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Old 10-25-2020, 12:01 AM   #1
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Do I need to return my tiger barbs?


I recently purchased 12 tiger barbs for a 20 gallon (long)... Before you get upset; that was not my intention. I went to the fish store intending on purchasing a dozen unique guppies but they ended up being more expensive than I anticipated so I had to change my plan :/. I decided maybe I could stock it with something else and asked one of the workers about the tiger barbs, a fish I didn't previously know too much about, and he said it would be "totally fine" if I kept 10-15 in my 20 gallon. It should be noted that this is an aquarium store, not some big big brand pet store. Upon returning home I decided it would be best I do some more research and was very unhappy to discover the sizes they can grow to. They have been in the tank for roughly 7 hours and are young (no bigger than 2cm or 2 thirds of an inch). I regret not doing more research beforehand and seem to have made a mistake as most sources I read say roughly no more than 5 should be in a 20, and its best to have them in schools of 7-8+. There are also 3 panda corys and 2 clown plecos, all of which I intend to keep.

Bottom line; should I be returning these fish?

I am relatively new to the hobby and do not want to start mistreating fish accidentally.

Thank you very much,

Noah Wood

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Old 10-25-2020, 05:16 AM   #2
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Hi Noah

You could keep some of your tiger barbs. Recommended minimum tank ranges between 20 and 30 gallons, and recommended minimum numbers are 5 to 6.

Keeping 8 fish in a 30 gallon would be better than 6 in a 20 gallon.

12 tiger barbs in a 20 gallon is definately too much.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:50 AM   #3
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I don't keep too many community tanks, (a lot of single or low occupancy cichlids instead) but my favorite community tank is the one with tiger barbs in it. They're hilarious. My wife calls it the shark tank cuz they're so ravenous. I think if you keep some you'll enjoy them more than guppies etc
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:25 AM   #4
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I'd say return 5 and get 2 more panda platies. Tiger Barbs do get kind of big and thick for a smaller fish although it will take a while and they would be fine for now it's probably best to rehome them when they are young.

Keep 7 as the more you have the more chill they are, they are fish who kind of create a pecking order and the smaller the numbers the more they bully each other. 5 would probably be nervous and in constant battle and a couple more could make a big difference.

Guppies can also be fragile and die quickly, especiallly with new people to the hobby. Tiger Barbs will be good with you for a while and last a lot longer and are a fun fish.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:02 AM   #5
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I had 12 tiger barbs in a 40 gallon for over a year. Very hardy and active fish and all doing great, at times I know I can put more in the tank without problems. Im not sure in captivity how big they will grow, mine are all over an inch now. I think you are just about over the limit and my advice would be the same as others here, remove 4-5 and keep the rest, maybe you can upgrade to a 30 or 40 gallon soon?
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20 gallon, barb, barbs, new to fish keeping, noob, returning fish, tiger, tiger barb, tiger barbs

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