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How to stock a 26 gallon with tiger barbs and kuhli loaches

Discussion in 'Cyprinids, Characins and Atherinids' started by justletminnow, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. justletminnow

    justletminnow New Member

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    Hello, I have an aqueon 26 gallon bowfront (24x15x21). It is moderate-heavily planted, including terrestrial plants with free floating roots to aid in nitrate absorption. It currently has 7 tiger barbs, which I have really enjoyed, and I am looking to finish stocking the tank (assuming it's not already maxed out). A bigger tank is unfortunately out of the picture.

    I was wondering what would be the best fish in order to make the most out of the tank? I figure I could get A) more tiger barbs (3 more for a total of 10?), or B) kuhli loaches (7?). I know tiger barbs have limited compatibility, but I would hope based on research that the tiger barbs wouldn't be too aggressive towards the kuhlis. I've read that kuhlis have a small bioload and tiger barbs need a LOT of swimming space due to high activity, so I decided to ask on here. I'm hoping with the plants and ample water changes, as well as the species' different swimming zones, I can get away with a slightly overstocked tank.

    I also want the tank to be as interesting as possible, and I'm worried the kuhlis will spend too much time hiding. They'd be the black kuhlis sold at Petsmart, which I've read are more active than the striped species. Thoughts?

    Thank you for any input, I'd love to here your experiences with these fish.

     
    #1 justletminnow, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    Black Khuli loaches are the same as normal ones.

    If the tank is cycled (been running for more than 2 months and has an established biological filter), you could add a couple more tiger barbs and some khuli loaches. However, you should check the general hardness (GH) and pH of the water before adding loaches. They prefer soft water without lots of minerals in.
     
  3. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Never had Barbs so no idea if they are suitable.

    Kuhlis prefer sand for substrate and lots of cover things like Annubias tied to drift wood, the more cover they have the more they come out in the open.

    Kuhlis are great escape artists so a tight fitting lid is a must, However I have found they only try to escape if they are not happy.
     
  4. Jeremy180

    Jeremy180 Member

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    While Black Khulis are a different species, I agree with Colin that they are essentially the same as far as care, size and behavior is concerned.

    I also agree with Colin on getting your water tested.
    Tiger Barbs are adaptable to different water chemistries, but Khulis need water on the Softer side.

    And on the nipping concern with tiger barbs, from what I know, this is greatly reduced by keeping them in sufficient numbers.

    Khulis, on the other hand, tend to spend a lot of time hiding if not kept in high enough numbers.

    Just be sure to check your hardness first, as well as the big 3 (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate)
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I'm in agreement with others here. You should add a few more Tiger Barb; this is the minimum sized tank for this species, and the group could be 10-12 maximum. Certainly no other upper level species, there is not room for any.

    Kuhlii loaches should manage, in a group, with sand and lots of chunks of wood or similar for hiding spots. You may or may not see much of them, with the TB above.
     
  6. justletminnow

    justletminnow New Member

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    Thank you all for your help! I have sand substrate, rock caves, and a lot of java fern on driftwood. I'll be sure to test for hardness and the big 3. Assuming that goes well, and I add around 7 kuhlis, could I also add 3 tiger barbs to possibly lessen their aggression/make them feel more comfortable? Not all at the same time of course.
     
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Assuming the tank has cycled and has an established biological filter, then yes you can add 6-7 khulis and 3 tiger barbs. In fact if the tank is cycled you could add them all at the same time. It won't put a lot of load on the filter and the filter bacteria will quickly multiply to compensate for the extra fish.

    Try to do a big water change and gravel clean the substrate the day before you get the new fish.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Add the new TB at the same time; shoaling species should always be added together if at all possible. They settle in faster with less stress, and semi-aggressive species (like TB) may have fewer hierarchy issues. Which brings me to the next point...monitor the TB carefully to ensure there are no fish being picked on. Depending how long the existing 7 have been together, this is something to recognize.

    If you get kuhlii loaches, again add them all at the same time.
     
  9. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Member

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    In my 29 gallon tank, I have 6 tiger barbs, one full grown bushynose pleco, one bolivian ram and several peppered cory..makes for a nice looking interesting tank
     
  10. justletminnow

    justletminnow New Member

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    Perfect! Thank you all again. I'll have to look into cories
     

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