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Old 02-17-2004, 09:56 AM   #1
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~**~just got tiger barbs...

hi...umm im new and like 3 days ago i just got some tiger barbs...is there anything i need to know about them?...thanx if u can help! [/url]

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Old 02-17-2004, 12:30 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome!

How big is the tank and is it cycled?

Tiger barbs are colorful and fun to watch.
Their only drawback is their tendency to nip at the fins of other fish, so you will have to be careful when choosing tankmates - no bettas, fancy guppies, or angelfish.
They can also be aggressive towards one another - a behavior that is minimized by keeping them in a group of at least six.
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:03 AM   #3
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hey...im new!

i just got 3 large tiger barbs on friday the 13th....well yesterday, the 18th, they were dead ...well all except one...the largest one was alive...now i looked at them to see if there was a fight and there were no nips or tears on the fins...and the big one looked fine...now i was goin to go back to petco and exchange them but my mom said to wait to see if the big one dies ...and today i should be going....now when i bought the fish i brought a water sample in..and that was after i completely cleaned the water and put drops in and let it run for a day...and the guy said the water should be fine.....so if u know what went wrong...PLEASE help....thank-you...ok but as background info goes my tank is a 5 gallon and i had 3 tiger barbs in it...and i had regular room temperature water and regular drops for it...i mean the guy even told me what drops to buy....i hope someone knows what happened...thanks if u do!...
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:05 AM   #4
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o and thanx for the advice up there!^ :P
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:33 AM   #5
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When you say you "put drops in it" what are you talking about? Drops of what? This would really help, It would also help to post your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, either get a test kit, or ask the lfs for them. And if you arent familliar with the nitrogen cycle then read this - http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=21

I also have tiger barbs and I really enjoy them, and since I found this forum I've only had one death, a gourami that had a bad infection.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:21 PM   #6
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I would imagine the "drops" you used were dechlorinator. That does nothing for ammonia or nitrites. As Endgame suggested, go get a good test kit to test for ammonia and nitrites. I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals and it seems pretty good.

Test your water every day. You will get, initially, a rise in ammonia. Do daily water changes of 20% of the water (in a five gallon, that's about a gallon of water. I use a gravel vac, but you could just dip it out with something if you don't have one yet (you'll need to get one). The ammonia will stay up every day for about three weeks. Then it will drop to 0 and nitrites will rise. Keep doing daily water changes until the nitrites drop to 0. After that, you are good to go with weekly changes.

You will need to keep fish in there while you do that, but I would think one tiger barb would be enough to cycle a 5 gallon tank (I'm still fairly new at this myself, so I could be wrong).

Try not to feed him more than once a day. When I did my water changes when I cycled my 10 gallon, I would scootch different areas of the gravel around just to get some gunk out of it. Due to some overfeeding of my 5 gallon neon tank, I have a mini cycle going on and I'm doing that with it too.

It is also possible your fish came in sick or the stress from moving from the store to the home tank was too much for them to handle. We lost a neon right after we brought him home from Petsmart for no apparent reason, so we decided he had a heart condition and died from the stress of moving from the store to home. At least the 7 year old bought that explanation!

I can only stress daily water changes and careful monitoring of your water chemicals. It's the only thing that saved my tank from becoming a lawn ornament a few months ago! That and some great advice from the good folks on here!
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:21 PM   #7
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The drops that you put in - were they a dechlorinator or were they something called 'Cycle'?

If this is a new tank, you need to cycle it - see the link in Endgame's post above.

Some fish stores try to sell you a product called Cycle. They tell you to put it in, wait a day, and then add your fish. Unfortunately, it does not work.
There is another product called BioSpira, which is a culture of live bacteria, that DOES work for the most part.
In either case, there is really no such thing as an instant cycle.

During the cycling process, you need to carefully watch the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You should really have test kits for these on hand so you don't have to rely on the lfs to test your water every day. You'll also need a bottle of dechlorinator to inactivate the chlorine in your tap water.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:22 PM   #8
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It sounds like your tank isn't cycled at all. You need to do some google searching on 'nitrogen cycle' or 'fishless cycle' and learn more about the hobby you're getting into. Tanks require weekly maintenance...new tanks may require DAILY water changes until they are cycled.
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:30 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, for those of us who are not scientists, a lot of those articles go way over our heads. At least a lot of them did mine. That's kind of why I posted exactly what he should do to cycle his tank. It's fairly simple, really, but time consuming. It took me 6 weeks to cycle my 10 gallon, and about four to cycle my 5 gallon the "old fashioned" way.

For the 20, I used gravel from the 10 gallon and squeezed some gunk out of the filter medium into the filter of the 20 to cycle. Took 4 days. All fishies are healthy, wealthy and wise at the moment.
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:41 PM   #10
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ALRIGHT THIS FOR EVERYONE WHO POSTED TO MY HELP....I WANT TO THANK U FOR THE ADVICE...NOW THE DROPS THE GUY TOLD ME TO BUY SAY...(THIS IS WHAT IT SAYS IN THE ACUAL BOTTLE...WORD FROM WORD!) AMQUEL, REMOVES AMMONIA CHLORAMINES CHLORINE, FOR FRESH OR SALTWATER...NOW i HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IM DOIN...SEE I GOT THIS TANK LIKE 2 MONTHS AGO..I MEAN I HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF INFO IM USIN...AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE COOL TO HAVE SOME NICE FISH...I MEAN I REALLY LIKE THEM...AND MY UNCLE WOULD HELP BUT AT THE MOMENT HE HAS BEEN HAVING WATER PROBLEMS WITH HIS 55 GALLON....SO, IM TRYIN TO STEER CLEAR OF ANY HELP FROM HIM....SO IM DEPENDING ON U GUYS AND A FEW OTHER PEOPLE....O AND THIS ONE GUY AT THE PET STORE....HES THERE ALL THE TIME AND THIS IS HIS COLLEGE JOB CUZ HES GETTIN A DEGREE IN AQUATICS....SO HE SHOULD NOE WHATS GOIN ON....I MEAN IVE BEEN TO THE PETSTORE SOOO MUCH I NOE HIS BACKGROUND ...LOL....BUT HE TOLD ME TO RE CLEAN IT...PUT THOS DROPS IN AND LET IT CYCLE.....THEN COME BACK TOMARO AND BUY THE SMALL TIGER BARBS....NOT THE LARGE ONES....SO TOMARO I WOULD BE GOIN BACK....NOW THE THING I DIDNT UNDERSTAND WAS THE FISH DIED 3 AND 4 DAYS AFTER I GOT THEM HOME....IF IT WAS A WATER PROBLEM WOULDNT THEY DIE IN THE NEXT DAY....SO I WAS THINKIN MAYBE STRESS OR A HEART PROBLEM...BUT THEN U GOTTA CONSIDER I HAD 3 NOW I GOTS 0......SO I DUNNO....HOPEFULLY U NOE MORE OF WHATS GOIN ON.....I HOPE THANX IF U CAN HELP AGAIN!...
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:02 PM   #11
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If it was the water, then it would take time for the fish to die. It is unfortunate that your fish died, but you can start again with new information. Cycle the tank with one fish--this way nothing is overloading the filter (which is not ready for multiple fish), which leads to water problems. What kind of filter are you using?
I highly recommend NOT adding more than one fish until the tank is cycled. I currently have one large tetra cycling my QT tank (5 gal). Another thing to do is get a basic aquarium book from your local library and read up on keeping an aquarium. The more knowledge you have, the better able you will be to sort through advice that you get.
The drops you are using to take out the chlorine from the tap water will NOT cycle the tank. Only a living organism is going to do that.
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:19 PM   #12
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Amquel is a good dechlorinator, but it only does what you stated. Before adding fish, you have to cycle the tank. By that, I mean encourage the growth of a bacterial colony in your filter that will detoxify the deadly ammonia that is constantly being produced by your fish.

There are a couple of ways to do this. The least recommended way is to cycle the tank with a very small number of fish. The cycle can take up to six weeks, but adding gravel from an established tank would speed up this process. This method can be very stressful and even fatal to the fish as you have unfortunately found out.

Another way to cycle is by adding BioSpira and your fish simultaneously. This usually cycles the tank in 1 - 7 days, but it is not completely foolproof.

The most highly recommended way appears to be the fishless cycle method http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquamag/cycle2.html .

However you cycle your tank, you have to remember that because of its very small size (5 gal), conditions can go to crap very rapidly. Ironically, it is so much harder to maintain a 5 gal tank than a 90 gal tank! So, you will have to check the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels frequently and be vigilant with your partial water changes.

I would recommend refilling the tank with clean water and using the Amquel to dechlorinate. Allow the tank to run (heater and filter on) for at least a week. During this time, try to educate yourself as much as you can regarding the nitrogen cycle. A simple google search will help alot. Save yourself alot of trouble and resist the urge to buy any more fish until you understand the cycling process.

I was completely clueless about fishkeeping as recently as last November. Lurking around this forum was a great help. I also found "The Simple Guide to Fresh Water Aquariums" by David E. Boruchowitz extremely helpful.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:57 AM   #13
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Dude...trust me, I know how you feel. We won two free goldfish at a carnival in October. After singlehandedly attempting to wipe out the goldfish population, we switched to tropicals. After then singlehandedly trying to wipe out the guppy population (something I am still apparently trying to do -- no more guppies for me), I found this site.

My post above tells you EXACTLY how to cycle the tank. It took me six weeks with my 10 gallon and four weeks with my 5 gallon. Trust me, I tried NOT to listen to what these very bright people told me at first, but as soon as I started listening to them, my fish started staying alive longer than a week.

As QT told you, there are a couple ways to do this. The first is the method I described. Since right now you have no fish in there, that method won't work. It only works with fish in the tank.

The second is to go to the LFS and ask for some gravel from one of their tanks. Since you know the guy so well, he may be willing to do that for you. Dump it into your tank. I did that with our 20 gallon...the tank cycled in four days. You say your uncle has a 55...see if he'll give you some gravel (even if he's having problems...everyone does at some point)

Finally, you can go online and order Bio-Spira. I haven't tried it, because I didn't get it ordered in time before we bought the 20 gallon, but many on this board swear by it. We will use it when we install the 55 gallon.

All that being said, you do need to make yourself familiar with the cycle of a tank. Many of the articles on this board are helpful (I admit...some of the chemical mumbojumbo bored me to tears, but I did begin to understand how things work).

You also have to get a decent test kit and test your water regularly, even after it is cycled. I tested all three of our tanks this morning, and I'm glad I did. The 5 and 20 both had a slight nitrite spike (not sure why in the 20 as it was fine earlier this week, but the 5 is because of a bit of overfeeding...lots of gunk when I did a gravel vac this morning). I am diligent about testing my tanks...to the point of obsession. Scooped and flushed too many little dead bodies!
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:37 PM   #14
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Holy freaking caps lock. I can't read that.

LISTEN TO ME: YOU SHOULD NOT TYPE IN CAPS LIKE THIS BECAUSE IT'S VERY ANNOYING AND CONSIDERED *SHOUTING* ON THE NET. KTHXBYE.
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:27 PM   #15
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see i still dont understand the cycle thing....i noe i need certain algea to help clean....and i am DEFINATLY goin to do the water changes.....but is it ok to buy 3 small barb tetras?...with the small but some experiance i have i bought 1 tera b/c i ran out of money from the other stuff...and the next day i bought 2 more and the 2 killed the 1.....so....i was like now i gotta buy them when there alreay together....so i wanna noe if thats alright...thanx for the help.....
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:33 PM   #16
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Please, DON'T buy any fish until you understand the cycle process - they will just die and you'll just get frustrated. Check out David E. Boruchowitz's book or google 'aquarium cycle' first.

The cycle is actually quite simple despite all the articles and posts that have been written about it. In a nutshell:

As a byproduct of simply being alive, your fish produce lots of ammonia and excrete it via the gills and urine. In addition, their poop and any uneaten food decompose to produce even more ammonia. Ammonia is a deadly poison for fish much the same way carbon monoxide is deadly to us. Fortunately, there are certain strains of bacteria that form microscopic colonies in the tank and EAT the ammonia. These bacteria convert the ammonia to NITRITE.

The fish are not out of danger yet, because nitrite is also a poison, albeit less deadly than ammonia. Fortunately, there is yet another strain of bacteria that eat the nitrite. they convert the nitrite to NITRATE. There are no bacteria that eat nitrate, so we have to physically remove it ourselves by doing partial water changes. Nitrate can be toxic to fish, but only at relatively high levels that will never be reached if you keep up with your water changes.

So where do these bacteria come from? Everywhere! They are in the air and in your house and on your hands. We just don't notice them because they normally don't get enough food to grow to noticeable numbers. But put them in a fishtank where there is a constant source of food, and they will thrive.

Bacteria are great little colonists. They float about until they find a place with favorable conditions and food. Then they set up shop and get to work multiplying. It just takes time for them to grow into a colony large enough to deal with all the toxins that your fish will generate.

If you are impatient (and who isn't), you can speed up the bacterial colonization by placing in your new tank some filter media, gravel, or a decoration from an established tank that you know to be disease-free. You can also inoculate your tank with BioSpira bacterial culture.

Cycling is not magic, difficuly, or instantaneous. You just need to understand a minimal amount of chemistry and microbiology and have a huge amount of patience!
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:21 PM   #17
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Ok, correct me if I am wrong, but if you are adding amquel, which removes ammonia, wont that stop, or slow the cycle down very very much? The bacteria need the ammonia, how ever bad it is to fish, to live off of, and if you remove it all with a chemical isnt that defeating the purpose of the cycle?
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Old 02-21-2004, 12:44 AM   #18
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Quote from the back of an Amquel bottle:

"Amquel does not interfere with the biological nitrogen cycle in aquariums or ponds. The harmful ammonia in the cycle is changed by Amquel into a non-toxic compound that the bacteria quickly consume."
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:01 AM   #19
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ok well,...i am sry but i didnt wait...and got my fish...they are doin fine and its beed since friday....now i talked tot he guy and he said water changes everyday....will kill my fish .....and i asked him about the cycle...he said that it would develope while they were in there...so they wouldnt die.....now see i think that happended to my tetras b4 i got rid of them... they adapted to the amonia....like we adapte to polution....so hopefull they wont die....my mom said that if they die.....she wants to turn it into a "crabarium" ...for hermit crabs....lol....shes tired of buying all this expenspensive supplies for these 3 lil fishies...but shes had crabs b4 and they lived for over 5 years.....so hopefully they wont die..... thanx if u can help...again....
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:17 AM   #20
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Whoa!!!! The guy at the fish store said water changes will kill your fish???? Holy cr*p! He is wrong, wrong, wrong!!! The only thing that kept my fishies alive during the cycle was the daily water changes recommended on this board. If you do not do the water changes, and have not added bio-spira, you WILL kill those fishies. Don't talk to the guy at the fish store any more...listen to the people on this board.

You NEED to do daily water changes, about 25%, to keep those fish alive. The ammonia will rise and kill them. Fish don't "adapt" to ammonia...ammonia KILLS fish.

Please, please, please listen...I personally killed about 10 fish before I found this site...since I found it, the only fish I've lost have been due to a sudden loss in heat in my house without heaters in the tanks, and a one or two new addition deaths. We've lost all the guppies we've ever had, so I just gave up on them.

I have cycled three tanks and increased our fish population from 7 fish to 29 in three different tanks, keeping them all alive with water changes.
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