Tiger Barb Compatibility
I was reading the profile for the Tiger Barb and it mentions that "it may be combined with similar-sized non-aggressive fish such as other barbs, the larger rasbora and loaches". I'm curious if the some similar sized tetras would fit into the catagory of non aggressive fish that the barbs would be compatible with. The tank is 40g and consists now of 7 tiger barbs, 3 rosy barbs, one blue gourami, and 1 emerald cory.
Are they the striped barbs? I've got green tiger barbs in my community tank and they're really beautiful. You might want to consider some of those.
I have large Emperor Tetras and Serpae tetras in there too. They don't get harrased by the tiger barbs.
I've also got 4 Rainbow fish in there but I wouldn't suggest them for your tank given the size of the tank and how many fish you have already.
Speaking in general terms, Tiger Barb should not be in the same tank as any long-finned fish or sedate fish, such as gourami. The temptation to nip will be great. Same holds for Serpae Tetra too. Plus, both these fish need larger groups to spread out the natural nipping/aggression within the group. Both species are usually recommended at 8 but preferably 12 or more. And combined with other species only in larger tanks than the minimum which is intended for 8 of only that species (a 30g for 8+ TB, can't remember the ST number). You mentioned characins; most of them are quiet fish, and some have nice fins--your Rosy Tetra for instance; these should never be combined with TB or ST. If you look at ST in the store tank, you will almost always see ragged fins; it is the fish's nature, we can't change it.
Now, having said that, sometimes these species are not so aggressive. This is more the case with ST than TB. In our profile of the ST it mentions why this may be.
What must be remembered is that there will be a risk. It is fine if you have contingency plans, like additional tank space in case of trouble. But if you are limited to one tank, I would not get either TB or ST unless you either intend no other fish [substrate fish are fine] in a smaller tank, or you have a larger tank where you can have a good sized group and other suitable fish. The larger the group of TB or ST, the less the chance of trouble with other fish species, as the natural aggression will be confined to the species as it should. This is how the fish are "made" with inherent traits.
A while back I linked an article outlining a scientific study that has proven that shoaling fish in groups less than 5 will be more aggressive in the majority of cases; same happens in too small a tank [too small to the fish]. The more fish in the group and the larger the tank, the less chance of aggression. This was with "peaceful" species, like neon tetra. With "aggressive" species such as TB and ST, it is compounded.
thanks for the replies. i'm planning on getting the gourami and little tank of his own. so far he and the barbs have left each other alone, but it may not last.
byron, if i'm understanding you correctly, if i can give the barbs large enough space to get an adequate school, the chances of them co-habitating with some tetra types will be good if the tetras are not a long fin type and near the same size?
Personally, if I were to acquire some Tiger Barb, I would have a species tank. A minimum 30g with 8-12 Tigers, well planted, maybe some substrate fish. I would never consider anything else, simply because I kknow the fish's inherent traits and I am not prepared to risk other fish even if there is some chance it might work.
I recently had to get rid of my Emperor Tetra, for the same reason. Bullying. I had them in every tank I could, first my 115g [they were fine for a few weeks, then suddenly "took over" and all the other fish in the tank, and I mean all 90 of them, remained at the far right side under the plants]. So I moved the ET to the 90g thinking a change of environment with different fish might work; all was OK for a couple weeks, then same thinig. There was never any physical contact, but the emperor males "owned" the tank. They chased any fish that approached their individual area. This is very highly stressful for other fish, and weakens their immune system. They always have shorter lifespans. I'm not prepared to do this to my fish just to keep my Emperors, so they went in my spare 30g and another aquarist came round and got them for her empty 55g.
I find it somewhat ironic that some of the most commonly-seen fish in stores are the most unsuitable for most aquarists: Tiger Barb, Serpae Tetra, Red Tailed Shark, Chinese Algae Eater. These are often recommended by stores for a new tank, and small tanks like a 10g no less. Yet they are not good community fish, and they need space.
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