Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Gold barbs aren't nippers, so why is mine nipping? (

KysMama 09-10-2011 09:12 PM

Gold barbs aren't nippers, so why is mine nipping?
Hopefully someone can explain this phenomenon to me. Back in June, I bought a gold barb for my community tank. All has been well, then a couple days ago I stop to watch the fish and discover the top fin all but gone from my white skirt tetra. I began to pay closer attention and have identified the gold barb as the culprit... it is actually chasing a few of my tetras around and nipping at them but it has apparently only been able to catch the white skirt.

I guess my question is why? I don't understand why the barb is doing this as everything I have read on them and the store that sold it to me have said they are peaceful, not nippers, and good for community tanks. Is there something I can do to make it stop? Or something I could be doing that made it start? While I have a go-to place for fish that I can't keep, I'd like to keep it. Any help would be great... I'm not new to aquariums, but I'm lost on this one.

1077 09-10-2011 09:33 PM

Barb's and tetra's are best kept in groups of six to a dozen or more, if tank size permit's.
These are shoaling,social species that can become belligerent if no other like species are present.
In the wild they school in the hundred's and are alway's jockeying for establishment of hiearchy within their group but seldom do any real harm.
When kept singley,or in small groups,they often single out the weak fish while expressing dominance.
It often is this that causes the targeted fish to become weak hence,,the reason to keep them in number's no less than six or eight.

Quantum 09-10-2011 09:39 PM

Sounds like you only have one of these? If so, this is likely the problem.

From the profiles (link in the blue bar directly below 'Keeping' in the page title at top left, under cyprinids): "Must be kept in a group, preferably 8 or more, or it may become shy and stressed"

Read more: Golden Barb (Puntius semifasciolatus) Profile

Fish will often act uncharacteristically when stressed. Other environmental conditions can also cause the fish to be stressed (i.e. water chemistry, tank size).

KysMama 09-10-2011 10:17 PM

Thanks to both of you.. that was fast! Yes, I only have one and could probably only get a couple more due to tank size and number of fish already in the tank. Water quality, huh? My pleco died two days ago... interesting... I know my water quality is super hard to keep up. Very hard tap water causes me to buy all my tank water, which in turn makes it too soft... my nitrates are sky high no matter what I do. Life was easier when I could do water changes from the tap, but I try hard because my six yr old loves her tank and her fish... but I digress... do I need to give the gold barb a chance to be happier in someone else's more appropriate tank?

ElectricBlueJackDempsey 09-10-2011 10:39 PM

I might have missed it, but what is the tank size? You can use certain types of leaves to naturally lower your ph. These are the ones I use: Indian Almond Leaves

BarbH 09-10-2011 10:46 PM

Hello and welcome to TFK :-DAs others have said, the barb needs to be kept within a larger group. If you are unable to provide the larger group for the barb due to tank size than the best thing would be to rehome it. It will be better for the barb, the other fish, and for you and your daughter.As for your water, do you know what the actual hardness of your water is and also the ph? Usually it is easier to choose fish that are better suited for your water than trying to change the water for the fish. If you do want to try to soften the water, I would suggest doing a mixture of bottled water along with your regular tap water. A good article to read which will explain hardness and ph, along with ways to naturally adjust these is here how often are you changing your water and how much water are you changing out with each change?

Byron 09-14-2011 11:08 AM

Others have correctly identified the problem, so I'm just adding my agreement. Shoaling fish need a group [and sufficient tank space obviously], and denied this they often turn aggressive. It is the fish's only way to handle the frustration it feels. I would return it or give it to someone with a larger tank and a group. It will continue to be trouble, and it is not happy.

All tetra, rasbora, barb, danio are shoaling fish, so a group of any species is required, something to keep in mind as you shop for fish.


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