Barbs in odd numbers
Hi, I went to my LFS to purchase some tiger barbs for my tank. My initial purchase was going to be 4 barbs. The salesperson said that it is always better to have them in odd numbers, but couldn't really give me a reason why. Was this just a selling gimmick to make me buy one more or is there some reason behind the odd number. Thanks for any info!
maybe he was thinking more females less males 2 males3 females or something like that..odd or even aren't an issue if you ask me maybe he's a chinese they like odd no's :-D
There are 2 different rationales behind keeping fish in odd numbers.....
1. As kitten_penang mentioned, it has to do with "feng shui" and Yin/Yang....Water is considered to be "Yin" and to balance it out, bring harmony & good luck, odd numbered fish are the "Yang".
2. Keeping shoals in odd numbers means there will be one fish that is at the bottom of the hierarchy/pecking order, thereby supposedly lessening aggression.
These are the theories anyway.
Tiger Barb is not a good community fish. You can read more in our profile, click on the shaded name. But quickly, they must be in larger groups (at least 8) and in their own space (30g minimum) or in a larger tank other fish can be present, but carefully selected as TB can be very nippy and aggressive.
The "odd vs even" idea has some merit when dealing with small groups, such as 3-4. And with some species. Some of the shoaling fish [shoaling means the fish live together naturally in large groups and thus need that security] can manage in 3-4, but the "pecking order" that Beaches mentioned is the issue here. A group of 3 could result in a pairing with an odd-fish out, and this can spell disaster with some fish. Having 4 or more alleviates this, though most shoaling fish are much better in groups of 6 or more. The male/female ratio mentioned by kitten is also pertinent. Some fish are better with more females to males. But aside from these two considerations, there is no evidence of even/odd differences. Then we come to personal preferences, also mentioned by Beaches. I myself always prefer odd numbers, just for aesthetics.
Back to your Tigers, no mention is made of the tank size, but you certainly should have at least 8, and then understand that this species can be trouble. It is in their nature, and some fish seem less "natural" than others when it comes to aggression.
thanks for all the replies. the tank they are in is the one listed in my profile pick. 40gl semi aggressive. so far the 5 barbs have done extremely well with the other fish in the tank. i can see how the odd number works for aesthetic reasons. if there were only four it would look like they were swimming in a square! i guess my follow up question would be, if i decided to add two more to get a larger school, would the new ones school with the older ones (i've had them for well over a month now), or would they be seen as outsiders. tanks again!
i'm assuming that your suggestion to get a few more means that the new ones will school with the old ones without any issues. i will probably get 2 more though, i'm not sure my tank size will allow for more. i might even be pushing it with 2.
yeah, i've been getting some conflicting info about the leporinus. the store had it listed as a 6" max, which is what i am trying to keep my largest fish at, but a lot of info i'm seeing here shows it can get over 12". i might take him back and swap him out for a couple more tiger barbs.
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