When I first got the fish I had 5 Tiger Barbs (most experience with these), 5 Gold Barbs, and 1 Japanese Algae Eater. When they ran out of food I got a different brand which is supposed to be better. I started with Wardley's Tropical Flakes. When I ran out I got Tetra's TetraColor. That was the only change in at least 4 weeks. I had a Tiger Barb that was dead when I woke up. I feed them in the morning and a few hours before bed. They all acted a bit sluggish a day after I started feeding them the Tetra flakes. I removed him then automatically treated the whole tank with the salt treatment. I went to the store and got the other brand again and they started acting fine. Now, this past week the tiger barbs acted like they are retaliating against the Gold Barbs. It's like they felt out numbered by them. I thought barbs school with barbs, but since I've had these 2 kinds they avoid each other until they all gang up on my algae eater. Sunday night I noticed all of the fish were fine and none acting out of the ordinary. Then Monday was a busy day for me, so I just fed them and went on. Tuesday I woke up to find that one of my gold barbs was gone. I looked all around the tank thinking that he could've found a small hole between the heater and the tank lid to jump out. I didn't find him so I looked in the filter. Didn't find him there either. Then when I observed the other barbs and the algae eater. They kept nipping at something in their tree stump house. When I lifted it up I found nothing but a skull from the remains of my gold barb. I feel horrible that it died on the day I was busy, but my husband said for there to be nothing really left of it, it had to be dead longer than that. I know for a fact that they were all fine Sunday night. I would like to know what could've happened to it and would the tiger barbs actually kill it to make things even? They all keep acting like the algae eater had something to do with it. They never nipped at it before and now they are ganging up on it. And they are very cautious of it now. They used to pick on the algae eater because it was much smaller than them, now it is way bigger than all of them. The algae eater seems like it picks on them when I turn the lights out. When the lights come on all of my barbs are in one group and watching the algae eater. Then they spread out like it's a big relief that they don't have to worry about it eating them or something. Am I thinking this out wrong or did that gold barb get sick? I know it couldn't have gotten stuck on anything.
My opinion is that maybe the dead barb was just ill. We all know there are weak ones in any species that cannot go with flo. Possibibly the change in food just did not sit well and on the fish demise the others just took care of the remains... possibly the algae eater took care of the barb. But isn't that what they do??
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