FAQs on the Minnows called Barbs,
Danios and Rasboras Selection
Related Articles: Barbs, Danios &
Barbed Response; Wrongly maligned for being fin-nippers, barbs
are in fact some of the best fish for the home aquarium by
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 Systems, B,D,R Feeding, B,D,R Disease, B,D,R Reproduction,
the Pearl Danio... very easygoing.
Long-Tailed Rosy Barb, mis-stocked barbs
Hello! First off, let me say how incredibly helpful your site has been
for me thus far! My question concerns one of my new long-tailed rosy
barbs, whom I've nicknamed 'Lazy'. I purchased him
yesterday along with another rosy,
<Mmm, best in groups>
2 tiger barbs,
and 2 African dwarf frogs.
<Not compatible... will have a hard time feeding>
All have been doing well thus far in the 10 gal. aquarium.
<Yikes... too small a volume for these barb species. I'd trade
them in for smaller species: Cherries, Golds, Checkerboard...>
The current pH is at 7.4, and the temperature is a steady 76
degrees F. However, I found Lazy laying on the bottom of his tank when
I came home this afternoon. His respiration seems normal, and he still
swims to the top of the tank to eat, but will return to the gravel
right after. (I've been feeding them fish flakes and blood worms
for snacks). I can't help but be worried about him, Is this a
normal habit, or should I seek out some medical attention for him?
<Not normal... again, you're mis-stocked here... Read re these
species needs on WWM and here:
and the linked files above. Bob
Danios or Golden Tetras
nipping at Angelfish fins? 11/21/11
I am a relatively new aquarist and am having trouble with nippy
<One of the commonest problems beginners have to deal with. Trust
me, we've all been there.>
I have a 21Gallon (tall) aquarium that has been established for 7
It has 2 Zebra Danios, 2 Longfin Rosie Danios, 1 Longfin White Danio, 3
Golden Tetras, a Glass Cat and a Plecostomus.
<Could really be any of the Danios or Tetras, to be honest.
You've made the classic mistake of not keeping enough of either
species. The Rosy Danios are, I assume, Danio roseus. The Zebras and
Albino Danios are both Danio rerio. Both of these have the potential to
be aggressive fish in groups smaller than 6, and honestly, I've
seen groups of six Danios withered down to just one male through
ceaseless aggression between the original members.
So the bigger the group, the better. Golden Tetras also need to be kept
in groups of 6. That's a standard rule of any schooling fish. But
this species, Hemigrammus rodwayi, isn't aggressive or known to be
nippy under most circumstances. My money would be on the
Two days ago I added a small Angelfish and every morning its caudal fin
becomes a little more frayed.
Naturally, I wish to relocate the aggressors to a 10 Gallon tank
(established for 1 year). I have searched many different websites and
have received much contradictory advice. I have also read many threads
on your site and, wonderfully informative as they are, all seem to
indicate that the Angelfish should be the one nipping at fins.
<Not really, no. Can't think why that's something you've
read here. Angels can be territorial, and adults are surprisingly
predatory. But they're not serious fin-nippers, except perhaps with
truly hopeless cases like Bettas that get nipped by anything!>
I am aware of the schooling factor and was told that Zebra and Longfin
Danios would happily school together.
<Yes. But three Danio rerio does not a school make!>
Perhaps this is not so? As for the Golden Tetras, I live in a remote
town with a limited LFS and I have never seen any more Golden Tetras
Perhaps they would school with a different type of Tetra?
I would very much like to keep my Angelfish healthy and stress free. I
look forward to any advice you may have.
Thank you very much,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Danios or Golden Tetras nipping at Angelfish
Thank you Neale!
I will now pay closer attention to species... seems so logical now that
you've pointed it out!
<As with many things in life.>
I will relocate the Danio Rerio and, due to lack of tank space, will
look into trading the Danio Roseus for more Rerio and form a proper
Will also ask LFS if they can order more Golden Tetras.
<Wise. They're nice fish.>
Lesson learned! :)
Re: my misinterpretation of Angelfish being nippy... it's likely I
simply misunderstood what I read as my head does "swim" with
too much info at times!
Thank you for indulging a novice!
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Unexplained angelfish
I took your advice and about 8 weeks ago bought 7 snakeskin barbs.
These very beautiful and active fish have brought the tank to life. A
'bully' cherry barb from my grandson's tank is even
behaving herself and shoaling with the snakeskins. Thank you for being
so generous with your time and expertise to help me with my
"problem" tank. Patricia
<Thank you for this follow-up Patricia. BobF>
Loach Barb Danio Compatability /
Awesome Crew @ WWM;
I have a 36 gallon aquarium 30Lx22Hx16D awaiting new residents, just
<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
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
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
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
<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,
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
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
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
Adding fish 8/27/09
I have 2 angel fish and 2 Bolivian rams in on tank, would it be ok to
add 2 Danios?
<In theory, yes, this species mix should be fine. But Danios should
be kept in groups of 6 or more specimens. In smaller groups, Danios are
aggressive and can be nippy, e.g., nipping the fins of the Angelfish.
This also depends on the size of the tank. Two Angels, two Bolivian
Rams, and 6 Danios would need a tank at least 20 gallons in size, and
ideally 30 gallons or larger. Cheers, Neale.>
Are Galaxy Rasboras really being captive
Last week, I came across a few Galaxy Rescores at one of our local box
stores for $10 each - pretty steep. I have never seen these in any of
our LFS. I was interested in getting a few to go with our new Betta in
an established 10 gallon planted tank and started doing some homework.
He is all red and the Galaxy Rescores would be spectacular with him.
From everything I read online, I can provide parameters suitable for
In my research, I came across all the controversy on the web about how
endangered they are or might be and wanted to get the straight talk
from a reliable source that might have more current info.
<The problem is little news on stuff that matters, let alone
tropical fish, comes out of Burma. It's a closed country. News on
new populations come from the Burmese fishery agency, and who knows how
honest they are when it comes to hard currency-earning exports such as
these fish. Our own governments essential delude themselves all the
time on things like Cod fisheries, so I'd have to assume the
Burmese government is just as bad, if not worse.>
I found only a few threads on WWM regarding these fish, but none
mentioned them being in an endangered status.
So here goes:
To the best of your knowledge, is there a real problem for these little
fish as far as being over-fished in their native habitat?
<No one knows for certain, but is certainly probable, and there are
reliable reports the original location was overfished very
Or was it just a story that got started to drive the prices up?
A lot of what I read says that the breeding habits of these fish is not
well known, so would it be safe to assume that they might not actually
be many breeders having a lot of success even 2 years since their
<That the fish can be bred, and that it is actually being bred on a
commercial scale are different things. Cardinal tetras can be bred, yet
virtually all the cardinals in the hobby are wild-caught. For so long
as the demand is there, and the price of wild fish is less than captive
bred fish, the market will take wild fish in preference.>
I also read that the Myanmar Govt. has banned all exportation of these
fish, but we all know it happens.
I called the corporate offices of the store to ask if they were captive
bred, or wild caught. I didn't say which I was looking for. The
woman said she would check and get back to me. She called back a few
hours later and said they were indeed captive bred in Florida, which is
where I am.
<May well be, but to be honest, I'd not trust that without
knowing the breeder's name; unless they're speaking to an
informed branch of the Press, "marketing" people tend to
have, let's say, a flexible relationship with
I neglected to ask for the name of the breeder, but that might have
been considered proprietary information and she might not have told me
anyway. So I had no way to verify that they are indeed captive
So in your opinion, would this be a reasonable choice of fish to add to
our Betta tank?
<Possibly; Bettas prefer warmer, stiller water to these Danios,
which prefer cooler, somewhat flowing water, much like other Danios. So
while I dare say you could mix them, it wouldn't be my first
If so, do I just go for it and in giving them a new home, we could try
to breed them and help out this little fish breed in our small way?
<If they're captive bred, then keeping/breeding them would
certainly be worthwhile.>
Or do I assume they are wild-caught and boycott as so many articles
<Rather than assume either way, see if you can confirm they're
captive bred. In the meantime, do see here:
As always - Thanks again.
Green Tiger Barbs - at a loss...
3/16/06 Bob, <Ralph> I've a 90 gallon that I recently
switched back to freshwater. Original intent was to have
mostly cichlids, again. Only real aggressive fish was to be
a Green Terror ( my last was essentially a peacekeeper who bothered no
one except feeders though he got to be 10"). <Yikes!>
Looking at some other sites I found a couple decent compatibility lists
and have also ended up with some barbs as well. <Easygoing
ones/species I trust> The only problem I keep having is the loss of
green tiger barbs. I've lost seven from three different
batches from the same LFS. <Mmm, know that these are sometimes
"wanky" from dealers... are raised in the Far East, often
"hormone treated" to boost color... That this degrades their
health otherwise... often lost on/near arrival anomalously...>
I've currently 3 more from another store - one has nipped fins and
is acting a little odd. As for the goners- two for sure had
nipped fins especially dorsal tail. The last two had upper
fins that looked like they were flaying/separating - like a feather and
for a week or so I would catch the one upside down as if dead until
another fish would come near! No signs of any Ick, Fungus,
rot or anything else apparently wrong. I am at a loss as to what is
going on- the goners were the largest of the
Barbs.. I've two Albino Tiger Barbs, four Tiger barbs,
<And these are the same species... mixable> two rosy, one gold
and four longer (tigerish) barbs. They have been doing great
and most have been in the tank since the beginning (@3
months). Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates are
great. Ph and Temp acceptable for all. I've also two
Giant Danios, one Plecostomus, one Green Terror, one Jewel Cichlid, a
pair of Rainbow Cichlids, one small Firemouth, a Cat, and a couple
1/2-3/4" Africans. ( .99 cent sale). <Mmm, well, the cichlids
might be working the new Green Barbs woe...> They are feed a variety
of dried, pellet, flake, frozen and live food. Today I
bought more live Brine shrimp and some feeder guppies. The
largest fish are one of the Danios and the Rainbows 3" - 3
1/2". Other than feeder guppies I've lost no fish other than
the aforementioned Green Tiger Barbs. Plenty of caves, plants and wood
for hiding. Thanks for your time. Ralph L Thieleman <I encourage you
to "harden" a new batch of these barbs... buy, place them in
another tank, moving water from your ninety for water changes... for a
few to several weeks. When transferring to your main tank, do move
about the decor items there (to disrupt territories, impose a new
dynamic)... If there is "psychological" as well as metabolic
room for them all, this should do it. Bob Fenner>
Re: Green Tiger Barbs - at a
loss... 3/17/06 Bob, <Ralph>
Thanks for the reply. <Welcome> I still don't understand why
only the green ones. I had them First, in-between and now
last. I see no one harassing them. With the first
ones I did see them bothering each other. I see the longer
Barbs "playing" and chasing each other as well as cichlids
chasing other cichlids. <I do believe these "green" sports
are less hardy than their brethren period...> I again have a green
that since his lower tail looks chewed has become more solitary the
past week but I've another green now that his top fin looks
likes it is fraying like some others had. One of them looked
like he was sideways at the top last weekend as well. Why
only the greens? <Genetics? Poorer care in Singapore where they very
likely originated?> Some cichlids have had their tails chewed on by
other cichlids. One even lost an eye. No
deaths. Just Green Tiger Barbs. And again I see
no signs of them getting picked on even by each other, especially with
these last three. <Perhaps the green ones are more
"attractive" to whoever may be harassing them (likely the
Terror, at night)... This is a common phenomenon (differential
mortality/predation based on color, markings... a fave thesis project
some years back)> If I lose these I'll most likely give up on
that variation. Thanks again, Ralph L Thieleman <I don't blame
you... There are other species of barbs... though your system is
over-stocked psychologically now... Bob Fenner>
The Ethics of Glo-Fish (TM) (6/5/05) Hiya Bob,
<<Howdy. RMF>> I just finished reading the article on
the Glo-fish, and I was wondering if it would be possible to ask the
author if he considers every breed of dog, most breeds of milk and beef
producing cattle, and probably 80% or better of all of the grains and
fruits he eats as also being 'garbage' due to the fact that
they are also man induced 'mutations' (yes, the method may be
different, but the intent and process is the same and similar-one is
just more 'trial and error, after all, no?) For the record, I also
don't like the idea of Glo-fish, or painted chandas, but plenty of
folks hate telescopes, black moors, fancy guppies and swords for just
as legitimate reasons. <Agreed> I can understand a POV of
distaste and dislike, I was just wondering what selective bias the
author uses to determine which of our obvious genetic alterations are
'garbage' and why? ;) (Heh, maybe I should write a counter
point article for submission, playing devil's advocate) <All
submissions are welcome for consideration. You will have to use a lot
better grammar than you did in this e-mail. Please capitalize the
proper noun "I" and the first letter of sentences. We post
all e-mails and replies. It's a lot easier for folks to read them
if they are punctuated properly. If you do it then we can spend less
time proofreading and more time answering.> Keep up the good
work-been observing your website for years, all the best! Alan
<Thanks. The author of the article is not a member of the
question-answering crew, so I do not know how to contact him. I do
agree with you on this issue. I have nothing against Glo-Fish (TM)
myself. They were created to serve a utilitarian purpose (pollution
detection). If there is a side benefit of providing pretty fishes that
have not been chemically burned and dyed, that's great from my
perspective. I have no problem with GM foods either. I say you're
right that there is no difference in principle between this and
selective breeding. It's only method and speed. In fact, GM is
better because the planning will lead to fewer bad mutations. It just
needs to be properly regulated. As for the other fish you mention, I
have qualms about some of them. If fish are selectively bred for
appearance, I only have a problem if that creates a deformity that
impairs the fish or causes pain. Some of the fish sold these days
definitely suffer as a result of their selectively-bred appearance.
That's my opinion, for what it's worth. Steve Allen>
Fish type (freshwater livestocking) Sir I am trying to figure
out what type of fish to put in with my Cory cat's that will like
current to swim in not just still water. I am using a fluval404 one end
and a Hagen 802 powerhead with a QuickFilter on the other end of my
55gal.tank. The two filters are set on wide open. At this time I have
tetras they are being used to seed the tank along with the Cory Cats.
the 404 has ball valves to cut down the if need be. I want something
that has some color. I was thinking about some barbs-Danios-rasp. If
they would get along with the Cory's. If not I can adjust the
current down and add something different. Thank You <Your plan to
include barbs, Danios and Rasboras sounds great...
http://wetwebmedia.com/barbsdaniosrasboras.htm Hopefully easier going
ones if this is the temperament of your current Tetras. Bob
GloFish Question Bob, <Yep> Wondering if we can get
your opinion on the GloFish fluorescent zebra Danios? They
look amazing, esp. for freshwater (n fact, even better than some marine
species). Could you comment? If you haven't
heard of them yet, they are at www.glofish.com and http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=scienceNews&storyID=3873977Â§ion=news
has a good article. Thanks! Sandi <Have seen these transgenics... a
whole bunch at last times Aquarama in Singapore... a neat scientific
application... but para mi, "no sale"... too pricey. Bob
Re: GloFish Question Bob, Thanks so much for your
time. I think I'll go with the GloFish even at the
price. They look to cool to pass up. Sandi <They are very
beautiful, and a very interesting "story" to relate re their
"genetic clip-on" technology. Bob Fenner>
- Preparing Saltwater & Tiger Barbs -
Howdy All! I have a 75g saltwater tank, and I pre mix RO water a week
in advance. I store the water in a 5 gallon
bucket. The bucket has heater and a Maxi-Jet powerhead on
top with the venture thing hooked up, with the output pointing at the
water surface. Is this optimal? <It's just fine...
exactly what I do, except that I use a trash can.> Would an air
stone in the bottom be better? <Would help only minimally... the
powerhead is doing the lion's share of the work.> Does it make a
difference? <Only slightly.> Should I leave my heater on all the
time, or just turn it on the day before I'm going to do my water
change? <I only plug the heater in when I need it, granted here in
South Florida that isn't very often, but... the day before is just
fine provided the water comes to temperature by the time you need
it.> Also, I set up a 37g freshwater aquarium for my 5 green tiger
barbs. That's all the fish I'm currently planning on
having. Should I do anything similar for their water
changes? <Not really... freshwater fish just aren't as
discriminating about the particulars of their water.> I understand
tiger barbs are somewhat hardy, but I want them to be as happy as
possible. Which brings me to another question... is 5 too
few? Would the fish be happier if I put a few more in, or do
you think they'd rather just have the extra space? <I'm a
fan of understocking, although you probably could fit one or two more
in there without too many problems. More on these fish here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/BarbsDaniosRasborasArt.htm
> Thanks much! - Chad