20 Gallon Tank Cherry Barb Napoleon.. what else is safe?

Aquandry
Member
I have a 20 gallon long, moderately planted tank (was more but I lost some plants). I purchase a school (6) of Cherry Barbs as the first fish to go into this aquarium. It is cycled with the following parameters:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
GH: 7.5
KH: 3
PH: 7.5

There is one male that seems to be a little napoleon.. he chases all the other fish around the tank and has been doing this for two weeks. I believe I have 3 males, 3 females.. which I know is not the ratio (3 of them were too small to figure out and I think the LFS thought they were female.. but they look kinda red to me).

Not sure what to do at this point. I'm hesitant to go buy a few more females because if it doesn't solve the problem.. I just have more fish for him to harrass.

I wanted to get some cories.. but now I'm worried he'll go after them too. I have (?) 4 shrimp in there.. but I have not seen them really since he's been around. Can't find them anywhere. Hopefully they didn't die from stress!?

Any advice is welcome.
 
bumblinBee
Member
Can we get a photo of the fish? Cherry barbs are usually quite easy to sex unless they're super stressed or very very young.
Is it just the one male giving you problems? Maybe consider returning the one male, and getting more females if that is the case. Personally I'd only keep females, I've had too many males harass females in the past, even with a good ratio and hiding spots. It's possible the barbs may have gone after your shrimp, I think cherries are kind of hit and miss with shrimp. Some people have managed it, but mine definitely would not have been compatible haha.
 
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Aquandry
Member
bumblinBee I tried to get pictures... but they move so fast it made it impossible to get anything but a blur! I'm pretty confident now, though, that I have 2 juvenile of each and one adult of each. The adult male still harasses everyone.. but it seems the little males are harassing as well.

Good news is that I spotted one Amano today popping up to eat! Lost track of him a few minutes later.

These fish are still not schooling and seem to be extremely hyper. I'm hesitant to add anything else, including other females.. for fear of just adding more bioload without solving the behavior.
 
Deku-Cory
Member
I think with only one adult male, he has no competition and thus bosses everyone else around. As your other males grow up, I bet they'll start putting up more of a fight.

I have 10 males and 5 females in my 75 gallon. Some of them were more matured than others, and there was a definite pecking order among the males for a while. But now that they're all fully grown they have calmed down quite a bit. The males will sort of challenge each other or make a quick dark at another, but they don't actively chase each other or fight. I only notice chasing and scuffles during spawning.

Oh, and I have both Cories and Siamese Algae Eaters in with mine. They don't bother either of them. In fact, they're intimidated by the Cories. Even the ones that are smaller than them. The Cories are completely oblivious, as always.
 

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