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Old 02-16-2014, 11:26 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Tiger Barbs

As some of you have probably already seen I have a 29 gallon tank that is currently cycling with one platy. Obviously I won't be getting any fish for awhile till the cycle is complete but for me just thinking about what I could put in the tank makes the waiting go quicker.

Over the past couple of weeks I have changed my mind on what I want in the tank at least a dozen times. I have gone from Dwarf Gouramis and Golden Barbs, to angelfish, to dwarf rainbows, to... Pretty much you name it and I have probably thought about it.

However, when I really started thinking about what I actually like both looks and personality wise I decided I really like tiger barbs. I love their fiesty personality and the fact that they come in three different color combos giving a nice variety.

That being said I was wondering what a good stocking scheme would be keeping the tiger barbs in mind.

My tank is 29 gallons, AquaClear 50 filter, lots of silk plants and driftwood, with a pH of around 8.3.

Now since I already have the platy in the tank I don't intend to get rid of him (if for no other reason then that I like platys even if they can be a bit unhardy). So what I was thinking is 4 platies (should I get three more females or could I get away with having 4 males? or even just 3 platys?), 6 cory cats (Leopard Cory, Peppered Cory, or Schwartz Cory depending on what the fish stores carry), then the tiger barbs (I know I need at least 6...).

My question is how many tiger barbs should I get and is there enough room for one more school? If their is I was thinking either zebra danios or cherry barbs unless of course someone has a better idea/suggestions. I am always open to new ideas.

So what do you all think? Like I said I have plenty of time to work this out but I like thinking about it just the same.

Lastly what order should I stock the fish in? I was under the impression most of those are pretty hardy so I didn't think it mattered to much but based on your experience what do you think?

Thank you in advance for the input.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:34 PM   #2
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Tiger barbs need 6 of each type, so if you have more than one variety you should have more than one school of tiger barbs of at least 6 each.

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Old 02-16-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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I personally wouldn't mix tiger barbs with platys they might nip them to death.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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I assumed since they were all the same species it wouldn't matter but I forgot that fish tend to tell each other by color/pattern so now that you say that it does make more sense. I think I will just stick to one school of Tiger Barbs then.

Josh - I know the Tiger Barbs can be nippy but I have always heard so long as they are in a large enough group they keep to themselves, hence should not be a bother to the platys... was this inaccurate information? What would you suggest as proper tankmates?

Thank you both for the advice!
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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Thoughts on Tiger Barbs

I had a school of 12 but they nipped basically everything until I got a convict Cichlid. The only thing they didn't bother was my Cory's. they were all different colors to and they schooled together. I would do a stock of

11- Tiger barbs
8- Cory Cats your choice of type
1- Bristlenose Pleco

Or you could do no tiger barbs and keep your platy and build around him.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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lol well, this is why we stock on paper instead of in the tank first. I can't stand plecos, the whole sticking to the glass thing really creeps me out. I know most people love them but I am like them the same way I am with anything that looks like an eel. I just can't do it and if you are scared of the fish you are keeping not much point in having them.

I will just rethink this then (and see if the platy ever gets over his ich). If the platy survives I think I will just go with more peaceful fish so he can stay. If not then I think I will go the Tiger Barb route.

Thank you for the help! It would have been really frustrating to buy them and then find them attacking the poor platy all the time.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:11 PM   #7
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No problem! Stocking can be ridiculous lol.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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I had a similar issue with my (then) 15 barbs as I stocked out my tank. They nipped my gouramis until I got my rainbow shark, now the barbs don't bother any of the fish. My rainbow will chase half the school out of his territory singlehandedly when he gets tired of the disturbance.

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:24 AM   #9
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Have you considered pentazona barbs? They look very similar but are actually pretty peaceful and do well in community settings. Black ruby barbs are another good option.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:13 AM   #10
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I have 13 tiger barbs mix of all 3 colours and they all shoal together so saying you need 6 of each isn't true, I havnt had any issues with them nipping other fish but they do nip each other, I read somewhere that if you get enough of them in the shoal the nipping tends to stay within the species
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:55 AM   #11
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I have 14 tiger barbs of one color and they don't nip each other, mainly just some mild chasing among the bigger ones. In a 29 gallon I wouldn't go much more than 10 just because of space between the barbs and the platy. As far as the peaceful route, I hear ruby barbs are less aggressive than tiger barbs and they look similar in body shape, colored different though. The juveniles look very similar though.

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Old 02-17-2014, 03:57 AM   #12
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Instead of cory cats how about a few synodontis lucipinnis instead? They are nice bottom dwellers but as opposed to the less hardy cory cats the lucipinnis can be bruisers and are more than able to handle the nippy nature of tiger barbs. They do have a bit of a high bio load though so I would probably just stock a school of 4 lucipinnis and a school of 10 tiger barbs and call it quits.

Also, I agree that its fine to mix and match the tiger barbs. They will all school just fine together.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:23 PM   #13
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The pentazona barbs are lovely and I really like them but I am afraid they won't work in my tank seeing as they prefer such a low pH and mine is so high (8.3). I know most fish can adjust but from 6.0 to 8.2 seems a bit much to ask of them. Thank you for suggesting them though. They are gorgeous.

I like the black ruby barbs and honestly they look enough like the tiger barbs that I would be perfectly happy with them instead of the tiger barbs. Just wondering but are Ruby barbs and black ruby barbs the same thing, just different names for the same fish? Also (just so I know I am looking at and understanding them correctly) the ruby barbs look like this: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/black-ruby-barb.htm when you first get them but once they get older they look something like this: http://www.newaquariuminformation.com/aquarium-information/freshwater-aquariums/tropical-fish-species-2.htm or are those two completly different species? Obviously I prefer the bottum photo but I have no problem raising them to look that way.

The synodontis lucipinnis are neat (I have never seen or heard of them before) and I love the fact that they are fine in pH up to 8.5. However, do fishstores normally carry them? Or are they a super expensive fish that will need to be special ordered. Also do they go by a different common name normally? I will most certainly be on the look out for them when we do our fish store search in a couple of weeks (driving an hour south to look at 5 different lfs to see what they carry, what the fish are like, prices, etc.).

Assuming I went with Ruby Barbs would a stock like the following work?

6 - Ruby Barbs
4 - Platys (or maybe just 3, no less then that though so Mr. Platy will stop being so shy)
6 - Cory Cats
6 - Cherry Barbs (are there any other options here for a school of smaller fish that will work with the other ones? My husband thought we should get "blue" fish but I can't think of anything that is actually blue that is little and would work with the other fish, is there anything?)

I would love to make both barb schools bigger (at 8) but I am sure that is going to be way to many fish for this tank. Even just making the cherry barb school at 8 I think is probably to much. What do you all think?

Also just wanted to say thank you so much for all the ideas. It is really fun to research fish that I have never heard much about before.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:00 PM   #14
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It depends on your fish store. I have 2 lfs that carry them within an hour driving distance. They cost me about $10 a piece and I've had my trio for close to a year. Very healthy and hardy fish.
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