Optimal Barb Environment
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Optimal Barb Environment

This is a discussion on Optimal Barb Environment within the Cyprinids and Atherinids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hey, im new to this forum and was just wondering what a great looking barb tank would look like. I currently have a 20gal ...

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Optimal Barb Environment
Old 02-03-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
Arrow Optimal Barb Environment

Hey, im new to this forum and was just wondering what a great looking barb tank would look like. I currently have a 20gal long tank with 8 barbs total, 4 Odessa barbs, 2 very dark cherry barbs, and 2 green tiger barbs. Along with those schooling fish, i have 1 golden mystus catfish ( aka 2 spotted cat), 2 ottocicnles, a clown pleco an albino bristlenose pleco. My tank has plenty of black sand on the bottom, so its easy enough for the waste to be sucked into my corner filter and keeps the water crystal clear with the help of the regular filter. I have it lightly planted, dont really know the names of the plants except my anubus plant. 2 other species of plants are in there, 4-6 of each.
Before anythings said about having 2 plecos (already heard it at my local pet shop) the clown pleco hangs out at the small piece of driftwood. and the albino hangs out around my rocks which have collected plenty of algea.If i think theyre not getting enough food, i just toss in an algea pellet. The otto's are small enough i think they're just going to become food for my catfish eventually.
So now that that's settled, i was just wondering if i should add a vast variety of live plants, and make it extremely leafy with a few more pieces of driftwood added. I was also thinking of adding 4 more barbs, 2 cherry and 2 tiger barbs, just to make the classes of barbs equal. My buddy is switching his tanks around to make one a cichlid tank, and he wants to get rid of his 3inch RTBS. My mystus cat is about 4 1/2'' long and has owned any tank he has been through, so i dont know if those two larger fish would collide in a 20gal long, even though the RTBS is a medium-top swimmer while my cat stays mainly on the sand.
if anyone wants a better description of the tank, i can upload a pic within a few minutes if thats what it takes.
p.s. I would also like to add a small powerhead in the opposite corner of my corner filter just to give it that extra uhmpf to get the job done, ya know?

Last edited by Ravenate420; 02-03-2012 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:28 AM   #2
Hmm.. are you able to post pictures of your tank, specifically that catfish. I'm getting a feeling you dont have what you think you have. Going to be a big problem if thats the case.

What is a RTBS?

Sigh.. gotta say it lol. There really shouldn't be any plecos in a 20g tank nevermind two. Simply isn't enough space.

As to what makes a great barb tank, same thing that makes a great tank in general. Lots of plants. Just be careful you are getting actual aquatic plants and not terrestial plants, as those will just die and pollute the water. Can you also post a picture of the ones you have already?
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
RTBS = Red Tailed Black Shark, and the two plecos are supposed to stay under 4 inches in length im pretty sure. But here's the Catfish and the plants100_0045.jpg



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Old 02-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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That catfish is iridescent shark which grow waaaay past 4in, htey can reach 4ft!! I would return them ASAP!!! As for the plecos they fine, since they're are smaller species. Barbs: I would upgrade their school to 6 for the Odessa, 8 for the cherries, 8 for the tigers.

Last edited by Jayy; 02-06-2012 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
Mystus bimaculatus
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

This is a 20g tank, and in my view you have no room for any more fish. And I agree with others that some of the present fish should go.

The Red Tailed Shark will grow to 5 inches and by then can be very nasty to not only other substrate fish but upper fish too, depending. It will do better in a 4-foot tank. The Mystus bimaculatus as the linked info points out needs a 4-foot tank and should be in a small group. The clown pleco should be in a larger tank, it can attain 5 inches.

Odessa barb should be in a larger group, and a larger tank. Read more in the profile, click the shaded name.

Cherry barb are OK in a 20g long, and with a larger group. The Green Tiger Barb is problematic, have a read of the profile for this.

Fish profiles are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top; shaded names can be clicked for that profile.

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Old 02-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
alright, thanks for the information. Another question i have is; if you look at the picture of the mystus cat, you can notice a white circle under his dorsal fin, I think that is the name of the upper fin, lol. i was just wondering what that could be from. When i first started owning a fish tank, i had a Betta fish that had the same problem, and ended up dying the day after i noticed it. The Betta actually looked like a spider had crawled into the tank, and spun a web around her, which i know is practically impossible. any info on this would be useful, even though it was over a year ago. I really like my tank the way it is and would like to add some more plants, i just dont know what plants would look good in the tank. I wonder if i should change my light bulb too, its been in use for i have to say 2 years, i got the 20gal tank +accessories off my buddy. so im not sure how old the light is exactly, and dont know if a new light would make the tank better, and make the plants grow faster, since i havent seen much plant growth after i changed my tank from a 10 gal to 20.

also what does it mean when it says a fish should or shouldn't be relied on to cycle a tank?

Last edited by Ravenate420; 02-09-2012 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Fluorescent tubes should be replaced at least every 12 months. They will still "light" but as they burn the light intensity weakens to the point where it is no longer sufficient for the plants. This point has been reached with your light. The Anubias (large dark green plant on the wood) is low light so it is still looking OK, but the stem plant which is a Hygrophila is not looking good in the photos, and this is a bright light plant. For an inexpensive tube I would recommend a "daylight" type with a Kelvin rating of 6500K. GE, Sylvania and Phillips all make these and you can get them in hardware-type stores for a few dollars. Just get the one that is the same length as your existing tube, in T8 or T12, having a 6500K rating.

For more plants, I would suggest low to moderate light plants like swords, the pygmy chain sword is good because it grows fast and this is an advantage. Corkscrew Vallisneria is another. These are in our profiles, click the shaded names.

The fish issues have to be resolved as several of us have recommended.
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