Tank mates for Tiger Barbs

cosmic dust

Member
Hi!
I have a 20 gallon tank with 5 tiger barbs. I figue I still have room for maybe one more fish? Any ideas? I thought about a red-tailed shark but I'm a bit concerned about him jumping out where the filter goes into the tank.
 

bbfeckawitts

Member
I'd recommend 3 corydoras catfish. They are good bottom scavengers. If you don't want bottom feeders, get some tetras. That's just my opinion. Also maybe some type of gourami, maybe an Opaline Gourami. Its really what you like
 

Gamer

Member
I was about to ask the same thing.

I've been advised against this but I kind of have my heart set on some tiger barbs right now. I want to buy 6 of them for my 20 gallon tank once it's cycled.

I was going to ask if 6 cherry barbs or perhaps 6 serpae tetras would be compatible in a 20 gallon tank with a school of tiger barbs. Those are really the only two species of fish I'd want to put with them. Them and a small group of bottom dwellers like cories.
 

Noobie

Member
I started my tank with 4 tigers and a RTS. As I read into things, It's rumored the shark is an excellent jumper, but I was also concerned she would bully the barbs.

While I haven't observed the leaping ability of the RTS, I've noticed she IS very territorial; chasing the barbs away from her hideout. However, the barbs appear to instigate the chases too. They seem to enjoy the chases to the point of invoking the redtail's aggression. This same relationship evidently applies to my newly introduced tin foil barbs, which already equal the RTS in size, as well. There appears to be an elaborate game of "tag" going on in the tank. Haven't figured out the rules just yet, but it's fun to watch.

The TFBs are reportedly good jumpers as well, so I've covered the openings in the hood with a dark towel...possibly camouflaging the "edges" of the openings.

As for companions, how about a couple clown loaches, or pink gouramis?
 

Bonochick

Member
Noobie, I would really hold off on any additional fish for your tank until you get a bigger tank. I don't know the current size of your fish, but as I stated in another thread, the adult sizes of your fish bring you to 44 inches in a 10 gallon tank. Also, clown loaches should have a minimum tank size of 55 gallons, and gouramis would need a bigger tank as well.
 

Noobie

Member
Right. The loach/gouramI suggestion was for an earlier post.

My RTS is MAYBE 2 in long, and so are the TFBs. My tigers are all under 1.5 inches so far. As it stands for now, I'm almost exactly at 10 inches (if not less) of fish in a 10 gal tank. I'm aware that ratio will change dramatically. Question is, how soon will I need to upgrade?
 

Bonochick

Member
Oh, sorry, now I see what you meant with the loach and gouramI suggestion! Sorry!

To be honest, I'm not that knowledgeable about how fast fish grow. I did post this in another thread of yours regarding the tinfoil barbs though:
 

Noobie

Member
Best I can determine, TFBs grow at about an inch per month, so a bigger, or different tank at least is a priority, but not urgent. I'm thinking I may want to procure a larger tank to house the TFBs and RTS...Might leave the 4 tigers in their current home, and introduce a couple panda corys and some plants. Just a thought.

Also, the power supply in my PC died Wednesday, so I may be out of the loop for awhile. Happy aquarium-ing
 

vin

Member
Noobie said:
Right. The loach/gouramI suggestion was for an earlier post.

My RTS is MAYBE 2 in long, and so are the TFBs. My tigers are all under 1.5 inches so far. As it stands for now, I'm almost exactly at 10 inches (if not less) of fish in a 10 gal tank. I'm aware that ratio will change dramatically. Question is, how soon will I need to upgrade?
Within a few months......
 

darkwolf29a

Member
I just put mine into the 55 gallon tank, and they seem much happier now. I, too, have a 10 gallon tank. But, now that I see them in the bigger tank...I think 10 might be too small for the species.
 

Noobie

Member
I would tend to agree with Darkwolf in that I had a situation last weekend where I experienced a massive nitrite/nitrate spike in my 10 gallon tank...Off the scale on 2 different brands of test strips! It started immediately after moving my tin foils and redtail into their new home, a 29 gallon tank. (related?) Well the barbs seemed near death stressed out, so I moved them into the 29 gal tank, leaving the 10 empty. I purchased Nutrafin's bio-cycle, added it to both tanks, and firstly, the tigers seem much happier in the larger tank, however, the chemistry of the smaller tank has not yet levelled off...But in accordance with replying to Darkwolf's post...I agree. Whether it's the fact that they're happier about being in a larger tank, with their old tank mates, or whether they can actually breathe in the new tank is unclear...I haven't asked them. Possibly a topic best left to Mr. Springer...

Additionally, during this high-stress period for my barbs, the smallest of the 4 seems to be having a problem with what could best be described as "fin rot". Knowing that tiger barbs are notorious fin nippers, I would initially attribute it to "bullying" by the larger barbs, although I haven't witnessed any evidence of this, and it's just the one fish that seems to be experiencing this phenomenon. Do barbs have problems with fin rot? Will they grow back?
 

darkwolf29a

Member
Noobie said:
I would tend to agree with Darkwolf in that I had a situation last weekend where I experienced a massive nitrite/nitrate spike in my 10 gallon tank...Off the scale on 2 different brands of test strips! It started immediately after moving my tin foils and redtail into their new home, a 29 gallon tank. (related?) Well the barbs seemed near death stressed out, so I moved them into the 29 gal tank, leaving the 10 empty. I purchased Nutrafin's bio-cycle, added it to both tanks, and firstly, the tigers seem much happier in the larger tank, however, the chemistry of the smaller tank has not yet levelled off...But in accordance with replying to Darkwolf's post...I agree. Whether it's the fact that they're happier about being in a larger tank, with their old tank mates, or whether they can actually breathe in the new tank is unclear...I haven't asked them. Possibly a topic best left to Mr. Springer...

Additionally, during this high-stress period for my barbs, the smallest of the 4 seems to be having a problem with what could best be described as "fin rot". Knowing that tiger barbs are notorious fin nippers, I would initially attribute it to "bullying" by the larger barbs, although I haven't witnessed any evidence of this, and it's just the one fish that seems to be experiencing this phenomenon. Do barbs have problems with fin rot? Will they grow back?
Interesting that you were having an issue with nitrates. I was having the same thing, and was worried that I heading for a crash. I'm sure it's not related, but it is a curious coinsidence(SP). In fact, I am very glad that the 55 was in mid cycle. I'd rather have a few more water changes, etc to do, than loss my little buddies in a crash.
 

Noobie

Member
Thanks for the tip darkwolf. That's pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking. The 10 gal tank is improving slowly. The nitrite/nitrate levels are at least somewhere on the scale of the test strips now. A coiuple water changes, and a few more days to balance the biological filter will probably do the trick. Might've had something to do with the original filter unit's filter pad as well, since my girlfriend found some "discounted" filter pads that didn't quite fit (too long) the filter unit. I replaced the original unit with a backup, and its included filter pads, and that seems to have helped as well. Either way, the 10 gal tank appears to be balancing out on its own.

The 29 gal tank is surprisingly free of ammonia, with all 7 fish in it, and having never been fully cycled. My tin foils are clearly getting larger, the small tiger barb's fins are slowly growing back, etc...all seems well for the moment. I'm learning to be patient
 

capekate

Member
hardcore_gamer said:
I was about to ask the same thing.

I've been advised against this but I kind of have my heart set on some tiger barbs right now. I want to buy 6 of them for my 20 gallon tank once it's cycled.

I was going to ask if 6 cherry barbs or perhaps 6 serpae tetras would be compatible in a 20 gallon tank with a school of tiger barbs. Those are really the only two species of fish I'd want to put with them. Them and a small group of bottom dwellers like cories.
I have six serpae tetras in a 29 gallon tank with three tiger barbs. They all get along fine and sometimes school around with each other. No fin nipping so far. ;D
 

Noobie

Member
Capekate,
Well the fact any fin nipping went on was merely speculation on my part. It just seemed logical to assume, due to the species and size difference involved. The smallest of my 4 barbs had raggedy fins, and all 4 were highly stressed. A most likely assumption given the circumstances.

All,
How does one go about naming a nearly identical group of fish? I have one small tiger barb, and 3 more that are nearly indestinguishable. Likewise, my 2 tin foil barbs are of equal size and color, with no identifible markings. I do notice one of my larger barbs has a tendency to "fade" more often than the others, and have posthumously dubbed him "Niles", after the neurotic character Niles Crane, of Frasier fame. The red tail shark is characterized by her angry old lady personality, as she is constantly chasing the "kids" off her "lawn". A character trait that would be perfectly described by the mother character in the movie "Throw Mamma From the Train". (Crystal, DeVito, 1987) Played by the late Anne Ramsey. Any suggestions?
 

Noobie

Member
I just introduced a pair of panda corys in my small tank with 4 tiger barbs. Now, I realize there will be an initial "get to know you" phase, but they are clearly nipping and bullying the pandas. How long do I wait to see if things settle down?
 

vin

Member
Corys do better in groups of 3 or more, but I see that you're already at your limit. Do you have enough places for the pandas to hide? They need a place to retreat to. I'm surprised that the barbs are at all interested in them....Part of it could be that they recommend a larger home for them...maybe they're feeling a little stressed by the corys even though they occupy different areas of the tank.
 

Noobie

Member
Sounds about right vin, after 6-8 hours, they seem to have segregated themselves. I did put a clay pot in the tank for the pandas to hide in, but they seem to've found security behind the "bubble curtain". The barbs seem content to chase themselves again.

As far as population limits, one of my barbs is kinda the "runt", obviously smaller than the other 3, which are roughly the same size, but all 4 would total less than 4 inches. The corys are easily under an inch each, and even the "big" barbs are roughly an inch long, and don't appear to have grown much in the 2 months i've had them. I understand they could reach the 3" range, but unfortunately, due to a few high stress incidents early in their captivity, they seem reluctant to get any bigger. Either way, the size to gallon ratio isn't in jeopardy any time soon.
 

vin

Member
That's cool. And your pandas will stay small too....Maybe the barbs got bored chasing each other and saw the corys as an opportunity to beat on someone else for a change. The only time I'd be concerned is if the corys tend not to come out of hiding. Then I think you'd have to separate them.
 

Noobie

Member
Pretty sure that's the case vin...the tigers and pandas have apparently segregated themselves, although curiosity occasionally gets the better of them from time to time, as the tigers will not really chase, but "follow" the pandas, if and when they move at all. Pretty lethargic fish they are, apparently. Once again the pet store deceived me into believing they'd behave similarly in my tank, as they did in the store...seeming to "school" in pairs.
 

vin

Member
Pandas can be very sensitive and can feel exposed if not in the right numbers. They will tend to be content to hang out....(I have 2 emerald and 1 skunk cory) Mine stay mostly in their little hollow log during the day but will become more active as the day wears on....Then by evening they are all over the place rooting around for food. You'll have to try and see how they are at different parts of the day and make a determination from there.
 

Noobie

Member
Definitely looks that way vin. They're slowly but surely venturing out from behind the security of the bubble curtain, bodly going where no panda has gone before...but with the occasional tiger curiously sniffing at their tails. They all seem to go out of their way to not be in the other's way, accepting the occasional onlooker
 

vin

Member
Sounds like they're getting used to one another after an initial 'break in period'....
 

Noobie

Member
Well there's that, and re-establishing the social heirarchy within the community. They're once again able to display aggression after being temporarily housed in a larger tank with much bigger fish, (2 tin foil barbs, which are already twice their original size, and a mid size redtail shark) and have just recently been placed back in their original home.
 

Shrimpy

Member
cosmic dust said:
Hi!
I have a 20 gallon tank with 5 tiger barbs. I figue I still have room for maybe one more fish? Any ideas? I thought about a red-tailed shark but I'm a bit concerned about him jumping out where the filter goes into the tank.
a pleco, ghost shrimp, cherry barbs , gouramis might work, almost anything maybe
 

Noobie

Member
I too heard the rumors of the jumping abilities of the redtail shark. I started out with 4 tiger barbs and a redtail in a 10 gallon tank, but later moved the RTS into a 29 gallon rig. In neither setting has the shark tried to "escape", which could be partly due to the demeanor of this particular fish in general. However, I have yet to observe the shark near the top of the tank, unless she's chasing my tin foil barbs away from her "hideout". So I haven't observed an escapist behavior from MY RTS in the 3 months I've had it. But just to be on the safe side, I've also draped a dark colored towel over the filter openings in the hood, possibly camouflaging the edges of the opening.

As for other mate suggestions, a tank cleaning pleco, or a small school of corys. Virtually any non-aggressive species that catches your eye, with the exception of any long finned fish (i.e. angels) would do nicely. Personally, I have a pair of panda corys in a 10 gal setup with 4 tigers.
 

jayfl234

Member
I would get a multiple barbs and just have one big school of barbs that would be so cool. I wish I could have a huge school of barbs.
 
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