Tag Archive | "Datnioides polota"

Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)

Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)

The Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota) is a brackish water species that is widely distributed throughout India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea.   It is also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Silver Datnoid, Silver Dat, American Tigerfish, and Four Barred Datnoid.

Although Silver Tiger Fish are occasionally found in landlocked freshwater lakes, they are mostly collected in coastal brackish water estuaries, mangrove swamps, and lagoons.

Juvenile Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)

Juvenile Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)

Silver Tiger Fish have a total of 12 Dorsal spines, 13 to 14 soft Dorsal rays, 3 anal spines, and 8 to 9 soft Anal rays.   They have a strongly concave predorsal profile, large scales, and up to 7 full black vertical bars over their silver body that can be in a highly variable color pattern.   They sometimes have 1 to 4 partial bars between the full bars.   There is no visible difference between the sexes.

In an aquarium environment, Silver Tiger Fish can survive in hard, alkaline freshwater for some time, but they are primarily a brackish water species that requires the addition of marine salt to the tank.   A specific gravity of 1.005 will keep them healthy and relatively disease free.

The ideal tank setup for Silver Tiger Fish is a biotope type environment.   A large tank with a sandy or fine gravel substrate that is densely planted and aquascaped with plenty of driftwood branches for cover will allow the fish to exhibit their most natural behavior.

They can be kept with larger cyprinids, knife fish, peaceful Central  American Cichlids or similar in a hard freshwater environment or in a brackish water tank with Scats, Monos, Archerfish, Eels like the Indian mud moray (Gymnothorax tile), and  larger gobies.

Although Silver Tiger Fish are predatory and will eat smaller size fish, similarly sized species are usually left alone.   In fact, they can be intimidated by more boisterous species.   They should never be kept in pairs because one fish will constantly bully the other.   In a single species tank they should be kept as either a single specimen or in groups of 3 or more fish.

Because Tigerfish require exceptional water quality, some tropical fish keeping enthusiasts prefer keeping Silver Tiger Fish in a tank with a bare bottom or one with very little
substrate for easier maintenance, but a natural setting is much more aesthetically pleasing.

Little is known about the sexing and breeding of Silver Tiger Fish an to date, they have never been bred in an aquarium environment.

Like all Tigerfish, the Silver Tiger Fish is a predatory carnivore that feeds on live shrimp, prawns, small crabs, mussels, earthworms, crustaceans, and smaller fish.

As juveniles in an aquarium environment they can be fed live brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, and slowly weaned to eating fresh dead shrimp, mussels, and occasionally dried carnivore pellet foods.

Because they are unable to metabolize the fats that are contained in the meat of mammals, they should never be given chicken or beef hearts.   Goldfish and other small feeder fish provide a minimal benefit to Silver Tiger Fish but also the potential risk of disease.

The Silver Tiger Fish is more readily available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts than other Datnioides but still command a relatively high price when available in any size.

Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)

Silver Tiger Fish (Datnioides polota)








Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful with similar sized fish
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Hardy
Moderately Hardy Water Conditions: 72°F-82°F°, KH 15-30, pH 7.0-8.5
Max. Size: 12″
Color Form: Silver, Black
Diet: Carnivorous
Compatibility: OK with other similarly sized fish
Origin: Southeast Asia
Family: Datnioididae
Lifespan: 10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

Posted in Brackish Water Fish, Featured Articles, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (1)

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