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Roseline shark (Denison barb)

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:03 pm
BigLefty User avatar
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I had my roseline sharks in a 40 breader with red tapajos geophagus and they all seemed to get a long pretty well. The roselines schooled and swam peacefully back & forth in the tank. I knew that this would be a temporary arrangement until I could move the fish. Well, this past weekend, I moved all of the roselines and the red tapajos geophagus into a newly set up 75 gallon tank. I also added 4 serpae tetras, 4 lemon tetras, and 4 silver hatchets. Today is the second day since I moved all of the fish together. Since I moved them all together, the roselines seem agitated, they are not swimming peacefully back & forth in the tank, but are now swimming nervously up & down along one side of the tank. Is it just that they have been recently moved and will settle down in a short period of time? Is it possible that even though I used a good portion of water from their existing tank when I moved them that maybe the water conditions are not ideal and that they seem agitated and nervous because of poor water conditions, or could it be possible that there just not use to so many fish in one tank? I'm not sure what to make of it... Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help.

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:32 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Problem is Geos and barbs come from different native enviornments. Each will do better with tank that attempts to replicate native enviornment even though the replication will be weak at best when compared to actual enviornment. Further, roblem is compounded by 40 gal tank that is too small for either fish and much too small for both groups in this tank.

Place barbs in 55 gal tank that is heavy to densely planted. Use powerheads to replicate current. These larger barbs require a minimum of 4 ft for swimming in a school. Be sure to have enough individuals to form a school. If there are not enough fish for school, the stress goes way up on those few fish there.

Geophagus do not require planted tank but a soft rounded fine sand substrate is ideal. A pair will generally require about 2 square feet minimum or 2 adult pair in a 48" x 18" footprint. Plants will likely become uprooted. A few plants may survive Geos turning substrate over but unlikely to achieve anything close to moderately dense vegetation. This species also appreaciates slate set almost vertical in the tank.

If a 6-8' tank were available, perhaps with clearly demarked areas the barbs would have sufficent swimming space and Geos would sufficent real estate as well.

Moving on to tetras and silver hatchets. Silver hatchets do best in black water unlike other fish in tank now. With time hatchets will be lost due to lack of black water enviorment. Lemon tetras are found in same river system as Geos but not in same microenviorment. Lemon tetras prefer some plants and slower moving water than say the barbs.

Can all these fish be forced to coexist? Well yes but the stress will slowly result in death to the weaker fish.
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Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:20 am
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It seems that every time I ask about fish and tankmates, I get different advice. When I was thinking of getting the roselines, I asked and was told it would not be a problem. My fault I guess for not doing the research myself. I got them all as juvenilles, and they have co-existed in the 40 without any notceable problems. The 40 breeder was all that I had at the time, and I knew that the 40 breeder was too small for the roselines, which is why I moved them to a 75, but I didn't know that they weren't compatible with the red tapajos geos... again, I was originally told that they would get along.


FYI, I have 5 roselines and they seemed to get along before. When I moved them to the 75 is when they seemed stressed. I moved the tetras & hatchets to the 75 because I was going to get rid of the 20 gal that they were in, but it sounds like I should put them back into the 20 that they came from. Moving the tetras & hatchets is not a problem, but I am still left with the geos & roselines. I am not like most, I only have a 20 gal, 40 breeder, and now the 75. The 75 has a sand substrate, driftwood, and lots of fake plants, as the geos would uproot real plants. I would rather not sell the fish, as I like them, they have nice color and are growing well. Since I am not in a position to get and set up another tank, it appears that I am stuck at the moment, and will have to think about what I want to do. I would rather not keep fish in an invironment that they will not be happy in. Lots to think about, thanks for your input.

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:03 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Went back and ready previous posts
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=40780&p=227888#p227888
Roselines were not mentioned when discussion of adding tetras to tank with Geos occurred.
Also here, there is no mention of Biotodoma. IMO, advise given previously concerned Geos that were 2" and tetras placed in a 40 breeder was adequate for those fish at that point in their lives.


When setting up tanks for fish, consider fish needs. My discussion is related to adult fish that may or may not be breeding. Adult roselines are 5" fish. Adult red head Tapajos are 5-6" for females and 7" or more for males.
IMO, two different tanks are needed. However, sometimes I find myself forced to mix fish in same tank. In this case, this is how I would approach it.

Roselines are larger barbs, they school, they like current.
20 gal tank - NO way, too small. It has to be 48" minimum just for swimming.

Geos dig in substrate. Geos do not enter upper water unless feeding on flake etc added to tank.
20 gal too small, 40 breeder one pair or perhaps 2 pair. 40 breeders are 18" tall so there is no upper water area.

75 gal tank would seem to be OK because Geos would occupy lower portion of tank and roselines can swim at upper level. Above discussion detailed why this is not a good idea even though at first glance it may seem fine.
Geos will likely get a few rocks or something to help them demarcate their territory from each other and for Geos to let other fish know not to swim in or through. Now Geos feel relatively comfortable.
To make it work for roselines, size of school gives comfort and reduces stress, larger school and less stress.

Roseline native environment is moderately planted with moderate to fast current. Current can be had with powerhead. Plants could be potted, Geos would not uproot potted plants. Potting plants prevents replication via runners which means potting many plants to reach moderate plantings will require purchasing more plants and effort potting them. Another approach is to consider wood. Wood can bridge rockwork and not take up real estate that Geos want. Many pieces of wood entering or close to entering upper area where roselines swim may provide a comfort level missing in an uplanted tank.

This approach may not be sufficent. However, if someone wanted to see both fish in same tank it may be worth a try.
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Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:18 pm
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The advice I got about the roselines was from lfs (forest lake pets-the place that I purchased them) The geos that I have are about 2" to 2 1/2" in size. the cupido are slightly smaller. The roselines are approx 2 1/2" in size.

If this were okay for the immediate, until such time that I were able to get another (larger) tank, what in your opinion makes for good tank mates for the roselines?

Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:33 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Six roselines in a nicely aquascaped tank could be the cat's meow.

If the tank must have more fish then other barbs, danios and loaches. Be careful with other barbs and danios, if too small the roselines may eat them.
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Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:38 pm
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I have to pop in and say that I've never seen roselines go after other 1"+ fish. They have very small mouths for their size and seem to prefer algae, brine shrimp and flake to any other foods i offer. I have rio otapa swordtails in the same (admittedly overgrown) tank and they breed like crazy with seemingly minimal predation.
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Post Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:49 pm
BigLefty User avatar
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Thanks for all of the feedback, your opinions are appreciated. It appears that I will need to make a few changes.

Post Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:48 pm
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BigLefty wrote:
Is it possible that even though I used a good portion of water from their existing tank when I moved them that maybe the water conditions are not ideal


It should be known that transporting water from your previous aquarium does nothing but add nitrates to your new tank. BB (the good bacteria that help neutralize Ammonia and Nitrites) forms on media in your filter, substrate, and decorations. Those are the things you should be transporting to your new tank, not any water. Make sure you treat the water with prime or whatever dechlorinator/slime coat you want before adding new water to the tank.
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Post Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:32 am
BigLefty User avatar
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Approx 1 week before I transferred the fish, I put two additional sponge filters in the 40 gal breeder. I let those filters be there for approx 1 week. When I finally moved the fish, I transferred the two sponge filters and approx 25 - 30 gallons of water from the 40 to the 75 gal. I understand that moving the water alone would not be a good idea, but i figured 25 - 30 gallons and the rest new water might be better than 75 gallons of completely new water. And of course I treated the new water before adding to the 75. The fish seem to be doing better each day. Thanks for the input.


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