Silver tigerfish Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The silver tigerfish is a predatory freshwater fish that is native to Africa. It is a popular choice for aquariums because of its unique appearance and relatively easy care.

Despite its name, the silver tigerfish is not a member of the tigerfish family (Datnioidae). It is, however, closely related to another African freshwater fish, the tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath).

The silver tigerfish is a large fish, reaching lengths of up to 1.2m (4ft). It has a silver body with black stripes, which is where it gets its name.

The silver tigerfish is a predatory fish, and its diet consists mainly of other fish. In the wild, it has been known to attack and eat mammals, birds, and reptiles.

In the aquarium, the silver tigerfish should be kept with other large, predatory fish. It is not suitable for community tanks.

The silver tigerfish is a hardy fish, and it is not difficult to care for. The main things to consider are its size (it needs a large tank), and its diet (it needs live food).

If you are looking for a unique and interesting fish for your aquarium, the silver tigerfish is a good choice.

Species overview

The silver tigerfish (scientific name: Datnioides pulcher) is a freshwater fish that’s native to Southeast Asia.

They’re most commonly found in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

This fish prefers to live in slow-moving rivers and streams with a lot of vegetation. They’re also known to inhabit floodplains and rice paddies.

The silver tigerfish is a predatory fish that feeds on smaller fish, crustaceans, and insects.

This fish is popular in the aquarium trade because of its unique silver coloration and tiger-like stripes.


Silver tigerfish

The first thing you’ll notice about this freshwater fish is their coloration. The body of the fish is silver with black stripes running vertically down their sides.

The fins on this fish are also silver with black stripes. The dorsal fin is tall and thin, and the caudal fin is forked.

The pectoral fins are large and help the fish navigate in tight spaces and make quick turns.

The eyes on this fish are large and silver, and they have a black stripe that runs through them.

The mouth on this fish is large and open, and they have sharp teeth that they use to capture prey.

The Silver Tigerfish is a beautiful and unique freshwater fish that is sure to add some excitement to your aquarium.


The silver tigerfish is a long-lived species with a lifespan of up to 20 years in captivity.


The average size of a silver tigerfish is around 2 feet in length. However, some specimens have been known to grow up to 3 feet in length.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for silver tigerfish is at least 55 gallons. These fish are relatively large and need plenty of space to swim. They’re also quite active so a larger tank is necessary to provide them with the enrichment they need.

A 55 gallon tank is the minimum but we recommend going even larger if you can. A 75 gallon tank would be ideal.

Water Parameters

Silver tigerfish are a freshwater species that is found in rivers and streams throughout Africa. In the wild, they are accustomed to warm water with a moderate current.

To recreate these conditions in the home aquarium, it is best to maintain the following water parameters:

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.8 to 7.6
  • Water hardness: 4 to 18 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 6-12 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Silver tigerfish are a predatory species that come from Africa. In the wild, they’re found in rivers and streams with heavy vegetation.

When it comes to setting up their tank, you’ll want to recreate this environment as best as you can.

The first thing you’ll need is a decent amount of plants. These fish love to hide and will feel much more comfortable with some dense vegetation to do so. We recommend going with fast-growing plants that can handle a little abuse.

Java fern, hornwort, and water wisteria are all great choices.

You’ll also need to include some driftwood or rocks. These fish like to have a place to hide and feel safe. The more cover you can provide the better.

Just be careful not to go overboard. Too much wood and rock can make it difficult for these fish to swim around and could lead to aggression.

The substrate you choose is up to you, but we prefer something dark and soft. This will help these fish feel more comfortable and make it easier for them to root around (which they love to do).

Common Diseases

The silver tigerfish is a relatively hardy and disease-resistant fish. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely immune to sickness.

There are a few diseases that these fish are susceptible to, the most common being ich. This is a parasitic infection that will present itself as white spots on the body of your fish.

If you notice this, it’s important to take action immediately. There are a few different treatments for ich, but the sooner you start the treatment the better.

Another disease that these fish can get is hole-in-the-head disease. This is most commonly seen in fish that are kept in tanks with poor water quality.

It will present itself as, you guessed it, holes in the head of your fish. This disease is also treatable, but it’s important to act fast.

The best way to prevent your silver tigerfish from getting sick is to simply maintain a healthy environment for them. A clean tank with stable water conditions is the best way to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Behavior & Temperament

The silver tigerfish is a peaceful fish that prefers to stay in hiding most of the time. They are nocturnal creatures, so they are most active at night.

During the day, they will often find a cave or other hiding spot to rest in. When they are out and about, they will stick to the bottom of the tank where they feel most comfortable.

These fish are not very social and prefer to be alone or in small groups. They are not aggressive, but they may nip at the fins of other fish if they feel threatened.

Tank Mates

When it comes to keeping a silver tigerfish, there are a few things to consider.

First, these fish are predators. They’re not shy about going after smaller fish.

Second, they’re fast. They can outswim most other fish, so don’t expect them to stay put in one spot.

Third, they’re large. A full-grown silver tigerfish can reach up to 2 feet in length.

Finally, they’re territorial. They need plenty of space to themselves and will defend their territory against other fish.

With all of that in mind, here are some compatible tank mates for silver tigerfish:


Silver tigerfish are a bit more difficult to breed than some other species. They’re not impossible, but it does take a bit more effort.

The first thing you need to do is set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 50 gallons and include plenty of hiding places. Driftwood, live plants, and caves are all good options. You might also want to add a bit of peat moss to the bottom of the tank.

The next step is to adjust the water conditions. Silver tigerfish prefer slightly acidic water, so you’ll need to lower the pH of the tank. You can do this by adding a bit of peat moss to the filter.

Once the tank is set up, it’s time to add the fish. You’ll need at least one male and two females. But, the more fish you have the better the chances of breeding.

The next step is to wait. Silver tigerfish have been known to take up to two years to reach maturity. Once they’re ready to breed, you’ll know it. The males will start to build nests out of plants and debris.

When the time is right, the female will lay her eggs in the nest. The male will then fertilize them. After that, he’ll stay and guard the eggs until they hatch.

Once the eggs hatch, it’s important to remove the adults. They might eat the fry if you leave them in the tank.

The fry will need to be fed live foods at first. You can graduate them to baby brine shrimp and other small foods as they grow.


The silver tigerfish is a freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It is a predator and can grow to be quite large, up to 3 feet in length.

The silver tigerfish is a beautiful fish with a silver body and black stripes. It is a popular fish in the aquarium trade and can be found in pet stores.

The silver tigerfish is a hardy fish and is not difficult to care for. It is important to provide a large tank with plenty of hiding places and a good filtration system.

The silver tigerfish is a peaceful fish but may eat smaller fish. It is not recommended for a community tank.

The silver tigerfish is a great fish for the beginner aquarist.