Caring for cherry barbs will usually be a good experience. Most people have a simple time keeping these fish healthy and happy.
That doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong in the fish tank, though. There might be times when things will happen that will cause cherry barbs to die.
If your cherry barbs keep dying in the tank, you’re likely trying to figure out what’s going on. What is happening to your fish?
Read on to learn about some common reasons why cherry barbs die. Getting this information should help you to determine what is going on in your tank so you can make the necessary changes to save your fish or protect future fish.
Why Are My Cherry Barbs Dying?
There could be a number of different things happening to your fish. It’s impossible to say why your fish are dying without context.
However, you can use the information below to better understand what might be happening in your fish tank. Below, you’ll see many common reasons why these fish might die in a fish tank.
1 – Poor Water Quality
One of the most common reasons why aquarium fish die involves water quality. If the water quality in the fish tank is poor the cherry barbs might die because of it.
These fish are relatively hardy, but they’re not invincible. They have water parameters that are necessary for them to be able to live normally.
Sometimes you might forget to do regular tank maintenance. This will cause the pH balance to be thrown off.
If you don’t test the water and ignore the tank for a bit, you might encounter problems. The water quality could get so bad that the fish will be in danger.
When you don’t do regular water changes or clean the tank, it’ll cause the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels to rise in the tank. This is something that can easily kill the fish.
Even if the water quality doesn’t kill the fish outright, it can contribute to them getting sick. Test the water and see if you need to make changes to get things back to normal.
2 – Disease
There are some diseases that are known to impact cherry barbs. When the water quality is bad, it’s more likely that these fish will get sick.
Ich is a common disease that can make your cherry barbs feel terrible. It causes white spots to form all over their bodies, and it’ll make them uncomfortable.
Conditions like this are treatable, but they can kill the fish if you just ignore the issue. Thankfully, there are medications that can get rid of this parasitic infection.
Gold dust disease is another one to watch out for. You’ll see a velvety layer form on the skin, and it makes fish have a hard time breathing.
Fin rot is a type of bacterial infection that can cause the fins to literally rot away. It’s a gruesome disease that might leave the fish permanently disfigured even if it survives.
Many of these diseases are caused by poor conditions in the tank. So it might circle back to the problem with poor water quality that is discussed above.
Either way, you need to work to treat the cherry barbs if you notice that they’re sick. Many diseases are treatable when you act fast, but they will kill the fish if you do nothing.
3 – Stress
Simple stress has the potential to kill your cherry barbs as well. There are a number of different things that might cause cherry barbs to become stressed in the fish tank.
First, you should make sure that you’re keeping enough of these fish in the tank. Cherry barbs are schooling fish that need to be kept with a group of their own kind.
If you keep too few of them in the tank, they won’t feel secure. You’re supposed to have six or more of them in the aquarium.
Fish that are kept in overcrowded aquariums will also become stressed. These fish like to have enough space to move around, and you shouldn’t cram too many fish in a tiny tank.
It’s also worth noting that cherry barbs are rather peaceful. They can be bullied by their tank mates if you don’t take the time to research compatibility.
Always make sure that the fish in a community tank are compatible. Otherwise, your cherry barbs might be getting bullied and killed by the other fish in the tank.
4 – Bullying
Make sure that the fish aren’t getting bullied in the tank. Sometimes cherry barbs will get bullied by other fish simply due to being so peaceful.
Look for signs that the fish aren’t comfortable in the tank. When cherry barbs are stressed and uncomfortable, they might hide in one corner of the tank instead of swimming around.
You might need to separate some of the fish if you’re dealing with bullying issues. Consider putting the cherry barbs in their own tank if you suspect that some of them are dying due to stress from bullying.
There are fish that might outright kill cherry barbs as well. Hopefully, this isn’t something that is happening in your situation.
Don’t shy away from keeping cherry barbs as community fish, though. They’re excellent community fish that are known to thrive in such environments.
Now you should know a lot more about why your cherry barbs keep dying. The information above gave you many things to consider.
Do your best to address problems in the tank so you can help your fish thrive. There’s a good chance that the conditions in the tank are bad if your fish keep dying.
It could be that the fish are sick due to the water quality in the tank being poor. You might also be dealing with problems such as overcrowding, stress, improper tank mates, and more.
Troubleshoot the situation so you can get the tank back to normal. It should make it easier to keep the cherry barbs alive.
These fish are hardy and shouldn’t be hard to keep alive in your aquarium. Once you know what’s going on, you’ll be able to turn things around.
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.