Chinese Gold Barbs

Attack of the Barbs!

A lot has happened in the aquarium since my last update. My Italian Vallisneria, val, is doing very well. They’re spreading and filling in nicely. The new plants are easy to clip off and replant where I choose. The other plants, however are just sitting there and doing nothing. I guess that’s good Zen.

Chinese Gold Barbs

The Amazon Sword was supposed to be tall and out of control if you didn’t watch it. It’s just kind of stagnated. It’s roughly the same size as it was when I planted it 3 months ago. I don’t have a Co2 setup. I thought that it didn’t matter for Amazon Swords. I’m not sure what to do with it, I’d kind of like to replace it with some regular, thicker Vallisneria.

I’ve also added a huge clump of Hornwort. That’s not going so well either. It really hasn’t taken off and it makes a mess. I thought the fallen needles would be good for the Amano Shrimp, but they don’t seem to care for it. I also wanted to provide some cover for any guppy babies. There will never be babies of any kind as long as the Barbs are in there. More on that in a few. So, I really scaled back on the Hornwort and I’m rethinking of pulling it out all together. Let’s see how it goes from now until the next update.

Chinese Gold Barbs
Chinese Gold Barbs

I gave up all of my guppies except one male and one female. The male we kept was beautiful and the female was as well. We were hoping that they would start a guppy colony. Well, that didn’t go as planned, but still could be a possibility.

Anyway, right after we returned from Seattle we thought the female guppy was pregnant. I really didn’t trust the barbs with the fry. Even with the large amount Hornwort. So, I put her in the little separating tank that hangs over the back. She’d been in there for about 4 weeks with no babies. I was convinced she wasn’t pregnant and had decided to put her back into the general population the next cleaning.

Shortly after determining the female guppy wasn’t pregnant the male guppy disappeared. This is the second such incident of a disappearing guppy. I came to the conclusion that they jump out and my cat gets a nice snack. Easy close and shut case.

A day or two after the male disappeared I put the female back into the main tank. I had already decided on replacing the guppy colony with a school of Neon Tetras. So, I was thinking the female could live her days out in peace without a pesky male harassing her constantly.

Something magical happened! The ghost of the missing male guppy suddenly appeared. What looked like the shell of the male guppy was actually what was left of the male guppy. He’d been very badly beaten and graspoing to life. He must have been hiding in the castle and the scent of the female guppy brought him out.

It was now obvious that something in the tank was attacking my guppies. There’s 3 other species in the tank other than the guppies– 3 Nerite Snails, 5 Amano Shrimp, and 10 Chinese Gold Barbs. I knew the barbs were fin nippers. That’s why scratched the idea for Angelfish. I thought the guppies had short enough fins not to bother them. AND I never once seen the barbs act aggressively towards the guppies.

Well, the barbs must have a trigger that turns them into a brutes. Now, I’ve figured this out I believe they have killed 2 guppies in total and nearly killed a third. He’s still alive, but bruised and missing his tail. Yes, I should have known better, but I only know what I see. I hadn’t seen anything that caused me any suspicion. For the most part the barbs are like a pack of Pomeranians. Cute and harmless. I guess they have a darkside. A very dark darkside.

Chinese Gold Barbs
Chinese Gold Barbs

Now, I have decision to make. Both the female and male guppy are separated from the main tank and each other in the small separating tank. That can’t last long and I can’t put either in the main tank with the barbs. Sorry, but the barbs are staying. It looks like the male is going to pull through. It’s been 3 days since he reappeared and he looks better each day. We’ll see how he fairs.

Should I get a small 10-20 gallon tank and create a guppy colony? I’m thinking about it. I just don’t know if I want the extra work. Right now my workload for the tank I have is perfect. It was a lot of work for a couple of months getting it going, but now it’s easy. I don’t know if I want to go through that again. At least I could use some of the bacteria from my main tank to jump start it. That might help and make the setup easier. Then there’s the decision on where to put it. I just don’t know at this point. I’ll do another update soon.