01-06-2013, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
I suspect the swords provide the most cover [I have in my mind's eye the photos of this tank from your other thread], and initially they will appreciate hiding, as many fish do. Once they settle, they will likely be out and about, as barbs are fairly active swimmers.
Barbs also love picking algae and food off of plant leaves; my Black Ruby Barb are often observed picking at the leaves of the big swords. More delicate plants can be eaten too by barbs, but they naturally like algae and the micro foods associated with biofilms. The tiny holes in the leaves of many of the swords in this tank are caused by the loaches, Botia kubotai, which will eat sword leaves, but it is minimal.
My daughter was asking me about their tendency to pick up some sand, then spit it back out again. I told her that's what they were doing...eating the little almost microscopic food. They are acting a lot like bottom feeders in many regards. I'm now wondering if they will be somewhat competitive on the bottom when we get our catfish.