Experience with Odessa Barbs: Not good

FishBR

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Hi everyone,

You might have seen the thread where I introduced my new 55g with 6 Odessa Barbs and 6 Maccullochi Rainbowfish. The Odessas look stunning to me with their strong red coloration and after searching for information in the internet I decided to get a group of them. They are often presented as a peaceful kind of barb that is perfect for a community tank. For example, seriouslyfish.com states that they are "Generally very peaceful making it an ideal resident of the well-researched community aquarium". YouTuber Rachel O'Leary says in her species profile video that their behavior is very peaceful for a barb and that they are perfect for a more general community aquarium. That was not my experience. They started to chase and nip my corydoras, panda garras and rainbowfish. So, I had to return them to the pet store. Just wanted to share the information: Odessa barbs are gorgeous, but not suitable for a general community tank.
 

HoldenOn

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Hi everyone,

You might have seen the thread where I introduced my new 55g with 6 Odessa Barbs and 6 Maccullochi Rainbowfish. The Odessas look stunning to me with their strong red coloration and after searching for information in the internet I decided to get a group of them. They are often presented as a peaceful kind of barb that is perfect for a community tank. For example, seriouslyfish.com states that they are "Generally very peaceful making it an ideal resident of the well-researched community aquarium". YouTuber Rachel O'Leary says in her species profile video that their behavior is very peaceful for a barb and that they are perfect for a more general community aquarium. That was not my experience. They started to chase and nip my corydoras, panda garras and rainbowfish. So, I had to return them to the pet store. Just wanted to share the information: Odessa barbs are gorgeous, but not suitable for a general community tank.
Do your cories do alright with the flow for the panda garras?
 

Treestone

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Hi everyone,

You might have seen the thread where I introduced my new 55g with 6 Odessa Barbs and 6 Maccullochi Rainbowfish. The Odessas look stunning to me with their strong red coloration and after searching for information in the internet I decided to get a group of them. They are often presented as a peaceful kind of barb that is perfect for a community tank. For example, seriouslyfish.com states that they are "Generally very peaceful making it an ideal resident of the well-researched community aquarium". YouTuber Rachel O'Leary says in her species profile video that their behavior is very peaceful for a barb and that they are perfect for a more general community aquarium. That was not my experience. They started to chase and nip my corydoras, panda garras and rainbowfish. So, I had to return them to the pet store. Just wanted to share the information: Odessa barbs are gorgeous, but not suitable for a general community tank.
Odessa barbs are tricky fish when it comes to behaviour, definitely not peaceful fish especially when larger. I have 7 in a 55g over some dark sand and their colours really pop, some days they are truly breathtaking. I have over ten platies and a horde of bristlenoses in there at the moment yet the odessa barbs don't seem to bother them. They do however squabble among themselves and the males have set up territories within the tank. Having sufficient cover is important here as they do relish it. Even when feeding they are strangely courteous to the platies and only go into full attack mode when fighting for food amongst themselves. I think there's a few important factors here: Having enough for a decent school (I admit I am a bit skimpy here), having enough females, having excessive cover, not having too many black fish (all the boisterous community fish I've kept hate black fish for some reason lol). Shame Odessa barbs didn't work out for you, those rainbows and panda garras must be pretty stunning anyway.
 

Colin_T

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It might have been male barbs but in my experience, Odessa barbs are fine with most fish. I wouldn't keep them with long finned fish but I had them with rainbows and cories and didn't have any trouble. Mine were kept in tanks that were 4 foot long. Smaller tanks (say 2 ft) might cause stress and nipping to occur.
 

Russjw

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Never had a problem with my Odessa's. Not aggresive in the slightest. If you have a decent size group with the right male to female ratio they are great fish for a well chosen community tank.

Best to have an even ratio or at least more females than males
 
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FishBR

FishBR

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Do your cories do alright with the flow for the panda garras?
They seem do be doing well.

Odessa barbs are tricky fish when it comes to behaviour, definitely not peaceful fish especially when larger. I have 7 in a 55g over some dark sand and their colours really pop, some days they are truly breathtaking. I have over ten platies and a horde of bristlenoses in there at the moment yet the odessa barbs don't seem to bother them. They do however squabble among themselves and the males have set up territories within the tank. Having sufficient cover is important here as they do relish it. Even when feeding they are strangely courteous to the platies and only go into full attack mode when fighting for food amongst themselves. I think there's a few important factors here: Having enough for a decent school (I admit I am a bit skimpy here), having enough females, having excessive cover, not having too many black fish (all the boisterous community fish I've kept hate black fish for some reason lol). Shame Odessa barbs didn't work out for you, those rainbows and panda garras must be pretty stunning anyway.
Good to know yours are behaving well. I had quite a lot of cover in the tank (plants and driftwood) and most of them would just hide under the leaves in their "territory". But mine got into a frenzy during feeding that did not leave much food for the rainbows.

It might have been male barbs but in my experience, Odessa barbs are fine with most fish. I wouldn't keep them with long finned fish but I had them with rainbows and cories and didn't have any trouble. Mine were kept in tanks that were 4 foot long. Smaller tanks (say 2 ft) might cause stress and nipping to occur.
I think all the 6 of them were males and that might have been one of the problems. They were in a 4-foot long 55g tank.

Never had a problem with my Odessa's. Not aggresive in the slightest. If you have a decent size group with the right male to female ratio they are great fish for a well chosen community tank.

Best to have an even ratio or at least more females than males
As stated before, the fact that I had only males might help explain the problems.
 

mbsqw1d

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Have to agree, needed to rehome my Odessa's away from my cories as they were clearly nipping them. To be honest it meant I got an extra tank out of it so.. kinda worked in my favour haha. I think I had issues as it turns out I have far more males, probably 11 males to 2 females. If I had more females in the group I may not have had the same problem.
 
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