What’s not to love about tiger barbs? These amazing fishies are some of the most popular pets out there. But did you know your favorite fish come in several shades? That’s right – there are 5 tiger barb colors you might find!
While most of us know how this fish looks, not everyone realizes that these fish don’t come in just black and white. Nope – they come in several varieties, although not all are that common.
If you’d like to know more about this, you’re in the right place. I’ll tell you everything there is to know about various tiger barb color varieties and whether they have some peculiarities you need to know about.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Regular Tiger Barb
First things first – I need to mention the beautiful regular tiger barb.
This is the most common tiger barb color, and you’ll likely be able to find these fish in all pet stores. They are among the most popular aquarium fish, right next to goldfish, guppies, and bettas!
While you probably already know what’s the appearance of these fish, I need to explain it to those that are beginners in this hobby.
Regular tiger barbs have a white base color that might have a yellow or pink tint. In general, not a single barb has a pure white base, although we’re calling it such.
Their anal and dorsal fins have orange to red hues on a black base. While their pectoral and pelvic fins look similar, they are, in fact, solid-colored. Their nose is typically also orange, especially in males.
Of course, their most notable features are the four vertical black stripes that go over their bodies. In fact, it is precisely these stripes that set tiger barbs apart from other barb species.
These stripes are not randomly placed on the barb. They have a precise pattern that can be noticed on every single fish.
The first stripe is on the fish’s head and it covers its eye. The second one typically starts at the base of the dorsal fin. Similarly, the third one finishes at the base of the anal fin. Finally, the last one is at the base of the tail.
2. Green Tiger Barb
At first glance, you might not even realize that the fish you’re looking at is a tiger barb! You’re not the only one. I had no idea tiger barbs could look like this!
Also known as the moss barb or just green barb, green tiger barbs are, in fact, the same species as the regular tiger barb. It’s just that their coloring is different (and nothing tiger-like).
As their name suggests, these fish have bright green to dark green bodies. Surprisingly, they don’t have any noticeable stripes on their scales. This is the main reason not many people know they are true tigers.
These fish have a white marking on the front part of their belly that gives them the appearance of having white chins. Their cheeks are black.
Just like regular tiger barbs, these fish also have orange noses and black fins with orange tips. The only exception is their caudal fin, which is usually solid-colored.
While there aren’t many differences between male and female green tiger barbs, females usually have a black fin and don’t come in as bright colors as males.
Green tiger barbs are much less common than regular barbs, but they aren’t that difficult to find.
3. Blue Velvet Tiger Barb
There is some discussion about whether this fish can even be considered as a separate tiger barb color. This is because the blue velvet tiger barb is just a blue variety of a green tiger barb.
Blue velvet tiger barbs have a deep blue or navy shade. If you know the color of a blue velvet shrimp – these fish come in more or less the same hues. Hence the name.
Just like green barbs, blue velvet tiger barbs don’t have any visible stripes. Also, they have white chin, orange nose, orange shades on their fins, and black under eyes.
Blue velvet tiger barbs are the rarest color of tiger barbs. They are extremely challenging to find and they can be very expensive.
Also, it’s important to note that this is a fairly new tiger barb variety. While I personally never got my hands on one, it’s easy to guess that the color of the offspring will likely vary. Most new morphs don’t have stable colorings, which is one of the reasons why they are so rare.
4. Albino Tiger Barb
While many albino fish varieties are fairly rare, the same cannot be said for albino tiger barbs. These fish are usually way more common than green tiger barbs, which is a rarity as fish with albinism tend to be hard to get.
Albino tiger barbs have a unique color as they aren’t truly white. In fact, they have a gold base with white stripes that, unlike the stripes of a regular tiger barb, can vary in size and position a bit. Some might not have any stripes at all!
Just like regular barbs, they have bright orange noses, orange pectoral and pelvic fins, and orange tips on the rest of their fins. They have orange cheeks, as well, giving them a blushed appearance.
However, black color isn’t present on these fish. Instead, the rest of their fins and tails are transparent. Even their eyes are red and not black!
Albino tiger barbs might vary a bit in shade, and they can be found in any shade between gold and salmon.
5. GloFish Tiger Barb
You’ve probably heard of GloFish. These fluorescent fish have been very popular in the past decade, ever since they first appeared on the market in 2003.
GloFish tiger barbs are genetically modified barbs that can come in a few trademarked colors, such as:
- Starfire Red
- Electric Green
- Galactic Purple
- Sunburst Orange
These fish look just like regular tiger barbs, except their base color is in one of these bright shades.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not cruel to keep GloFish tiger barbs. They are not injected with any substances. However, these fish exist solely for the sake of the fish-keeping hobby. They could never survive in the wild.
Also, the intentional breeding of these fish might be forbidden by law in your state, so make sure you’ve checked all the regulations before doing just this.
Do Tiger Barbs Change Color?
Tiger barbs cannot change color in the true meaning of the phrase. A regular tiger barb will never become green, just like the green one will never develop stripes.
However, your tiger barbs might experience a loss in color. This typically happens due to old age or stress, but sometimes the reasons might be more severe.
As such, it’s essential to quarantine a fish that has experienced color change, or even take it to a local vet if you have one that specializes in fish care. This might save your fish and even your entire collection.
Either way, every tiger barb color is beautiful and unique in its own way. These fish are so different from one another I could never pick a favorite!
What’s mutual is that all of these fish are beginner-friendly and very resistant, so you won’t go wrong no matter which one you choose.
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.