Territorial cherry barb

Fishies-for-me
  • #1
HI I have a 36 gallon tank with 10 cherry barbs and 10 glowlight tetras. The cherries are 2 regular males , 4 regular females and 4 albino females. One of the males is very territorial and keeps all the other fish in one end of the tank while he has the rest . Is this normal and what can I do about it? . He isn't harming anyone that I can see but the stress is what I don't like. Also I have a tank that is crowded on one end and bare in the rest..lol. I added more plants to break things up a bit ...but it didn't work. Any advise would be appreciated ...Thanks.
 
platy ben
  • #2
you could try putting him into another tank for a while but then again he would be lonely, or maybe you could just take him back to the shop?
 
BipBop
  • #3
You could try completely rearranging everything. Then he wouldn't know what territory was his anymore.

I have a pushy male cherry barb too. He's the alpha of the boys. Some days he crosses the line and I have to spank him.
 
peacemaker92
  • #4
You could try completely rearranging everything. Then he wouldn't know what territory was his anymore.

Rearranging everything won't really do any good. He'd just end up doing the territory all over again and in comes the stress again for the others!
 
peacemaker92
  • #5
Try Platy Ben's idea! You can put him in another tank but smaller. Maybe having two females or one more male with him then he wouldn't be lonely. But if he starts getting the territorial attitude again, then sending him back to the shop and exchange for another CB would be a good idea.
 
Shawnie
  • #6
Rearranging everything won't really do any good. He'd just end up doing the territory all over again and in comes the stress again for the others!

Rearranging does help re-establish the pekcing order...sometimes it has to be done once a month depending on how determined the bully is
 
FishayFishay
  • #7
Hello, so I've had a 10 gallon tank since July and got 4 Cherry Barbs (2 males and 2 females) about 2 months ago. They've been doing fine and I've had none die. But over the past few weeks, one of my male cherry barbs has been extremely territorial, chasing all my cherry barbs, not really messing with my one platy, but completely terrorizing my three Serpae Tetra, who do nothing in defense. So basically now my tank is divided into fourths, my single male cherry barb has 3/4 and every single other fish is herded into the other fourth. If any fish tries to enter the other territory, that male cherry barb will chase them all over the place. I've tried rearranging the decorations numerous times but it does't matter, the cherry barb will just establish new territories. WHAT DO I DO???
 
FrankdaTank
  • #8
Not sure about Cherry Barbs, but even in a community tank it is not uncommon for one fish to establish dominance. The fish will set up a pecking order and the Alpha fish may bully the other fish around ( or at least remind them who is boss). I once had a 30 gallon with a community tank and a Platy who was king of the castle. He would chase all the other Platys around and was aggressive in chasing off the other fish (Corys, Mollys, and some tetras). He was simply marking the tank as his territory. Eventually I added a blue gourami and the Platy lost his throne.However, even then he pushed round the other Platys.

So that's my story... doubt it helps... I am sure the other folks on this site can provide some other insight.
 
FishayFishay
  • #9
Interesting...maybe I should try and add one more Serpae Tetra and see if it helps. I've also heard some people say to try and take the aggressive fish out of the tank for a day or two, what do you think?
 
Nikita
  • #10
I wouldn't add anymore fish, you are just a bit overstocked.

One method you could try is taking the aggressive male out, rearranging the decorations in the tank and reintroducing him to the tank. This will trick him into thinking it's a new tank and that the others have already claimed territory and possibly stopping his aggression. Try adding more decorations if you can, this will break the line of sight and give the others more hiding places.
 
FishayFishay
  • #11
Never thought of that...thanks!!
 
DoubleDutch
  • #12
You tanksize might be causing the problems. Most barbs get frustrated in too small tanks, too small shoals, kept too warm or with wrong fish aso.
 
Mrsuitandtie
  • #13
Hello, so I've had a 10 gallon tank since July and got 4 Cherry Barbs (2 males and 2 females) about 2 months ago. They've been doing fine and I've had none die. But over the past few weeks, one of my male cherry barbs has been extremely territorial, chasing all my cherry barbs, not really messing with my one platy, but completely terrorizing my three Serpae Tetra, who do nothing in defense. So basically now my tank is divided into fourths, my single male cherry barb has 3/4 and every single other fish is herded into the other fourth. If any fish tries to enter the other territory, that male cherry barb will chase them all over the place. I've tried rearranging the decorations numerous times but it does't matter, the cherry barb will just establish new territories. WHAT DO I DO???

I have a total of 9 barbs in my tank (tiger/green/albino) and there is one alpha in the group. This was even the case when I had 6 initially, so I want to say it is in their nature. Every now and then the alpha and a 'contender' will face off and engage in a dominance dance of sorts, twirling each other in circles until one flees away, which is always the competitor. After that, they will all school together just fine, no harm no foul, just the way things go I guess. This behavior is only with my barbs though, he does not pick on anybody else, not even my AFD...

I would suggest adding a couple more barbs to see if this helps, or a more dominant fish that could handle his own. Not sure what medium sized centerpiece would go with a 10 gallon without pushing the stocking limit, maybe some additional research online would help find what suits your situation.

Either way I have a feeling rearranging will only prolong the inevitable! Hopefully the behavior does not stress out your other fish, in which case rehoming entirely may be the next bet :/ Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
 
FishayFishay
  • #14
I have a total of 9 barbs in my tank (tiger/green/albino) and there is one alpha in the group. This was even the case when I had 6 initially, so I want to say it is in their nature. Every now and then the alpha and a 'contender' will face off and engage in a dominance dance of sorts, twirling each other in circles until one flees away, which is always the competitor. After that, they will all school together just fine, no harm no foul, just the way things go I guess. This behavior is only with my barbs though, he does not pick on anybody else, not even my AFD...

I would suggest adding a couple more barbs to see if this helps, or a more dominant fish that could handle his own. Not sure what medium sized centerpiece would go with a 10 gallon without pushing the stocking limit, maybe some additional research online would help find what suits your situation.

Either way I have a feeling rearranging will only prolong the inevitable! Hopefully the behavior does not stress out your other fish, in which case rehoming entirely may be the next bet :/ Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

Thanks! So after reading all the comments, I think I will try and take my aggressive barb out for a little bit, and try rearranging decorations. After, I might add a Serpae or another barb, what do you think? And if I add another barb, should it be male or female? I'm thinking a larger male could try and take some of the hierarchy away. So today my cherry barb was patrolling the tank as usual, but I noticed he didn't seem all too aggressive, hopefully that's good!
 
Ksuvet
  • #15
I have a group of 12 Cherry Barbs in my 90 gallon tank.

Your 4 Cherry's with 3 Serpae's and a Platy are way too much for a 10 gallon tank.....and you have too little of the Barbs and Tetras anyway for a group (you need to have at least 6 in a group). Also you should have at least a 2:1 or 3:1 female to male ratio of Cherry Barbs.
Serpae's can be quite aggressive also, especially when you only have 3 of them.

I think if you find a bigger tank for them to swim in like a 20 or 30 gallon and get something like 5 or 6 females and the 2 males the aggression will go away.

Bottom line is everyone is cramped and it always brings out aggressive attitudes.
 
FishayFishay
  • #16
I have a group of 12 Cherry Barbs in my 90 gallon tank.

Your 4 Cherry's with 3 Serpae's and a Platy are way too much for a 10 gallon tank.....and you have too little of the Barbs and Tetras anyway for a group (you need to have at least 6 in a group). Also you should have at least a 2:1 or 3:1 female to male ratio of Cherry Barbs.
Serpae's can be quite aggressive also, especially when you only have 3 of them.

I think if you find a bigger tank for them to swim in like a 20 or 30 gallon and get something like 5 or 6 females and the 2 males the aggression will go away.

Bottom line is everyone is cramped and it always brings out aggressive attitudes.

Ok, thanks for the info! Although, I do have some good news. So I started feeding NLS about a couple days ago, not specifically because I have some aggressive fish, just because. Suddenly, it seems that all the aggression has stopped, I don't know how! For the past two days I haven't seen as much as a fin nip and all the fish are swimming around the ENTIRE tank! Hopefully my good fortune will continue!
 
Ksuvet
  • #17
That's good....I feed NLS also.

I would still get a bigger tank for them.
 
FishayFishay
  • #18
Ok thanks for the advice
 

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