be more than happy in groups of around 5 in a 10-gallon tank.
- Guppies: Very popular for beginners, 5-10 guppies will thrive in a 10-gallon tank and they come in a wide variety of beautiful colours.
- Neon Tetras: The quintessential schooling freshwater fish, these tiny little tetras will thrive in groups of around 7 and they are very well suited to 10-gallon tanks.
- Pygmy Corydoras: These tiny catfish love to live in groups of about 10 and are the perfect size for a 10-gallon tank.
- Celestial Pearl Danios: These vibrant little fish are becoming more and more popular amongst hobbyists, and you can safely keep up to 10 of them in a 10-gallon tank.
When it comes to tank size, you should always play it safe rather than cramping your fish into a smaller space. At the end of the day, almost all fish species will lead longer, more active lives in a larger tank.
So I hope you all doubts are cleared about keeping tiger barbs in a 10 gallon tank. If you found this guide helpful, please share it with others. Thanks!
Read More: Can Tiger Barbs Eat Plants?
Hi! I’m Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of eFishkeeping.com. Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.