I bought 5 Tiger barbs and 3 cardinal tetras today (for a total of 6 tetras 3 neon and 3 cardinal). I read around about keeping these two species of fish together (tiger barbs and tetras) and read that alot of people said it was fine; however, now that I have them in my tank my barbs keep harrasing my tetras. Is there anything I can do besides moving the tetras out of the tank ( or should I just wait and see if the barbs stop their behavior)? Would increasing the number of tetras (or barbs) stop this behavior? Would more plants help?
And if moving them out of the tank is my only option will a 5 gallon tank be enough for them (I have a new male betta in the 5 gal tank but he is not aggresive).
What size tank are they in now? Tiger barbs are very active fish and can be aggressive. My tiger barbs were in a 55 gallon and I could not believe the activity level of these fish. They would race around from one end of the tank to the other. Very entertaining, but I would think if they were in too small of a tank that could add to their aggression level. I haven't kept them with neons before so not sure if a larger tank would solve the problem. Mine were kept with a Green Texas cichlid with no issues.
They may just not be compatible with neons. Regarding moving the neons to the 5 gallon, in my opinion a 5 gallon would be too small for anything other than the betta.
Oh, and welcome to TFK!
Yes, that is true. Tiger barbs are really not a very good community fish. They are neat fish but tank mates must be chosen carefully.
Have a look through the fish profiles (top of the page, 2nd tab from the left) and look into some other tetra which will be a good fit for a 20 gallon tank with the neons (tetras will be under the "Characins" tab). Good luck with the tank and post here if you have anymore questions. This forum is full of lots of friendly people who can share their experiences and advice.
Jeaninel has correctly spotted the problem, and for more details check out the Tiger Barb profile (click the shaded name). A group of no less than 8, preferably 12 or more, is best for this species, and in a 30g tank on their own. In larger tanks, other suitable fish can be added but must be carefully selected as TB do nip fins. Returning them will save you much grief, and avoid poor health and likely death of their tankmates.
Agreed about returning the Tiger Barbs. They are really fun, entertaining fish but they really do best in larger groups and your tank is not big enough for more of them. I had 11 of them in my tank with other fish and they didn't bother anyone else. I have heard and now have experienced it... larger groups make them easier to deal with. They keep their monkey shines to themselves and don't involve the other fish in the tank.
Yes you could try to add another TigerBarb or two and some plants, rocks and DW would also help. However TigerBarbs are better off in at least a 30 gal due to their active nature. Sometime if there are not enough members in their shoal, they turn to other fish in attempts to incorporate them into the shoal ... sometimes to the detriment of the other fish.
I've heard that Serpae Tetras actually shoal well with them ... the Barbs just accept them into their shoal.
Instead of TigerBarbs, consider Black Ruby Barbs or the 5 Banded Barb. Both resemble the TigerBarb's vertical strip pattern but are much aggressive and less fin nip happy. Again as with Barbs, you want to keep them in a shoal of 5+.
thanks for the help guys. I kept the Tiger barbs and they are no longer bothering my Tetras :). I also added more plants and a few hidding spaces and it made a huge difference. No more nipping :)
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