Aquaria Central ......................Siamese Tigerfish


Datnioides microlepis
Other names:...........none
Origin:......................Brackish waters of Thailand, Borneo, Sumatra, Cambodia
Max size:..................19"
PH:............-..............7.0-7.5
Temperature:...........75-80 F.
Min tank size:..........80 gallons
Food:.........................live foods, beef heart, worms, pellets

The Siamese Tigerfish, not to be confused with the more feared African Tigerfish, is an aggressive species that is not seen in aquariums very often. There are two main species of Siamese Tigerfish..Datnioides microlepis and Datnioides quadrifasciatus.

D. microlepis is the more hardy of the two main types of Tigerfish covered here. The background coloration of this fish varies from a clear creamy white to pale tan, with verticle jet black bars on its body. The number of black bars actually depends on its geographic location. Fish from the Asiatic mainland have six bars, and those from the indo-Australian archipelago have seven. These bars do not converge with age.

This fish adapts easy to aquarium conditions and several of them can be kept together, providing they have a very large aquarium. The tank should be planted with large-leaved plants as the Tigerfish likes to lurk beneath the leaves. Its swimming movements are usually slow and deliberate, especially when stalking prey. As it approaches a fish that is a potential meal, the Tigerfish slowly sways from side to side, as if sighting the prey. Then it strikes and eats the victum. This fish does not require live foods.

Siamese Tigerfish like hard, alkaline water that is clean and well filtered. While D. quadrifasciatus will only thrive in brackish water, D. microlepis has shown to flourish in fresh water. When buying this fish, ask your dealer what type of water they have been imported in and kept in, as it will vary. In Thailand, the Tigerfish is sought after as a fish to be eaten, as the flesh is reported to have a good flavour.

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