Out, this time. I moved the cherry barbs out of the 38gal tank. Everything was fine up until a few days ago I noticed more cherry barbs had pieces missing of their tails. I thought at first it was from the usual sparring- there has been a lot of breeding behavior lately, the cherries seem to be at it at least twice a week. They get excited at water changes, at thunderstorms, at insect food.
But when I looked closer one morning and saw that every single cherry barb had a ragged, bitten tail I knew it was the serpae tetras. Shameful thing is that I like the serpaes. Should I feel bad for favoring them over my cherry barbs? who went through my learning curve.... but I love watching the serpaes, and I'm only just fond of the cherry barbs- even though I've had some of those over four years- so the serpaes got to keep the best digs in the house (if you're a fish) and the barbs moved out into the temporary tanks.
It felt like I spent all day at two things- moving fish and doing laundry. I set the bottle fish trap with sinking food, and the kuhlis really had a great time going in and out of the trap gorging themselves. Every time two or three barbs got into the trap I'd lift it out, tip them gently into a baggie, float in the other tank, adding the new tank water every ten minutes until acclimated enough to release. It would take half an hour or so for the barbs in the home tank to get over being frightened by the trap getting moved around, and approach it for the food again. Near end of day little bits of disintegrating pellet were drifting out the air holes of the trap, so it wasn't as effective anymore. I caught the last few barbs with a net. That took a lot of patience, as I didn't want to panic all the fishes in there or rip up plants... but I finally got them. I put the females in with the swordtails in the 20H, and the males into the 10g QT. Want to keep them separated so females don't get chased around, and have time to heal.