Beginner, about to buy tiger barbs for cycled tank. Advice?
My tanks have finally finished cycling, and I've changed the water until my nitrates are below 20 ppm. The heaters are working on the temperature now. Tomorrow I make the trip to the fish store for my first set of fish: a school of small tiger barbs for my 29-gallon planted tank! Right now the water is testing at about 8-10 PPM nitrate, 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, around 7 or 7.2 pH, 2-3 GH and KH.
I'm kind of paranoid; I desperately hope they live, because I'm terribly soft-hearted and I hate to see something suffer or think I killed it. So I have a few questions:
First, should I go ahead and treat the tank with Metro+ and PraziPro just as a precautionary measure? it's a fairly nice LFS, but I know that's not always a guarantee of healthy fish. They looked pretty chipper when I saw them last week, but I will be looking at them carefully again tomorrow.
Second, is 76-77 degrees F an OK temperature, or should I go lower?
Third, do tiger barbs typically tolerate Seachem Flourish well? I was hoping to add a half-strength dose once or maybe twice a week.
Fourth: I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH TO FEED THESE FISH! "As much as they'll eat in 3-5 minutes" isn't very helpful. Any estimate of how much per day per fish would be OK/not too much? I have a variety of Hikari foods, including micro wafers, micro pellets, spirulina, krill, brine shrimp, blood worms.... The fish I'll be getting are approximately 3/4 inch long. I'm going to get 12 to start with (I cycled with 4 ppm of ammonia so the tank ought to be ready for the bio-load).
Fifth: Do tiger barbs do better in a certain number per bag when you take them home?
Sixth: Is there a preferred method for acclimating tiger barbs? Drip, add a cup of water every 15 minutes for an hour and then net out, other....?
THANKS in advance! ^_^
Last edited by Cara_Chapel; 03-12-2012 at 04:34 AM.
Just for the record, I love tiger barbs!
I'm sure everyone will chip in here so I will just answer a couple of your questions so not to overload you.
Temp wise that's pretty fine, I had two fish books next to me there and bothe their ranges for tiger barbs were 69-79 so your comfortably in the middle.
Seachem I'm not sure about.
Feeding wise I'd say feed twice daily, enough food that its gone in 5mins. So that's maybe two pinches of flake, or one defrosted ice cube of bloodworm or something tastey like that. Feeding is a more personal thing that you will adjust to over time. In the first week if your fish look fat and always pooping then your overfeeding. Also my suggestion was for medium to large barbs not the babies.
A good bit of advice for you until you are more experienced and have the feeding sorted is to do two water changes a week of perhaps 30-40%. It will allow you to remove and waste build up if you do over feed for the first wee while.
Introducing them I'd say leave the bag floating in the tank for 20minutes then gently release them, it takes fish days to acclimate in my opinion, I'm sure plenty of folk will disagree with that.
How many do you plan on getting? I'd say in a 29g you could have 10-12 barbs? Remember the green and albino versions will shoal with the regular tigers. Just incase you want to change the colour.
Hope I helped a bit, ScottishFish
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
I have never heard of anyone having problems with Flourish when dosed as directed. Flourish Excel is a different story....
125g - 6 Zig Zag Rainbows, 6 Turquoise Rainbows, 6 Boesmani Rainbows, 5 otos, 6 corys
In addition to floating the bag, it's helpful to add about 1/4 cup of tank water every 10-15 min or so to enable the fish to get used to the pH of your tank.
By feeding "enough in 3-5 min" means you add a very small amount of food, watch them eat it all and then add more. By the end of 3 min, the fish should have eaten enough and you won't have much in the way of leftovers falling to the bottom. I do this no matter what I'm feeding mine. For frozen food, I defrost in a cup of tank water and pour in a little bit at a time, watch them eat it then add more. By the time they have had enough, more is falling to the bottom than being eaten so I know to stop.
Can't advise about the use of meds but I do know that Lady Hobbs "deworms" her fish while in quarantine - forget what she uses.
I have never purchased that many fish at a time so I don't know how many to recommend to a bag. I would not personally buy that many at one time even if my filter were ready but I have read about other forum members who have done that.
Thanks, Andrea, Phil, and Scottishfish! I appreciate your advice. :-)
I was hoping to add all the fish at once so as not to have to deal with a lot of quarantine time for small numbers of additional fish. If it doesn't work out I'll definitely change in the future!
Congrats on your impending TB's! I love these little guys! As for some of your questions, I can only respond with my personal experience with these guy's.
First, I've always kept mine around 77 degrees. Easier during the winter when the air in the house is warm vs. during the summer when the A/C is on. During the summer I bump the heater up as I keep my house a bit chilly.
Second, I wouldn't put more than four in a bag mainly because you shouldn't be adding more than that at one time but its a personal feeling, I wouldn't want to be mashed in a small area with alot of people, such as, an airplane lol.
Third, a "pinch" can be so different from person to person and "as much as they can consume in X mins" to me sounds highly speculative since one day they may just be lazy about it. I always watch my guys eat and I usually add some in at time due to the fact that some are faster to the food than others. I will add one pinch and then shortly after another.
Finally, as to your acclimating question: When I brought mine home I would empty 1/2 the water from the LFS bag and add my water, then let them float around for a good 20 mins. After that, I'd drain most of the water from the bag as to minimize additional water and then add them. This is how I always felt was the least shocking way of putting them in.
If you do add more than four or five, I would personally say that you should change your water more often than normal to keep ammonia and nitrites down to a minimum while your biofilter catches up with the increase. Additionally, I use a product from Tetra that in essence allows you to "instantly add fish." While I do not do this, I still add this to give my cycle a kick in the behind.
Hope my two cents helped in some way. Cheers!
"Horses never run so fast as when they have others to catch and outpace."