Tiger Barb Tails Up?

Discussion in 'South American Cichlid Forums Neotropical' started by Guest, Mar 2, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    When people say that it is normal for tiger barbs to hang head down in the water, do they really mean just tilted head down or do they mean straight up and down? If they really mean straight up and down, why don't any of the books mention this about barbs? It doesn't seem like a survival trait to float around on the verge of turning belly up in the water. :confused:
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    They really mean tilted slightly head down. I've never seen a tiger barb that wasn't dying hang in the water vertically.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, that's interesting. I didn't think they were supposed to do that.

    About half to a third of my 15 tiger barbs do that regularly when the school pauses in the water. When they move forward again they swim fine. There's no bloating and no visual problem with scales or fins. They even flash their fins at the other fish in social interactions while floating vertically. They don't look completely happy that way, but they also don't look ready to croak any time soon.

    I've tried dosing them once with Epsom Salt in their food, fasting them for day, feeding them high roughage food for three days (both insect/crustacean-based and fresh-vegetable-based), and feeding them high moisture food for three days (fish-based). Now they are back to their small meals of pre-soaked flakes that they were on to begin with, and the entire course of treatments hasn't affected them at all except that now they won't even touch shrimp pellets because that's what I dosed with Epsom Salt the one time.

    We discussed this on another board and there were about half a dozen of us whose fish are doing this. I wondered if it wasn't a genetic defect of some kind coming from the breeders recently, but some of them said their LFS was telling them it was normal so I thought I'd ask here.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This is chiarore and scotsero. Scott says he's seen that happen with tiger barbs in several fish stores, I personally have never noticed this behavior. We're wondering if perhaps headstanding is a genetic trait, with some outcrossing or mutation along the way causing it in some tiger barbs recently...? Our guess is as good as yours. As long as they're not dying, I wouldn't worry about it.
    There are both cypriniform fishes and characins with this odd trait in existence, Scott thinks it's probably a recessive trait in some other forms. Negative aspects to the trait have not been studied as far as we know. I can't imagine it benefitting them in the wild, but I don't think there will be problems with predation or anything in an aquarium lol....
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for the reply, scotsero.

    They aren't dying but they aren't very attractive floating around that way instead of hovering alertly as they are supposed to. I've stopped worrying about their health but now I'm sorry I bought them. It's a shame that the breeders can't be bothered to cull their stock, and I think it's a ripoff that the stores are willing to pass genetically defective fish off to their customers as "normal" when they are obviously nothing of the sort. I'm sure in many instances it's just ignorance on the part of the store managers, but it's still a sad thing to happen both to the fish and to their owners.
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The "striped headstander" and others do use this activity to evade predators in the wild...I believe it is this genetic instinct that has been bred into other fish because it is "cool" to have a fish that does headstands....When the customer is uninformed...they think it is cool. As you are informed and you care about your fish as more than ornaments, you tend to feel sorry for the poor things. As long as the water chemistry is good and they eat well, I do not believe they are suffering, which is what is important...do keep an eye out for bloat...and/or internal parasites extruding from the anus. Just in case.
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've a small school of 6 tiger barbs who do this on a regular basis.

    When they are asleep.

    I did notice that towards the end of the evening, they tend to tilt downwards slightly - between 3 and 4 o'clock if you think of an hour hand - and activity is reduced.

    By 11pm, roughly half of them have managed to point at 5 o'clock. Recently however I was up at 2 am and walked past the fish tank and did a double take. The entire school was nose down in a 6 o'clock position in the back of the tank .

    Colors were fine, no one was being battered around by the current, they were all stationary and vertical.

    They do not do this during the day, and I had always associated it with the light in the corner of the living room several feet away causing them to orient 'towards the sun'.

    This is the first time I have heard of other TBs doing it.
     
  8. mishy

    mishy Member

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    I have Green Barbs, 6- 3f,3m. they all do it to! But mine seems to shake their whole body while their nose is down and rear is up. Anyone know shy yet>?

    Michelle

    You don't have to like me
    BUT
    Ya gotta Love Me
     
  9. Frank M. Greco

    Frank M. Greco Member

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    This slight head-down tilt is not unusual in many smaller barb species. I've noted it in Barbus sophore, B. ticto, B. phutunio, B. fasciatus and B.sahyadriensis. I believe it may be part of the feeding habits of these fish.
    It is also noted in larger bards as well but for some reason it is not as pronounced a behaviour as it is in the smaller species.

    Frank M. Greco
    Professional Aquarist
    http://www.frankmgreco.com
    http://www.franksaquarium.com
     
  10. mishy

    mishy Member

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    Frank...

    That is intresting to know.....mine tend to do it after eating and it goes one for about a 1/2hr and all is done.

    Michelle

    You don't have to like me
    BUT
    Ya gotta Love Me
     
  11. jhackman

    jhackman Member

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    I've seen many cichlids tilt their heads down (mbuna, especially Psuedotropheus demasoni) while eating. They tilt at about a 45 degree angle and dart up and down slightly. Trying to think of what other fish I've seen do that with a mouth full of food, can't recall. Thought I'd chime in since I have also seen this during feeding.

    Joe Hackman
     
  12. Frank M. Greco

    Frank M. Greco Member

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    Since I am replying to this from home, I went and looked at my barb tank. Almost all of them are swimming slightly head down, as if anticipating some potential food item appearing from between the rocks.

    Frank M. Greco
    Professional Aquarist
    http://www.frankmgreco.com
    http://www.franksaquarium.com
     

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