People love keeping small groups of tiger barbs in their fish tanks. They’re fish that look really neat in home aquariums.
They can be a bit aggressive, and they might not be ideal for community fish tanks. Even so, they’re a lot of fun to observe.
Many gravitate toward these fish because they’re easy to care for. Despite being hardy fish, they can sometimes experience health issues.
If your tiger barb doesn’t seem to be moving, you might be worried if it’s sick. What would cause this change in behavior?
Continue reading to figure out why tiger barbs might stop moving. This should help you to understand what’s going on.
1 – Sleeping
One thing that you should think about right away is whether the fish is simply sleeping. Some new fish owners might be caught off-guard when they see their tiger barbs sleeping.
These fish sleep in a sort of funny way that you might find alarming at first. They like to line up vertically and sleep while hiding near plants.
Of course, while the fish are resting or sleeping they won’t be moving. You might have simply caught the fish when they were napping.
If you approach the tank, the fish should start to move. Tiger barbs are light sleepers that remain very alert even when resting.
You’ll learn to recognize how these fish sleep pretty fast. This likely isn’t what’s happening in this situation, but it’s still important to consider just in case you’re not familiar with the fish yet.
2 – Stress
Stress is a common reason why tiger barbs will stop moving. They might simply remain still when they’re stressed due to various issues in the tank.
When fish become stressed, they’ll act strange. Sometimes fish will start “glass surfing” when they’re stressed.
This is when the fish swim up and down the glass to try to find a way out. Fish also might hide a lot when they’re stressed.
Sometimes stress might just cause a fish to remain motionless. Check to see if something is wrong in the tank that could cause the tiger barbs to be stressed.
The water parameters might be off. You might need to adjust the pH balance of the water or fix issues with the water temperature.
Another possibility is that you haven’t been feeding the fish properly. You might need to put more effort into varying the diet of the fish.
Issues with bullying can stress the fish and so can being placed in an overcrowded fish tank. Try to determine if anything is causing the tiger barbs to feel stressed.
3 – Sickness
Sickness can certainly cause tiger barbs to become lethargic. There are many types of illnesses that tiger barbs have to deal with.
If your fish is sick, it might be motionless because it feels weak. There could be a number of different things wrong with the fish.
You should observe the fish to try to determine what is wrong. Take note of the symptoms that the fish is experiencing.
Do you see any unusual spots on the fish? Does the fish appear to be injured in any way?
If you can figure out what is wrong with the tiger barb, you’ll be able to try to treat it. You might be able to nurse the fish back to health depending on what’s wrong.
4 – Could the Fish Be Dead?
If the fish isn’t moving at all, could it be that the fish has died? When fish die they aren’t going to move around the tank any longer.
Of course, the first thing that you should do is check to see if the fish is alive or not. Examine the gills of the fish and try to see if they’re moving at all.
If the fish appears to be breathing, you’ll know that it isn’t dead. Should you have a hard time telling if its gills are moving, you might need to try to touch the fish.
Poke the fish gently with a net or scoop. See if it reacts in any way when you do this.
If the fish doesn’t move at all, that’s a sure sign that it has died. Sadly, it might have been sick and you didn’t catch it in time.
Take Good Care of Your Fish
Do your best to take good care of your fish. If you’re worried that the tiger barbs are somehow unwell, it could simply be that you aren’t doing things right.
These fish aren’t hard to care for, but new fish owners might make mistakes that will cause the fish problems. Often, people forget to feed their fish and that causes them to become stressed.
You might not feed the fish the right food or you might do a poor job keeping the fish tank clean. These issues won’t be a huge deal if you make mistakes every once in a while, but constant mistakes can seriously make it hard for the fish to survive.
Remember that you need to clean the fish tank regularly. It’s also important to do weekly water changes to avoid having the water get really dirty.
If the tiger barb in your tank isn’t moving much, it’s likely that something is wrong. These fish will hide sometimes, but they’re usually aggressive fish that are rather active when they’re not sleeping.
You should have a better idea of what is going on now. There are a few things that could be happening when your fish stops moving.
The worst-case scenario is that the fish has died. If the fish isn’t breathing or moving, it’s likely that it has passed away.
When you see that the fish is breathing, you’ll want to consider whether it is sick in some way. Monitor the fish and try to see if it is ill.
The fish could also simply be stressed due to problems in the tank. You might need to fix water parameter issues or figure out other sources of stress.
If you can do your best to take care of the tank, the tiger barb should improve. Hopefully, nothing is wrong at all and you just caught the fish resting or being a bit lazy.
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.