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LilMermaidGirl 02-25-2010 08:34 PM

Please help, blue lobster and tiger barbs, 1 dead...
I know its long but please read I need suggestions.

I currently have a 10 gallon tank, it has been up and running for about 8 months. Previously it had only me betta, but when he died I got 3 zebra danios, and then a week later we went to a LFS and we ended up getting 3 tiger barbs and a blue lobster (that's what it was sold as, I searched online and it is actually a freshwater crayfish). We really like the crayfish and the tiger barbs.

At the LFS they pretty much implied that the tiger barbs would be ok in a 10 gallon, when I came home most sites say 30 gallons for them. We are planning on upgrading to a 55 or 75 gallon tank, but it will be in a few months when we have the money for it.

But I am now worried because one of the tiger barbs was acting strangly a few days after we brought him home. He didn't eat today with the other fish, and he was swimming weird. I monitered them all day on and off, but one time when I came back I saw the crayfish had him in his mouth, I startled the crayfish with the fish net but the fish came floating to the top dead...

The guy at LFS said the crayfish would "help take care of any sick fish for you" so after I noticed the fish was acting weird I was worried. One of the other tiger barbs is acting a little weird, though not like the other one (yet) and the other is acting normally as far as I can tell. The danios are all fine. The crayfish isn't really running around attacking everything, but we have seen him in what looks a "waiting for prey" position a few times, but he never got anything, other than that he isn't harrassing stuff.

So on to my question and dilema, I'm worried about the other barbs. I don't want them to die. I don't have an extra tank suitable to put them in or the crayfish to seperate them. The only option is to go get a new 10gallon from walmart and put them in it (or the crayfish), but the tank wouldn't be cycled.

Please advise me what should I do?? Leave them all together and hope it goes well until we are able to upgrade our tank? Or get a new one and move them with the dangerousness of an uncycled tank?

We can't return them to the fish store because it is very far away and we can only make that kind of drive on days when we don't work, which won't be until Monday.

iamntbatman 02-26-2010 04:39 AM

I don't really know what to tell you. The lobster is predatory and will eat fish when it gets the opportunity to do so, as you witnessed. The barbs may get away during the daytime but at night when they're resting they may get caught off guard. The danios are likely doing better because they tend to rest near the surface of the water at night.

There's no telling what was wrong with your barb but it could have come from the store already sick.

If I were you, would try to make some sort of makeshift cage for the lobster in the tank until you can return the barbs. The barbs really do need a bigger tank and a much bigger school to do well, as they're active swimmers and can be aggressive unless kept in a large enough school. A 55 or 75g tank would be nice for a group of barbs and the danios and some other fish, but I would leave the lobster by itself in the 10g so it doesn't eat any more of your fish.

Angel079 02-26-2010 09:49 AM

Boy did that LFS tell you some stories there....I'm sorry bout that!

There's really only a handful things you can do. Non these fish are neither in a proper group like they should be nor in a proper sized tank as they should be.

The Cray as it matures will not only outgrow that tank quick but also go after everybody else. The only thing (apart from a sep tank) you can do is either bring it back to the store. Or Set up a "tank" made from a rubermaid bin (th big one's) to house it in.

Then once you have the cash set up a 55-75g and stock up the Barb's to 8-10 and the Danio's as well. A option would be for the time being check for used tanks people in your area wanna get rid of and buy one them as its a LOT cheaper then brand new one's.

sericinda 02-26-2010 12:10 PM

One thing you can do until you have a more suitable tank for the crayfish is to hand feed him. I had my crayfish in a 20 gallon with barbs, neons and zebras and he left them all alone as LONG as I hand fed him a pellet every day. He wasn't hungry, so he didn't hunt.

Make sure he has a cave to go into as well...he will hang out in there a lot and not be at apt to bother the fish. Stuff a shrimp pellet or an algae wafer right in front of him once a day and he will likely leave the fish alone.

Worked for me!

Good luck.

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