What's the best way to sort this out?
About 2 years ago, I gave my sister one of my aquariums for her to use. It's a 40 gallon long, I gave her everything she needed to get started. Her husband caught some minnows out of the creek, and they were happy as they could be (my sister, not the fish). So time passes, and she just doesn't talk about the tank and the fish. She moved over an hour away, so I don't visit down there too often to check on her. I figured if she had questions, she would at least bring it up to me. Well, she's been trusting the LFS. They told her this would work fine. She had 1 young Oscar, 2 Gourami (one is a flame gourami, other might be the same), 2 mollys, 2 full grown tiger barbs (one albino) they just let her buy two juvy tiger barbs, and a lone cherry barb, and a freaking albino chinese? algae eater (it's aggressive, and growing fast). I made her take the Oscar to another petstore, and have tried to get her to take the algae eater back too, but she's being hard headed, oh and a female betta....
I stared in amazement at the tank yesterday, since I had gone down to visit. The white molly and the female betta are hanging out together side by side. The orange molly, the lone cherry barb, and the two juvy tiger barbs all hang together, and the two grown tiger barbs, who are FAT, just kinda do individual laps of the right side of the tank, and the gouramis just kinda hang out on their own. No one is chasing anyone to my amazement. So, what do you think is the best direction to go to sort the tank out? If she gets rid of the alage eater that I'm certain she does, fill out the cherry barbs to 6+, the tiger barbs to 6+, I could rehome the female betta to a 10 gallon after christmas. Trying to figure out how she could not lose all the money she put in for these fish.
Thank goodness you started with the Oscar. And yes continue to push to remove the CAE.
I'm not familiar with the Tiger Barbs tho to give advice. Can you tell us the dimensions of the tank? That might help give us swimming room area/length.
it's a 40 long, so 48 x 12 x 16, sand substrate, I just gave her a bunch of plants, so it's moderately planted, has two aqua-tech 30-60 HOBs on it, and a number 2 sponge filter.
That good... it is a nice shape for length for swimming. I have a 45 long which is only 2 inches taller I think. The profiles say min 30 gallon for the Tiger Barbs but are definite fin nippers apparently. I'm hoping others can chime in here to help you more. Worried about the Betta of course.... The Mollies generally can hold their own once they get to a certain size I think. My first thought is the Cherry Barb should not be alone and needs a group as long as they can handle the Tiger Barbs.
I'm worried about the Betta too, but she said the Betta pouted and acted sad (really?) when the previous molly died, unknown age, but was full grown. She said the old molly was the ruler of the tank. So she got another 2 mollys and the betta is attached to this one it seems. I definitely think there needs to be more cherry barbs for that the cherry to have a chance. It really does seem to be odd behavior for me as a whole. The big tiger barbs just kinda hangout, they don't seem to pay any attention to the gouramis, or anyone for that matter, except for the CAE (when it goes on its swimming spree). Whatever she must be putting in the tank must be good stuff! I wonder if she'd share? lol
Do we think increasing the tiger barb group would make things better or could it make things worse? I'm inclined to increase the numbers
The others are better versed in the other fish, but I know Bettas, so I can help there. There are many types of Bettas. Veiltails on average will be less agressive than crowtails. Females are kept in sororities with many other female and actually enjoy being with each other and will establish a hierarchy. It is usually the males that are known for attacking other fish that resemble Bettas. Most people also keep a male instaed of a female because they are usually considered more beautiful and showy. As long as she is showing no signs of agression and the other fish don't pick on her (check her fins for nipping), she will be fine. :-D
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Some tank inhabitants can sometimes surprise us, fish that should never go together sometimes live in complete harmony.
A few years ago I had a tank that developed a crack in the glass, being a specialist tank this took 6 weeks for the new glass to be delivered, I had to in the emergency put 7 mixed cyclids and some Gars into a placid tank.(only space I had at the time)
They all got on like a house on fire, no bullying, no eaten fish etc.(the Gars were partitioned off though)
They can certainly surprise you at times.
200 plus Coral - 200 gallon Saltwater fish tank
So at this point, I'm going to make sure she gets rid of the CAE
Does total of
6-8 cherry barbs
6-8 tiger barbs
keep the female betta and the two mollys
and I guess keep the gouramis as long as every one is playing well together.
The apparent compatibility of these fish is, as Ray mentioned, sometimes amazing. But the problem is that we don't know how the fish are actually handling this situation, and that is risky.
I would be inclined to put some weight on the Oscar and aggressive CAE as influencing the other fish. Even if no actual physical interaction occurs, the fish are still sending out chemical signals and other fish are reading them; pheromones and allomones to give them their scientific terms. And this causes stress, which can be undetected sometimes until it is too late. Having removed the two afore-mentioned fish, things may suddenly change--or they may not, if the other fish are at the stage where they are basically shell-shocked into submission.:lol:
You have the space for more of the shoaling species, but I would consider them carefully, with respect to the whole. If the gourami are to stay, or any sedate fish, forget Tiger Barb. Now I know some will chime in that they keep these together, etc...but this is a real risk and there is no guarantee that all is well or will remain well. We cannot change how fish have evolved over thousands of years, though some think they can. The "norm" is still the most probable, and that should guide us.
We have fish profiles, check all these species out. Feel free to ask questions.
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