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FAQs on the Minnows called Barbs, Danios and Rasboras Systems

Related Articles: Barbs, Danios & RasborasA Barbed Response; Wrongly maligned for being fin-nippers, barbs are in fact some of the best fish for the home aquarium by Neale Monks

Related FAQs:  Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 1, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 2, B,D,R Identification, B,D,R Behavior, B,D,R Compatibility, B,D,R Selection, B,D,R Feeding, B,D,R Disease, B,D,R Reproduction,

Jumpers?    10/26/11
I just bought some fish I have not kept before, Dario dario and Heterandria formosa. I intend to keep them in (separate) planted species tanks. I'm just wondering whether I need to worry about either species jumping.
<Both can/will leave; the Dario more than the livebearer. Bob Fenner>

92 gal corner tank filter question.  8/27/11
WetWebMedia is a terrific resource!
I have a planted 92 gal corner tank with a school of Devarios and Rosy barbs.
<Nice, subtropical to low-end tropical species. Be sure not to overheat them!>
Currently I am filtering the tank with a Eheim 2028 canister filter rated at 277 gph. This gives only a 3x's/hour turnover rate. I also have a powerhead to increase circulation. After reading your site I understand that the turnover rate should be 4-6x's/hour. If I replace my filter with a large canister (like the Fluval FX5) which is rated at 606 gph with media, then the turnover rate would be about 6.5x's per hour. Would this be too much?
Would I be better off going with a second canister which would be rated at ~300gph?
<Either suits. There's arguments both ways. One big-ass filter means less pipe work, so it's easier to hide. Two smaller filters means you have a backup in case one fails, or at least, you can change the media in one filter knowing that bacteria from the other with colonise it quickly.>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: 92 gal corner tank filter question.  8/27/11

My tank was inspired by articles you have written on keeping subtropical tanks. Thank you Neale!
<Glad to help.>
I love the activity and schooling behavior of the Devarios and Barbs, and my wife thinks the tank looks great'¦ can't get better than that. The tank is kept at room temperature and is unheated. It usually stays between 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit. Common species like Devarios and Barbs are just as interesting, and certainly as much fun to keep, as the more exotic ones.
<Yes indeed. And often these fish have a seasonality to them as well, so in spring and summer their colours and behaviour really becoming vivacious.>
I'm sure once the additional filtration is in place they will be much happier. Thank you for the filtration advice. It's good to know that I can go a bit above a 6x's/hour turnover rate. I'm sure once the media and head height is accounted for the filters produce much less that their advertised flow rates anyway.
<If the fish are buffeted about, either use the taps to slow down the flow, or else use a spray bar to spread out the water flow.>
Thanks for all your terrific advice.
<Thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

Need information on discus (& Puntius demasoni requirements)   4/23/2011
WWM crew
<Hello Amit,>
I have a 25 gallon tank. I have kept 2 pairs of discus in it.
<Really, this tank is MUCH too small. How big are these Discus?>
I siphon of the faeces once in 3 days and remove 30 percent of water. I have a corner filter and also I use a powerfilter. I wanted to know whether I can keep demasoni barbs along with discus.
Are the demasoni compatible with discuss.
<No. Puntius demasoni comes from cool, fast-flowing hill streams in Kerala and nearby parts of India. The water in these habitats is quite cool, 15-25 C depending on the time of year.
Discus come from much warmer water with very weak water current. In other words, the complete opposite of what Puntius demasoni needs to do well.
Besides, your aquarium is too small for Discus, let alone Puntius demasoni! Get an aquarium at least 1.5 metres long, and then set up a big filter that can produce lots of water current. Keep at about 20 C, a bit colder in winter, a bit warmer in summer. Replicate a typical upland Indian Hillstream habitat with cool, well-oxygenated water. Keep in groups of at least 6 specimens otherwise it can be either nervous or aggressive (sometimes both). That's what Puntius demasoni needs to do well! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Where did these babies come from? [Now: some warnings re: Puntius denisonii and temperature]   7/11/10
Thank you Neale for your quick reply.
<My pleasure.>
I was worried about over-crowding by adding the 10 Diamond Tetras, you eased my mind. I was aware of the Denison's being predatory as I had read Bob Fenner's article, The Minnows called Barbs, Danios & Rasboras with your own insert (Gregarious but expensive).
<Indeed. These are very "in vogue" fish here in England. While essentially excellent community fish, they are fast-water fish that don't live long in stuffy, overheated tanks with poor water circulation. Aquarists often keep them at 25 C/77 F or higher, little knowing doing so will eventually kill them. Aim for 20-24 C/68-75 F and you'll be doing much better, and ideally lower the temperature a bit further in winter. Optimal tankmates include other low-end tropical and subtropical fish -- swordtails, peppered Corydoras, most Acaras, giant Danios, etc. If you must keep them at 25 C/77 F because of their tankmates, make absolutely sure you're also offering strong water currents and lots of oxygen. Don't keep them about 25 C/77 F at all, at least, don't if you want them to live for long. Fishbase reports a minimum temperature of 15 C/59 F, which indicates how much these fish prefer cooler rather than hotter conditions.>
I did need to travel from New Hampshire to Massachusetts to buy them @ $23.00 each and I did purchase the recommended odd number (5) but lost one the first week while in quarantine.
<Overheating, poor oxygenation are common problems.>
So far they have caused no trouble and they are now 4 inches long. If in your experience I should have (5) to be safer I will happily purchased another as without the knowledge and experience from yourself and the crew I could never have achieved this degree of success. So thank you all !
<I don't think fish can count, so whether you have 4, 5 or 6 isn't really an issue. With schooling fish there's certainly a minimum number below which dominance by the alpha fish causes problems for the others in the group. But once you get a number of fish coexisting as a school, you can usually add new ones without problems. Cheers, Neale.>

Loach Barb Danio Compatability / Environment   3/6/10
Awesome Crew @ WWM;
I have a 36 gallon aquarium 30Lx22Hx16D awaiting new residents, just completed cycling.
<Great. Now, a tank 30 inches long is somewhat short for the larger Danio species, so be careful when shopping. Danio rerio-sized species would be fine, but Devario aequipinnatus-sized things would feel very cramped.>
I've done some research on-line on compatability and conditions to stock it properly, however, I'm hoping you can give me your expert opinion. There seems to be a lot of variation from one site to the next.
<Fire away.>
Water planned to be maintained at 78F (26C).
<Very slightly on the warm side for Danios; in general, these fish prefer somewhat cool conditions, in part because they're upland rather than lowland fish, but also because they're sensitive to stuffy, oxygen-poor water.>
pH comes out of the faucet @ 7.6, however, I've been maintaining it @ 7.0 based upon the fish I want.
<What I'm concerned about is you mention only pH, which is largely irrelevant, but not hardness, which is crucial. If you said you were mixing 50% hard tap water with 50% RO water, I'd say that was a brilliant idea.
That's how I keep most of my fish. But you said you're controlling pH, and this sets my mind to thinking you're adding pH buffer potions to the water.
This is a terrible idea because it [a] does nothing useful for your fish; and [b] creates an environment with a potentially unstable pH level. Do not, repeat DO NOT, use pH potions alone to change the pH of water. This is a total misunderstanding of water chemistry. Some magazines, like TFH, actually avoid articles that discuss mentioning water chemistry changes precisely because of this, because too many people add pH buffers without understanding what they're for. In summary, you add a pH buffer AFTER you've softened water, to make sure the pH stays stable between water changes. If you haven't softened the water, then you don't need, and shouldn't use, a pH buffer.>
Based on compatability charts I've come across loaches, barbs & Danios should be good together. Temperament & Environment.
Loaches pH 6.0-7.5, temp: 72-86
Barbs pH 6.0-7.0, temp: 74-79
Danios pH 6.5-7.5, temp: 73-79
I'm hoping a pH of 7.0 and temp of 78 is able to maintain these three species?
<What "species" are we talking about? Not all loaches are happy across this temperature range. There are plenty of loaches that cannot be kept as warm as 30C/86 F. Many are like Danios, and prefer things a little cooler than average. Likewise, Barbs range from coldwater species (like Rosy barbs) that do better in unheated tanks through to species that appreciate warmth, like Tiger Barbs. So again, what species?>
Would it be possible to acclimate the barbs to the pH of 7.6 out of the tap or should I keep maintaining via pH buffers to 7.0?
I would like Loaches on the bottom. Is 6 too many? Quantity suggested for this size tank? Either Angelicus, Yo-Yo or Queen. They recommend groups of 5+. Do they all have to be the same type of Loach or can I mix the types I listed here, say 2 of each kind?
<Has to be five of any one species. Best not to mix species, since differences in aggression levels can lead to bullying.>
I would like Barbs as well. Is 6 too many?
<No; it's the minimum number per species.>
Quantity suggested for this size tank?
<Depends on the species being kept. 10-12 Tiger Barb-sized barbs would be fine in this tank.>
I would like either Eight-Banded, Green Tiger, Gold or Tiger. Maybe 3 each of 3 kinds? Do they all have to be the same type of Barb or can I mix the types I listed here?
<At least six per species, ideally more if you want to avoid nipping.>
I would like Danios for the top. I was think about 12? Too much?
<Again, depends on their size, and how many other tankmates. Your aquarium is relatively small, 36 gallons/136 litres. So you have to be careful. Even if you had, let's say, six Tiger Barbs, six Zebra Danios, and five Yo-yo loaches, that'd be an overcrowded tank. I don't much like the "inch per gallon" rule because, basically, it sucks, but let's use it for a moment.
Six tiger barbs at a bit over 2 inches a piece, that's at least 12 inches there. Zebra Danios, just under 2 inches each, so another 12 inches. Yo-yo loaches are around 5 inches long each, so five of them would be 25 inches.
Add that together and you have 12 + 12 + 25 = 49 inches, in a 36 gallon tank. You're overstocked even with this fairly crummy rule.>
I would like some Inlecypris auropurpurea "Lake Inle" and Green-Barred, maybe a few Glo. Compatible?
<I think you need to choose which species you want, and choose one. In all likelihood, best results will come from a single school of one type of Danio. Unless they're in adequate numbers they won't school and they often become either shy or bullies, which is pointless. So get at least six, and ideally more. It sounds like you're more interested in "stamp collecting", i.e., keeping one of every fish you've seen, and while that sounds fun, it's actually pointless. You'll never keep all the fish you want, and if the fish you do have look frightened or annoy the other fish they're kept with, you won't get any fun from them. So choose a species, perhaps something like Inlecypris auropurpurea that isn't widely kept, and then create the aquarium around its needs. This is a fairly cool water species, 24 C/75 F being ideal. Rather than loaches, which tend to be too big to keep easily, why not keep one of the Corydoras species alongside it? Most Corydoras appreciate cool water, and they're so much smaller than loaches.
You could easily keep eight Inlecypris auropurpurea and six Corydoras julii, for example, and still have a bit of space left over for some Cherry Shrimps and Nerite Snails! With a sandy substrate, some plants and a few bits of rockwork, that'd be a great little system.>
What would be the best order to stock? Once species at a time or a few of each species every couple of weeks?
<If the tank is cycled, I'd add the Danios first, as a group. After a couple of weeks, I'd then add the Corydoras.>
Is there any other species that might be a better compatability in this tank that I am not familiar with?
Thanks so much - John
<Cheers, Neale.>

Question about Danios in a 10 gallon tank?   1/17/10
<Hi, Judy! Melinda with you here tonight.>
My husband and I have a ten gallon tank. There are six Danios in there and I have just found out that 10 gallons is too small for Danios due to the tank not being long enough.
<You're right, they would enjoy more room than this.>
We do not know anyone who would want them and can't upgrade to a 20 gallon for a while. I got four of them a week ago so Petco may refund them. The water quality is fine and they are zipping around.
<Active little suckers, aren't they? And fast!>
I am wondering if I should take them back even if they seem healthy due to the small tank size and just get a Betta?
<While this would be a great tank for a Betta, if you really do plan on upgrading, I'd keep these fish. Even something like a 20 Long would be much, much better for them, and if you keep an eye out Craigslist or the like, you might find a more suitable tank for them fairly quickly at little cost. Then, of course, you can get a Betta for the 10 gallon!>
Thank you
<You're welcome. Honestly, while these fish would enjoy more room, this tank is not overstocked, and they'll be fine in there for a while. Just keep an eye out for their next home. If you've got any large/tall decor which would impede the fish using the full length of the tank when they swim, I'd remove it. Also, I'd avoid adding any other fish until the upgrade. At this point, these fish aren't even likely full-grown, so I really think they'll be fine for a while.

Fire Rasboras, sys.   7/8/09
Hello Bob and Crew
Today I received some Fire Rasboras, Rasbora vaterifloris, so I mainly wanted to run some stuff by you guys and see if you had any suggestions.
They were a special order through my work, and I decided to get them still in the bag that they were shipped in. I know this is not something that you generally suggest doing, but because of how sensitive they are supposed to be I felt they would be better in my tank.
<Agreed... no sense moving them twice>
To acclimatize the nine of them to the tank I dripped them for an hour and a half. After which I netted the and moved them to the tank. The tank is a 5.5 gallon with a Hydro-Sponge III for filtration. The tank temperature is 80F, pH 6.8, KH 50, GH 100, nitrite 0, and nitrate 10. The maintenance schedule is going to be a daily water change for the 2-3 weeks that they will be in this tank. The water in the 5.5 was set up with half rainwater, half pond water as well as some plants from the natural pond that I have. There is live foods preset from the pond water and plants that the rasboras have been eating already. I haven't tried any prepared foods yet, though I was planning on mainly feeding frozen foods to them. Any immediate concerns that you have about this temporary set up for the Rasboras?
<Mmmm, not knowing the "type" of water they were in before... I can only speculate... but likely this will be fine>
In 2-3 weeks time I plan on moving them to either a 20 tall or a 29 gallon, depends how fast the fish in the 29 grow. Once the rasboras are in the larger tank I want to add some other fish with them, my main thoughts were some harlequin rasboras and some glass catfish, which should be compatible.
The plan was to then aquascape with wood, java fern, and some crypt plants.
Filtration will most likely be the Hydro-Sponge hooked up to a powerhead, as well as an Aqua Clear 30, could this be too much current for the rasboras?
<Should be fine>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Danios and High Alkalinity 12/30/08 Hi, I have six cold water Danio's <Danio rerio? The Zebra? http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=4653&genusname=Danio&speci esname=rerio> in my four gallon tank. The tank has a filter and air pump but no heater as of yet as the temperature seems to stay at a stable 18C. <At the low end... of their range> I just tested my water and noticed that the Alkalinity and hardness was quite high. According to the chart on the pot of test strips my Ph level is at 6.4; my alkalinity at around 20ppm; my hardness at 14ppm; <Mmm, unusual to have such high alkalinity, hardness coupled with low pH> my nitrate at 0ppm and my nitrite at 0ppm. I'm not sure whether this is normal for the tank but I don't think it is. I cant find any chart as to what the level should be at for these fish. <See the Fishbase.org link above> The other curious thing is that I actually live in a soft water area, however, I get my water from a natural spring (Malvern Hill spring water) as this was recommended to us by a neighbour who keeps tropical fish. Could the natural minerals in this water be the cause of this problem? <Problem? You do want some buffering capacity...> And what can I do to sort it out if it is a problem? And what should my levels be at for these fish? <Again... need to know the species... is this it?> The only information that I can find said I should filter the tank through peat moss but as this is illegal I don't think it is the best of ideas! Thanks so much for your help! Catriona <Illegal to use peat moss? I wonder why? Bob Fenner>

Re: Danios and High Alkalinity 12/30/08 Hi, thanks for your help I will check out the link. The fish are sold as Danio they have a huge tank of them and they come in a variety of colours, they are very common in the pet shops around here, especially at Just For Pets. <... need to know the species... Please... see the Net re... Google, Images...> Peat Moss is just an illegal substance in general! <Bizarre... have used it for decades... is a component of many soils, amendments...> The tank at the shop is kept at 18C and they said that that was actually just a bit warmer than you need to keep them as they are cold water! <Depends... is this a circular discussion? On the species... BobF>

Re: Danios and High Alkalinity 12/30/08 http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/927/30009417.JPG this is a picture of a leopard Danio of which I have two. I also have a pearl Danio, two stripped Danio and one other which I'm not sure what variety it is! <I see... These are social animals that really need to be in species schools... but you don't have room for this/them in four gallons> Peat Moss has been illegal in Britain for years! <Does seem odd... am going to ask a friend, fellow WWM Crewmember if he has ideas why this is the case... Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Danios and High Alkalinity 12/30/08 Hi Bob, Catriona, It isn't obvious to me that the use of peat moss is illegal in the UK, although peat bogs are certainly protected environments where limited, if any, harvesting takes place. You certainly can buy aquarium-ready peat formulations such as Eheim EhfiTorf (a concentrated peat granulate) in most aquarium shops. In any case, aquarists have numerous sustainable alternatives. Peat extracted from streams as it washes down mountainsides naturally is one source. I use a brand called "Mountain Gold" for rearing carnivorous plant seedlings. Coir (coconut fibre) is sold in blocks for use in reptile and amphibian habitats and once expanded in water is an extremely economical, highly sustainable alternative. Unlike peat, coir has only a slight impact on water chemistry. While it certainly tints the water, it doesn't dramatically lower pH and carbonate hardness. It's best for situations where you want peat a decorative substrate or for spawning (e.g., with killifish) rather than for water chemistry modification. Since Danios couldn't care less about water chemistry, and only care about water chemistry stability, I'd not waste my time on any of this unless I was planning on breeding them. And even then, I'd be using rainwater to dilute hard tap water 50/50. That produces moderately hard, slightly basic (pH 7.2-7.5) water that suits Danio species just fine. Cheers, Neale <Thank you for this timely input and keen U.K. petfish insight Neale. BobF>

Danio stays suspended in water   10/19/07 I searched desperately on your sight to find this specific problem and couldn't find it. I have 5 danios in a 10 gallon tank for 5 weeks now. They were all fine until 2 days ago, one just hovers above the gravel in front of the castle <Danios can't be kept in a 10 gallon tank. It's too small for them. They are hyperactive fish, and also very hierarchical, spending a lot of time chasing one another about. In a too-small tank, the dominant fish will bully the others, and you will find one fish dying every few weeks from stress, until eventually you have just one or two specimens left.> which is about 5 inches wide and never really moves much beyond the length of the castle unless prompted by the other danios. <"Prompted" is probably not the word: "bullied" is. I've seen this happen before, and that is why I absolutely and categorically consider Danios unsuitable for a 10 gallon tank. You need at least 6 specimens for their behaviour to "be good", and they need 20 gallons of space so that they can maintain their "personal space" without problems.> The ammonia and nitrites and nitrates are all at 0 ppm and he shows no outward appearances on body of being ill. <Good.> He doesn't look like he is suffering, just that he is bored or depressed. <Stressed, actually.> I did do a 30% water change and added aquarium salt, Stress coat and vacuumed the gravel. Did another very small water change the next day. <Why on Earth are you adding salt to the aquarium? Do you have some brackish water fish in there as well? Freshwater fish do not want or like salt added to the water. Assuming you have water chemistry within the range of preferences for Danios (moderate hardness, pH 6.5-8.0) you should be fine.> No real change. I don't know what else to do. I know the key thing is water change, etc. I have done that and I'm at a loss. <The issue here is social behaviour. Solution: bigger tank, add some more specimens of the same species. This will fix the problem. Nothing else will. And once this fish dies, another will get listless, and so on...> Can you answer this quickly and advise specifically where I could locate my answer. With the several feed backs on each page of your website makes It difficult to find. Thank you, Irene <Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale>

Re: Danio stays suspended in water  10/20/07 Of all the reading I did, I saw that 10 gallon tank was sufficient for these small fish that once they reach adult size, is 2 inches. <Yes, this is commonly said. But it isn't true. They need swimming space. Fishbase (the primary source of scientific fish information on the Internet) says this about Zebra Danios -- "Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; minimum aquarium size 60 cm". I'd agree with that. 60 cm (= 24 inches) is by my reckoning a standard 20 US gallon tank. If you happen to have a very long and wide, but shallow, 10 US gallon tank that gives the fish 60 cm/24" of swimming space, then you might be fine. But if you have a standard 10 US gallon tank, which is 50 cm/20" long or thereabouts, then you're out of luck really. Funnily enough I just finished writing an article for 'Tropical Fish Hobbyist' on stocking ten-gallon tanks, and one aspect of the article is why inactive schooling fish, like Neons, are better than hyperactive ones, like Danios.> So much for doing my research. <Research is good. But 'best practise' changes over time, and what was once considered acceptable might not be acceptable now. And to be fair, Danios have been kept successfully in 10 gallon tanks. I just don't consider it reliable. If you have an aggressive male in there who wants to throw his weight about, there's a lot of chasing, a potentially casualties.> I even researched on the fishless cycling so these fish would never be exposed to ammonia or nitrites and when that was finished (about 6 weeks later when ammonia and nitrites were 0), I added them all to the tank. <Very good.> I guess the only way you learn with fishkeeping is through trial and error because research obviously didn't help here. <Indeed. My most recent experience with Danios was with six Danio choprae added to a 10 gallon tank. Within a couple of months, the two dominant males had killed off all their schoolmates, and all they did was chase and nip each other all the time.> Too many differences of opinion. <Agreed.> I don't have room for a 20 gal. Tank, that's why I went with the Danios. <Ah, that's a pity. But to be fair, a 20 gallon needn't take up much more space.> Now what? <Can't offer any magic bullets. Doubling the number of Danios in there might help, by diffusing the aggression and weakening the pecking order. But that would double to load on the filter, and worse, there's no guarantees, and you might just end up with twice as many bullies!> Thank you, Irene <For the time being, maybe just sit and wait. See if things settle down. Perhaps the fish will all start playing nicely, and you won't have problems. Keep an eye open for other problems that might be at work. Keep tabs on water chemistry and quality. Try varying the diet a bit, to coax the quiet fish into activity. Live daphnia usually do the job nicely. Good luck, Neale>

pH in water Mr. Fenner, I have a 20 gal tank that I started about 2 weeks ago. I set up the tank (used tap water and treated) and let it run for a week w/out fish. On Sunday, 8/5/01, I introduced 2 tiger barbs and 2 gold barbs. Just before I introduced the fish, the water began to cloud up. I thought it was the level of the ph (7.6). My questions are: 1. Is 7.6ph safe for a tank and what fish will do well? <This pH should be fine for your barbs> 2. What could be causing the cloudiness? <Very likely this is a "population explosion" of microbes... common when a tank starts off sterile... as in all new. Do take care not to overfeed, and monitor ammonia, nitrite if you can during this "break-in" period> 3. When would be a good time to introduce other fish and add plants to the tank? <After the cloudiness is gone... likely in a week or two. Please do use our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more input. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thank-you for your time. Scott Re: pH in/of water What other types of fish could I introduce to the tank? <A very large selection... but do take care to check on their compatibility and average maximum size... the rasboras, Danios, larger livebearers, perhaps some of the medium size/temperament Gouramis, loaches, many, many catfishes... Take a look on our site under livestock selection and the various groups surveyed. Bob Fenner>

Temporary Fish Housing (12/23/2003) Hi-ya thanks for any help you can give me. I am wanting to move my community tank upstairs as a larger tank has been bought for the living room to host Discus. The tank currently running is a 35 gallon community tank. With around 15 fish, biggest of which are silver sharks ( a pair ) around 3-4 inch in length. <Are these Bala "Sharks" (Balantiocheilos melanopterus) or Hemiodus? Either of these will get bigger and need a bigger home. Depending on the projected adult size of your 15 fish, your tank may be overstocked.> The other tank is a 75 gallon which is not set-up as yet. It will have an Eheim 2026 pro II for filtration. I am wanting to move the fish into this larger tank temporarily. So I have a couple of weeks to clean out and replace various parts of the old tank. Just  wondering how quickly I can move the fish into this new tank without risking their health. I will start with just a couple of the more hardy fish like the mollies and the green tiger barbs. The tank is quite large for the fish going into it. <not really> How long should I leave the tank before any fish go in? assuming its free from chlorine. <Seed it with water & filter material from the 35, it will cycle very quickly and you should be able to start after just a few days transferring a few fish every few days. And how quickly should I add the rest? <No clear-cut formula here. Maybe 1/4 of the fish every 3-4 days. If you can get some Bio-Spira (check Marineland's website for info), you can cycle the tank instantly.> I will then of course have to slowly move them back to the original. <Consider Bio-Spira> Would greatly appreciate any tips or hints you could give me, in this stressful time for my little friends!! <Your "sharks" would be better off in a 55G tank than a 35--they need the swimming room of a 48" long tank. Good luck, Steve Allen>

High pH, Fighting Danios Hi guys. You have the greatest website! I got my first tank two weeks ago. It is a ten gallon freshwater community tank, several plastic plants, 50 watts heater, two thermometers one internal and one external, one fake rock with 3 holes on it, one undergravel filter, two inch deep gravel strata (rounded and more or less pea sized), one aqua-tech outside power filter, one small sponge filter. The pH of our tap water is about 7.4 to 7.6. I added water conditioner (Tetra Aqua Safe), Stress Zyme, five teaspoons of salt for freshwater aquarium. At the beginning the water got a little cloudy. I waited one week and added 3 Zebra Danios Next day I added one ounce of Bio-Spira freshwater bacteria from Marineland. The water became clear again within 24 hours. The Danios (one small male, one small female and a larger older individual whose gender is a mystery to me) were fine. They were exploring and racing around. Then the two smaller Danios began to dance in circles at the bottom of the aquarium. The older individual took possession of the upper and middle part of the aquarium and began to chase and bump-fight the small male while the small female was hidden in the plants. Within 48 hours the small male stopped racing and eating and died. I examined the body. There were no signs of disease or injury. The older individual still chases the small female every time they meet. The small female is fine but she is confined to a corner of the aquarium that is covered in plants most of the time. She ventures out often, but she goes back when the larger Danio chases her. When I feed the fish, I feed them very little food, twice or once a day. I try to feed them the minimum amount of food possible. I underfeed them because they are too busy fighting each other to eat all of it. Although the Danios come immediately to the food, they promptly begging to fight and some flakes end up sinking and the fish remain hungry. I worry about the food sinking. My last pH reading is in the range of 7.6 to 8. My ammonia reading is 0. My nitrite reading is 0.2. I have several questions: What could have happened to the small male Zebra Danio? <<Aggression, high ammonia, nitrites. What did your ammonia test at last week? Must have been some, there has to be ammonia for it to be converted into nitrite. Do you have nitrates yet? You should be testing this tank everyday.>> What is it with the large Zebra Danio (I was told they are peaceful fish)? <<They are not. And a toxic tank will not make them any nicer, either...>> Could the small female Zebra Danio be hurt by constant harassment? <<Certainly>> Is it a good idea to add other fish to the tank? <<No.>> If so is this list a good list: one male Beta, two more Zebra Danios, two female Guppies and two small Cory Cats? Are this fish too many (taking into account all my filters and that I am willing to do a 25% water change weekly and a mayor water change monthly)? Would they take my pH as it is? How can I modify this list to avoid disaster? <<Do NOT add any fish now. Your tank is still cycling. Hence the high pH, etc. And certainly don't add all of these at one time! And definitely avoid putting guppies and a Betta into a tank with Danios. Disaster awaits if you do.>> Until now I have resisted the impulse of applying pH-lowering product to my tank but What can I do with my pH (7.6 to 8.0)? Should I make a 25% water change now (taking into account that the food keeps sinking because of the fighting of my Danios)? <<As I said, your pH is high because the tank is CYCLING. It will stabilize in a month or so. Have PATIENCE, please. Do not mess with your pH, you will not be helping your fish if you do. The pH will end up all over the place, and your fish will end up dead from a combination of pH shock, nitrite poisoning, and stress..>> Finally, If Bio-Spira is so amazing, why are some dealers against it? Thank you for your help. <<I personally like Bio-Spira, it's an excellent product when it's being used properly. However, results will differ from tank to tank. Dealers simply don't like it when people with no experience try to cycle with it and end up with dead fish, as in your case. Please do some reading, buy yourself some ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits, and be PATIENT. Test your water regularly, do waterchanges when readings become high, and do NOT add fish until the tank has NO ammonia and NO nitrites left. Keep two small fish in the tank during cycling. TWO! not more! Keeping a written record of your test results will help. :) -Gwen>>

Barbs, something bunk with their environment Hello, wanted to now could you tell me what this is my barbs keep dying they have there mouths stuck open no function?  then they get some sort of fungus its been going on for about two months started treating with MelaFix  no results then done everything to clean that up waited then did ick meds.  still sick   repeated clean up then waited then hit them hard with paragon by AquaTropics  for wide spectrum anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial control.. still have new case of  the mouth open stuck??????   i really don't now what else to do but dispose of these two so others wont get sick??? what  could i do.   thanks < Barbs need clean well aerated water. Check your water for ammonia and nitrites, both should be zero. Nitrates should be below 25 ppm. If you are convinced that it is not bacterial or protozoans then you could try and treat for gill flukes with fluke tabs or clout.-chuck>  

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