Originally Posted by saint fu
thanks for the replies. i'm planning on getting the gourami and little tank of his own. so far he and the barbs have left each other alone, but it may not last.
byron, if i'm understanding you correctly, if i can give the barbs large enough space to get an adequate school, the chances of them co-habitating with some tetra types will be good if the tetras are not a long fin type and near the same size?
It is possible, but can't be guaranteed. We have much to learn about fish. It is clear that environmental factors (size of tank, how it is aquascaped, number of fish, species of fish, filter flow, temperature) can affect a fish's behaviour significantly. The best course is always the most likely; assume the fish will live according to the norm for the species.
Personally, if I were to acquire some Tiger Barb, I would have a species tank. A minimum 30g with 8-12 Tigers, well planted, maybe some substrate fish. I would never consider anything else, simply because I kknow the fish's inherent traits and I am not prepared to risk other fish even if there is some chance it might
I recently had to get rid of my Emperor Tetra, for the same reason. Bullying. I had them in every tank I could, first my 115g [they were fine for a few weeks, then suddenly "took over" and all the other fish in the tank, and I mean all 90 of them, remained at the far right side under the plants]. So I moved the ET to the 90g thinking a change of environment with different fish might work; all was OK for a couple weeks, then same thinig. There was never any physical contact, but the emperor males "owned" the tank. They chased any fish that approached their individual area. This is very highly stressful for other fish, and weakens their immune system. They always have shorter lifespans. I'm not prepared to do this to my fish just to keep my Emperors, so they went in my spare 30g and another aquarist came round and got them for her empty 55g.
I find it somewhat ironic that some of the most commonly-seen fish in stores are the most unsuitable for most aquarists: Tiger Barb, Serpae Tetra, Red Tailed Shark, Chinese Algae Eater. These are often recommended by stores for a new tank, and small tanks like a 10g no less. Yet they are not good community fish, and they need space.