Tiger Barb Troubles :o(

Discussion in 'Tiger Barb' started by Brit1287, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Brit1287

    Brit1287New MemberMember

    If anyone could help me, that would be great! I have a 20 gallon tank that I started a little over a month ago. I put 2 gouramis, 1 molly, 2 plattys, rainbow shark, and 3 tiger barbs in the tank. ALL of my fish seem to be perfectly fine.. except for the tiger barbs. One seemed to have the symptoms of Dropsy, which died 2 days later. I went and got another one, so my number would stay at 3. Well, in the last 4 days, 2 have died and I am down to one. These last 2 just seemed to stop eating, and drop dead a day later. THey show no physical signs of sickness? LIke I said, all of my others are just fine, but these tiger barbs are my favorite of the bunch, and would really like to keep them. I have had my water tested 2 times by pet store, and they said levels are all great, but a little high in nitrates. Since its a newER tank, I'm guessing this could be why?> Please help me!
  2. Borngemini

    BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Try doing a 20% water change for the nitrates it defiantly sounds like a sickness
    Tiger barbs , zebra danios and sharks are the best fish to
    Cope with bad water conditions so i wouldn't think it would be that, i would personally get some internal parasite drops or! Take the dead fish back to the shop (u can do that in the uk) and ask them what they would advise also round here you can get a refund if your water test comes up good and had them less than a week

    But I would try and invest in some internal parasites anti fungus helped my platys when that happened to them I managed to save my last one!

    They also showed the same sign as yours first one
    Dropsy and then the others just died
  3. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    What method did you use to cycle your tank? I would highly recommend purchasing the API Master Test Kit for Freshwater, because "fine" isn't really an accurate answer. It is important to have the numbers for all your parameters.

    I think you have some stocking problems also. What type of Gourami's do you have? If they are Dwarf Gourami's, they really do not get along with one another and eventaully will probably fight to the death. (You can get away with multiple DG's in a much larger tank with lot's of obstructions to break up sight lines.) If you have 3 Spot Gourami's they require a larger tank.

    Tiger Barbs can be very aggessive and should be kept in schools of at least 5 to spread out the aggression. Even with a larger school, they may start attacking your other fish. Also, I'm pretty sure a Rainbow Shark requires a larger tank also.

    As for your Tiger Barbs dying, if you water parameters are truely okay, you may have just gotten some bad Barbs. They are usually a pretty hardy fish. It would be nice to know what your nitrate levels are, but they would need to be pretty high to kill off your fish.

    As mentioned above, it would probably be a good idea to do a water chage. I would recommend 50%. Anytime you suspect that your fish are sick, a water chage is a good idea. It's kind of the fish version of chicken soup.

    Also, since you are new to fish keeping I'm not sure if you are aware of this (I know I wasn't when I started out) but since the bacteria that keeps a tank cycled lives in the filter media, you never want to change the filter media unless it has absolutely fallen apart. If you follow the filter manufacturers instructions and replace the filter every month, you will be uncycling your tank every month. And since it takes about 6 weeks to cycle a tank, your tank is always uncycled since you will lose any progress you made.

    But the carbon is only good for about 4 weeks, (but is not necessary to use), so if you have the type of filter cartridge that has the carbon encapsulated within the floss, you can cut a slit in the floss and dump out the carbon, Then you can just rinse your filter cartridge in some used tank water with every weekly water change to stop it from clogging.

    Good luck!
  4. OP

    Brit1287New MemberMember

    Thanks for your responses! When I started my tank, I was told all of these fish were just fine in a 20 gallon: when I was new at this fish keeping thing ;) . Now I am aware that my tank is a bit too small, and am probably going to be starting a 46 gallon here shortly. I want to wait until this one fully cycles before I uproot my fish again. To answer your quesiton about the gouramis, they are dwarf, but seem to get along great. And as for the barbs, like you said, they might have been bad before I purchased them. I think what makes me most nervous is the water testing stuff. I will get a testing kit tonight and post what my readings say. When I had this done bfore it was by the pet store, and they did not give me any numbers.

    I did forget to mention that my 20 gallon still has a white cloudy look to it and has for about a month, and has not cleared up at all. I have done a water change of 30% or so twice a week for last 2 weeks. Is this normal to look like this or could it be part of my problem?

    Also, I have only really dealt with my 20 gallon tank and smaller, so could you give me some advice on this 46 gallon I am about to start? Do I let it sit for days before adding my fish and plants? Besides the regular water conditioners, are there other things I need to be adding?

    I appreciate ANY advice I can get, as I truly have found this to be an amazing hobby that I REALLY enjoy. I learn new things every day, but would like to have less casualties in the mean time :)

  5. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure you have a real good handle on the nitrogen cycle (words should be link to an article about it). Many people get the false impression (usually from the foshstore) that just running a tank for a set period of time without fish in it is cycling a tank, In reality, cycling is a biologial process that starts once you put fish in the tank. (or you can cycle without fish, which is prefered, but adding an ammonia source to simulate the ammonia that the fish release into the water).

    Many times when I tank is cycling the water will become cloudy. This is caused by a bacterial bloom in the water, and will go away in time.

    Your Dwarf Gourami's may be getting along now, but as they mature they become nasty toward each other. That is why the fishstore can have a tank full of them with no trouble, since they are all juviniles. But all of a sudden, one day out of the blue... The same will go for your Tiger Barbs. Many people recommend if keeping Tiger Barbs to have a Tiger Barb only tank. They really can get mean as they mature.

    A 46 gallon tank is really no different to care for than a 20 gallon, other that the weekly water changes being larger. In many ways a larger tank is easier to care for due to the additional water volume tends to help make the water parameters less likely to change rapidly if something goes wrong.

    You really have a couple of choices to make when you do upgrade. You will need to deciede how you are going to cycle the 46. If the 20 is cycled at that time and you don't plan on keeping it set up once the 46 is set up, you can either put the filter media from the 20's filter into the 46's filter or you could put the 20's filter on the 46 along with the filter for the 46 (i.e. run 2 filters on the 46). This would give you an instant cycle if you just move the fish from the 20 into the 46, then add additional fish slowly (maybe 2 or 3 every 14 days or so in order for additional bacteria to grow to handle the higher bioload.)

    I alluded to this in my previous post,but the filter advice assumes that you are aware that when you cycle a tank, you aren't cycling the water, you are actually cycling the filter media. It's in the filter media that the bacteria that cycles a tank lives, then consumes the ammonia/nitrites as the water passes thru it.

    Good luck and feel free to ask any additional questions. Fishkeeping can be very confusing when first starting out, but once you understand some basic (although not intuitive) concepts it gets pretty easy.
  6. kellyiswicked

    kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    If you're going to opt for a larger tank, I would try to get a 55 gallon for the rainbow shark and tiger barbs instead of 46 gallon. They are usually compatible if given enough room, though both can be nasty. Then you can get plenty of barbs to see them at their best.

    The dwarf gourami should stay in the 20 gallon. They will not get along with the rainbow shark in the future (I had them together). Also, I have to agree you should only keep one. They are notoriously antagonistic against males of the same species, even if they have different colorings I found. One would be more than happy in a 20 gallon, and I have found them good with a lot of other tank mates, just not potentially ferocious ones like tiger barbs and rainbow sharks haha
  7. flyinggogo

    flyinggogoValued MemberMember

    A Rainbow Shark will get to 6 or 7 inches, and could get to 8 or 9 inches so I am going to say a 55 is probably too small also, i'd say a 75 would be minimum, and your tiger barbs will like that too but a 55 is ok for them.
  8. AnthonyC4C

    AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    Wow... again, it seems anything that ends in "barb" is a problem either killing or dying... anyone else notice this?