Sick looking cherry barb - please help 20 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Cherry Barbs' started by Mythyn, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. MythynNew MemberMember


    So glad to find this forum.

    I noticed something wrong with the smallest of my 2 cherry barbs yesterday but today it is worse, the poor thing floats and falls to the bottom, it is being attacked by the other cherry and the golden mollies..

    I started my aquarium on 31st March with 4 black phantom tetras, then waited until a little less than 2 weeks ago and added 2 gold mollies, 2 shrimps and 2 cherry barbs. The shop advised this would make a safe community tank.

    Everything seems well other than the smaller of the 2 barbs : it swims erratically / sometimes upside down. It is being attacked by the other barb every time they cross path and when down the mollies seem to attack as well. It is not very energetic and sometimes just lays on ornaments...

    I did a waer change 50% 2 days ago. Also I fed them daphnia because the shop advised it is good to give them variety.
    Other than that they get flakes food. The light is on 8h a day.

    What could be wrong? What can I do?

    Thank you for the help, I'm very worried...
  2. Harlebleondora

    HarlebleondoraWell Known MemberMember

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  3. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there :)

    sorry you are having troubles so early into your experience.

    the first thing to do is read up on the nitrogen cycle, it is the most important part of fishkeeping and invest in an API freshwater master test kit to keep an eye on your water.

    secondly, i would QT your barb, if you don't have a QT i would at least use a breeder net until you can get something in place, it sounds like she is being bullied to death.

    thirdly, read through the acclimation process to ensure all your fish are joining your tank will be safe and happy within your water conditions.

    unfortunately, things don't look good for your barb and unless you can get her separated, there isn't much you can do.

    the best of luck to you and your
  4. OP

    MythynNew MemberMember

    Thank you both for your replies. I was able to go to the shop and they tested the water, and said it is completely fine. I showed them a video and they simply believe it is bullying. They said they did not know of any QT that could go in my tank, as it is very small. They advised to turn the lights off for a couple of days and hopefully it first lets the barb rest, second gets the other fish to reshuffle territories.

    Thank you for the advice - I read through the nitrogen cycle and understand it. it seems I am doing ok on that side. I am cycling the tank: I change the water at 50 % and clean the tank 1x a week, and sometimes more smaller water changes as and when needed. I do not overfeed either.

    For acclimation I followed every step... floating the fish, introducing water, turning the lights off, feeding less in the first few days. All the others are doing well.

    Hopefully the two days will give her a breather...
  5. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    i would at least try rearranging the tank to force them to reshuffle their territories. i try and move things around a bit whenever i add new fish so they are all on an even level when it comes to territories. generally i will also place tall plants into the centre of the tank to break up the line of sight.xx
  6. OP

    MythynNew MemberMember

    Good idea, though I had shuffled the ornaments and moved things around before introducing them. I was also thinking of adding a new plant.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  7. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    your tank is beauts! seems a shame to move anything! i tend to move things temporarily in my established tanks then move them back to where i want them after a few weeks, once everything is settled. i'd also put your new plant slap bang in the middle for a short while then move it to the spot you want it. potted plants work great for this purpose.x

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