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Male Odessa Barb Loss


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I lost the larger of my two Odessa Barb males last night in my community 65 gal. aquarium, and I would like to get an opinion of why this happened and if I should make changes to the current group of Odessa Barbs.  Nothing is obviously wrong with the deceased fish other than some apparent blood at the gill area (very difficult for me to tell), photos attached at the bottom of this post.  The fish was eating well, behaving normally, and healthy the last time I saw him.  None of the other tankmates are behaving differently or showing symptoms of disease.  My current theory that the male died from running into something in the tank, but there is also not much there to hit (one clay pot, a large piece of driftwood, some pleco/loach caves, heater, substrate, and tank lid). 

The male was part of a breeding community of 2 adult males and 4 adult females that I purchased from my LFS that came from someone giving up a mixed barb tank; the group breed in the QT tank and now I have 30-40 growouts.  The Odessa Barbs all established their own territories in the tank and the male that I lost was the larger and more aggressive male toward the females when breeding.  They did not really show any aggression towards their tank mates after they initially established their territories in the 65-gal tank.  I have noticed that some of the females have lost scales from the males chasing the females during breeding but have remained in good health.

Tank: 65-gal 2'Hx1.5'Wx3'L - running for 2.5 yrs


Purchase Date for Odessa Barbs (as adults): 2 mo.

Approx. Time in 65 Gal. Tank: 6.5 wk.

Water Parameters (measured this morning after feeding - stable/biweekly water change - regular water change scheduled for this weekend):

  • Temp. 79F
  • pH: 6.8
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: 40-50
  • GH: 9 deg.
  • KH: 2 deg.

Food - Tank gets a mix of:

  • Northfin Community Flake
  • Northfin Community Formula (0.5mm pellets)
  • Northfin Bug Pro (2mm pellets)
  • Xtreme Scrapers (14mm wafers)

Tank Mates:

  • Guppies
  • Molly - Single Adult Male
  • Paleatus Corys
  • Clown Loaches
  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • L-066 Pleco
  • Otocinclus

Photo of Deceased Barb taken this morning (Warning - Deceased Fish😞


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No expert but appears to be a legion of some sort most likely as you suggested an abrasion due to sparring or running into something.  Probably caused a secondary infection and caused it’s demise, parameters look alright. I wouldn’t make any drastic changes perhaps just monitor things and be prepared with medication on hand on the off chance it was parasitic fungal or bacterial. 

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