Have you recently added cherry barbs to a community tank? These fish can do well in community aquariums under the right circumstances.
What if your cherry barbs are chasing other fish, though? Are you worried that your cherry barbs are bullying or bothering their tank mates?
Why is this occurring? Read on to learn about the details so that you can understand what is likely going on in your community tank.
Are Cherry Barbs Aggressive or Peaceful?
Cherry barbs are very peaceful fish. They’re so peaceful that you need to be careful when picking tank mates for them.
Often, people make the mistake of putting these barbs in with fish that are a bit too aggressive. They can easily get bullied by very active and aggressive fish.
You’ll find that cherry barbs are very relaxed fish overall. They don’t bother their tank mates so long as you’re housing them properly.
Remember that cherry barbs are schooling fish. These fish are meant to be kept in groups of six or more.
So long as you’re keeping the fish in groups of the right size, it’s going to be easy to get good results in a community aquarium.
Sometimes Males Chase Each Other
It isn’t too uncommon to see two male cherry barbs chase each other. This is something that might happen from time to time.
You shouldn’t be too worried about this behavior, though. Male fish might chase each other or go through a bit of flaring to try to establish a hierarchy in the group.
This is normal behavior, and it’s very common to see this happen with other types of fish as well. The males won’t necessarily fight with each other, but they might chase each other a bit.
You can even think of this as playing. Since it’s nothing to worry about, it’s fine to ignore this behavior unless you see something out of the ordinary occurring.
Cherry barbs aren’t known to chase other fish. They’re peaceful and it would generally be against their nature to act so aggressively under normal circumstances.
Why Is My Cherry Barb Aggressive?
It’s uncommon for cherry barbs to act aggressively. However, there are some situations where male cherry barbs might be a bit aggressive.
During spawning, male cherry barbs are known to act a bit more aggressively than usual. They can become territorial during this time.
This isn’t normally that much of a problem, though. It’s especially easy to deal with this level of aggression when there are hiding spots in the tank.
If the fish have the ability to hide, it won’t be a problem if the males are slightly aggressive during spawning. Remember that these are generally peaceful fish and that even elevated levels of aggression are quite mild.
Do Cherry Barbs Nip Fins?
Barb fish are known to be fin nippers. Does that mean that cherry barbs are also fin nippers?
Generally, it’s not common for cherry barbs to go around nipping fins. If this is happening in the tank it’s likely that something is wrong.
It could be that you’re not keeping the cherry barbs in a large enough group. They will sometimes act strangely when kept in groups of less than six.
Also, these fish don’t like being put in overcrowded fish tanks. The minimum tank size for a group of six cherry barbs is 25 gallons, but you should go a lot larger than that if you’re putting them in a community tank.
There could be problems with compatibility as well. Are the fish in the tank known to be compatible with cherry barbs?
Perhaps the cherry barbs are trying to nip a bit defensively? It’s hard to say since cherry barbs normally don’t nip fins when they’re housed properly.
If cherry barbs do nip fins, it means they’re uncomfortable in some way. There could be a problem with the environment that you’ll need to address.
Which Fish Are Good Tank Mates for Cherry Barbs?
Doing your best to pick good tank mates for cherry barbs should help to alleviate most issues. There are many amazing fish that are known to get along well with these fish.
Otocinclus catfish are among the most common tank mates for cherry barbs. These peaceful bottom feeders will just mind their own business in the tank.
Kuhli loaches are similar and can be a lot of fun when you’re looking for something different. They look nice in a community tank with cherry barbs.
Dwarf gouramis can be kept in fish tanks with cherry barbs without it being a problem as well. Neon tetras work out nicely as tank mates, and so do mollies.
As long as you’re researching compatibility ahead of time, it’ll be easy to keep these fish in a community tank. You shouldn’t encounter aggression issues unless something is seriously amiss in the tank.
Housing Cherry Barbs Properly
Housing cherry barbs properly is imperative when you want to avoid problems. If you’re having any trouble at all with aggression, it’s likely that something is wrong with your tank.
It could be that the water quality isn’t where it needs to be. Another possibility is that the tank isn’t large enough.
Cherry barbs do best when they’re put in tanks with the right water parameters and more than enough space. Do your best to avoid putting them in an overcrowded fish tank.
Make sure that these fish are housed with tank mates that are compatible with them, too. You must research tank mates ahead of time, or the fish could get bullied.
It’s very unusual for cherry barbs to act aggressively. Males might chase each other a little bit, but that can be seen as playing.
They don’t usually chase other fish. These fish also don’t nip fins unless something is seriously wrong in the tank.
So you might have to make some adjustments in the tank to get things back to normal. It could require you to get a bigger tank or you might simply need to do a better job maintaining the right water parameters.
Cherry barbs are peaceful fish that do great in community aquariums with compatible tank mates. You shouldn’t encounter any issues with chasing or nipping so long as the tank is in good condition.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.