14 Different Types of Tiger Barbs

different types of tiger barbs
Image credit: depositphotos.com

Tiger barbs are among the most popular fish, and it’s easy to see why. These different types of tiger barbs provide stunning color and diversity to any tank.

Also, creating some of the most interesting interactions, you’ll find in tropical fish keeping. This is especially if you have more than one species of barbs together! 

There are different types of tiger barbs, each with its own unique traits. So you may wonder what makes these barbs different from one another and which is right for your tank.

Different Types of Tiger Barbs

1. Aurelius Barb

The first on our list of the different types of tiger barbs is the Arulius barb. Developed by Aquarium Rescue in 1970, Arulius barbs come from high-altitude rainforests in the Amazon region. 

Though not as brilliant as their red relatives, these tigers are still considered among the most beautiful tiger barbs.

Some people report a softer nature and friendlier disposition with this variety of barb, but that could be largely due to breeding bias.

2. Spanner Barb

Tiger barbs are well-known for their aggressive nature, with several different species, including the red tiger barb, bristlenose pleco, flagfin barb, honeycomb corydoras, and many more.

When it comes to schooling fish in an aquarium tank environment, these types are undoubtedly some of the best options you have. 

Spanner barbs, being the second in the list of the different types of tiger barbs, particularly have a unique style that makes them stand out from the rest.

Unlike many other varieties, these fish have an orange coloration which works especially well when they are kept as part of a school containing multiple shades of different colors.

3. Checker Barb

First off, the Checker Barb is known for its striped scales. Also, they are smaller than the other different types of tiger barbs, reaching only one to two inches in length.

They often live in areas where waters might be more heavily oxygenated and near fallen trees or leaf litter.

Other than that, they feed mostly on larvae such as caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies, and small crustaceans like shrimp.

4. Chubbyhead Barb

A popular barb is the Chubbyhead Barb. These barbs come in black, green, red, brown, pink, and orange. They are large-bodied fish that can grow to be around 10 long. 

Also, this barb typically has small fins, making them easier to maintain as they are not easy prey for other fish to steal away.

These barbs eat both vegetarian feeds as well as protein. Some experts also report that this barb breeds faster than the other types of tiger barbs.

5. Curmuca Barb

Another one out of different types of tiger barb is the Curmuca Barb. This is a type of barbel fish from Southeast Asia.

It has a vivid coloration that mimics the native local species, with horizontal stripes on the body and dark spots on the face. 

The red tones are very pronounced in this fish which helps it blend well with its natural environment. Additionally, it grows up to 8 inches long, with females being bigger than males.

They have stout bodies with small heads; their eyes are positioned close together on the face. 

Interestingly, this is an ideal schooling fish as they can be shy but become more active when they have others around them to show off their colors in contrast to their surroundings.

6. Gold Barb

The gold barb, also known as the Harlequin tiger barb, is native to Southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia. They are an excellent choice for both beginner and advanced aquarists.

This is because they are peaceful, fast-growing, and easily adaptable to a wide range of water conditions. This makes them perfect for living in aquariums with other peaceful fish like bettas or tetras.

In addition to their bright yellow coloration, gold barbs have white patterns on their head that resemble a diamond pattern.

They typically grow from 1-2 inches long, with females being slightly larger than males when fully grown.

Like most tiger barbs, they like plenty of hiding places in your tank, and if you do not provide them with one, they may jump out at any opportunity to explore other areas.

7. Beardless Barb

Tiger barbs are used in conjunction with schooling fish because they can attack individual fish easily. They also offer visual intimidation, so they’re typically positioned at the front or towards the back of the tank.

A beardless barb is one of the different types of tiger barbs that’s been stripped down to just the bare bones of its skeleton, leaving only spikes.

This barb type is less likely to elicit panic from other types of fish, but it has much more upkeep than bristled or berried barbs.

8. Cherry Barb

In general, cherry barbs tend to grow to about an inch in length and live three years on average. They are best suited for a smaller tank with a plant-based substrate.

They are one of the active species of the different types of tiger barbs, and so they need a lot of space to swim around and explore.

As a result, they should not be housed with other fish who may try to eat them or any fish that require more surface area for swimming than the cherry barb does.

They are omnivores who will enjoy eating most foods but don’t need much food at all due to their small size and active nature.

These are definitely the best choice for someone looking for a unique pet who likes variety in food!

9. Nile Barb

Nile Barb – Originating from Africa, these are more common in home aquariums due to their beautiful gold body and fins.

They can grow up to 15 inches in length, requiring more space than the Greenstripe Barb, but they’re also less aggressive. 

Nile barbs don’t adapt well to cooler temperatures, so you should keep them in water above 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

10. Five Banded Barb

Everyone is unique in the different types of tiger barbs alive, but some have common traits. You may have heard of the five-banded barb or hexobarb.

These barbs are normally used as starter fish in new aquariums because they’re so easy to care for. 

Also, they’re fairly easy to breed if you want to share them with a friend! Like other types of tiger barbs, they come in colors like golden, albino, blue, turquoise, red, white, and yellow.

11. Khavli Barb / Maharaja Barb

The Khavli Barb (Hemibagrus malaensis) is a close relative to the Maharaja Barb. This saltwater fish is unique because it has a brown head and bright red body.

The males are sexually dimorphic, meaning that they have brightly colored scales on their bodies. 

However, this pattern is said to mimic that of the female during spawning season in order to entice mating. Khavli barbs are also known for their distinctively black spots on their fins. 

Khavli barb females are not so easily spotted because they are camouflaged as females of other species, such as jumping carp.

They take on this coloration when they spawn or lay eggs. We aren’t done yet with the different types of tiger barbs. Read on!

12. Redside Barb / Two-Spot Barb

While they both come from the family Cyprinidae, Redside barbs and Two-Spot barbs have different physical traits that differentiate them.

The red side barb has a more silvery body color with six to seven vertical stripes. They can grow to about 8 inches in length with a lifespan of about 10 years if properly cared for. 

Further, these fish have one characteristic that sets them apart from other different types of tiger barbs; the males sport external gonopodium ornaments on their pelvic fins.

This is something rarely seen among the family Cyprinidae. Moreso, this species is native to Africa, East Asia, India, Southeast Asia, and Central America.

13. Rosy Barb

This species is perhaps the most popular in the aquarium hobby due to its ability to coexist with almost any fish.

Rosy barbs are also relatively hardy, making them an excellent option for beginners or anyone struggling to maintain a healthy aquarium. 

Furthermore, these fish will eat almost any kind of algae from plants and rocks in your tank. The downside to rosy barbs is that they are more expensive than the other types of tiger barbs because they grow quickly and need a lot of food.

14. Clown Barb

Finally, the Clown Barb is on the list of the different types of tiger barbs. This is a freshwater barb that makes a great school fish.

This barb loves to breed and prefers to be kept in groups of three or more, but ensure that you provide plenty of space for them. 

In addition, they’re omnivores, so they will eat both meaty foods as well as algae, which keeps the water clean! This tiger barb is an extremely hardy fish that can withstand salt water for long periods of time. 

Also, it would make a poor addition to a freshwater tank due to its sensitive skin. Lastly, this type of barb has some really neat-looking colors!


If you’re looking to bring some of the exotic fish at your local aquarium store home with you, it’s likely that you’ll be considering tiger barbs as one of your options.

Known as Koi in Japan, they’re often treated like royalty there and have inspired many artworks that depict their fine scales and bright colors. 

To sum up, tiger barbs are resilient fish that can adjust to most water quality and temperature types. Consequently, they’re great for beginners to take care of in their homes.

So you can easily make your choice out of the different types of tiger barbs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like