Originally Posted by Adamson
Tiger barbs aren't that aggressive, in my opinion any fish can deal with them. I have not seen any form of fin nipping from my shoal of them. I added a large Bala Shark for one night and he messed with one of the Tiger barbs, I woke up the next morning and one was missing its fins.
They chase each other around and it is fun to watch.
This doesn't always hold. Various factors affect how a fish behaves, as it responds to the environment and other fish. All we can do is understand the scientific facts and avoid taking risks, if we want our fish to be healthy.
All barbs are feisty and active, this is just a fact of nature. The Tiger Barb as a species is more aggressive than most of the others we commonly see in aquaria, and will tend to fin nip more than others, all else being equal. There are some fish that should never be put in a tank with them. And environmental factors can influence their aggressiveness within the shoal. Scientific studies have documented that when kept in less than 5 the majority of all shoaling fish display increased aggression. Similarly, when kept in too small a space the same thing occurs. The fish are responding the only way they can--by lashing out in their frustration. The experiences of aquarists has shown that in the case of a species like the TB, groups of 8 or more will lessen the frequency of aggression, as will larger spaces.
Nature programs all species to its environment, and we cannot change that. There is no argument on this, it is scientific fact. If the aquarist wants to be successful and have an a aquarium of healthy fish, attention must be paid to these issues. Deviating from the fish's natural needs and preferences is taking a risk--with living creatures. Different fish may respond differently to that situation. Sometimes they withdraw, refuse to eat, and simply waste away. Other times they are stressed and develop health issues they would otherwise not have acquired. And frequently they increase their natural aggression.
We can't change nature; you would think that with all the environmental issues plaguing the world today most of us would realize this. It is wiser, safer--and more responsible to the fish--to accept nature's ways.