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Old 10-01-2006, 10:12 AM   #1
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Fish nipped, QT'd, nipped again! help!

Folks I'm at my wits end. I have a very nice 2.5" female gold-checkered cherry barb (basically looks like a gold barb but the males still get a deep red color in the presence of a female). This fish had been nipped badly on the fins next to the gills and was having trouble maneuvering around. I specifically purchased a 10gallon QT tank for her and she has been in isolation healing for the past 3weeks. I fed her a LOT to see if I could artificially increase her size so that when she went back into the main tank her physical size would prevent her from getting picked on so much.

Fast forward to yesterday. She looked very healthy, was definately larger than when she was taken out, so I acclimated her back to the main tank during my siesta period (lights off from 10:30am-1pm), hoping this time of darkness would allow her less stress in getting back into the main tank.

Lights come on, I feed them, everything seems fine. Last night I come back to check on her and sure enough the male barb (these seem a matched pair as they are the only 2 barbs I have that look to be the same species) is at it again, trying to I assume mate with the female by nipping her gill fins and then chasing her around the tank. I wouldn't mind if this was just gentle behavior but I got up this morning and her right side gill fin is nipped at least 1/2 off, and the joint where it meets her body is very red (denoting trauma).

He just continues to follow her around, sometimes she finds a hiding spot for a minute or two, but then its back to nipping. I'm at a loss for what to do....
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Old 10-01-2006, 11:20 AM   #2
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hmm - a crazed male. an all too familiar story in the fishy world. i'd recommend more females to take the stress off the single one. even more males would help quell the aggressive male. meanwhile, it seems best to keep the female in the QT.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:54 PM   #3
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Well I'm already fully stocked so that won't work (more females or males). It seems with the readdition of the female this barb is now challenging any and all tiger barbs (I have 6) as well now! From what I can see he has established alpha male status in the tank after 1 day with this female in place.

The female's right front fin is all but gone now. I spent about 20 minutes with 2 nets trying to corral the male barb. No luck, as my tank is heavily planted and its near impossible to get the nets around smoothly.

They are now in a faceoff looking at each other with neither moving. Seems like as long as the female can keep her head towards the male he won't advance. As soon as he sneaks up from behind or the side, the nipping and mating attempts start again.

I think I'm going to have to get rid of this male. I'll call my local Petsmart (not where I purchased the fish from) and let them take him. He is a beautiful fish when showing his colors, but I just cannot deal with his aggressiveness in the tank when its already got the aggression from the tiger barbs...
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:29 PM   #4
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I think with your present stock and the level of filtration/plants you have in there, you can get away with adding 2 more females. Otos and Cherry barbs are pretty slimlined and don't add as much to the bioload as you would think. I think you'll be fine, especially in such a well-planted tank.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell1295
I think with your present stock and the level of filtration/plants you have in there, you can get away with adding 2 more females. Otos and Cherry barbs are pretty slimlined and don't add as much to the bioload as you would think. I think you'll be fine, especially in such a well-planted tank.
I'm just concerned that more fish might make the current aggressive ones even more aggressive. Anything that I would purchase would be much smaller than these guys I currently have as I've had the tank stocked since early March of this year. I'll have to think about it....

I'd really like to keep them, but would hate to get 2 more females (it is also near impossible to determine sex in the tank I purchased them as they show very little color being cramped) and then have even more problems.

I also have a 4" BN pleco that was recently added for algae cleanup...
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