PDA

View Full Version : Can Barbs live harmoniously with Tetras?



frillyfins
06-24-2009, 11:31 PM
Okay, so I love barbs and have wanted some for AGES. Particularly Green Barbs, but I also like Tigers. I've heard these guys can be a bit aggressive so want some feedback before unleashing them in my tank.
I've also heard that no more than 7 but no less than 5 are perfect numbers.
Compatibility charts say Tetras and Barbs are okay together, but we all know experience can be different.
Are barbs okay with plants?
Also, will tigers and moss' school together, or is it best to stick with one variety?
My current stock is 6 Gold Widow(Skirt) Tetras, 6 Lemon Tetras, 1 albino and 1 bronze cory in a 140 L tank I don't want to introduce Barbs if it means upsetting the great community spirit in my tank.

Thanks for your learned opinions.
FF

jaysee
06-25-2009, 05:04 AM
The tigers (any variety) may or may not upset your tank. They also may do well at first, but later become abusive. Mine have to be in their own tank, but just 2 weeks ago were peacefully living with corys and kuhli loaches. It's funny, cause they didn't start going after the other fish until I set up the 55 (in view of the tigers). So, I moved them to it while I found a new home for the corys and loaches. If you decide to add them, have a backup plan.

I would instead choose between the bronze and the albino cory and get 4 or 5 more.

Cherry barbs are a nice little barb that are totally community safe, even with shrimp. Tigers tear shrimp apart. Gold barbs and checkered barbs are others.

rangur1
07-05-2009, 04:27 AM
barbs are great with the fish you listed-CHERRY BARBS
tiger barbs are aptly named , they are too rough for smaller community fish.
cherry barbs, however, work comparitively well.

hali_fish
07-06-2009, 12:49 PM
My lfs told me that you could put tetras with the tigers, if they were aggressive tetras, because the tigers can be quite nippy and aggressive tetras will nip right back. But I agree with the others, Cherry barbs are excellent community fish, I have some myself and they are quite active but not 'mean' like my tiger barbs. Although I love the tigers, and they are fun to watch chasing each other around the tank!

DrNic
07-06-2009, 02:42 PM
I've been thinking about trying some various species with my tiger barbs, but I think the tetras you have are on the timid side. If you decide you want to try, make sure you have a backup plan if things don't go well.

thrakuarium
07-06-2009, 03:27 PM
You mention the skirt tetras. That tells me they have long finnage. That is too much temptation for tiger barbs, so I would not put them in the tank. There are several peaceful barb species that could work just fine though.

Wild Turkey
07-06-2009, 08:49 PM
Its hit miss with tigers and not any more simple than that imo.

They can do well with almost any size tetras, but when your females hit full size they will be able to gobble up a neon or similar sized fish.

Aggro is like I said hit or miss. In my experiences ANY fish gets harassed the first day, whether or not it will work long time was more apparent after a few days.

I think it would be fine to give them a try in that tank.

IME, The different color variations school together, but sometimes will form little cliques temporarily. I had one Gold which I think thought he was a regular though hehe

frank_zappa
07-07-2009, 02:07 PM
you may want to move some of the decorations around a bit before you add any new fish. this can make them less territorial for a while until they adjust.

keep an eye on how the tiger barbs treat the newbies right from the start because they could decide to harass it to death, or they could be fine with it, no telling. i have had them with serpae tetras but you may find they pick at the long finned varieties; im not sure. generally, if they are in a school they will harass each other, but if you ever see a school of tiger barbs that is with a fish they do not like, you will see them harass it relentlessly. they are a tenacious little fish a that can actually grow to a decent size

Swifterz
07-08-2009, 01:57 PM
tiger barbs are one of the few fish i actually have a lot of experience keeping. i've pretty much always had them.

in my old 20 gallon tank, i had about 4 to start out with 4 black skirt tetras. the barbs picked at them not all the time, but enough that it was annoying. i added 2 or 3 more and it 100% stopped the problem.

i have a whole new group in my 55 gallon tank. i have 8 and they are all for the most part very aggressive, two of them in particular just pick at everything.

the thing with these fish is, sometimes adding more to the group will make them keep their aggression amongst eachother and they will mostly leave other fish alone. but other times they are going to do it no matter what. i've experienced it both ways.

i have added several fish and had to remove several fish based on how the tiger barbs bullied them. and they aren't afraid of anything, even if the fish are way larger than them. they are terrorzing my two brand new pink kissing gouramis as we speak. every time i have to choose whether to lose the barbs or the other fish, and i always stick with the barbs cause i love them.

it's not an exact science. they are all different and so many things play a factor. BUT i will say that my tiger barbs are mixed in with 4 white skirt (or mixed fruit) tetras and they don't ever bother the tetras one bit.

good luck.

jaysee
07-08-2009, 06:41 PM
tiger barbs are one of the few fish i actually have a lot of experience keeping. i've pretty much always had them.

in my old 20 gallon tank, i had about 4 to start out with 4 black skirt tetras. the barbs picked at them not all the time, but enough that it was annoying. i added 2 or 3 more and it 100% stopped the problem.

i have a whole new group in my 55 gallon tank. i have 8 and they are all for the most part very aggressive, two of them in particular just pick at everything.

the thing with these fish is, sometimes adding more to the group will make them keep their aggression amongst eachother and they will mostly leave other fish alone. but other times they are going to do it no matter what. i've experienced it both ways.

i have added several fish and had to remove several fish based on how the tiger barbs bullied them. and they aren't afraid of anything, even if the fish are way larger than them. they are terrorzing my two brand new pink kissing gouramis as we speak. every time i have to choose whether to lose the barbs or the other fish, and i always stick with the barbs cause i love them.

it's not an exact science. they are all different and so many things play a factor. BUT i will say that my tiger barbs are mixed in with 4 white skirt (or mixed fruit) tetras and they don't ever bother the tetras one bit.

good luck.

Are they still picking on the gourami?

Swifterz
07-08-2009, 06:45 PM
Are they still picking on the gourami?

there are two pink gouramis, both about 3". the barbs left them alone for like the first 2 minutes. i was relieved. i walked away, and when i came back they were picking on him. it's really just these two barbs that like to do it. but i sat there and watched for like 10 minutes and they never stopped. it doesn't even seem like it hurts the gouramis, they just slowly swim away each time they get nipped. i moved around my decor a little bit and it still hasn't changed. this morning they were still picking on them. i really like the gouramis a lot more than i thought i would. i really want to keep them but i just don't think i can.

batmura
08-05-2009, 01:07 PM
If I were you, I would stick with the tetras and add a couple of more tetras if you want more fish. I would definitely not include any tiger barbs in the tank as they are more than likely to terrorise the tetras. I've tried having both species in tanks twice and regretted it both times. Tetras, which love to school and be active at most times, were stressed, despite outnumbering the barbs, and rarely came out of their hiding places during feeding.

So my suggestion would be keep tetras in one tank and barbs in another. Tiger barbs are amazing to watch in groups of ten or twelve in a tank like yours.

However, there are some barbs that are very friendly, such as rose barbs. They will take any food you give them and they are boisterous at times. If you insist on adding barbs to your tetra tank, make sure it's rose barbs.

Let us know what you decide to do and keep us posted please.

Swifterz
08-05-2009, 03:21 PM
i can tell you that what they say about having a larger number of them usually works. and also introducing them last.

since having those 6 that terrorized all my fish (i gave them away), i went and got 10 more and added them in. they haven't bothered a thing.

it's never an exact science though. you never know when you might get one who is just especially mean or aggressive.

get enough of them and introduce them last though and you should be fine. that has been my experience.

and if you want a peaceful, colorful barb, check out the cherry barbs.

smaug
08-05-2009, 09:43 PM
I kept a 20 gal with 6 tigers,5 serpaes,5 red eyes and5 black skirt for over 5 years before breaking it down and moving all the fish to my planted tank.I never had anything more then the usual small squabbles with no damage.I still have half those same fish living together with a rather large angel,,,still ,,no issues.

Garrett
08-24-2009, 06:03 AM
I'll just echo what everyone here is saying about cherry barbs...they're great little fish, and in my tank they actually school with my neons! It's hilarious watching this mixed group of like a dozen fish just amble around the middle regions of the tank. It's not like they're just two groups nearby each other, either, they actually intermingle.

TTT
10-10-2010, 02:58 AM
This is a rather old post, but I'm hoping that maybe some folks still read it and might comment...

Jaysee you said:
"in my old 20 gallon tank, i had about 4 to start out with 4 black skirt tetras. the barbs picked at them not all the time, but enough that it was annoying. i added 2 or 3 more and it 100% stopped the problem."

So total = 11 fish in a 20 gallon tank.

Smaug you said:
"I kept a 20 gal with 6 tigers,5 serpaes,5 red eyes and5 black skirt for over 5 years ..... I still have half those same fish living together with a rather large angel,,,still ,,no issues."

So total was 21 fish in a 20 gallon tank (and then later 10 plus a large Angel).

Given the size of the tanks in both cases were 20 gallons isn't this rather a lot of fish to keep (especially with the somewhat aggresive Tiger Barbs?)

I've just bought an 20 gallon, and I have 4 Tiger Barbs (I plan to get a couple more once I've finished cycling the tank... BUT, everyone is telling me that Tiger Barbs will be too big for a tank that size! I should take them back to the store and get Zebra Danios or something...

I have also been told that I can't keep Angels in there because it is TOO SMALL!

I'm starting to think I made a total mistake with both the tank and the Barbs!

So what's the deal?

Neither of you guys had issues with Tigers in a 20g tank (what I mean is, the tank wasn't too small for them?)

Michael Milligan
10-10-2010, 11:37 AM
Cherry Barbs!

lol Big fish eat little fish. So if you like to keep little fish like neons, then get little barbs like Cherries!

I have kept neons and cherries together for a while now, and they are GREAT tank mates.

I don't know about other barbs, but to me it seems like a no-brainer: neons with cherry barbs. :)

Lab_Rat
10-10-2010, 03:02 PM
I've just bought an 20 gallon, and I have 4 Tiger Barbs (I plan to get a couple more once I've finished cycling the tank... BUT, everyone is telling me that Tiger Barbs will be too big for a tank that size! I should take them back to the store and get Zebra Danios or something...

I have also been told that I can't keep Angels in there because it is TOO SMALL!

I'm starting to think I made a total mistake with both the tank and the Barbs!

So what's the deal?

Neither of you guys had issues with Tigers in a 20g tank (what I mean is, the tank wasn't too small for them?)

A lot of stocking a fish tank is dependent on the experience of the fish keeper. Both Jaysee and Smaug have a good bit of experience keeping fish, hence they know how to manage their stock and keep up with needed tank maintenance. I could be wrong, but I think when Smaug was talking about the angel he meant he'd moved those fish to a larger tank and they were then living with the angel.

20g is too small for an angel. It's the minimum size I'd recommend for tiger barbs. If this is your first fish tank, you'd be best off to not push the stocking limits and keep the tank pretty low bioload so you don't run into trouble. Once you get a bit more experience you can start managing the tank differently and still be successful.

BarbMaster
10-12-2010, 05:46 PM
I used to have around 40 barbs in my 100 gal tank i sold before i moved, as long as you have a large enough group in your tank they will leave the other fish alone, (my angel fish just pushed my snail down lol what a bully) As i was saying As long as you keep a sufficient School of barbs together they will have a greay personality spar with each other and flare their fins its pretty badass, and they leave the other fish alone. The key here is to keep a big enough school in comparison to the other fish in the tank. having too little seems to bore the tiger barb to start nipping at fins and bulling the other fish around.

Garrett
11-04-2010, 03:02 AM
I probably have 'too many' fish in my 55-in all likelihood, something like 50 or 60 fish. That said, they all inhabit different strata in the tank, many of them are extremely small fish-cherry barbs, neon tetras, and guppies, for example-I have well over double the filtration recommended, the tank is heavily planted, and I do a 30-40% water change every week like clockwork. I would suggest starting small and stocking low, and gradually building up to a higher level as you gain more experience in fishkeeping.

Sursion
11-04-2010, 03:04 AM
Short answer: Yes
Long Answer: Yes, but keep an eye on them.

jaysee
11-04-2010, 04:59 AM
This is a rather old post, but I'm hoping that maybe some folks still read it and might comment...

Jaysee you said:
"in my old 20 gallon tank, i had about 4 to start out with 4 black skirt tetras. the barbs picked at them not all the time, but enough that it was annoying. i added 2 or 3 more and it 100% stopped the problem."

So total = 11 fish in a 20 gallon tank.

Neither of you guys had issues with Tigers in a 20g tank (what I mean is, the tank wasn't too small for them?)

Welcome to the forum!

I didn't say that:scratchheadyellow:

I did have issues keeping tiger barbs in a 20. They killed each other in a 10, as well as a 20. In the 29, they occasionally turn on a fish and kill it. I've also had problems keeping tiger barbs with other fish. A crayfish has always worked, and with it's fairly recent death, I've been able to keep a school of serpae tetras with the barbs. If I could, I'd upgrade them to a 55, but a 29 is the absolute minimum IMO.

linkeq2002
02-03-2011, 10:14 AM
To weigh in and basically re-state what others have said.

Cherry Barbs are an excellent community fish. Have a school of them right now in a tank with a school of glowlight tetras and as of now there have been no problems.

geofff
02-28-2014, 12:58 PM
thank you very much