Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SeaHorse 01-20-2011 08:47 AM

Do fish grieve?
I lost one of my Rosy Barbs this past weekend. I have a 70G community tank. I know that all of you have lost fish before, probably many fish... Have you ever seen your remaining fish acting strange after the loss of their fellow tank mate? My 2nd Rosy Barb has for the past 5 days now been swimming frantically back and forth in the upper left corner of the tank at surface level. It takes it 1 second to cross about 12 inches and back and forth and back and forth. It never exhibited this behaviour before, the two used to chase each other around but not aggressively. Is it grief or is it now that it is alone... I just read they need to be in groups of 5. The LFS never said that, in fact told me that if I get these two home and they are aggressive to the other fish to immediately bring them back. They were only about 1.5 to 2 inches and not over 2 inches now. I had no problem, they kept to themselves, ate with the rest of them playfully chased each other around. Do I go get more tank mates for it, or is it just going to exhaust itself and die on me too.
Any thoughts? I'm sure that if the LFS still has fish of this kind in it's tank they are probably still original fish mates of my two as the turn over here in this small town is extrememly small.
There is a list of the other tank mates on my profile. Any input is apprecieated.

small fry 01-20-2011 09:14 AM

Do fish grieve...idk? But I have had fish re-act solomly after the loss of other fish. My Jewel Cichlid just hasn't been the same since that little hybrid fry (not related to the Jewel) died. My male Swordtail looked sad after my female died, as did my sister's male molly when her female died. Back when I only had 2 lemon tetras (these are a schooling fish, but I wasn't aware at the time), the tetra seemed to be sad after his buddy died.

Fish certainly react to other fish's deaths, but I don't know if they grieve or not.

About your Rosy barbs, these are also school fish. They must be kept in a group of at least 6. Without the proper numbers, it can/and sometimes will stress them to death, or worse, they get a contagious diesase that hurts/kills your other fish (like my lemon tetra back when I had 2). I recommend adding a group of 5-7 rosy barbs if your tank will allow it.:-)

SeaHorse 01-20-2011 09:21 AM

Thank you for your input. Yes I think the tank can handle it, I always worry when adding new fish as I find I end up losing something else in the tank... they are all special. Ok so what about size? I guess if the LFS where I got them still has some they are likely compatible in size to mine as they came from the same tank... If mine is too big compared will it be the bully? or will the new 4-5 pick on him? fish psych101 lol.

small fry 01-20-2011 09:26 AM

It is probably best to get them as close together in size as you can, but I added 4 of my lemon tetra of assorted sizes with the one that was already in the tank, and they seem fine.

jeaninel 01-20-2011 02:07 PM

I noticed you only have 2 cories. You should consider getting more of them as they should also be kept in groups. The more cories there are the safer they feel and the more active they become. You certainly have room in your tank.

SeaHorse 01-20-2011 04:42 PM

Well funny you should say that!... I just got back from the LFS and they did not have any Rosy Barbs and would not get them in for two more weeks even if I was to order them today. However I did realize over the last couple of days that my Cory's should also be in groups and came home with 3 more little ones. The largest of my original two is the Albino and it found them, came right over to check them all out, touching them all over and now they are following it/her around the tank. So cute. The original two were quite independant but this is very interesting to watch. So I was on the right track!!
Also have wanted to try some real plants so they gave me some floating ones in a bag of water for free and I discovered a free fish in the bottom of the bag... I now have 3 long finned leopard Danios and even tho it is really small it immediately found it's like kind in the tank and seems to be happy too.
Heading into the city tomorrow so will see if the LFS there has Barbs for my sad one. At least it is now swimming in the front of the tank and is not so frantic.
Still waiting for my preg Swordtail to have her babies. She's been hiding so I put her in the floating breeding tank and she got so upset/stressed she was striking the lid to get out... 3 times... so I have let her out and we will just have to hope that a couple of them make it.

jeaninel 01-20-2011 10:03 PM

LOl, well it sounds like you had a pretty productive trip to the LFS.

Cories are fun to watch when they're in big groups. Especially when they are first introduced to each other and playing follow the leader all over the tank.

kelly528 01-20-2011 11:04 PM

...I have heard of goldfish "searching" for a tankmate who has been put into quarantine.

SeaHorse 01-20-2011 11:19 PM

Well I know that Barbs are quick anyway, but this one has been beyond frantic for 5 days straight. If it does not exhaust itself to death I will be surpirsed. Now having said, that it was a bit calmer tonight and eating blood worms with the gang so lets hope it's settled down. the light is off now so I'll check again tomorrow.
Some fish have such personalities I think some day we are going to learn that some creatures are far more "aware" than we ever gave them credit for. Doesn't seem right that they are just "attracted" to a colour or face at the glass. There seems to be more to it than that. (Having just finished reading the story of Scooter in the Salt water section of the forum) So if you have a mated pair it stands to reason that they will miss their mate. Maybe the grief process is much shorter... days rather than forever. We do know that dogs grieve a lost master or house mate, that is a fact. hmmmm... will keep you posted on how it is doing. Thank you all for your input.

aunt kymmie 01-20-2011 11:23 PM


Originally Posted by kelly528 (Post 565350)
...I have heard of goldfish "searching" for a tankmate who has been put into quarantine.

Yes, when I had to remove the male of a mated pair to QT for treatment for an injury his female sulked for days on end. It was sad to see. Thankfully the male made it back to his gal. :-)

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