Newbie with a few questions - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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I think I was a little too late on the water change. I lost two tetras, one last night and another was in the filter intake this morning. That left one lonely little fella. The tiger barbs are still zipping around. What are their behaviors when mating? Just asking because one just kind of hangs out near the surface behind the filter and the other chases it around. They will get in the plants and stay side by side flapping thier tails rapidly against one another. Not sure what they are doing exactly, but it went on for quite some time last night. From chasing each other around to doing that multiple times. Just wondering if we are about to have a bunch of little barbs soon.

Anyway, back to the water issue. The water change seemed to clear it up drastically. I didnt clean any of the filters or anything, just vac'd the gravel and did about a 40% water change. The filters looked relatively clean, just the light brown in a few places across the top of them. I put a shot of that TetraStart water conditioner or whatever it is, the name eludes me right now, in there after the change. Tested the water a few hours later and got the following results:

pH - still 7.6
ammonia - 0
nitiites - 0
nitrates - between 5 and 10 couldnt really tell for sure

Will sit on this for a few more days and maybe add a few more fish
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post #22 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 03:45 PM
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I read back through this thread and didn't see numbers of specific fish so I can only provide general suggestions.

First, I warned against cardinals in this hard a water. While I can't say it was the water hardness that took them, it probably didn't help. These are very delicate fish internally. And a fish that is "outside" its preferred water is going to be under stress. That means when something else happens, as for instance the cycling issue, it is doubly hit. Then there are the Tiger Barbs.

As redchigh correctly said, these are not community fish. In a 75g they can work, but only if they are in a large group (at least 8, preferably more) and depending upon their tankmates. I see no indication as to how many there are, so the behaviour you describe could be aggression between rivals. If you read our profile of this fish, you will find the reasons why they need to be in larger groups.

Cardinals by comparison are very sedate fish, and Tigers in the same tank could well make the cardinals jumpy, which again causes stress and this weakens the fish to everything else.

One thing that is essential to grasp when considering fish species for a community aquarium is that not all small fish will live together and for many different reasons. Water requirements is one important aspect that many overlook; another is the inherent behaviour of the fish. And environmental factors can often bring out traits that might otherwise never be seen. A few weeks back I posted a link to a scientific study that supports what many of us have been saying for a long time about the reasons for keeping shoaling fish in groups, and large groups--reducing aggression. When even normally peaceful shoaling fish are maintained in a pair or just a few in an aquarium they can exhibit aggression unknown in larger groups.

The fish profiles can be accessed from the second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top.

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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