Tiger Barb Behavior, Protractors And You...a Diy Question

iToast

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I am elated to finally be writing a post here at fishlore.com after extensive consultation with my psychologist and doctor, both well regarded phrenologists was told it would be appropriate to post.

I jest, I consulted my Mark I Eyeballs and some deductive skills to determine that there is a wealth of good information to be learned here at fishlore.

-New to the hobby and still gathering additional information
-Reasonable degree of reading materials online and off, still a neophyte, but made a point to get the appropriate vernacular down.
-Several tanks 10, 20, 30 and a quarantine tank at 10g
-Occupants of the 30g are my focus in this post, they include: 6x Glofish Tetras, 6x Tiger Barbs and a Plecostomus.
-Deep hexagonal tank with plenty of hiding places, left side of the tank is intentionally left vertically free of obstructions to provide an unimpeded space that the Tiger Barbs are especially fond of racing in a sinusoidal pattern on.
-Tiger Barbs have been peaceful and do not provoke or nip at the Tetras and they leave the Plecostomus alone as do I since a majority of the time I have to play the which space he latched onto game.
-Tetras likewise don't have any trepidation of coexisting well with the Barbs and Pleco. Although, one of the Tetras has determined that he can knock the pleco's algae wafers off the wall and make off to eat them.

----Water Parameters----
Nitrate 0
Nitrites 0
GH 85-150 ppm
Chlorine 0
Alkalinity 100-120 ppm
pH ~7.1 (.1 valence depending on test type up or down)
Temperature 78.8 F

Last maintenance and water change 08/10/2019
-40% change
-Removal of all aquarium decor which is cleaned with chlorine free water and allowed to dry
-Replaced filter cartridge on primary filter (Maintenance regimen replace at 3wk's)
-Replaced filter cartridge on secondary filter (Maintenance regimen replaced at 4wk's)
-Removed air stones and cleaned tubing then returned to original position
-Gravel Vacuumed and re-graded to even surface after cleaning
-API quick add 20 ml
-API Stress Coat 15 ml
-API Stress Zyme 10 ml

After all of that data of which I preemptively apologize on the verbosity this brings me to my question.

The fish all appear quite happy, schooling and eating not really hiding or isolating from each other. However, as of yesterday I noticed that some of my Tiger Barbs were exhibiting strange behavior and I will pull some of the video and images and post them if needed.

The barbs on occasion stop darting about and will effectively do a "headstand" I say that because his/her opercular movement appears normal and they do not appear to be in distress. For approximately 2 to 3 seconds duration they will remain in place nearly perpendicular to the bottom of the tank the fins moving in such a way that one would swear all that is missing is "ta-da" when completing the "headstand."

At the very minimum two of the six do this, but return right back to darting about chasing and playing around the bubblers (there are two air pumps with dual air connection rated at 30 and 40 gal respectively).

Is this some sort of mating/territorial/pecking order behavior?
If it is not, what sort of diagnostic approach would be best beyond the parameters and anecdotal data provided?

Thank you for taking the time to read this exhaustive first post. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I need to append any further measurements to assist. Thanks again.

-iToast

Addendum: I failed to include the Ammonia readings, my mistake

---Ammonia <.002 ppm

All parameters here and above were taken at the time of writing
 
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kallililly1973

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First of all Welcome! The couple things you may want to reconsider is changing your cartridges. Instead of doing that take the old tank water put it in a bucket and swish them around to remove the heavy muck and keep using them till their totally torn apart then use just the plastic frames and wrap them in polyfill. It will save you a ton of $ and last a long time. Changing the cartridges is most likely why your seeing the trace amounts of ammonia. Didn't notice if you said you were using test strips or an API test kit which would be a better investment for the long term of this rewarding hobby. The last thing i would change is instead of having an airstone i would add a sponge filter to one of your connections that way if you ever need to quarantine quickly you will have a seeded sponge filter to put into a container or another tank and it will give you an instant cycle. Good luck!!
 
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iToast

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I appreciate the reply, thank you. Duly noted on the filter cartridges. I have both strips and the API test kit those results above are an amalgam of both and a separate ammonia strip to check just in case. I have noticed either the same one or two (they are relatively equal in size to each other) has flashed against the leaves of the plant two times that I have observed today. I have cameras on the tank at all times so I can more adequately observe without bothering them.

There are no markings that I can see on the gills nor do I see any other indicators like the ich white spots or any abnormal marks on any of the fish in the tank. I have not medicated any of these fish as of yet, but I do have Melafix and Pimafix available if I need to use it, I tend to avoid medicating them even with the oil based non-chemical anit-bacterial anti-fungal solutions unless someone far more sage like than I can attest to the safety and efficacy of those remedies.

Here is a screen shot from the camera, it is relatively low fidelity and I'll get the HD version when I get back home to them. But as you can see there are the two in the upper left that are doing the "headstand"
IMG_1138.PNG
 
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kallililly1973

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No experience with tiger barbs but does it appear they could be a bit different size shape color as far as their gender and possibly doing a mating type "dance" or possibly a territory/Alpha dance. How new are they to the tank? Honestly i would stick with your water parameter testing using the API test kit as sometimes strips can be innacurate.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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They were introduced into the tank 11 days ago.
Welcome to Fishlore a place where lot's of people love to take care of fish and help others to do so.
As a disclaimer i'm not an expert on Tiger Barbs, I'm sure there are tonnes who know more about them than me but i've kept them for over a year now so I might know a little bit.
It's hard to tell from a static screen shot, they are very social fish, they sometimes exile individuals from the shoal, they can be quite aggressive to them and will starve them.
When you get the ammonia storted I recommend upping the shoal to 9 or 10, as I said they are very social and that sometimes takes the form of aggression.
 
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iToast

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I was indeed attempting to upload a video of their behavior, but I am having trouble getting sent up. Once it does upload you'll see what it looks like in that regard. All of them have stayed together and I do ensure they all eat and it does not appear as though they're starving or put either of the in exile. As a heartening development, I did notice a pattern that I didn't think about. Every time the "headstand" happens there is one of my red Tiger Barbs follows close behind every time. This would be indicative of breeding perhaps?
 

jinjerJOSH22

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How big are they? They might not be mature, fish stores usually sell younger fish. Though it's hard to see it doesn't look like there's a male in the normal Tigers. Mature males will have vibrant orange on the backs of their dorsal fin and a lovely orange beak.
 
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iToast

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There are 2 males in the green tigers, they have the beak oranges/reddish markings on the fins. I intentionally looked for more mature fish at the store since they’re generally more resilient according to my research.

The smallest green is about 1.6 inches and the other two are slightly bigger most notably the one that’s doing the “headstand”
 

jinjerJOSH22

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There are 2 males in the green tigers, they have the beak oranges/reddish markings on the fins. I intentionally looked for more mature fish at the store since they’re generally more resilient according to my research.

The smallest green is about 1.6 inches and the other two are slightly bigger most notably the one that’s doing the “headstand”
I doubt it's a problem, Tigers are fascinating to watch, they are full of quirks.
 

jdhef

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I was indeed attempting to upload a video of their behavior, but I am having trouble getting sent up.
You cannot upload a video directly to FishLore. You need to upload your video to a hosting site (such as You Tube) then link to the You Tube (or whatever hosting service you uploaded to) video in your post.
 
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iToast

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jdhef, the issue had to do with my camera uploading at all to the network drive so I could get it to youtube. On occasion it can be cantankerous when it tries to re-encode before uploading since the source file is general several gigs in size. I appreciate the info that I can't directly upload, I wouldn't have attempted that to go directly However, I maintained a watchful eye throughout the evening and this morning, thankfully all of them were quite content. I fed them their normal amount of food without incident and at present they are zipping about the tank whilst I breathe a sigh of relief.

I was advised on obtaining a sponge filter and found the Hikari Bacto-surge sponge filter. The small appears to be the correct size for the 30 gallon, but is there any harm in going one step larger from the get go for when it is time for a larger tank?
I did also want to mention that earlier in the week I had put a biostone in as well.
 

jdhef

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Good to hear all is going well. I've never used a sponge filter, but I can see how using a larger one would cause any problems...so I say go for it.
 

James105

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Hey.

I kept Tiger barbs for about 3 years. They are funny little quirky fish and everyone is diferent.

I could not say I know what the behaviour you have described specifically is, but I can say the biggest indicator to me that something was wrong was when the Tiger barbs slow up and start to be lethargic and less active. Tiger barbs are a bit crazy and usually tell you when something is up if they are not being crazy.
 

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Welcome to the forum @iToast.

I noticed you had mentioned replacing your filter cartridges on a fixed interval.

That is good for the manufacturer, but not so good for your tank's nitrogen cycle or your wallet.

@kallililly1973 gave great advice about reusing the cartridges by swishing them around in a bucket of tank water or wrapping them in fresh filter floss to make new ones. I also concur with the suggestion regarding the addition of a sponge filter. Those are very useful to run in a tank.


This ( link ) to a thread on the forum will point you in the right direction, which basically expands on kallililly1973's suggestion about modding the filters, including lots of pics.
 
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iToast

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Thanks for the reassurance and I would definitely concur on their craziness. The good news is that they’re about as far from lethargic as you can get. At present they’re racing in a circuit. Personally I think they do the funniest things when I’m not home.

I have another large bucket on my list for filter cartridges as well as the sponge filter. Right now I have 3 containers that I use when maintenance rolls around. One is the wastewater from the tank when doing the change, then there is the second container that has the chlorine free R/O water that I use to rinse off the decor and other items and the last is an empty container with a sieve I’ve put on top to rinse gravel and such. All of them are exclusive to their function to prevent contamination and marked as such when stored.
 
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Islandvic

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Very good practice to have buckets dedicated to fish tank duty only.

I do the same, so I don't mix up my carwash buckets.

You should be able to use the same bucket for wastewater, to swish/rinse off the cartridges and sponge filters with. I use the same bucket and old tank water to clean my media with. I would wager most others do as well.

Also, in my experience, rinsing tank decor in untreated faucet water has never given me any issues.

What little faucet water residue is left that has trace chlorine/chloramines on it, will be neutralized during the water change when the dechlorinator is added.

But it never hurts to be extra diligent.

The bucket with a sieve is a good idea. That can be very handy
 
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