(i have a post on this over on the emergency forum but thought i'd try over here too)
i have four tiger barbs (bought five, one died). three of them have ragged tails and the one who doesn't was the only one swimming around yesterday. the other three and my two swordtails (not ragged) were all hiding or staying in the corner. based on this, i concluded that the ragged tails came from nipping, not something like fin rot. the bully was letting the other fish eat, though.
i talked to a person at the local Petco, where i bought the barbs, about the nipping and she recommended rearranging the tank, to change the territory. i did this last night, and now none of my fish are coming out in the open much, though i have seen one of the ragged barbs out. all of the fish came out to eat again.
basically, i have a two fold question. first, would getting a few more barbs help prevent more nipping problems? second, should i be worried that none of my fish are coming out of hiding?
btw, my tank is a 29 gal, moderately planted. levels are good, no ammonia or nitrite, very little nitrate. pH around 7.8, though i just added a piece of driftwood last night when rearranging, so that may be coming down a bit.