Barb Behavior

gingerone

Active Member
I currently have plans for a 55 gallon tank that I will be moving my barbs into once it is ready. (beginning to set it up next week)

Currently the barbs are in a 20 gallon x-high. 5 (1"-1.5" long) green barbs and 8 smaller tiger barbs. For the most part they seem to get along, swimming together etc.

Lately I've noticed that one green barb in particular seems to be hiding behind the filter. His tail fin looks to be a bit damaged. I've also observed another of the green barbs in particular chasing the other three around the tank (one at a time). They seem to really zoom around when they are doing this and usually end up with the one being chased ends up near the filter the "chaser" takes a victory lap and then chases a different green barb. Tigers seems to be unaffected.

So... is this normal Barb behavior? Is the tank too small? Do I need an even number? (I dunno something I read on here about getting even numbers of barbs and right now I have 5 of the green) Is the hiding-fin-nipped one probably going to end up getting killed? Survival of the "fittest" and all that? Should I let this run it's course? (not sure what a different option would be since I don't have a QT tank yet) Do I have a gender problem? (I am not sure what genders I have at the moment) Do I need more hiding spots?

(before you ask about API Master Kit... it will be delivered next week... I'm trying to learn as fast as I can)

To be honest, I'm okay with the whole "nature" thing but if there is something I am doing wrong or could do differently before my new bigger tank is ready, I would like to.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

JDcichlidlover

Well Known
I know when I was stocking my cichlid tank I had to have tons of hiding places. Fish chase for as long as they can see the one they're chasing. He has to be able to hide somewhere. I have bricks and slate going 75% of the way up the back of the tank. so they have tons of places to hide.
I'd suggest upping the school too. more can never hurt With cichlids its spreading the aggression so one doesn't get bullied. Same concept with big schools of tiger/green barbs
 

aquacraig

New Member
Hi,

Keep an eye on the one with the nipped fin. It may need treating for fin rot. Any sign of deterioration in the fin and you should treat ASAP. I've had to do it twice with mine and they respond well. This retiring kind of behaviour is typical of a fish who may have fin rot.

Chasing is very normal for many species of barbs. My Tigers and Odessa's chase each other constantly. You seem to have a good number. Odd or even numbers shouldn't matter neither should the sex really. The whole point of having 5 or more is so that if a fish is in the mood for chasing, he has plenty of targets to focus it's attention on and not just the 1 or 2 fish. So the more the better.

Getting any more will make you overstocked. But 1 or 2 more won't hurt in your new aquarium once set up. Make sure you move them gradually - about 4 a week to prevent bio unbalance.

Having ornaments and/ or plants in the aquarium to help break the aquarium up is a good idea. Fish can change direction quickly and dart through ornaments and plants to help lose their pursuer. It's never a survival of the fittest, it's a case of helping the one's that are not as strong to survive.

Hope this helps.

 

soltarianknight

Fishlore VIP
To add to the above, tigers can and will often single out a weaker individual, kick him out of the school and harass him to death.
 
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gingerone

Active Member
I wouldn't increase the # until they are established in the new tank.

I thought my current tank would have enough hiding places but maybe I'm wrong (there are a few plants and a HUGE piece of driftwood that has a big cavern in it no one seems to be utilizing.)

I'll work more hiding places into the plans for the new tank

As for Fin Rot... I'll do a bit more research on that and keep an eye on him/her.

Thanks for the input!
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
In my experience, once a fish has been ejected, there's no going back. I've rehabbed and reintroduced the fish only to be singled out again. In my experience its the beginning of the end.
 
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gingerone

Active Member
So a bit of an update... not much has changed.

The Outcast just kinda hangs out by himself (near the top of the tank and mostly out of the way of everyone else) not doing much but he does perk up and eat when it's feeding time. The other barbs pretty much leave him alone at this point.

I feel bad for him, should I keep him in the 20 gallon when I move the barbs over to the 55? Or add him with the rest to the 55 gallon and hope that more space and more hiding places will help? (and eventually getting a few more green barbs)

I know you said Jaysee that what's done is done and there's no going back, so what do you do with an Outcast? Give him his own place? Return him? Leave him in the tank with the rest of the fish?
 

plug

Well Known
I had 6 Tigers at one point, and the weaker ones were being picked on until one by one they would die
I have 2 left now, and the larger chases the smaller, but they are in with 3 Hap Cichlids, so the big one is always on guard as well

They just love bullying weaker ones
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
If you can return it, I would do that - swap it out.

I just cull it. In my experience its a long, drawn out process and I just think that that's best. Once it's happened several times, it's not something you'll want to see through to the end anymore, I don't think.
 
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gingerone

Active Member
If you can return it, I would do that - swap it out.

I just cull it. In my experience its a long, drawn out process and I just think that that's best. Once it's happened several times, it's not something you'll want to see through to the end anymore, I don't think.

Thanks' I'll explore that option later this week. The place I got him from is a bit of a drive.

So... when I do get more barbs for this green school, do I try to get the same size? I know last time I was at the LFS there were green barbs but they were much smaller than my current ones (heck might even be a bit smaller than my tigers)
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
I haven't found the size is important for schools
 

Lucy

Offical Spam Kicker
Virginiakay's question has been moved here:
 

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