Is My Tiger Barb Pregnant Or Fat? {What You Should Do Next}

Are you trying to figure if your Tiger Barb is full of eggs or simply bloated?

How can you tell and should you be concerned?

In this article, we’ll find out if your Tiger Barb is pregnant (gravid) or just fat (bloated).

Is My Tiger Barb Pregnant Or Fat?

In about 3 days time, you’ll see the female Tiger Barb scattering her eggs if she’s gravid. They are not pregnant because they are not live bearers.

Gravid female Tiger Barbs have bellies that extend vertically instead of a full roundness that would indicate a heavier overall look.

Do Tiger Barbs Get Pregnant?

Female Tiger Barbs lay eggs and are not live bearers. This means they can be gravid with eggs, but not pregnant in the same way as humans or live bearers.  Male Tiger Barbs need to fertilize the eggs to make them viable.

The eggs will be carried inside the belly of the female Tiger Barb for about 3 days. Spawning follows, but issues arise when a female who is not in a breeding pair is unable to release all of her eggs.

Perform water changes more frequently and raise the temperature gradually by 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit to ease this process.

Is My Tiger Barb Fat?

Female Tiger Barbs are larger and rounder than their male counterparts. This is quite normal in the world of aquatic fish. The female Tiger Barb is able to gobble up more food and may display greediness in her attempts to do so.

Once a Tiger Barb overeats, the common result is bloating. At this point, your Tiger Barb may act lethargic and refuse food. A day of two break from eating is normal until the bloating subsides.

Shelled peas could help move things along is there is an issue with constipation. If you’re concerned about your Tiger Barbs getting too fat, reduce feedings and focus more on nutrients from flakes and vegetables instead of fatty meats and proteins.

When Do Female Tiger Barbs Lay Eggs?

A female Tiger Barb must mature before she is able to lay eggs. She should be in a breeding pair to ensure that the male Tiger Barb will fertilize the eggs that she lays for them to hatch to become the newest fry in your tank.

A female Tiger Barb must reach about 7 weeks of age and grow to about 1.2-1.4 inches in length before she is ready to develop eggs. Prior to that, she is not sexually mature enough.

If you notice a swollen belly or an overall rounded appearance before 7 weeks in her life, then she is not gravid, she is simply bloated or fat.

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How Many Eggs Will My Tiger Barb Lay?

At first, you will notice two Tiger Barbs in a sort of mating dance. The male will act more rambunctious around the female. The female will be full of eggs and after 3 or so days, she will disperse them in clumps in preferably hidden spots near plants for protection.

A female Tiger Barb can lay 100-300 eggs or possibly more in a single afternoon. It’s also common to witness some of the eggs getting eaten by the parents. The male Tiger Barb’s job is to pass over the eggs and fertilize them or else the eggs are non-viable and will not hatch.

Should I Remove Tiger Barb Eggs?

If you wish to breed Tiger Barbs, you should consider the following options:

Option #1: Scoop out any clumps of eggs and place them in another tank.

Option #2: Use a breeding tank for your breeding pair to mate, spawn and fertilize there.

Option #3: Attach a breeder box to the main tank for the female to lay her eggs out of the way. 

Moving the eggs is a fragile task and will reduce your chance of having them become viable. The breeding tank option ensures that the breeding pair have the space and freedom to spawn and fertilize away from any perceived threats.

A breeding box is usually intended for live bearers. The female Tiger Barb must be removed from the breeder box first, then the male must be placed there to fertilize the eggs. This process is easier said than done. We recommend option #2.

How Do I Take Care Of Tiger Barb Fry?

There are many methods to stepping in and acting as a foster parent for your Tiger Barb fry. We will try to suggest a few tips below:

  1. Separate the fry from the parents so they won’t eat them. 
  2. Use a tank divider or breeding tank to keep them apart. 
  3. Make sure the water filtration is working well. 
  4. Keep the flow rate low. 
  5. Cover the filter intake with a sponge to prevent the fry from getting sucked in. 
  6. Allow the fry to eat the yolk from the egg sacks. 
  7. Feed them daphnia, brine shrimp, fish fry food like infusoria 3 times a day. 
  8. Perform 5-10% water changes in the fry tank. 
  9. 4-6 weeks later, place them in your main tank or share/sell them within the aquarist community or your local fish shop. 

Is My Tiger Barb Bloated With Eggs?

A gravid Tiger Barb may become egg bound when she is unable to lay her eggs. You may notice her round belly and think she is overweight once the normal time of 3-5 days has passed and you feel that she isn’t gravid (pregnant with eggs).

Unfortunately, this may not be the case and she needs your help to release her eggs. Raise the temperature 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the pH between 6.0-8.0. You can reach 80-85°F while performing 5-10% water changes to help the female Tiger Barb lay her eggs.


Your Tiger Barb that is bloated or overweight needs a break from eating. Stop feedings for 1-2 days and offer shelled peas to help pass any impacted waste. In about 3-5 days, you may see eggs in the tank indicating that the female Tiger Barb was gravid with eggs and not overweight.

An rounder and fuller appearance is more noticeable in a larger female Tiger Barb. A lowered belly full of eggs is slightly different in appearance.


Thanks for visiting with your concerns or curiosity surrounding Tiger Barbs. We have plenty more informative articles on these and other aquatic life that may also be of interest to you. See you soon!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.