Rosy barb and very odd behaviour. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-16-2009, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Rosy barb and very odd behaviour.

Hi there everyone.

Well, I have an interesting issue. I've had this set up for about 7 months or so, so nothing has changed. I currently have one rosy barb, one powder blue gourami, an albino rainbow shark, red wag platy, three dalmatian mollies (two adults, one adolescent), and a recently added rubber nose pleco.

My rosy barb has always been a bit of a spazz, but mainly in that he'll just zip around the aquarium. But I noticed the other day, while the aquarium light was still off but it was light enough in the living room to see the fish (I don't have it set to turn on until like 11:30) that he was swimming incredibly funny. He looked almost like he was going into shock, he was swimming faster than normal, spinning sideways, and also swimming upside down, then he'd shoot up to the surface and come out of the water just a little bit, then shoot back down and go back to his weird spinning upside down swimming.

So I really had no idea what to do and I was on my way out, but when I came back a few hours later, he seemed to be doing normal.

So a few hours ago I realised my self-timer was on the fritz so I went out there to turn it off manually, looked at the fishies and all were doing well. As soon as I turned off the light, he went back to his crazy swimming. I waited a minute or two, turned the light back on, and he was fine. Turned it off, crazy swimming. What the heck?

I can't say for sure how long it's been going on, but I know he hasn't always done it, because I've sat there and stared at the fish tank many times before.

Any ideas? Suggestions? I just want to make sure my fishie isn't dying of some weird disease, or suddenly afraid of the dark.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-16-2009, 11:26 PM
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Well, it's possible that your fish is stressed out. Rosy barbs are schooling fish and need the comfort of a school of their own kind in order to thrive. Feeling insecure and stressed from not being in a proper school could be taking a toll on him, allowing things that are normally only minor stressors (such as turning the lights on and off) to make him act very strangely.

I've never heard of a fish swimming upside down like that for behavioral reasons, but I've definitely seen fish "spazz out" when the lights are switched on and off.

I'd recommend getting some more rosy barbs (provided you have the room for them). Also, try turning the lights on more slowly (i.e. turn on the room lights or open the blinds a while before the tank lights come on). This gradual increase in light might help them from going nuts.

Keep us posted though, as this behavior seems a little extreme even for a stressed out, lonely schooling fish. It's possible that there's something else wrong with him as well (although other illnesses he may have would also be brought upon by a weakened immune system which is, in turn, caused by high levels of stress that can be helped by - you guessed it - adding more fish to his school).

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-18-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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in regards to the schooling, the stress of being the only one can come on even after months of being by himself?

He seems to be getting worse, though. Today I found him in one of the plants, with his nose pointed toward the gravel, just sitting there. And he's doing kind of an on his side swimming thing now, with the lights on and off, but only every once in awhile, sometimes he looks just fine.

I'm also wondering if perhaps he's getting picked on by another fish. I noticed his back tail looks sliced up. Not like munched on though, just sliced into ribbons.

As long as it's not some kind of contagious disease, I will definitely get some more rosy's in there, and hope it helps. I sure do like the little guy, and he was the prettiest of them all when I got him. :(
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-25-2010, 12:25 PM
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My Rosy barb has been doing this about a fortnight, I have had him over a year and he is schooling with another rosy and 3 golden barbs. Lights cause it and also feeding and me lifting the lid up. Yet at other times he is perfectly normal! What happened with yours?
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