cherry barbs in 5 gallon tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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cherry barbs in 5 gallon tank?

Would a group of cherry barbs do okay in a 5 gallon tank? I've been doing some research and I'm finding a lot of mixed opinions. Some say they're perfect for a 5 gallon (second maybe to the betta, which I've decided to try and avoid), other things I've read say they need 20 gallons minimum. If so, how many should I get? Are they a schooling species? (once again conflicting information) I'm perfectly fine with having a single-species tank, I just dont want a betta..

Right now the tank has 5 serpae tetras, which is what the LFS suggested for a 5 gallon after they didn't have the fish I was looking for (ember tetras or sparkling gourami). It seems like they might work, but they dont seem to leave each other alone for long. They do spend some time relaxing and picking around at the plants and other things, but they also spend a good bit of time chasing and trying to nip. The plants allow them to get away from each other when this happens (and so no damage occurs) but it doesn't seem like they're very happy. Is this just a natural "settling in" phase, or is this just part of their personality? It's been almost a week.

Basically I want to know if it would be worthwhile to think about trading the serpae tetras for some cherry barbs. Or, are the barbs likely to have issues once they're in the tank? I've also considered guppies or neon tetras, but it seems like cherry barbs would be better suited. I'd like to keep the serpaes if I could, but how long should I wait to see if they settle down? Could I do anything to help them get along? Any thoughts? Thanks!

Here is a picture of my tank
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 06:39 PM
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Cherry Barb, need atleast a 15gal and are schooling fish, soo they wouldn't work. Sparkling Gourami can work atleast 3, but 6 is better. I'm not sure about the Ember Tetra you can check their profile. Guppy and Neon Tetra need atleast a 10 gallon. The Serpae Tetra need a bigger tank, I would trade them in for a fish better suited to that size of a tank.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)

Last edited by Jayy; 01-04-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 06:54 PM
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Agree. By the way, smiles, you will have noticed that some of the fish names in Jayy's post were shaded; that means we have the species in our profiles, and you can click on the name to see the profile. Info on minimum tank size, minimum number in a group for shoaling fish, etc. is in the profiles.

There are many small fish that will suit a 5g, and the nice thing is that with these you can sometimes have several, even more than one species, so it provides more interest in a small space. Check under the Cyprinid section in the profiles, there are several species like this; among the characins the Ember Tetra fits. And the sparkling gourami mentioned.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I was afraid that would be the case. The problem is the fish stores in town just don't have a selection for 5 gallon tanks. I'll soon be getting some frog bit to float on the top for shade, and maybe having greenery overhead will help them relax too. Regardless, the next chance I have I will take them back and look for something else. Honestly I'm considering upgrading to a 10 gallon despite potential space issues in the future (and the fact that I've already spent a lot of money in a short time). I understand my options open up considerably with just that little bit of extra space.

I have taken advantage of the database quite a bit, and it's been remarkably helpful, as well as the forum itself and everyone's responses. I've been thinking I've asked too many silly questions lately, but it does help me to be more confident in my decisions to have second opinions from people who really know what they're talking about - especially being completely new to it all. Thank you!

Last edited by smiles; 01-04-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiles View Post
I was afraid that would be the case. The problem is the fish stores in town just don't have a selection for 5 gallon tanks. I'll soon be getting some frog bit to float on the top for shade, and maybe having greenery overhead will help them relax too. Regardless, the next chance I have I will take them back and look for something else. Honestly I'm considering upgrading to a 10 gallon despite potential space issues in the future (and the fact that I've already spent a lot of money in a short time). I understand my options open up considerably with just that little bit of extra space.

I have taken advantage of the database quite a bit, and it's been remarkably helpful, as well as the forum itself and everyone's responses. I've been thinking I've asked too many silly questions lately, but it does help me to be more confident in my decisions to have second opinions from people who really know what they're talking about - especially being completely new to it all. Thank you!
If you are thinking of a larger tank, my suggestion would be to skip the 10g and go for a 15g or 20g. The extra length makes quite a difference, more than volume. The same heater and filter could work in any of these; the light would have to be specific of course.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-04-2012, 08:15 PM
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I agree, a bigger tank would be better if you have the money and space.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yea I know you're right.. everyone seems to say that you shouldn't bother with anything smaller than 15-20 gallon unless you like small tanks. I wish I'd known that before I bought the thing. I have some work to do before I get a larger tank though. I'll shoot for at least a 15-20 gallon. In the meantime I think I'll exchange the serpae tetras for some guppies as soon as I can. I did some research on guppies (including this forum's database) and it seems they should do okay in a 5 gallon, though as you said at least 10 gallon is best. At any rate they should be much better off than the serpaes. The internet is telling me 4 or 5 would be a good number to start with, correct me if this is wrong.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiles View Post
Yea I know you're right.. everyone seems to say that you shouldn't bother with anything smaller than 15-20 gallon unless you like small tanks. I wish I'd known that before I bought the thing. I have some work to do before I get a larger tank though. I'll shoot for at least a 15-20 gallon. In the meantime I think I'll exchange the serpae tetras for some guppies as soon as I can. I did some research on guppies (including this forum's database) and it seems they should do okay in a 5 gallon, though as you said at least 10 gallon is best. At any rate they should be much better off than the serpaes. The internet is telling me 4 or 5 would be a good number to start with, correct me if this is wrong.
Make sure they are just males. With a female, you will quickly have hundreds.

If you can find them locally, the Endlers Livebearer, related to the guppy, are very colourful and suited to small tanks even more. [Click the shaded name to see the profile with photos.]

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiles View Post
Yea I know you're right.. everyone seems to say that you shouldn't bother with anything smaller than 15-20 gallon unless you like small tanks. I wish I'd known that before I bought the thing. I have some work to do before I get a larger tank though. I'll shoot for at least a 15-20 gallon. In the meantime I think I'll exchange the serpae tetras for some guppies as soon as I can. I did some research on guppies (including this forum's database) and it seems they should do okay in a 5 gallon, though as you said at least 10 gallon is best. At any rate they should be much better off than the serpaes. The internet is telling me 4 or 5 would be a good number to start with, correct me if this is wrong.
If you heavily plant your tank, you should be able to stock flame tetras (they are rated for 10, but that's what I have going)


-=+8 Gallon Planted+=-
Fauna:
1x Honey Gourami
2x Otocinclus Affinis
6x Flame Tetra
6x Ember Tetra
2x Apple Snail (Hitched on Rotala)

Flora:
Dwarf Sagittaria
Ludwigia Repens X L. Arcuata
Staurogyne Repen
Cryptocoryne lutea
Cryptocoryne Wendti
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Amazon Sword
Java Moss
Java Fern
Anubias minima
Water Primrose
Pogostemon Yatabeanus
Limnophila sp. 'mini'
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