are my tiger barbs sick? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-06-2013, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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are my tiger barbs sick?

2 out of my 3 tiger barbs seem to be behaving funny.

See Picture

They just stay in one place swimming like this all day every day.

I only have 3 barbs in there atm (plan on getting more) as the tank has recently finished cycling. I dont wanna overload the tanks filter or bacteria, taking it slow adding a fish a week or so.

20 Gal tank. (inb4 your tank is to small, this will be a species tank only 6-8 barbs max)
75w heater
90 G/H sponge filter.
Air stone.

10 no3 mg/l
1 no2 mg/l
7.2 ph
0 cl2 mg/l
26 degrees

Due to the tank recently done cycling ive been doing PWC every three days of about 10-15%

All advice is welcome :) thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-06-2013, 03:46 PM
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Hey ,
I dont think the fish are sick but cant say from the pic they look good . '' no signs of ick , rot , so on '' but its hard to tell about other things such as bacteria or infections by looking at a pic .
As for the stayin in one place it could be due to the lack of numbers and tank space . When the tigers have a large enough group they are very active lil bugers , and sayin that the tank you have is a lil small even if it is a species only .( personal opinion ) I dont have any tigers at present and havent had for years but I do read alot and that where my opinion is based from . From what others have said and shared on this site and others ( fishlore , fishchannel, flippers&fins) everyone is in agreement that tiger barbs need a long tank to be healthy & happy fish . If a fish is a schoaling and active fish it needs space and tank mates to be healthy , otherwise you have what your experiancing now . The fish just sit in one spot moving only to eat pretty much . What your seeing is the fish is scaired due to lack of mates insecure if you will . That could be the whole issue for you . I bet if you add a few more like 3-4 atleast , you'll see a diffrent fish . But saying that I will say that I think you need more tank for these in particular . Just cause they do like to ''run around'' chasein each other and what have you . But to each their own if you take care of them and they seem happy to you then keep it up No one can tell you what works for you or what will make your fish happy . All we can do is give advice and personal opinions based on experiance and literature we have read here and there so .
God bless

Just because your fish are alive dont mean they are
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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hey charlie, thank-you for your information and advice i will take everything you have said into consideration.


when i turned on the tank light this morning all three 3 seemed really pale like they had lost all colour over night, this is something i have not experienced before.

One fish in particular was just bobbing along the bottom and seeming to be breathing really fast compared to the other two.

Any ideas?
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 05:07 AM
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Hey ,
The lose of color could be and is a sign of stress . That can be from the low numbers in the schoal .
Breathing fast ...hmmm. do you have an air stone in the tank ? Although it doesnt sound over crowded to that point of low oxygen I would still add some air if the fish shows signs of labored breathing . cant hurt anything . I need a lil more on the fish , you said ''pale'' does it appear to be a white-grayish coating ? It would be hard to tell since its a tiger but does it look like gold glitter is on the fish thats '' pale ''?
Also you said one was breathing labored ..Agin it will be hard as its a tiger but are the gills inflammed any redness ? Any lose of motor control ? The one with the trouble breathing may have flucks ( dactylogyrus). That would explain the paleness in the others as well .
I AM NOT saying this is whats wrong so do not medicate the tank yet okay.. Just research these diseases and watch your fish , you'll know if it matches up for sure if the others start havin trouble breathun . And watch to see if they all the sudden just kinda slam on the bottom as well ( thats the lose of motor control I was talking about ) ..
I hope this helps . Sory to hear they are down

Just because your fish are alive dont mean they are
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hey charlie,

once again thanks for your reply. I do have a air stone in my tank running 24/7.
In regards to the fish looking pale, you are correct in saying its a greyish/white coating, their once dark black stripes (like the picture) looked grey this morning.
I cant give a detailed description of them right now as im in the office and shouldn't really be on fish forums (i just cant help myself, im worried haha)
When i get home i will take an up to date picture and give you more info on their current state

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 06:16 AM
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NO2 reading posted is toxic to fish, and would wonder what reading is for ammonia.
May need to increase frequency of water changes till biological filter catches up, and reduce amount and frequency of feeding's.
Maybe also add some filter material and or substrate from an already cycled tank if you know of one.
Nitrites (no2 ) and ammonia (NH3) must read zero all day,every day.
If test result's reveal anything other than zero for NO2,NH3, then tank 's biological filter has not been established in sufficient proportion to fish load,fish food's,fish waste.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 01-07-2013 at 06:18 AM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the advice

I'm guessing your correct as there are traces of ammonia
Would you suggest a 50% water change as soon as I get home,
After that ill probs do them daily at around 20%?

Wen I original cycled the tank I used a prawns from my freezer, I saw a spike in ammonia then a spike in nitrate then both levelled out to 0 so I fort it would be safe to put my fish in, but with more levels of ammonia from the fish I guess the bacteria needs to catch up
What would you guys recommend?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 07:06 AM
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Would perform 50% water change each day for a week or two and not add anymore fish for a few week's.
Nitrites and ammonia have prolly already had negative,irreversible affect on the fish but the water changes will give those that survive the best chance.
Would only feed the remaining fish a tiny amount(about half dime size amount of crushed of flake) once and only once every other day until the biological filter catches up.
Would use dechlorinator such as PRIME that will detoxify the nitrites,ammonia between the water changes.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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This is the dechlorinator is use atm, recommended by the LPS, if its not suitable I'm willing to order PRIME online.
Bioactive Tap Safe 125ml by Interpet | Pets at Home
I feel awful in the fact I have permanently damaged my little tigers, after seeing levels spike and then drop to 0 i though it would be safe to add them, just shows how wrong I was D:

anything else you could suggest to improve their chances of survival?
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 07:22 AM
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Only other thing I might do other than that already mentioned,,is toss some live floating plant's such as water sprite,pennywort, in the tank. These will help absorb ammonia,fish waste.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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