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Old 09-12-2016, 03:38 PM   #1
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Tiger barb behavior

So I have a 70 gal long planted tank. Inhabitants are 20 mixed tiger barbs all juveniles, 10 Odessa barbs, 8 giant danios and 2 rainbow cichlids.

I've had tiger barbs in the past but never had any fish that was not fast or had long fins. With 20 tiger barbs (6 green, 7 albino and 7 tiger) I thought they'd leave slower fishes alone. But it seems like they're definitely after the rainbow cichlids everything they come near them. In fact I've seen some of the greens and tigers and chase after them to nip their fins. Oddly enough the albinos have always stayed away. All conventional wisdom is that the barbs should school together and leave the other fish alone. Not the case here. Any chance this will diminish as they grow up? Or will introducing a few grown ones help with the situation?

Any tiger barb experts out there to shed some light?


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Old 09-13-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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I have 14, 11 green & 3 reg, also 11 zebra danio.
in the beginning i had 6 albino cory's in there,until i got up 1 day to find 1 dead,(about 3 days after the barbs were bought,corys & zebra's were in 1st) watched for awhile & the smallest few of the greens would not leave the cory's alone for long.
my assumption is that the youngest of the greens are bottom feeding mostly,@ feeding time they stay out of the mayham up @ the surface & wait for things to settle & pickup food on the bottom.
OR the cory's were the smallest fish in the tank therefore easy to pick on?
the small greens bothered them mostly if the cory's were scavanging the bottom.

the smallest greens seem to be on their own & seldom join in with the larger barbs when the rest shoal(which isnt very often).

size range is about 2 in to 1.2 in for the barbs corys were just 1in.
the larger greens mix well with the reg's of similar size.

I'm also hoping that they will change as they grow up & I can put the cory's back in.
38gal planted.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:26 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks. I believe you are right. It does seem like the smaller greens and tigers are the issue. I had the exact same thing happen 3 days after I introduced the Tigers - 2 dead Corys. I had to take my Corys to the store after having them for 6 months.

What I really haven't seen is the behavior that's widely described everywhere - the Tigers chasing each other and forming a hierarchy. They all seem to just hang out and collectively bother the rainbow cichlids.

I wonder if I introduce a couple of larger ones, they'll bring some power play in the tank...if 20 isn't large enough though, I'm not sure 22 is going to help.


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Old 09-13-2016, 07:52 PM   #4
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mine appear to dislike bright light.
1 24w t5ho when its on they are dispersed when night/blue led is on they seem to group up more.
light on they tend to stay in lower 1/3 of the tank near the plants when led on they use upper portion more & 5-7 will group together but I know what you mean about all the posts/reviews which claim they have a pecking order etc i havnt seen that either,except a small amount between the smaller fish.
the last 3 i got were what was left @ LFS & they were constantly @ each other in the store, got them home where they had more space & it stoppped in 24hrs,those 3 are the largest i have.
seems the larger few could eat 24/7 if i go near the tank they come running..lol
possible both our shoal's just need to grow-up..lol

my larger barb's ignore the smaller 1's & vice-versa so i doubt you getting some more mature fish would change the pattern.
luckly wife has a 5g betta tank so the 5 remaining cory's are in there now but with a betta & 6 neons & 3 myst snails,that tank is a lil crowded now& needs more looking after but everyone in there is getting aloong ok
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:58 PM   #5
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It's amazing, I've noticed the exact same behaviors you've described! Perhaps s new write up on Tiger Barbs is in order!


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Old 10-23-2016, 04:32 PM   #6
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do your barbs exhibit random plant destruction after chow time?
I thought it was just them being playfull @ 1st,last week i aquired a mass of floating Xmas moss football size.
in 4 days they had reduced it to 1/3 of original size,watching them after feeding they would group up & attack it,biting off the leaves swim away a short distance spit it out & return for more.
this would go on for 10-15 mins after feeding.
the mess was dreadfull.
I thought they where looking for greens for diet however most what they bit off was spit out.
after removal i noticed they are back to attempting to destroy my driftwood which i covered with java sprouts,they try to do the same to my whistiria but seems it has an unpleasent taste or is to tough?
the frenzy on the moss got so even the Danio's would sometimes join in the "FUN"
seems java fern,baccoppa & 1 other plant is safe.
I also got 2 BN pleco's & the barbs dont even look @ them.
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