Datnioides microlepis (The Indo Datnoid)

Datnioides microlepis - indo datnoid

Last updated on July 26th, 2022 at 03:27 am

Datnioides microlepis, also known as the Indo Datnoid, indonesian tiger fish, indonesian datnoid, finescale tigerfish, or Indonesian tiger perch, is one of the several species in the family Datnioididae. It can be found in Papua New Guinea, particularly around Milne Bay Province.

It is a common aquarium fish found in the Indo-Pacific region, the indo datnoid (Datnioides microlepis) is known for its friendly and active behavior. They are easy to care for as long as you provide them with clean water and proper tank maintenance, which includes water changes and water testing.

Datnioides microlepis was named after the country it was found in, and it was given the name Datnioides microlepis, which means like Datnioides in Greek due to its resemblance to other datnoids from South East Asia.

Origin and description

Datnioides microlepis - indo datnoid

This fish, native to Indonesia, is a favorite for aquariums because of its size and unique stripes. It’s known by many names: Indonesian Tiger Perch, Indonesian Tiger Fish, and Striped-Lined Datnoid. In 2006, it was declared a separate species by scientists with ichthyologists Dr. John Friel and Dr. Larry Page determining that it’s genetically distinct from others.

This striped catfish can be distinguished from other members of its genus by three distinctive dark stripes that run along each side. The first stripe runs straight down from just behind its eyes to about halfway along its body; there’s also a curved second stripe that runs diagonally upwards, and then there’s another third stripe behind it that also extend as far as those two.

Species profile

Datnioides microlepis - indo datnoid

Datnioides microlepis belongs to the family Datnioididae. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia. The species is also known as Indonesian Tiger Perch or Indonesian Tiger Fish. This species of fish can grow up to 18 inches in length.

These fish have a distinctive yellow color on their body and it is believed that their stripes act as camouflage when they are hunting for prey in the wild. In aquariums, these fish tend to eat live foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, daphnia, etc.

Datnioides pulcher (Siamese Tiger Fish)

Common names

Datnioides microlepis is known by many names, some of which are Indonesian tiger fish, Indonesian tiger perch, Indonesian datnoid, finescale tigerfish, or the indo datnoid.

Datnioides microlepis size

They can grow up to 18 inches (45 cm) in length.

Datnioides microlepis tank size

Due to their big size, the minimum recommended tank size is 150 gallons (568 liters).

Tank requirements

These fish are very active and they require plenty of swimming room to keep them happy. Tanks need lots of decorations, especially driftwood and rocks, as these fish love to hide out amongst them. They need a strong filtration system, not only because they produce a lot of waste but also because they like water that is on the colder side and high water flow helps ensure their tank stays at that temperature.

They also do best in tanks with lots of other fish, as they have quite a few predators in their natural habitat. When it comes to food, these fish are omnivores and will eat almost anything you give them, however, if you want to make sure they stay healthy then feed them a varied diet consisting of flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods such as bloodworms or brine shrimp.

As far as compatibility goes it’s generally considered that for every one datnoid you should add two mid-level fast-moving species such as white cloud mountain minnows or Amano shrimp.

Water parameters (Tank set up)

The pH should be 8.0-8.3, dH range of 7 to 15, temperature between 22-28 degrees C, and a moderate current. Most species are very adaptable and will live happily in almost any freshwater aquarium. An open sandy area with some rockwork is ideal but avoid areas where they may get trapped.

Where possible it’s also worth adding floating plants as they will provide further cover for them to hide if startled by other fish or when feeding on insects that have fallen into their water feature. They do not appreciate bright lighting, so aim for subdued lighting levels.

Guppy Fish Care (Poecilia reticulata)

They are a nocturnal species so be sure to turn off your lights at night time.

Tank mates

Although they are peaceful and can be kept with other species, they may nip at large and/or aggressive fish. These include tangs, triggers, butterflyfish, trumpetfish, and surgeonfish. The best tank mates for indo datnoids are other small-to-medium-sized fish such as gobies, blennies, fairy wrasses, pipefishes, cardinals, Common Pleco, Silver Dollar, Oscar Fish, Parrot Cichlid, and anthias.

Breeding datnioides microlepis

Datnioides microlepis - indo datnoid

The Siamese Tiger Fish has never been bred in captivity, so this fish is being bred commercially in Indonesia. But regardless of the chosen technique, for now, it’s a secret.

Are datnioides microlepis aggressive or peaceful?

The Indo datnoids are peaceful fish that prefer to live in a species-only tank. They have been known to become slightly aggressive when they are placed in a tank with other big species of fish. The best way to ensure that your indo datnoids are happy and healthy is by housing them by themselves.

Indonesian tiger fish care

Datnioides microlepis - indo datnoid

The indo datnoid is a peaceful and docile fish. It will not attempt to eat any tank mates but may be nipped by territorial species that are generally better avoided unless your tank is enormous and you’re willing to dedicate it exclusively to your datnoids. They should be kept in groups of at least five or more, as they become stressed if kept alone for extended periods of time.

What they eat

The diet of Datnioides microlepis is typically made up of smaller fish, worms, crustaceans, and occasionally small insects. The species has been known to exhibit seasonal variations in their diets as food availability may shift with seasons. In certain conditions, adults have also been known to feed on the decomposing matter and other organic debris from bottom sediments, though not to any significant extent relative to their dietary makeup.

Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplocheilus lineatus)


Datnioides microlepis can live for about 15 years with good care.

Parasites and diseases

Not only can parasites and diseases directly kill or injure your aquarium fish, but they can also cause behavioral problems that lead to cannibalism and aggressive territorial behavior. It’s easy to prevent infections with a few simple precautions, but it’s important to remember that even healthy-looking fish may have parasites.

Don’t be too quick to blame fin rot on poor water quality—your fish may actually be fine—but don’t rush to treat either. If you suspect an infection, consult a vet before treating your fish; many common medications are toxic to fish and could do more harm than good.


Sea urchins like to snack on these creatures, so they’re often covered in scars. They spend their days moving around, searching for food, and trying to keep their distance from bigger fish who would eat them.

When threatened, they try to get as deep into a reef or crevice as possible. This not only protects them from predators but also serves to protect them from parasites and disease. You can see their beautiful patterns when they’re out of hiding.

Do datnioides microlepis make good pets?

Yes! While Datnioides microlepis can be a bit skittish at first, and not exactly something you can keep in your bathtub, they make good pets. They are considered very friendly fish with no real biting tendencies. They don’t eat much and have very small dietary needs. They need to be kept in schools of five or more so consider adopting multiple individuals for their own safety.