Is She Pregnant (Tiger Barb)

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Apr 2, 2005
Last night I posted this thread because one of my Tiger Barbs seemed to be staying very close to the heater for unusual lengths of time. For the couple of days (except for today) she was just sitting there right next to the heater. It almost looked as if she was mesmorized by it.

Today, she's out and about with the other Barbs just fine, but she looks ENORMOUS! I've never been one to breed fish (although someday I may take a crack at it) so I'm not sure if she's pregnant or if she just overate. Either way, I'm not in a position right now to remove her to her own tank so the eggs (if this is what's going on) will most likely be eaten by the others. :(

I have one other Barb who's also on the 'bigger' side, but not as big as the one I'm posting about. I'm assuming that they're both femal from what I've read online about sexing them (bigger bellies, no bright coloration on the nose, etc).

Anyway, here are some photos of her. Can you please let me know if she looks pregnant to you or sick?


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I spoke to soon... I just turned around and she's back with the heater again.

This may seem like a dumb question, but is there anything I can do to help her or make her feel a bit more comfortable? I know that if she is indeed pregnant, she'll know what to do and she'll do it when she's ready, but she looks kind of uncomfortable right now.

Also, where would I look for the eggs?

Here she is with the heater...


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I have no experience with tiger barbs but if she is egg bound she is very egg bound. Try raising the temp a bit and do a water change.
Now I feel bad that I hadn't noticed this sooner. She was sticking close to the heater for the past couple of days so getting a really good look at her was difficult. That plus the fact that I hadn't been home a lot lately. :(

I just turned the heat up a bit and will go a little bit higher tomorrow. How high should I raise it? I'll also do a PWC tomorrow. I'd do it tonight, but it's to late for that now.
Just make sure it raises around 3-5 Degrees, and do PWC like said before, it's going to be hard to get any fry unless you siphon the eggs since they are egg scatters, plus withh all those other fish in the 75G, but you never know.
I have one other Barb who's also on the 'bigger' side, but not as big as the one I'm posting about. I'm assuming that they're both femal from what I've read online about sexing them (bigger bellies, no bright coloration on the nose, etc).

As stated, Barbs are egg layers so she can't be pregnant. If the other Barb is indeed a female then I'm not so sure she is ripe with eggs. If she is and there is no male to fertilize them then no fry. Hopefully, the other barb is a male and you're lucky enough to get some fry.

Is your substrate course rock? The fry need places to hide till they are bigger. Also, you'll be hard pressed to see the fry for a couple of weeks. When they are born they are smaller than daphnea.

Good luck :)
Thanks everyone. I got up early today and did a PWC. I have 7 Barbs total and only 2 of them (the normal tigers) are larger. I think the rest (3 albino and 1 green) are all male. Hopefully one of the boys will step up to help her out! I'm not really to concerned with keeping any of the fry. Unfortunately, I don't have a tank set up right now to care for them so I'll have to let nature take it's course this time around. I feel bad about it, but I really have no choice right now.
No reason to feel bad about letting nature take it's course.
Maybe you'll get a green tiger barb as a result.
Neither the temp change or the water change has helped her so far. She's still fatter than fat with that big ol' belly. I have noticed that the "boys" seem to be getting more aggressive with each other today though, definitely a lot more active than they have been. A little bit ago, two of the albinos were dancing / lip locking and that was followed by the other male (regular) tiger and one of the albinos by doing the same. They all seem to be displaying with their dorsal fins fully extended more than usual. Is this a sign that they're fighting for breeding rights or trying to show off for her?

I was telling my father about this situation and he reminded me that there's a 10 gallon tank in storage that I could potentially set up as a breeding tank. Would this work? It's in storage so it's obviously empty and not cycled. Considering how fast this should be going down there's no chance it'll be cycled completely in time. It's a nice out for me if it'll work!

Here are some pics of the boys fighting...


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Well, still no change yet. The boys have calmed down considerably and the female is still nice and plump. What happens if one of the males won't step up to fertilize the eggs? Will she lay them anyway just to get rid of them? As you can tell, I have no knowledge about breeding fish and I'd hate to see her get sick or even worst die because she's so egg bound. :(
Still no change. I've raised the temps and did PWC, but nothing has helped so far. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe this fish is just fat. :confused:
I guess I may be impatient and to be honest, ignorant when it comes to breeding fish. I don't know what else to do for her to move things along. If there even is anything else to do that is. There's still no change as of tonight.
I honestly wish I could tell you something that was guaranteed to work. It's hard being patient but sometimes nature has different ideas than we do.
Yeah, I completely understand that. It just stinks because even though she's just a fish I worry about her comfort. Right now she looks pretty 'full' and uncomfortable. I wish it would just move along for her sake.
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