fin rot or fin nipping - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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fin rot or fin nipping

a week ago i purchased 5 tiger barbs (and a pleco) to be added to my 29 gal with my two swordtails. monday morning one was dead. its tail was kind of ragged looking, but it was stuck to the filter intake, so i assumed that had something to do with it. of the remaining four, three are starting to have ragged tails and are not very active. the other one is still active and looks fine.

what should i look for to determine if it is fin rot or if the one that doesn't seem affected is bullying everyone else?

0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 2 nitrate (as of friday) pH 7.8, temp 78-79 F. moderately planted, a few rock decorations.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:29 AM
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My first question is were they males or females and are your swordtales males or females?

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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My first question is were they males or females and are your swordtales males or females?
swords are one of each and i don't know how to tell with the barbs.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:33 AM
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It's an either or thing. Either they are nipping and you only have one fast swimmer, or they brought cooties with them. If you have a hospital tank I'd suggest getting them in it either to treat or to segregate before they nip up your swordtales.

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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It's an either or thing. Either they are nipping and you only have one fast swimmer, or they brought cooties with them. If you have a hospital tank I'd suggest getting them in it either to treat or to segregate before they nip up your swordtales.
unfortunately, i don't have another tank to put them in.

is there any way i can tell which is the problem? the swords look fine so far, though the male is hiding more than usual (the female has always hid a lot).
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 08:47 AM
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Other than separating them or staring at them, not a whole lot. If you have a tank divider or can procure one, now would be the time.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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ok, the more i watch the tank the more i'm thinking it is a bullying issue. the only fish not hiding is the one barb whose tail isn't ragged. would getting a few more barbs likely take care of the nipping issue?
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-25-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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i ended up asking a person at Petco whether getting more barbs would help with the bullying, but she suggested first rearranging the tank to see if that broke up the territory enough to change things. I rearranged the decorations last night and it seems to have helped. all of the fish came out to eat and the one who was bullying everyone is now just as likely to be hiding in the back as the rest of them, and one of the other ones was out and swimming around this morning. the pleco is definitely happier now; he is out of his hiding spot and exploring a lot (which of course means knocking some of my plants free, but oh well).

my question at this point is should i be concerned that none of my fish are being very active? and would getting more barbs still help or should the four in there be enough?
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-25-2011, 08:31 PM
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Rearranging the decor can disorientate them for a while and if you had your hands in the tank for a long time changing it and perhaps causing a commotion, it can stress them and they may hide until they settle down again.

I would definitely get more tiger barbs, I honestly would not class 4 as being a shoal. Having only a very small group can make shoaling fish either very timid or very aggressive (more-so in either case) and with TB's, they are naturally nasty/mean/aggressive fish and a proper hierarchy/pecking order can't really be established if kept in only a small number.

I would still recommend you try to remove the swordtails for their own well-being.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-26-2011, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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I would still recommend you try to remove the swordtails for their own well-being.
i will keep an eye one them and remove them at the first signs of them being nipped, but so far they seem ok.
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