sick or injured tiger barb (pictures)

Discussion in 'Tiger Barb' started by Swifterz, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    i have 6 tiger barbs. i have had several different groups and they have almost always been aggressive (fin nipping, picking on the smallest, etc.) however, with this group, i haven't seen anything but good behavior and i've had them for months. but lately, i've noticed one of them has some scales missing and his head is all white. here are some pictures. sorry they are blurry..


    i don't think it's a coincidence that he/she is the smallest of the group. it has become the "outcast", hanging on it's own in the corner. it swims, but not with the rest of the group. all of them are pretty big, a couple even approaching 3". the smallest one is maybe almost 2". there isn't a huge size difference between the others and this one.

    i really don't think he was/is being bullied or attacked, because i haven't seen anything like that at all, and of course i've really been looking for it lately.. but maybe that's what it is. if not, what else could it be? and what can i do to make it better??

    thanks in advance everyone.
  2. bass masterWell Known MemberMember

    To me that looks like either a columnaris or fungal infection, perhaps brought on by the stress of being picked on. Try looking on google for both of those and see if it seems to match up, Ill post a webpage in a minute that has a lot of info on both. It would probably be a good idea to quarantine him IMO.

    heres the link:  
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  3. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    i forgot to mention it still eats ferociously
  4. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    thank you! i don't have a QT tank right now. :(

    my wife says to flush it to "put it out of it's misery" but i'm not gonna do that!
  5. bass masterWell Known MemberMember

    if its eating ferociously I definitely wouldnt consider "putting it out of its misery" just yet :)

    If it is columnaris, salt has been found to work wonders for that, if you have a 5 gallon bucket you can give him a salt dip, there are some detailed instructions in the link. If its fungal, I really dont know a whole lot about it, again you can check the link for a ton of info though.

    If his condition worsens and you decide to euthanize him, look up humane euthanasia for fish, I believe it involves some clove oil and vodka to put the fish to sleep then quickly kill it.
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That is typical tiger barb behavior. The fish is certainly being bullied and attacked. As it gets weaker, the others will prevent it from eating and the fish will waste away and die. IME there is nothing you can do - you can't MAKE the others accept it. You could try getting a few more tiger barbs to spread the aggression around, but I don't think it'll help your fish. It'll help the others though.

    IMO the best thing you can do is put it down. Not just because it's sick but because of that and the other tiger barbs isolating it. It's the beginning of the end, I'm sorry to say. Seen it over and over.
  7. SwifterzValued MemberMember


    i do have some aquarium salt i use from time to time, but haven't in a while. i'm gonna drop a bit in. i had already thought about getting 2 more tiger barbs.
  8. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    There's a difference between a salt dip and adding salt to a freshwater tank... you might want to rethink adding the salt.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Agreed. Catch the barb and give it a salt dip rather than dose the whole tank...If you're inclined to use salt.
  10. bass masterWell Known MemberMember

    best of luck. Jaysee is right, however, that if one of your barbs is being picked on, he probably will not ever do well with them, also he probably will not start to recover if he continues to be picked on.

    A side note on salt... I personally would not recommend using it on a regular basis. It acts as an irritant to fish causing them to build up a thicker slime coat, but in the long run I think it causes more stress than good and you can get many of the same benefits through products like stress coat+. The only reason I would recommend salt would be if he was separated into his own tank and then treated with somewhat high doses for a short period of time. If you look under the bolded "treatment" heading in the link I gave you, you will see a chart on the mortality rate of similar bacterial infections when treating with salt. The mortality rate was near 100% with lower doses of salt but when it was raised to levels around 2.5 teaspoons per gallon, the mortality went way down.

    In the end what you do with your fish is your own decision, if you do not have the means to quarantine it, it may be best to put it down... But if you have the option, give it to someone who has a spare tank who would be willing to treat it
  11. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    i could take it to my sister's house. she has a 10 gallon tank with a few neon tetras. i could let him heal up there and then possibly bring him back later.
  12. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Tiger barbs are aggressive and do best in a species-only tank. I personally wouldn't sic him on a group of unsuspecting neons...but I'm not sure if he'd still be aggressive if he's without any other tigers, and beaten up.
  13. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Swifterz, the other tiger barbs have rejected this fish. even if you did nurse it back to health, the fish will just be isolated and picked on till it got sick again. they dont like that fish - thats just the way it goes.
  14. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    i might add another couple into the group. if i do i'll be sure to get some larger ones so they aren't going to be small and picked on like this one.
  15. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    As i said before, getting a few more will help the school as a whole, but not that individual fish. They aren't picking on the fish because it;s small, they're picking on it because it's weak, or for some social reason.
  16. crystalizedNew MemberMember

    I had a similiar problem when I had some barbs, I just sepearated the bully ones into the different tank for a bit and also put the sick ( aka outcast ) one in different one for its treatment...put them all back together when the sick one all healed, then had no problem ever since then..I would give them a bit more than enough food, just to make sure they all get their pieces in, and for the waste matter, just add one more bottom feeder, or just clean it a bit more often till the problem is gone...

    just an idea from my experience
  17. SwifterzValued MemberMember

    i took him to a local store to see if they would take him off my hands, to nurse him back to health and sell him in the future. they wouldn't. and then they wouldn't sell me two really large tiger barbs because of what happened to this one.

    i already had him out of the tank and so i just gave him to my sister in that 10 gallon tank for the time being. she has only 3 neons in there. it's not an ideal situation for him but it's better than getting roughed up in my tank. maybe after he heals i'll find him a new home.
  18. crystalizedNew MemberMember

    yea, sound like it's the best idea for this moment, hope he gets well!
  19. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    A fish store that refused to sell fish... how refreshing. No offense to you swifterz, it's just nice to see one take a stand.
  20. Jake the FishValued MemberMember

    The tiger in your sisters tank is probably going to chase the neons when hes better if he already isn't.
    Hope he gets well.