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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all I have a question I hope you can help me with since I think my LFS may have given me bad advise. I recently added a 29 gallon tank to my collection and decided I wanted to try an aggressive tank since my 10 gallon was a community one. So I got some flora max substrate, a handful of plants, a piece of mopani wood, a T5 light and a 50 gallon power filter. Once that was all setup I went to the local fish store to get some fish to cycle the tank. I told them I wanted an aggressive tank. They told me I could go with African Cichlids, but then I could only ever have African Cichlids, or Tiger Barbs and then I could add other aggressive fish or maybe some Oscars.

Well since that allowed me the variety I wanted I went with the Tiger Barbs. They put three of them in a bag and said for the size tank I had I could either do another 3 tiger barbs, or one slightly bigger fish. I wanted variety so I asked what bigger fish they would recommend. They showed me an iridescent shark. I thought it looked cool, plus who doesn't like sharks (and yes i understand it is really a catfish). Well I started out worried for the barbs, even though I knew they could be fiesty themselves but it turns out the iridescent is a big pushover and the barbs chase him all over the place. Not only that but I found out this type of shark gets huge.

So what should I do here. Should I take the shark back and tell them to give me more appropriate or am I over thinking this and will this setup actually be ok?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Bullheads Rock My Socks
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the irridescent shark is way too large (growing up to 4 feet) for that tank, i would recommend an oscar for the time being but he might even outgrow it and you may need a 55 gallon tank...good luck with everything
 
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The shark is not going to be happy for very long in that tank. In my experience with tiger barbs if they are introduced into a tank after less aggressive fish are established, they don't chase them as bad. If they are established in a tank they chase about everything you add. With only three of them they will likely nip at everything else anyway. I try to keep groups of 6-8 so they play among themselves. I never really considered tiger barbs that aggressive. I have a 29 with 5 tiger barbs and 4 green tiger barbs that all school together, 3 black skirt tetras, and 1 opaline gourami and they seem to be getting along fine. My 29g Project.


No, an oscar will not be a good tank mate for barbs unless the barbs are there for food. He will get big enough to eat them.

If you are looking for aggressive why not give the New World Cichlids a look? Some of them might do well in a 29g tank and from what I have been researching are rather simple to care for.

Take a look at Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums and you will find several of them that are suitable for 30g tanks.

Please note: I have not kept any of these cichlids, I only mention this because I am researching some types for a future 55g setup that I will be doing and it seems to fit what you are trying to do.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah the shark went back to the store today (without refund or exchange). When they sold me the tiger barbs they told me plenty of fish would get along with them once my tanks was done cycling. I went back today to return the shark and all of a sudden the only fish they could recommend for my tank size to go with the barbs were more barbs. That will be the last time I step foot in that store.

So I came home frustrated and stared at my new 30 gallon tank that was now home to a whopping 3 small tiger barbs. No clue what my path forward would be since my whole plan with this bigger tank was to be able to fit a nice variety of fish. My other tank is just a 10 gallon community tank that i was having a blast with but quickly reached my limit on how many fish would fit in it (2 marigold sword tails, 1 red swordtail, 1 lyretail molly, 1 pearl danio and a pleco.

That is when I thought of switching my two collections around. I wouldn't mind having a barb only tank if it was just a small tank and i would move all my community fish to the big tank which would allow me to add a bunch more variety of fish (was really wanting an angel or two).

What do you all think? Can the 10 gallon fit ~6 barbs and if so will they be happy with just 6 of them and no other fish? And any suggestions for what to add to the community tank when it is time to switch (waiting for the 30 gallon to cycle first). Or is my whole plan a bad idea?
 

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Bullheads Rock My Socks
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well i would just let the tigerbarbs grow up and add a few more that way you canenjoy them, and then you have the pride of raising them up.
 
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