The Siamese Tiger Fish Datnioides microlepis has been a standard in the aquarium industry for decades. It is a large, very attractive, deep bodied aquarium fish. Its coloration is a golden body contrasted with bold black bands. It can reach up to 18 inches (45 cm) in length, though in the aquarium they generally only get 9 to 12 inches (20-30 cm). This beautiful fish is a great addition to any large tank containing relatively non-aggressive, predatory fish
The Siamese Tiger Fish is one of the most handsome large fish in the aquarium hobby, especially with its brilliant coloration when young. They come from the coastal rivers and swamps of southeastern Asia. As a general rule, the number of bars on the fish will tell you its approximate origin. Fish collected from mainland Southeast Asia usually have 5 full bars and ones collected from Borneo or Sumatra usually have 6 to 7 full bars.
This fish has long been a favorite species for the large predatory fish tank, especially in Asia. Even though the price remains relatively high, the popularity of this Gold Datnoid endures. In recent years there has been a surge in popularity in Europe and the United States as well. The Gold Datnoid is known by quite a number of equally descriptive names ranging from Siamese Tiger Fish, Indonesian Tiger Fish, Finescale Tigerfish, Gold Datnoid, Gold Tiger Datnoid, Finescale Tigerfish, Yellow Tiger Fish, to the Black Barred Tiger Fish.
The Siamese Tiger Fish is one of two commonly available Datnoids, or “dat‘ species. The other is the Silver Tigerfish or Four-barred Tigerfish Datnioides quadrifasciatus. Another species, the New Guinea Tigerfish Datnioides campbelli will also occasionally show up, and when it does it commands a very high price. A fourth species, the Wide Bar Tigerfish or Wide Bar Dat Datnioides pulcher, frequently called the Siamese Tigerfish and Siamese Tiger Perch, is much sought after but is quite rare.
These Datnoid species can get confused and are sometimes mislabeled in pet stores. However they can easily be distinguished with a bit of close observation. For fish identification of these Datnoids by their distinguishing features. see the discussion below under “Description”.