One rosy barb getting brighter, others duller?


I have a group of 6 rosy barbs. 2f, 4m.

When I bought (in October) them the males were all neon bright....

Over the past few months they have been getting duller and duller.. except one, who is light a glow light! It has been happening very gradually, but I was looking at old pics the other day and thought, wow!! Are those really my fish! The difference is astounding.

There is one other who is slightly "rosy" but the others are so dull now I really have to look close to work out which are girls and which are boys.

I am guessing it may be an alpha thing? The most dominant fish becomes the brightest?

Is there anything I can do to help improve it?

I have tried conditioning them with lots of frozen food in addition to their NLS thera A... but it hasn't made a difference.

Water paramaters are 0,0, 20ish. 1/3 water change is done weekly.

The only issue maybe that they do nip each other quite a bit. Most of them are long finned. The two girls' fins are fine (both LF) but the boys regularly have tears. They don't bother the other fish that live with them (mr+mrs Krib and cardinals, BN pleco). And nothing else seems to bother them.

Any ideas?


IME long finned fish nip each other a lot more than regular fish - It's normal for there to be tears. Yes, the color is a dominance thing.

What size tank is this?



The tank is 185 litres, which I think is about 47 american gallons, if I remember rightly.

It has the barbs, a pair of kribs and 10 cardinals, plus a young BN pleco.

Is there anything I can do to get the submissive boys a bit brighter?


Hahaha, get them a dominant female

In all seriousness, I would try swapping out a male for a female, and pick up another female or two.


Ok thanks Jaysee.

It's interesting as I was told that the more males there were competing then the brighter they would be to try and show off.

Thank you, what I am doing obviously isn't working, so I will give this a go.

Do you think it will have any affect on the males nipping each other as much?


The males show off for females, not other males. The bright color also attracts dominant males attentions, which initiates a battle. A male that doesn't want to fight will dull out and appear more like a female. I think balancing out the school so that there are a couple extra females will help with the nipping, but IME longfin fish are nippier. whether it's the fish themselves or a byproduct of the fins, I don't know.


Thanks Jaysee.

I will try and pick up some females in the next few days.

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