Observations Black Ruby Barbs. (brb's.)

TheFishmonger

I know I talked too much for a "noob". My thoughts on a two day observation of Black Ruby Barbs.

They are very active fish. When I got them at the fish store, it caught my attention how they approached me even though I spent a good 45 minutes carefully watching each stock and thinking about compatibility with the 20 gallons aquarium. I purchased five because Aq Advisor told me a minimum of five makes a school, even though I disagree and would say six.

Once the tank cycles, I will certainly add more females to ease aggression. Currently, I have two males and three females. They are all juveniles about a 1 inch in size. The dorsal and "pelvic" fins have to be completely black in males. They are very active fish and they do nip each other, but that decreased since I transferred them to the 20 gallons. When I first got them the two males "body-slammed" it out over who leads the school. The darker male emerged victorious and now leads the school. I noticed he is a cunning fish, he secretly slips away from the school to scavenge for food and pick on the plants when the rest are busy playing.

Which brings me to plants. They do nip at plants and I am convinced they decimated my hornwort. That could be because they are main diet in the wild is algae and detritus. Which is explains why the white algae that started growing suddenly disappeared. So great algae eaters as well as very active playful fish. They look like minI tiger barbs, but since they are semi-aggressive they can be paired with a while variety of fish.

I am planning on having Celestial Pearl Danios. Their temperament is different, but all I hear is that they are shy and mellow. I doubt they will stay hidden as the Black Ruby Barbs invade the hornwort and plants where the CPD's would hide away and "flush" them out. So I expect them to be more visible when I get them. Of course, the plants have not grown to their full potential and I am planning on adding a lot of plants with time.

I had a thought to add red cherry shrimp. But they will go in a separate tank along with the CPD's should their fail to adjust with the busy BRB's. If it was heavily planted I would throw some in there to see how they fare. Red cherry shrimp would be 1/2 inch, and I doubt they would fit in the mouths of these juvenile BRB's. But theoretically, they could nip them to death or suck them out of their shell. So I will avoid that scenario by simply not adding them and going for a 5.5 gallons shrimp tank.

I plan on adding busy fish in this aquarium, top to middle-level dwellers. As BRB's dwell in the bottom to mid-tank levels, from what I have seen. They only fly through the top level when trying to get out of a chase. They are smart fish and use plants to distract their pursuer. But I noticed they get scared easily. Especially when I turn off the light or put on night mode. Perhaps they think the sudden change in brightness is a bigger sized predator, and they hide in the plants and "hug" the substrate.

These are my observations for keeping them for two days. I have them right across my desk on a stand and keep a constant eye on them, as they do with me. Like I said, they are very smart fish and interact with the environment outside their aquarium. They perceive finger shaking as a threat and run away, but come close in a group when you tap on the glass. I would recommend this fish and I only kept them for two days.

What sort of fish do you think I should add? They grow to a maximum of 2.2-3 inches. They are just like tiger barbs without the extra aggression which limmits the tank mates. I am looking only for top to middle dwelling fish that will not grow larger than the BRB's.
 

Coradee

Giving this a bump up for you hope you get some suggestions today
 

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