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Indonesian Tigerfish

(Datnoid Microlepis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 14"
• Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-84° F, pH 6.0-7.8, dH 8-18
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indonesia, Thailand, Western Borneo   • Family: Datnioididae
• Species: Datnoids   • Aquarium Type: Other-Monster-Fish

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Species Information

Indonesian Tigerfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Indonesian Tigerfish (Datnoid Microlepis) originate from the tropical rivers, streams and tributaries of Indonesia and Thailand. Indonesian Tigerfish have are very popular with aquarium hobbyists due to their attractive tiger-like coloration and large unique body type.

While they are aggressive towards smaller fish species that they view as food and will sometimes squabble with others of their own kind, they are compatible with a wide variety of other larger fish species like Peacock Bass, Large Catfish, Rays, etc.

Indonesian Tigerfish have a tall body with a sharply slanted forehead. The body coloration is dark gold near the dorsal fin and fades to white at the pelvic fin. The length of the body is covered with black vertical bars that extend across the entire body. Depending upon the geographic location, they can have between 5 and 7 bars.

Indonesian Tigerfish can grow up to 18 inches in length in the wild, but they rarely attain this size in home aquarium. In captive environments they will typically only reach between 10 to 14 inches in length. They have a life span of about 15 years when well cared for and housed in a larger aquarium.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Indonesian Tigerfish in the home aquarium.

As with most large fish species, the size of the aquarium is very important when keeping Indonesian Tigerfish in the home aquarium. They can reach upwards of 18 inches in the wild and typically about 12 to 14 inches in the home aquarium, thus they need something close to 180 gallon for long term housing of adult specimens.

They will prefer an aquarium that has plenty of open swimming area, diffused lighting and some areas of plants or submerged root along with moderate water flow. Being a river based species the Indonesian Tigerfish will appreciate conditions that resemble their native river habitat. As is the case with most river based species used to large volumes of water turnover, the Indonesian Tigerfish needs high quality water parameters in the home aquarium in order to maintain proper health and maintain a strong immune system.

Hobbyists should utilize wet/dry filtration or large canister filtration along with additional internal water flow provided by powerheads in order to create high levels of dissolved oxygen within the aquarium and efficiently handle the large bio-load that Datnoid species place on an aquarium filtration system.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Indonesian Tigerfish and provide a healthy diet.

Indonesian Tigerfish in the wild feed on small fish, crustaceans, worms and insects. Wild caught adult specimens will most often prefer live foods over commercial meaty fish foods. However, young specimens can easily be trained to take a wide variety of commercial fish foods including: meaty pellets, meaty sticks, krill or silversides.

They will also readily feed on live feeder shrimp or fish. Juvenile Indonesian Tigerfish will eat bloodworms, meaty flake foods or small feeder fish like guppies or minnows. Indonesian Tigerfish should be fed daily, with frequency and amount of feedings adjusted based on desired growth and the overall girth of the fish.

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