Golden Barbs, comptibility an issue or not?
Hi all,I just found out that 3 of my fish in my 29gal tank are golden barbs. I inherited the tank and all the fish in it a few months ago from someone I had believed to be pretty knowledgable about fish keeping. As I learn more and more about each of my fish and planted tanks, I realize he was not as knowledgable as I thought.
My issue now is compatibility, most of my other fish are from South America, including my angelfish. They seem to be getting along okay but I understand that it is not the best interest for an active fish like the golden barb to be with angelfish.
I recently noticed my golden barbs nipping eachother, I assume because there are only 3 of them. I have barely enough room for 2 more barbs if I want to add them. However, I also noticed that the temp I keep my tank at (around 78 degrees) is too hot for my barbs.
So the question becomes, do I get 2 more barbs and see if this fixes the issue or see if someone will take my beautiful barbs out of my tank and make everyone happy?
Thanks in advance!
since it's too hot and you're unlikely to buy a chiller.re-homing the barbs would be a better choice =)
I agree with kitten. I realize you inherited this group of fish but there are problems with just the barbs and angelfish, and I don't know what other fish are included so there could be more issues.
I suggest removing the barbs because they attain 3 inches, should (to me "should" means "must";-)) be in a group of at least 8, are fairly active but peaceful to fish not small enough to eat. The aggressive behaviour you mention is somewhat natural, but in a larger group is spread out; this species forms an heirarchy within the group and rival males will interact normally without real damage provided they are in the larger group in larger quarters. They do like it a bit cooler, 75F/24C max.
How many angels? This is also a shoaling fish that should be in a group of 5+ for much the same reasons as the barb. Angels are sedate fish, preferring quiet calm waters and a calm environment, something the barbs would not provide even in a larger tank. A 29g is insufficient for a group of angels that attain 6 inches in length and need a 4-foot 55g tank at minimum. A breeding pair of angels can be housed in a 30g on their own for spawning purposes.
What other fish are in this tank?
I have 6 neons, 1 angel, 1 scissortail rasbora, the 3 barbs, 2 albino corys and my one african dwarf frog.
I understand almost all of my fish are not in the correct numbers. I would have thought that the guy I got the tank from would at least stock it correctly, it just makes me sad that my fish are not completely happy.
I have a 20gal tank that I can set up for the barbs. I was thinking it would be cool just to have a barb tank anyways. Looking at planting it well and possibly sand for substrate? the set up might take a few weeks for me so until then my barbs are with everyone else and that's the best I can do.
The tank, stand, fish and decor all came together for 80 bucks, I guess you get what you pay for, I should have realized sooner that the tank was not properly stocked. However, aside from the barbs being a bit unhappy everyone else seems content, my scissortail schools with the barbs and my angel does his own thing, leaving everyone alone. I don't know much about corys but they too seem content and healthy.
In such a situation, each of us can only do the best we can and work toward improving what we can. As I said, you acquired this situation, you didn't make it, and I hope some of us here can help you remedy at least some of the problem.
A general comment first on stress and health. Stress definitely causes immune system deficiencies which means health problems down the road and probably shorter lifespan. Sometimes this can be seen, sometimes not. Fish placed in an environment that it not "natural" will be under stress. Another of our members, Lupin, recently linked a very informative article on this, and I will link it too:
CIR919/FA005: Stress - Its Role in Fish Disease
Another recent scientific study has proven that maintaining shoaling fish in small groups (1, 2, 3, 4) creates considerable stress and increased aggression frequently results as the fish's futile attempt to handle the situation. I posted this article a while back, but can't track it down just now.
Turning to your aquarium, I would suggest you decide which of the fish you really like and want, and then dispose of the rest (fish stores sometimes take fish, other aquarists) and build the tanks accordingly, increasing the numbers of the fish you want to keep.
A 20g is not sufficient room for the barbs, even in a trio; a 3-inch fish is too large for a 20g. And a group of 6-8 would provide them with what they expect; the aggression you mentioned will likely worsen if not. The 6 neons and the corys would do well in a planted 20g, and the rasbora; a few more of the latter would be good. All depending upon which fish you really want.
A quick comment on planted tanks: I personally am not a fan of sand for the substrate because of its issues; small-grain gravel works very well. There was a recent thread on this in the Plants section. You also might want to have a look at the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section. It covers about the easiest and simplest method, and one I have followed in all my tanks pictured under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.
Thanks so much Byron, I have been reading a lot of your posts and I can tell you already I have learned an amazing amount from you! Your advice is much appreciated, I'm afraid I will be calling my lfs and seeing if they can take my barbs this weekend. :(
They are great little guys!
Going back to the 20gal set up, I was thinking sand just because of the look it can give an aquarium, I have gravel in my 29gal and my plants love it. I have been reading a lot and it seems people are very spilt on the sand thing. I'm not hung up on it so it's not a big deal for me to just use gravel.
This brings me to another question, it seems people are also split on how often to preform water changes and how much water to take. I usually change 25% once a week and that seems to work but I see others saying two or three times a week is even better. I am interested to hear your take on the matter.
Water changes should depend upon the biology in the tank. The more balanced it is--plants with moderate fish load--the less water needs changing and less often. The more fish or the larger the fish, the more water needs changing more often. However, having said that, there is no doubt that a water change stimulates the fish, and this says a lot. I change 50% of my water every week, without fail, and have for 15 years. I don't want to be doing changes more than once a week, so to compensate more water has to be changed to be effective. In a study reported in TFH in Nov and Dec 2009, it showed that changing 10% every day was no where near as beneficial as changing 70% once a week. Live plants have an impact on this, and allow one to change less water because of their incredible filtering capacity at removing "crud."
Now, in new tanks with cycling issues, more frequent and larger changes are necessary, up to 50% every day. Or if some disaster occurs biologically in the tank. But in an established well-maintained and reasonably balanced system, once a week is sufficient in my view, with 30-50% depending upon the fish in relation to the tank.
P.S. And thank you for the trust; I hope I will continue to be deserving.
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