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Tiger Barb Compatibility
Hello everyone, i really like tiger barbs and would like to get about 5. i have a 4ft tank with a red tailed shark, an opaline gourami, and a bn pleco. would they all get along? im not too concerned about the shark or the gourami, they can handle themselves but im worried the barbs may bother the pleco which is only 2in. thanks
I think you would be fine. I have a 55 gallon tank with a school of tiger barbs and a bristlenose pleco that is about 1.5 inches and they haven't bothered him once, as far as I know they get along without a problem.
I can't garauntee ya anything, but having a larger group would def help. A group of 8 or more would lessen the chance that they would overly harass anyone outside of their group. Having the tank densely planted and with plenty of hiding places would help, as well.
But its not the BN I'd be most worried about. He'd probably hide pretty effectively from Tiger Barbs. The Gourami would be a much easier target. They are slow, sedate fish that would be way too tempting for the raucous Tiger Barb. Same goes for the Red Tailed Shark, it is too aggressive for the Gourami and especially the BN.
I would say either go with the Gourami and BN, OR go with the Red Tailed Shark and possibly a group of Tiger Barb. (But please see the caution below.) Any mixing of those two separate groups would cause problems, if not sooner then def later.
Caution- I've heard, but cannot confirm, the RTS can be aggressive towards fish with vertical stripes.
Just in case this sways your decision, I only have 3 tiger barbs and they don't harass anything in my tank. I have 3 mollies, 3 tiger barbs, and a BN pleco. The barbs just swim around together and mind their own business as far as I can tell.
Just know that things can change as fish get older, and have a Plan B in mind. Aggression doesn't have to result in injury to be lethal, stress can certainly kill. Occasionally, mixing contraindicated species can work for a length of time, but things often change for the worst in the blink of an eye. Whatever you decide, good luck!
i may not go with the tiger barbs because of the vertical stripes which will certainly aggravate my RTS but i do like barbs so i will look into another type. thanks for all your help guys!
I agree with the advice to increase the group. Kept in groups of no less than 8, Tiger Barb are known to be less aggressive in most cases. And I would remove the gourami; this is a real temptation to a fish like the barb that loves to fin nip.
"Aggression" exists in different forms; it can be physical (chasing, nipping, biting, attacking) but also chemical; some fish just make it known they are nasty and other fish read the signals. Any of this can cause sever stress which weakens the immune system and leads to health issues and disease that would otherwise likely not occur.
Environmental conditions also impact aggression; tank size, water conditions, water parameters can all influence various fish either way. Sometimes it brings out increased aggression, sometimes it negates aggression which is detrimental to the aggressor as well as other fish in the tank.
Fish have been programmed by natural evolution for a specific environment, and they have inherent behaviours that we cannot change. Why some fish within a species demonstrate these and some may not is not known exactly, aside from the environmental issue mentioned above. But there is scientific evidence that the size of the group and the tank space does impact aggression. Rather than risk the health of the fish, it is wiser to respect nature and provide accordingly.
I have 7 or 8 different groups of barbs in a 125 gallon tank with a pair of gouramis, plecos, an albino rainbow shark, and some Bolivian rams. I found the more barbs the lesser the aggression. My tiger barbs will school with my green tiger barbs, platinum tiger barbs, and black ruby barbs. I have 20-25 that all swim together. The barb tank is by far my wife's favorite tank.
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