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Cherry Barb M:F Ratio OK?
I got 10 cherry barbs yesterday, and there are 4 males and 6 females, and I've read various sources suggesting a minimum of 2 females for each male. It's a 29 gallon tank with 7 cory cats as the only other inhabitants. Is this ratio OK? I am noticing some sparring behaviour between some of the males, and also some chasing each other around the tank from time to time, and only one of the males displays a very deep red colour.
I think it will take a couple days for things to shake out as far as a pecking order. I think the ratio you have is okay, but obviously bigger groups are better. I think the other males will color up once they all settle in.
I haven't come across any specific ratio figures for this species, so I see nothing wrong with what you have. In most cases, females outnumbering males is solely for the benefit of the females, as they will not be driven as hard if there are fewer males than females. This doesn't matter with all species of shoaling fish of course.
Sparring between males is why we keep them in groups, as it is natural behaviour and we hope to see it as it is one sign of happy fish. As long as it doesn't become so aggressive that the fish get hacked to pieces.:shock: Which is rather unlikely with this species.
I have found that an even split is best with cherry barbs, as well as other barb species. Too few males and the same one will be targeted by the dominant barb. Cherry bars are not like guppies - they do not incessantly pester females to breed. Of course in a large school, as they and any other fish should be kept, the exact ratio isn't important. It's really only a factor with small schools, which I would not recommend. Your ratio is just fine.
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