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Old 07-04-2006, 02:05 PM   #1
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Tiger Barb Question

This is the first time that I have ever owned these beauties, so I am not sure how they should behave.

I have 6 in a 20 gal. No other tankmates. They are all only an inch or so in length. They pick on each other constantly. Not sure if it is playing or aggressive actions, but it is kinda bugging me.

When I got home from work last night, I saw two of them going at it pretty hard, but they quit once they realized someone else was in the room. Do I need to get a few more?

Like I said, I have nothing else in the tank, so I think I have room to get about four more if needed. I know they are schooling fish too, thats why I bought six. maybe that is not a big enough school?

any help is appreciated.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:21 PM   #2
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Eventually, a dominant fish will emerge and do most of the "picking". They will all still play aggressively, but one of them will be the most aggressive, and chase the others around. This is fairly normal behavior. The good thing about having 6 of them is that they will confine most of the rough play to themselves, and not harass other fish too badly. But there are always exceptions.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:25 PM   #3
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yea it seems that the biggest one is the one doing the picking.

Hopefully that is it. The only other fish i was planning on adding to the tank was a CAE i had in QT. Other than that, this is a barb only tank (setting it up for my fiance, he loves the tiger barbs). I think I may still go and buy a few more today, just to fill out the tank. Should be a really pretty tank once they get full grown.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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I love Tiger barbs! I don't have the right tank for them myself (yet). So this advice is not from personal experience only from what I've researched and heard from others.
Sounds like you need to add a few more to help spread out the squabbles. I've heard that eight or more is better with them. I'd go with ten if possible.
I hear most people say that a 29 gln. should be the smallest tank for Tiger barbs. I know people do keep them in 20 gln. tanks but they are so active that they seem to do better with more swimming space.
Do you have plants (live or fake) and other decorations (wood, etc.) that they can use to get away from each other?
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:34 PM   #5
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I think i have the room for 10 (if anyone has anything on this, please feel free to chime in). I will upgrade within the year probably (i have bad mts).

The tank is decorated with a small price of driftwood, about four amazon swords bunched together, a couple slate caves, and some dwarf hairgrass (all live plants btw). The smaller tiger's like to hide behind the in tank filter.
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Old 07-04-2006, 07:08 PM   #6
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I have 10 Tiger Barbs in my 30 gal. and they all get along fine, however it took me a while to get that way. I think that there is some truth to adding more to spread out the aggression, but I also think it's hit or miss.

The CAE will do fine with the barbs. They hold their own. And that is from personal experince, however he will get to big for your tank.

I think the max I would go with is 8 and make sure you do frequent PWC. They get about 3" so if you go with the 1" per gal you would be over by 4". That is why I say do frequent PWC's.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:39 AM   #7
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I know the CAe will get to big, and I already have plans for handling that. Like I said, I have bad mts I will have gotten another bigger tank by the time it is needed. I just don't have the room for another big tank, just a bunch of small ones in addition to my 55.

I always do frequent water changes in all of my tanks. I actually just did a water change on the barb tank right before adding the last four.

So, I went ahead and put a total of ten in there, and they seem to be doing better now. I notice a lot of them not moving much, but they have their heads pointed downwards. Is this some sort of establishing territory thing as well?
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:26 AM   #8
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I have 4 Tiger barbs with 2 Black Skirts in a 10 Gallon tank, they do fine. Actually its my sister's tank but I do the maintenance. lol
Everytime After a partial water change, 1 or 2 of them will do an absoulte vertical point down. I thought they were dying but after awhile they return to swimming around the tank doing the normal behavior.

I always thought barbs were small fish but now I hear differently that they grow up to 3".
We only had these for about 1 1/2 year and they remain the same size. Like I managed to stunt their growth.

How long does it take for fish to grow?
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:12 AM   #9
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I have 4 Tiger barbs with 2 Black Skirts in a 10 Gallon tank, they do fine. Actually its my sister's tank but I do the maintenance. lol
Everytime After a partial water change, 1 or 2 of them will do an absoulte vertical point down. I thought they were dying but after awhile they return to swimming around the tank doing the normal behavior.

I always thought barbs were small fish but now I hear differently that they grow up to 3".
We only had these for about 1 1/2 year and they remain the same size. Like I managed to stunt their growth.

How long does it take for fish to grow?
Mine love water changes. They usually get all fired up and fight afterwards. 8O

Tiger Barbs can be big chickens even though they are semi-agressive fish. A 10 gallon gives them little space to feel secure. I have a 55 and mine will even huddle together in the corner or in a cave. I doubt it is much of a big deal.

My roseys and goldies are much braver. My little goldie likes to bite me. She's done it like four times and she is the smallest fish in the tank. I call her nemo, but I'm thinking of changing the name to something else.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:55 AM   #10
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That head down behavior is normally seen when they are sleeping. They will space themselves out and either sink to the bottom or find an area with low current and rest. It is normally, though very odd/scary the first time you see it!

As for tiger barbs, I'm a mixed bag. I love to watch them, they are very active and social, but are as mentioned quite aggresive. I compare them to mini parahnas. I have a 20gallon high composed of 6 tiger barbs, 6 other barbs, 2 Oto's, and 1 cory catfish. If I were to redo the tank, I would have to think long and hard about including tigers. They bullied and basically ate my 2 cory's (both died from inability to swim since their fins were eaten off), and one of my Oto's was brutally bitten on the gills and later died (but I never saw the culprit). I have a moderate/heavily planted tank so less aggressive fish can find places to hide, but will still frequently see the tiger's nipping the other fish. I had a clearly dominant "alpha male" tiger that needed some behavioral modification.

After the 2nd cory death, I realized that 1 of the tigers did the majority of the bullying. I bought a small breeder cage (hangs in the tank), and put the tiger in there. He spent about 10 days, constantly "fighting" with anything that got near the breeder cage, but this gave the others time to rest and get bigger (I preferentially fed the rest more food than the tiger in the cage hoping to get a size disadvantage). 10 days passed and I reintroduced him to the tank. While not perfect, the tank seems to be much more calm.

So I'm torn between replacing the 2 cory's that were killed (I would love to have them but couldn't bare to watch them get attacked again) so that the lone cory has company (I know these are schooling fish), and just leaving him alone. And I will be getting 2-3 more Oto's shortly to help the mild algae problems high light planted tanks always fight.

So basically, since its a tiger only tank, you will be fine with having 10-12 tigers in there, but I would hesitate to add other fish (or have a way to either return or give away if the tigers are too agressive).

HTH,

justin
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:55 AM   #11
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Mine used to point their heads downward all the time but now they dont do it as much. Could be a territory thing, however I hear they can do this after a big meal. I started feeding once a day instead of two for other reasons and they stopped.
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Old 07-05-2006, 01:32 PM   #12
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I feed 3 times daily and have never seen this right after eating. Only after the lights are off, and right as they are coming on. If they do this right after feeding it might be an air related issue. For all of my food (mostly flake and freeze dried) I first mix with a small dixie cup of tank water to wet the food, and then pour it in the tank. It allows the less aggressive fish to get food too, since the tigers tend to run the surface during feeding time.
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Old 07-05-2006, 01:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 7Enigma
That head down behavior is normally seen when they are sleeping. They will space themselves out and either sink to the bottom or find an area with low current and rest. It is normally, though very odd/scary the first time you see it!

As for tiger barbs, I'm a mixed bag. I love to watch them, they are very active and social, but are as mentioned quite aggresive. I compare them to mini parahnas. I have a 20gallon high composed of 6 tiger barbs, 6 other barbs, 2 Oto's, and 1 cory catfish. If I were to redo the tank, I would have to think long and hard about including tigers. They bullied and basically ate my 2 cory's (both died from inability to swim since their fins were eaten off), and one of my Oto's was brutally bitten on the gills and later died (but I never saw the culprit). I have a moderate/heavily planted tank so less aggressive fish can find places to hide, but will still frequently see the tiger's nipping the other fish. I had a clearly dominant "alpha male" tiger that needed some behavioral modification.

After the 2nd cory death, I realized that 1 of the tigers did the majority of the bullying. I bought a small breeder cage (hangs in the tank), and put the tiger in there. He spent about 10 days, constantly "fighting" with anything that got near the breeder cage, but this gave the others time to rest and get bigger (I preferentially fed the rest more food than the tiger in the cage hoping to get a size disadvantage). 10 days passed and I reintroduced him to the tank. While not perfect, the tank seems to be much more calm.

So I'm torn between replacing the 2 cory's that were killed (I would love to have them but couldn't bare to watch them get attacked again) so that the lone cory has company (I know these are schooling fish), and just leaving him alone. And I will be getting 2-3 more Oto's shortly to help the mild algae problems high light planted tanks always fight.

So basically, since its a tiger only tank, you will be fine with having 10-12 tigers in there, but I would hesitate to add other fish (or have a way to either return or give away if the tigers are too agressive).

HTH,

justin
Looks to me that your corys were outnumbered and had nowhere to hide. I was told never to put a cory in my tank. Now I know why.
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:07 PM   #14
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I spent a good month or two on this forum (while my tank was fishless cycling) and was never told not to have a cory in the tank with the barbs. I even posted a couple of times regarding my stocking list (I had originally planned for a blue gourami but was swayed away due to size and possible aggression problems). The tank was definately worse as it was a PFS substrate with a couple clay pots, but no cover to hide under. I'm still hesitant to get more cory's because while the barbs are generally considered middle/upper tank inhabitants, mine tend to occupy the lower 1/3 almost exclusively, and as such, the cory's are seen as invaders.
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:21 PM   #15
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or is there any way to "train" your fish?
i have a big time with aggressive fish, i would like to train them but how ?
like lock him into a seperated small tank (just like get in the jail) for few weeks ?lol
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:06 PM   #16
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Train them--put an even meaner fish in with them. You should see my pictus boot my barbs out of his cave.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:09 PM   #17
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Train them--put an even meaner fish in with them. You should see my pictus boot my barbs out of his cave.

ha...how does it come out?
he became a good gentle boy after he got outta jail?
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:19 PM   #18
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7Enigma, I feel that people give these fish a bad wrap usually because they were kept in an inappropriate situation. You have a lot of fish in a 20 gal tall tank? That is probably why they are so aggressive. You would be surprised what kinds of fish will live together peacfully given enough room.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lovemybarbs
Train them--put an even meaner fish in with them. You should see my pictus boot my barbs out of his cave.

ha...how does it come out?
he became a good gentle boy after he got outta jail?
He basically just rams them and they get the message.

They get scared of me, jump in there with him and he lets them know. It's pretty funny.

I wonder why they pick on corys so much. They don't bother any of my fish. See my info.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:05 AM   #20
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LoveMybarbs, I can relate on SO many things you said. It is so funny how tough my Tiger Barbs think they are, however as soon as my Raphael Cat makes a rare appearence they run away. LOL
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