View Full Version : Tiger Barbs in a 5g?

05-25-2007, 07:07 AM
My mother decided she wanted a small tank, and we settled on a 5g eclipse system. Right now we have 5 plants from the LFS in 5lbs of aquarium pea gravel. The tank is otherwise unstocked and cycling. I know it is possible to do alot for plants (substrate, nutes, ferts co2), but it is my understanding that they will do just fine without. They are all stalk plants, but beyond that I am ignorant of them. She just picked ones she liked. The plan is to upgrade the lighting to a coralife CF 10w (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=9870&N=2004+113346) screw in (50/50 actinic/10k). I know these are more for coral, but she wanted the cooler color of lighting, and could find no reason to pick the 6.7k over it.

Anyhow, while there, she found the tiger barbs to be pretty attractive, and it seemed that a shoal of three would be good for stocking.

Also considering some shirmp and/or a cory for clean up. Would there be any problem with this, and would stocking order matter?


05-25-2007, 10:58 AM
I have to say i think a 5 gallon is too small. Poisons are less diluted, oxygen is out fast, space is minimal for the Tiger barbs who are very active fish that need space, since they are constantly on the move and chase each other all the time. They do best in schools of more than 5.

That said, 3 Tiger barbs could survive in such a tank...

I would go with a Betta, or a few guppies

I also heard Dwarf Gouramis can live in small tanks, they are very beautiful, and all u need is a male and a female for them to be happy

Your other problem is that corys are best in schools, and you dont have much room for many fish. 3 Tigers and 3 corys for example are too much. So 1 betta and 3 small corys could be best

05-25-2007, 11:21 AM
I have to agree, tiger barbs are way to active for a 5 gal eclipse. I have the tank you are talking about and I can't see tiger barbs working in there, mine are in a 20gal long. Before knowing better, my daughter picked 2 white skirt tetras for this tank, and they came down with ick, most likely from the stress of being in too small of a space.

05-25-2007, 12:38 PM
Yup, what they said.

Try to get one of the more attractive breeds of bettas (ie, combtails, crowntails, double tails), as you mom would enjoy the beauty. With bettas, some will accept tank mates (2-3 corys), and others wont. So it is important that you monitor the tank after putting in the fish to see if any problems arise.

Is it possible for you to get up pictures of you plants? We could help ID them for you, so we could see if they would survive in such conditions.

05-25-2007, 12:48 PM
A 5G is a hard tank to think about stocking, I had one recently with 6 neons and 6 harlequin rasaboras, they seemed happy and looked good, someone pointed out about them being schooling fish that like to roam, about 2 weeks later I moved them into a 40G community tank, and the difference in there happiness/behaviour was very noticable.

What I am trying to say is, mostly believe what you read from experience, in your case I agree, it is a health issue to the fish with overcrowding, in my case it was a case of they was only small, but, I thought they was happy, untill I seen them in the correct enviroment, do a lo of research on what will suit your 5G

05-25-2007, 03:58 PM
A betta would work, for sure.
As for other fish? It'd be a hit and miss, many betta's don't like tank mates...none of the ones I've ever kept have taken kindly to tank mates--they usually become VERY antisocial and inactive. Occasionally nipping.

Small tanks are hard to take care of, ESPECIALLY when at max capacity/overstocked...so do NOT get too many/too large of fish.

The problem is, most people will get sick of all the work...and after a period of time, they will start to relax their cleaning regimine--then the fish suffer!

Tiger barbs will not work, plain and simple. Three 3" long fish, that are VERY active, being stuck in a 5g would be very unhappy.

My personal opinion would be:
A crowntail betta (and nothing else)
A pair of dwarf guaramis (and nothing else)
3 Fancy male guppies (and nothing else-especially no females)
Shrimp tank!
POSSIBLY a group of 3 cories (but nothing else)

I wouldn't go for tetra's, as they would like more swimming room than a 5g offers.
Also, don't fall into the "I'll get these fish now, while they're small...then get a bigger tank later when they need it" because most of the time, you don't end up getting that bigger tank, and the fish get sick, stunted, or die.

IMHO, if you plan to keep anything other than a betta...anything less than a 10g tank is USELESS.
I started out with a 10g, and it was great (for a while), but you are just too limited on choices for stocking.
Now, when a newb to aquariums asks my opinion, I tell them they should consider a 20gallon LONG tank the minimum...because 75% of the time, they will end up over-stocked and under-maintained. This leads to sick and dying fish, frustrated owners, and tons of stress and wasted $$$. A larger tank is easier to take care of (IMO) and with more water to dillute the bad stuff, they can handle neglect better (at least, a SMALL amount).
Also, the long footprint of the 20g LONG offers plenty of swimming room. This way, active fish get plenty of room for exercise, you get to see the shoaling characteristics of many fish (tetras for instance), and for semi-aggressive fish they have a little more room--so they are a little less likely to be (as) aggressive.

05-25-2007, 10:10 PM
1 betta
5 cardinal tetras
shrimp tank
dwarf gourami

05-25-2007, 11:22 PM
I agree!

A betta in a planted tank is beautiful and easy to look after...

...or 5 male guppies...

05-26-2007, 01:08 AM
Well, we went to a different LFS that seems much nicer today. They had some very nice Crowntails, as well as the Dwarf Goramis.
The person there said that Goramis are not social though, so two of them will just swim around. He said that they only have male fish there, and I deduced that you guys were referring to a male-female pair swimming socially.

First thing after the cycle, we are thinking about adding a few snales, just because they seem healthy for the plants. Maybe a few ghost shrimp and if they turn into a snack later, no biggie.

Also, we would like to try putting Corys with a Betta. If the betta didn't seem happy about that, we would take the Corys out and put them into my 10g. (currently overstocked with reproducing guppies, but the LFS said they would take the females off of my hands). I'm not trying to ignore advice here, just trying to explore options. I guess I am having trouble understanding how a few cory cats swimming around the bottom of the tank would bother the betta.

I was gonna take a pic, but the battery in the digital is dead, so I'll update with one later.

Thanks for all the advice,

05-26-2007, 01:28 AM
...you can't add too many snails...if they're the bigger ones...the 6 I have make the tank quite dirty...been doing 50% weekly water changes...and that's like the bare min. I have to do to keep things in check...

The Mystery Snail folk recommend 2- 2.5 gallons per snail...so I'm overstocked...and the extra sponge I added on Tuesday hasn't cultured enough bacteria to be of any help yet...

05-26-2007, 02:11 AM
Closeup Left:
Closeup Center:
From Behind:
(we will get a background setup before stocking)

05-26-2007, 02:13 AM
sry, dbl post

05-26-2007, 04:38 AM
I was courageous enough to try putting a betta in a community tank. An issue very debatable i admit. But i never saw any problem between any of my catfish (cory and pleco) and the betta. Occasionally the betta would flare a Platy, or a serpae tetra would try to nip on the betta without damage, but that's it.

Besides, the betta is usually at the top, resting on a branch or leaf or something, and the corys are down below minding their food searching business.

Plus bettas are not messy fish, leaving room for a few corys.

But i dont know about shrimps with bettas...

Dwarf Gouramis are nice. You can get 3 colorations if u find them: the golden, the blue, and the original Blue-red striped

Did u know Dwarf gouramis are a delicacy for our asian friends?

05-26-2007, 04:57 AM
yep. dwarf gouramis and irridescent (ID) sharks are commonly eaten

05-26-2007, 06:28 AM
Just to give you another a bit different idea...

Rasboras for example. The stay very small, are colorful, and you can put about 10 into your 5 gal. tank.

Just as an example, check out the "Galaxy rasbora"

But they need a heavyly planted tank.

Here are some fish, which would fit into 5 gals:

Boraras maculatus
Boraras brigittae
Parosphromenus deissneri
Parasphaerichthys ocellatus

05-26-2007, 06:44 AM
I hope its allowed to set a link

Maybe its an interesting one, for those people with those "mini tanks"

Otherwise, Mylady:ezpi_wink1: (Lady Hobbs) just throw it out. Even though its from a german, its in english


and before I forget: just take a look at the "Pseudomogil" family. Very pretty small fish.

05-26-2007, 02:18 PM
OR you could plant it and have a few neons and shrimps?

05-26-2007, 03:21 PM
Z...take the elastics off your plants...

05-26-2007, 04:01 PM
I would, but they are having some trouble staying grouped in the substrate. I am thinking 5lbs is a little light and we might want to double that. I had planned to remove them at first trimming, but I am kindof fubling in the dark with plants.

05-26-2007, 05:20 PM
Just add an inch more gravel and the plants stay where they should.

And its much better if you seperate each stem from the other, otherwise they wont grow decently.

05-26-2007, 05:42 PM
thanks for the advice with the plants. This makes much more sense. I thought I had read on planted tank that they should stay clustered, but it actually says to put 2 or 3 stalks together (not 5+ lol). This will actually help out the look and also make it easier to hide the heater and whatnot. Ill probably have some single stalks, and other multi stalks, but now we have a project for tonight. More substrate and replanting!

05-27-2007, 09:05 PM
I wouldn't put a Betta in with tiger barbs; tiger barbs are called semi-aggressive. I think a betta and some cories would look nice and be fun to watch.

05-27-2007, 10:44 PM
im not trying to be rude or anything, but if you read more closely you will find that we ruled out the barbs pretty early on. They just wouldn't have enough space or numbers to be happy in 5g.

sorry about the deceptive title.