The Tiger Datnoid (Datnioides microlepis) is a beautiful copper/tan fish with vertical dark stripes. These stripes set it apart from other members of its family by having 6-7 stripes whereas no other Datnoid has more than 6. These fish grow to over a foot long, but are generally slow growers.
In the wild, these are only found in deep bodies of moving water with native populations only recognized so far in Malaysia and Western Thailand. In this range, it is a popular food fish, and as a result has been somewhat overfished as it also has pressure as an aquarium ornamental. In addition, Datnoids have not been bred in captivity, but from what we know they mate in the early summer with no parental care. This makes sustainable sourcing of them even more important.
A Datnoids most critical care requirement is a large tank. Despite their slow growth, these fish can attain a size of over a foot during their long life span, with the record size being just shy of 18 inches long. In addition, this is a very tall bodied fish, with a serious appetite, and so powerful filtration is necessary for these predators. A sump system will protect items like heaters from these large curious fish. The setup shouldn’t be brightly lit, they will appreciate plants and wood for cover, and floating plants can also aid in dimming their surroundings to their liking. This is a stellar fish for a tropical pond when grows out as their size means they will need a very large aquarium at that point. The Tiger Datnoid is be a voracious feeder in aquaria, but can be picky when first acclimating to its new surroundings. Its rare for this to cause any issues, and eventually they will consume everything from quality floating and sinking pellets to cuts of meaty foods such as krill, table shrimp, and tilapia filets. Whole foods are encouraged for large specimens, and even though it is a spectacle to watch, we suggest that hobbyists avoid feeding live food unless absolutely necessary, as this is a frequent pathway for pathogen introduction to your aquarium. For the hobbyists raising their own live food cultures, this obviously doesn't apply.
The Tiger Datnoid is an oddball fish that reaches monstrous proportions. For the well prepared aquarist it will provide years if not decades of fun, from its unique appearance and its friendly demeanor. Contact your local fish store today about getting a sustainably harvested Tiger Datnoid from Aquatropic today!