Tiger Barb turning black and swimming strangely

Discussion in 'Tiger Barb' started by Crelus26, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Crelus26New MemberMember

    I just made an account for this forum because I wanted some advice..
    I'm currently keeping 5 tiger barbs in a Marineland Eclipse 12 gallon aquarium (I am aware that I am slightly overstocking, but I am planning on getting a bigger aquarium by early next year) and I am concerned with the behavior of one of my tiger barbs. The tiger barb in question is actually the smallest of the fish in my tank, and is different from the others for two reasons- a. His/her scales are a darker hue than the others, and he/she stands out even when they're right next to eachother. b. He/she seems to be a weaker swimmer than the others, often facing upwards or sideways when trying to move forward.

    Is this a problem?
    Is my fish ill? If so, what should I do?

  2. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure about the coloration but the swimming behavior makes me wonder if it's swim bladder issues. How strong is the current in your tank from the filter output?

  3. Crelus26New MemberMember

    I don't know exactly how strong it is, but the filter most certainly creates a strong current.

  4. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    it could just be the small tank. might be the other picking on him. they are very aggressive fish and fight with each other at times. they are also very active swimmers so fighting, playing and needing to be able to escape each other is very important. i would not keep them in anything less then 36in tank personally, so upgrade to a 30in tank min asap.

    im not sure about the changing colors, can you take a picture? if you dont know what it is i would not treat with medication. i would do extra water changes, every day tell he starts to look better. you can soak his food in garlic, fresh or seachem's garlic guard. this will help to boost his immune system. you can try to get some kordons fish protector and/or vita chem. these are the best natural ways to heal a sick fish. also make sure you are feeding good foods and a variety of them.

    tiger barbs love water current so this shouldnt be a problem. maybe for the sick one but it shouldnt have caused it.

    hope this was helpful. good luck and welcome to fishlore!
  5. Crelus26New MemberMember

    Thank you, I feel welcome.
    Believe me, I want to upgrade to a bigger tank as soon as possible. But, my family doesn't exactly have the funds for it at the moment due to all the Christmas shopping. I deeply love my fish, and I feed them a varied diet of Top Fin tropical flakes, Tetra color-enhancing flakes, freeze-dried bloodworm and freeze-dried Tubifex worm cubes. Luckily, my fish seem to be getting along well, and even if they don't my decorations have lots of nooks and crannies for them to hide in, as well as plenty of plastic plants for cover. I suppose I'll have to go to Petsmart and see if they have seachem's garlic guard or any of that other stuff. I'll also go ahead and say that I recently had a bit of a scare with a serious bacterial bloom, which happened a while ago and called for an almost complete change of the tank's water. I think it happened due to my old heater malfunctioning, which is why I got a new one literally the day after. Otherwise, the tank is doing fine now, and I have attached a picture of the fish in question, which I have named Midnight due to his/her dark coloring. midnight 005.JPG
  6. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    ok i understand but because these fish are in such a small tank i would suggest at least 2-3 water changes a week even if they were all healthy.

    do you have a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? i hate to add to the list of things to buy but this is very important. have to make sure these water parameters are in order and the test strips are not accurate enough. the most commonly used one is API master freshwater, its usually around $20.

    frozen foods are much better then freeze dried. so id try to get some frozen when possiable. maybe some blood worms and brine shrimp. also pellets are better then flakes so id get some pellets. petco sells new life spectrum/NLS pellets, get some of those NLS are great foods and almost all i use.

    my petcos never have any of the stuff i listed. you might have to get it online, some places have free shipping and its pretty fast. they are also usually way cheaper then petco. i get my stuff on dr fosters and smith or if i cant find it there amazon.

    hard to tell by the picture, hopefully pull threw. the lots of water changes can really help, some people underestimate how much freshwater can help.
  7. Crelus26New MemberMember

    I understand fully. I guess I will have to get a liquid test kit. Honestly, are pellets small enough for my fish? They are still relatively young, which is why I'm not so concerned about overstocking. Either way, thanks for the advice, I suppose I'll need to get on with those water changes right away.
  8. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    NLS make all diff sizes of pellets. there best food is Thera-a its pre soaked in garlic already. thera a pellets are a lil bigger(3mm) but i think they would work. if not they have much smaller pellets i feed to my neons so im sure your barbs could eat those. here is a link to there page as you can see they have all sizes...
  9. Crelus26New MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll go ahead and consider your advice. I will most certainly make these changes as soon as I can, but for now money is tight in this family, and that stuff will have to wait. :(
  10. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Last time I heard of fish turning black, it was because the nitrites were through the roof and killing them.
  11. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    i hope not ammonia and nitrites are very deadly to fish. this is what you need that liquid test kit for. if your ammonia and nitrites are high the only way to keep the fish safe is daily water changes with seachem's prime, water conditioner. that is another thing to get prime, its by far the best water conditioner and will last for awhile. i tend to think this is not the case due to only one being sick but maybe he was already weak, we wont know tell you get the test kit...

    do you vac the gravel?
  12. Crelus26New MemberMember

    I do indeed vacuum the gravel, but nitrites shouldn't be a problem right now! Due to that bacterial bloom we had to change almost all of the water in the tank!
  13. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    When I made a goof in my tank cycling and got my danios too early, my nitrites spiked so high that I had to make 3 complete water changes AND rinse the sand to get it into the readable range! I'm glad I was watching it or my fish would've died.

    A bacterial bloom suggests to me that your tank is not finished cycling, and so may have high levels of ammonia and/or nitrite.
  14. Crelus26New MemberMember

    Either way, this problem is only affecting one fish- all of the other ones are as healthy as ever.
  15. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, but you mentioned it's the smallest. Some problems will affect the smallest fish first.
  16. Crelus26New MemberMember

    I'll try and do what I can after Christmas, by then we will actually have some money.
  17. EiennaFishlore VIPMember


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