Bothering Fish While Cleaning

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Bonochick

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When I'm doing some cleaning in my tank, all but one of my fish are fine with it. My rosy barb Elliott "attacks" my arm repeatedly while it's in the water. Obviously, it doesn't hurt me, but it does bother me because I worry that my presence is stressing Elliott out. The other fish all just avoid me, but Elliott sticks with me and nips my arm up and down repeatedly. I thought about removing Elliott while I clean, but I worry that being removed from home would be just as, if not more, stressful. Any advice?
 

kalika

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Is Elliot the only Rosy Barb you have? I have found that fish who are the only species like them in a tank either alone or with other species are usually stressed out but then avoid you and other stressors like the plague. Since he is "attacking" your arm, I would have to say that he sounds more curious of you and not at all afraid. If he seems ok once you take your arm out of the tank and isn't bothering the other fish too much then I would bet that is all that is going on. I have had tiger barbs in the past and not all of them but a few extra curious, adventurous ones would do the same thing. I currently have 5 zebra danios and 4 of them come up and nip the gravel vac and my hand when it is in their tank. When I am done, they just continue zipping around with each other as if nothing happened. I also have a single platy and since her friend has died, her entire personality has changed from one like your barb to a very skittish fish. She is healthy but now hides a lot. She just needs a buddy. So, I wouldn't worry, Elliot sounds healthy and curious which is good. Of course another person here with more experience with rosy barbs may have another point of view but you will know what applies to Elliot when you hear it.
 

COBettaCouple

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Bonochick said:
When I'm doing some cleaning in my tank, all but one of my fish are fine with it. My rosy barb Elliott "attacks" my arm repeatedly while it's in the water. Obviously, it doesn't hurt me, but it does bother me because I worry that my presence is stressing Elliott out. The other fish all just avoid me, but Elliott sticks with me and nips my arm up and down repeatedly. I thought about removing Elliott while I clean, but I worry that being removed from home would be just as, if not more, stressful. Any advice?
One of our Bettas Aslan likes to nip at my hand sometimes when i'm working on his tank. kalika's post is right on, i think he's being playful & curious of this new thing in his tank.
 
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Bonochick

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kalika said:
Is Elliot the only Rosy Barb you have? 
He was for awhile, but I recently got another one (Conor). I had a tiger barb named Scooter that Elliott was basically best friends with, and once Scooter died, Elliott seemed depressed and just hung out by himself, so I got Conor. They have a lot of fun together now. ;D

I feel much better after reading about your experiences. Sounds like Elliott is just checking things out and playing. Makes me feel better! Thanks for the replies.
 

Tom

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Bonochick said:
When I'm doing some cleaning in my tank, all but one of my fish are fine with it. My rosy barb Elliott "attacks" my arm repeatedly while it's in the water. Obviously, it doesn't hurt me, but it does bother me because I worry that my presence is stressing Elliott out. The other fish all just avoid me, but Elliott sticks with me and nips my arm up and down repeatedly. I thought about removing Elliott while I clean, but I worry that being removed from home would be just as, if not more, stressful. Any advice?
That sounds like my clown and skunk loaches. They always nip my arms while I'm even just feeding my pleco. But they have those little special jaws for crushing snails and they hurt when biting me.
Tom
 
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