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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Compatibility

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish

Related FAQs:  Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

With most Cichlids? No way! Maybe some larger species with Angels, Dwarf S. Americans...

thick lipped gourami compatibility, sys.  2/29/12
Are these compatible with cardinal tetras?
<Should be.>
What other fish in a 16 gallon?

<Hmm… in 16 gallons this is a real squeeze; I would not recommend, as Colisa labiosa can be pushy and may throw its weight around at times. Would suggest a combination of Cardinals with a small, peaceful Gourami species, in particular, the Honey Gourami.>
Is one Ok (not a pair)
<Yep. Cheers, Neale.> 
Re: thick lipped gourami compatibility  
Thanks again!  :-)
<Welcome. Neale.>

Gourami Help! Comp., env.    6/15/11
I found your site today while searching the internet for any info on gouramis. My younger sister received 7 gouramis and 2 Betta (male and female) as a birthday gift on Sunday from one of my aunt's friends (God save me from friends). She was under the impression that we were in possession of a 10 gal aquarium. In reality, we had a 2 gal hex aquarium that used to contain a goldfish (male Betta currently occupying this tank).
So, she went and bought a 10 gal aquarium setup for us which included everything but the heater.
<Mmm, this is still way too small a volume... You need a 29 gallon or larger>
She told us that the Gourami wouldn't need a heater, but after calling a local pet store I learned that was false.
<Mmm, yes. Do need a heater, tropical temperatures>
I bought a heater and thermometer for the tank and the gouramis are all currently in the 10 gal aquarium with the female Betta. It is currently at 77F. Also, there are 3 plastic plants and a rock formation in the tank.
<I see all this in your photos>
I'm not sure of the species, but I believe we have 2 Opaline, 1 neon blue dwarf (or some other kind of dwarf), 1 pearl, 2 blue (three-spot), and 1 golden.
<I see all this but the dwarf>
I feel like there are way too many fish for such a small aquarium, but I'm not completely sure. I know absolutely nothing about taking care of fish and more than likely this will fall to me, as my sister is 14 and really hasn't take care of any of the other animals she's had over the years.
<I see; and you are correct. These fish are small, but will grow and there will be fighting amongst them due to their too-small world>
One of the blue gouramis has taken to attacking (chasing and nipping at) the golden and pearl gouramis. I have a feeling that he is male, but can't be too sure. We do have an unused 5.5 gal aquarium, but I don't have a heater or any kind of filtration to put in it. Should I move him there?
<Mmm, better to "float" the offender in a plastic colander or "breeding net" in the heated system, but... You REALLY need a larger tank...>
Also, the female Betta seems to be very timid. I'm worried about her getting enough to eat. Is it all right for her to be in the aquarium with the gouramis?
<Not really... it will likely be the "first to go" here>
What do I need to take care of these fish (spending the least amount of money, as they are not really my responsibility)?
<An upgrade to more volume.>
I don't believe that returning any of them is an option, as the "friend" lives 2 hours away and bought them where she lives.
Attached are pictures of the aquarium setup.
Thanks for any help you can provide,
<Welcome! Do read here (and have your sister read):
the first trays, re the species you have. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gourami Help!    6/16/11
<Hello again Tiffany... a dear friend's name as well>
Thank you for your quick response. Though, in the short amount of time it has taken you to reply back the situation has changed (for the worst). I am now in possession of two more gouramis. A dwarf and Opaline. She did a drive-by fish drop off at 7am this morning.
<Mmm, I too REALLY wish folks wouldn't gift pets>
I'm totally overwhelmed and don't know what to do. Besides buy a bigger tank which I don't have the money to do, as I am an unemployed recent college grad with student loans hanging over my head.
<I do understand>
I have moved the female Betta to a Betta bowl that she left with the new gouramis (which she said one would do fine in the Betta bowl, as they both breathe air at the top of the tank!). The two new ones are in the 5.5gal with the filter from the 2gal hex (as I didn't put it in with the male Betta, who by the way is building a bubble nest). Going to try to see if I can find someone to take some of the fish off my hands or give some back to her (probably the dwarves, as well as others, as I've read on WWM that they are hard to maintain and are prone to infections).
<Is so>
I'm not sure that I trust her with them, though, now that I know how she thinks they should be taken care of. I've only done a few hours of research and I can already tell that her method is really stupid and will more than likely kill most tropical fish. I have no idea where she is getting her information, but it is obviously highly incorrect (or she's crazy and doesn't listen which has a high probability). Supposedly, she has a bunch of gouramis and buys them all the time. I just wonder how long they live....
<There is a great deal of "dissonance" in the way of information re aquarium/aquatics husbandry. The principal reason for my instigating what has become, is becoming WWM.>
Thanks again for your help,
<A pleasure to assist your efforts. BobF>

Male Dwarf Gourami... untenable mix, damage, no reading...   4/1/11
I purchased 4 Gourami's (from large chain pet shop), one golden, one spotted and two male dwarf.
<Mmm, the Colisa lalia are not compatible w/ the larger Trichogaster...>
They all looked fine when I left the store, but by the time I got them home (some 40 min.s later) one of the dwarf gouramis appeared to have been attacked by the other fish as they were all put in small bag together,
<?! Mistake number two>
its side fins were stubs, its fin on underside was jagged and tail almost gone. I put it in tank hoping it would grow back,
<Might in time (weeks, months) given good care, conditions>
but for first few days he was struggling to swim/stay upright and was struggling to get to food. On third day he developed white lump on top of head. I've had him 7 days now and he has a deep hole in his head, it doesn't look inflamed or anything, its just a deep white/pinkish fleshy hole which appears to have got gradually bigger. He lies on bottom of aquarium, hiding amongst rocks and only moves very occasionally for few seconds. His faeces is clear/stringy (just in case there's any relevance to that).
<Uhh... Read here:
and the linked files above. Please follow directions... search ahead of writing us. Bob Fenner>
Do you have any ideas what is wrong with him? If so how can I treat him, and will it affect other fish? (they all at the moment appear healthy).
Thank You

Moonlight Gourami's and very small tankmates 12/5/10
I recently adopted four Trichopsis microlepis from a friend's tank. They are 3 years old and about 5 inches long. I have them in an established, planted 55 gallon tank. I want to add a school of 12 to 18 tiny fish, but
how small can I go? Would inch-sized fish like Boraras maculatus be considered food by the gouramis? I assume something a little larger like Trigonostigma espei would be fine? Thank you for the wonderful service that
is WWM.
<Hi Nathan. Trichogaster microlepis isn't particularly predatory, but anything small enough to get into its mouth could very easily end up as dinner. I wouldn't risk Boraras spp., but Harlequin Rasboras are fine
though. Cheers, Neale.>

Tire track eel (sys., fdg. reading), Trichogaster microlepis questions 01/30/10
Hello, I've recently purchased a Tire track eel (Mastacembelus armatus) and a very large (quite beautiful) Moonlight Gourami (Trichogaster microlepis) from my LFS, and added them to my main tank, which currently has six small silver dollars, a Black ghost knife, a Leopard Ctenopoma, a large Rhino Pleco and two Botia Kubotai inhabiting it. After adding them, they all seem to be getting along very well, the Botias chasing the eel a few times, but nothing more than that. Since the Gourami is the only inhabitant of the upper regions of my tank, it's not being bothered by anyone. The eel is wonderful, swimming around the tank, looking though thru glass at us, and so on. The only problem is, he likes to play in the filter. He swims up into the filters
<? The intake/s and discharge are not screened?>
that hook on to the back of the tank, stays there for a while, and then slowly swims out when he decides to. Now, since he doesn't seem to be getting hurt, I don't mind-- I'm just worried that he might think he's ging
into the filter, but really be going over the back of the tank. I'm trying to find something to cover the back of it, but until then, he's at risk of climbing out
<A very common issue/problem with captive Mastacembelids>
(I should have eel-proofed my tank before I got him).
<Yes. Cover all openings now>
What I'm actually asking though, is what diet is best for them-- Would a diet of frozen bloodworms, flake, shrimp pellets, and occasionally live brine shrimp/guppy fry suffice?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/spinyeelfdgfaqs.htm>
I know they can be timid while feeding around more aggressive fish, so I I'll be using the turkey baster. Also,
will the Gourami get along with a Butterfly fish?
<Maybe... depends mainly on the size of the system>
The surface area of my tank is quite large, with ample floating plants, and the Gourami doesn't usually stay at the very top of the tank where the Butterfly fish would be (would have got the butterfly instead, but my reserved specimen at my LFS had a fungal infection yesterday, waiting for a new shipment...). Thanks! -Jack
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Gouramis and angel fish   8/22/09
Hi, I have a question, please. I currently have 5 medium sized angel fish and 6 panda cories in a 75 gallon tank. I was thinking of adding some gouramis with them (partial to the pearl). Would this be OK or will one or the other pick on the other's finnage?
<Yes, Gouramis should mix with these fish... though dependent on the species. Make Three-spot Gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus) can be aggressive at times, though in a 75 gallon tank I doubt that'd be much of an issue. Still, if you can do without these fish, sometimes sold as blue, golden, or Opaline gouramis, so much the better. The prime species for your consideration are Pearl Gouramis and Moonlight Gouramis, both of which are consistently reliable. You might also think about Banded and Thick-lipped Gouramis (Colisa fasciatus and Colisa labiosa). Both of these are hardy and generally peaceful. Their normal colour is similar to the Dwarf Gourami, but an all-over orangey-red form is available. The Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia) is of course an option, *provided* you can get hold of good quality stock, which is easier said than done. Finally, consider Climbing Perch, the African equivalents and close relatives of the Asian gouramis.
Ctenopoma acutirostre is a stunning fish and very easy to keep. Although it has no interest in dried foods, it readily takes wet-frozen and live foods such as bloodworms, and in terms of temperament, is shy and not in the least aggressive. I've kept pairs in tanks as small as 30 gallons without issues. Sometimes known as the Leopard Bushfish, it's a good addition to community tanks where the other fish are not so small (e.g., Neons) they could be swallowed whole.>
If I can use gouramis is the pearl a good choice and how many females should I get with one male?
<In the case of Pearls and Moonlights, pairs are fine provided the tank has lots of space and ideally floating plants. For Trichogaster trichopterus, you would want to keep just one male if at all possible. They're tricky to sex, but males have longer dorsal fins than females.>
Thank you for all your help. God bless.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Gouramis and angel fish 08/23/09
Thanks, so in the case of the pearl I can get just one mail and one female, or more than both also?
<One male, one female will work. If you want, add additional females.
Cheers, Neale.>

Extreme aggressive Gourami behavior   1/6/09 Hello, I have read through many of he questions posted on the website, and some somewhat pertained to the question I have but, if its ok, I'd like to get your opinion/advice. And sorry if it has been answered many times. Just set up: 55 gal tank (water parameters are checked on a weekly basis) 2 Pink Kissing Gouramis (PKG for short) 2 Opaline Gouramis (OG for short) 1 Dwarf Gourami 1 Gold Gourami (Sorry I'm not for sure which type, he's really pretty though) (GG for short And 1 Pleco Background info: So I bought all of my gouramis from Petsmart. I asked if I could get a variety of gouramis and they would live happily together. Well that's not the case. (I should have done more research) About a week ago I added one PKG and one OG. Before that my GG bullied the other gouramis into a corner, and had the whole tank to himself. I did some research and decided to get a couple of companions at a time to see if his aggression would die down. Now a week later that didn't happen now I have two bullies, who sometimes go to head to head (a PKG and GG). The only time they seem to be at peace is when I feed them, I don't know why, maybe they're preoccupied. Anyways sorry it took me so long to get to my question but, could my tank be over crowded? or is it just the fish's personality/behavior? Is there anything I can do without getting rid of them? I was thinking of adding more plants for more hiding places. Ultimately though if it continues I know I will have to give up the two fish (for the sake of my other fish), I do have someone who would gladly take them, but I want that to be my last option. If you could please help it would greatly appreciated Thank you Sincerely Ashlye <Hello Ashlye. Gouramis do tend to be aggressive, partly because it is the males that defend nests in which the eggs are places. So they view other fish as potential threats, and in particular other gouramis that might try to steal their nesting sites or females! So mixing gouramis is always difficult. So while your tank is not overcrowded at the moment (though adult Pink Kissers, Helostoma temminckii, will be sizeable fish, 30 cm/12 inches in length) social behaviours may well stop these fish getting along. In terms of aggression, Trichogaster trichopterus is by far the most unpredictable and sometimes aggressive species. There are several varieties traded, including the Opaline Gourami and a yellow form that I suspect is your Gold Gourami (Latin names are very useful with gouramis!). The females tend to be peaceful, but the males can be very short tempered. Males have longer dorsal fins than the females, so sexing isn't hard. It's always worth remembering when shopping for "companions" that social behaviour is generally organised around a fish's own species. Yes, keeping Trichogaster trichopterus in groups can help moderate aggression, but you have to keep them in groups of six or more Trichogaster trichopterus (though you can choose whatever colour variety you want). Keeping six different Gourami species won't work, because they're each as different from each other as humans are from chimps and baboons! The bottom line is that I'd review the list of gouramis, choose which species you'd like to keep most, and work around them. Keeping female Trichogaster trichopterus is a particularly sensible approach, since the females generally show no aggressive tendencies at all. There are lots of colour forms, and they're a perfect size for the tank you have. Six or more specimens, including the blue, violet and golden forms, would make quite a nice show. Cheers, Neale.>

Freshwater stocking question  9/10/08
Dear Crew,
I am in the planning stages of a new tank. It is a 46 Gallon bow-front (36 in. long x 16 in. at the widest x 20 in. deep) that I am going to plant well and provide 3-4 watts per gallon and supplement with CO2 and fertilizers. The pH should be around 7.0 - 7.4 with CO2 and have GH and dKH around 8 each, temperature about 78-80F. I would like to stock the tank with 4-6 Betta imbellis and 9-11 Melanotaenia praecox along with Red Cherry Shrimp and Malayan livebearing snails.
<Sounds nice.>
My question is will the B. imbellis get along with the M. praecox? I know the B. imbellis are somewhat shy and retiring and I don't want them to hide all the time because of the boisterousness of the Rainbowfish.
<A tough call. My gut feeling is that the Betta may find the fast, active Rainbows at least distracting. I don't think Rainbows are likely to be nippy, though it's always difficult to be categorical about that where Bettas are concerned. Bettas are so slow moving, and the fins on even wild-type species such as B. imbellis can be sufficiently "tasty-looking" that otherwise well behaved fish have a nip.>
Or would the Rainbows act as ditherfish of sorts and make the Bettas more bold and outgoing?
<Ditherfish make sense for benthic fish species, who look upwards and see the schooling minnows or whatever out and about. Because Bettas stay close to the surface (they're air breathers, after all) they are going to be more reliant on their own eyes than watching ditherfish. Moreover, the Rainbows swim in midwater, so if anything the Bettas will be above them. In other words, I don't think Rainbows will work as ditherfish. If you wanted to use some ditherfish, I'd be sticking to exclusively surface-dwelling species incapable of being nippy; things like Hatchetfish, Halfbeaks or Lampeyes.>
If you don't feel this is a good combination of fish, what might you suggest to replace the Bettas?
<You could try a larger species of (mouthbrooding) Betta such as Betta pugnax (to 12 cm/4") as these tend to be more robust though potentially predatory. There are also some lovely species of Macropodus such as Macropodus spechti (formerly M. concolor) and Macropodus ocellatus (formerly M chinensis). Provided they aren't kept too warm, these are hardy, relatively non-aggressive fish that make a great alternative to Gouramis. M. spechti at least is reasonably common in the trade and your retailer can order if for you if it isn't in stock (though usually as the "Black Paradisefish" or Macropodus concolor). Alternatively, depending on the size of their tankmates, at least some of the African Climbing Perch make great community fish. Ctenopoma acutirostre is remarkably angelfish-like in terms of behaviour, and while it will eat small fish it is easily satisfied with frozen bloodworms and meaty invertebrates such as earthworms. Microctenopoma ansorgei is a spectacular little fish, and while territorial is small enough that this isn't a problem in big tanks.>
Alternately, what would you suggest to pair with the Bettas instead of the Rainbowfish?
<With Bettas, you really want to be going with completely non-nippy fish. Hatchets and halfbeaks are physically unable to nip, even though they might squabble amongst themselves. A few of the schooling killifish and ricefish such as Aplocheilichthys and Oryzias spp. can make a great alternative to tetras, and will very much keep themselves to themselves. Blue-eyes (Pseudomugil spp.) are wonderful, and my assumption would be that Threadfin rainbows (Iriatherina werneri) would behave themselves too, being small and long-finned themselves.>
I want some nice sized fish that will stand out against the foliage in the tank or a nice sized school of smaller fish for the same.
Thank you for your help,
<Good luck, Neale.>

Aggressive Gourami & Molly Tank Salinity 4/5/08 Hi Neale, <Kathy,> A few questions about Gourami and molly... Hope to get some advices from you. <OK.> 1) I have 2 male Gouramis and 2 Cory catfish in a 15G tank... Though I have been thinking about adding a couple of fish, I almost have to give up this idea because one Gourami is very aggressive to all the other 3 fish. I am especially surprised he is aggressive to catfish. Is this normal? <Can be. Gouramis, particularly male Trichogaster trichopterus (the Three-spot Gourami) can be territorial. I personally don't recommend male Trichogaster trichopterus as a community fish. Other Gouramis are less commonly causes of trouble, though it does sometimes happen.> Knowing Gourami is sensitive to high nitrate, more regular water changes are applied to the tank. I try to do it quickly and make sure water temperature is the same; however, not matter how careful I am, one or both Gouramis would scratch against glass a few times during/after water change. I do not medicate them because this happens almost every time I do water change. So, I assume it's not really a parasite problem, just them being stressed a little bit. Is this very common? Is there anything I should try to do so they can be "HAPPIER"? <Don't worry about it. It is normal for fish to scratch themselves once in a while just as it is for your dog or cat to scratch themselves. Doesn't necessary mean there's anything wrong. You might check you're using enough/the right dechlorinator, because traces of chlorine or chloramine might irritate the fish without actually causing serious harm.> 2) A year ago I started this new hobby with 3 mollies. Now I end up with 200 fish!!! Fish keeping was totally new to me at the time and I did not read or do any research before I entered this new hobby. Fish store suggested me to get mollies to start the tank and I just took their suggestions. I guess half of beginners must have experienced the same problem as I do now. I keep all mollies in 3 tanks (38G/40G/65G males and females are separated now).... could be overstocked, but fish stores do not want to take them until they grow to certain sizes so they can sell them. With many fish in one tank, it's not easy to keep all of them healthy. My question is, if I see one scratch or seem to have mouth fungus, should I medicate the whole tank if QT is not available? I do not wish to use medicine if it's not absolutely necessary. These mollies are kept in brackish water (salinity: 1.003). Should I increase the salinity to 1.006? Will this help to get these problems under control? <SG 1.003 should be fine in terms of ensuring good health. Raising the salinity won't dramatically alter things. Mouth Fungus for example is bacterial and not affected by salinity at all. So yes, treat the tank with medication. You might want to get a bit more "cruel" in terms of how many fry you allow to survive. Most people who seriously breed livebearers end up with too many fry. Often they keep some sort of predatory fish to "dispose" of some of the fry. Angelfish for example are brilliant at this! But since you're keeping brackish water fish, you might enjoy something like Knight Gobies or Waspfish (Neovespicula depressifrons). These latter fish are utterly adorable puppy-like fish, and when you don't have fry, they happily eat earthworms and, with a bit of coaxing, frozen foods.> I cannot wait to see them grow bigger so I can give some away to the local fish store. <I know the feeling! But it's great when you get a bunch of money or credit to buy more aquarium stuff!> Thanks! Kathy <Cheers, Neale.>

Gourami, ID... beh./comp.   3/6/08 I purchased two Gouramis at the same time. These two Gouramis are pale blue with red tipped tails. <... Trichogaster trichopterus hybrids? Hopefully not Colisa lalia... Please see the Net re...> These Gouramis are calm and peaceful, almost always. They are in a 20 gal tank with many guppies. <Mmmm...> Now the two Gouramis have a session where they both turn Purple and look puffed up as they go after each other. At first I thought that it was a mating dance. Then within 30 minutes of bumping heads they go away from each other. <Is likely reproductive, territorial behavior...> This evening, I saw them both purple, swelled and appear to be biting each others mouth. They stop and one chases the other, then they do the mouth biting thing again. After approx. 20minutes of this they turn back to their regular pale color. I think that they are males, their him thing goes forward, then goes down. Are they safe together? <... need to know what species this is...> Presently, I moved the calmest one to another 25gal tank, to be with my angelfish. He won't hurt my angelfish? <Ah, good move, not likely to hurt the Angel> Kathie M Thanks for a response, what is going on? <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Question on fish compatibility (adding Gouramis)   2/6/07 Hi, I need some help with fish compatibility.  I have 2 female guppies, 1 female black molly, and 4 green Cory cats in a ten-gallon tank with some plants, driftwood, larger rocks, a hollow ship ornament (for a hiding place) and a really good filter (a Bio-wheel made for a 50-gallon, and my fish really enjoy swimming in the current it produces).  Everyone gets along very well and is healthy.  I am looking for a good mid-level fish.  I was considering a school of 5-6 neon tetras <Mmm, no... Do the diligence of looking up the chemical, physical requirements of the species you list here... and get back with us> but I am afraid of getting neon tetra disease (although I could set up a quarantine tank).  Then the idea of getting 1 or 2 smaller gouramis seemed like an interesting idea.  Is this a good idea, and if so, which breeds would be best?  I was considering the pearl, dwarf, flame, three-spot, or honey gouramis, and I was going to get 1-2 females or 2 females and 1 male.  What is the most I could have with 10 gallons?  I want to make sure they don't pick on the other fish (or each other), and I hope there aren't any clashes between the molly and the gouramis.  I plan on getting a 36+ gallon tank within the next year, so I don't want to fill up the tank I have now with lots of little fish like tetras that might get eaten if I add larger fish later on.  That's why I'm leaning towards gouramis, plus I've read they have interesting personalities.  Would I be able to add the tetras later after I get gouramis?  I also want to add 4-5 kuhli loaches when I get the larger tank. Another question: I don't have any gravel on the bottom of my tank because the bio-wheel has enough bacteria in it and it's easier to make sure there's not rotting debris on the floor.  Would any of the fish I mentioned, especially the kuhli loaches, do better with some sand or gravel?  I thought I might be able to offer a couple half-filled dishes of sand (maybe like the ceramic dishes you put under indoor potted plants) to the loaches for them to burrow into without getting the sand all throughout the tank.  Is that a good idea?  Thanks for your help!! <Be chatting. BobF>

Three Spot Gourami Aggression 1/15/08 Hi Bob, <It's Neale here tonight, actually.> I have read many of your answers to questions on aggression often encountered with the Three Spot Gourami and found them very informative. <Yes, male Trichopterus Trichogaster are indeed very aggressive fish. Not recommended for community tanks.> However, there are some details I would like to be more clear on. First, a bit about my tank. It is a 21 US Gal tank containing 3 Otos, 3 Zebra Danios, 1 Betta fish, 1 Three Spot Gourami and 1 Dwarf Gourami. There is a porous rock, a plastic plant (waiting to introduce real plants) and a ornamental castle as well. The Dwarf Gourami was added 2 months following the Three Spot Gourami. Upon introduction of the Dwarf Gourami the Three Spot was aggressive towards it almost instantaneously. <No surprises there at all.> I let them be for about 20 min or so, but the Three Spot was relentless in its pursuit of the Dwarf. Finally, I had to separate the two since the Dwarf was beginning to suffer immensely. <I bet.> I read on your site to isolate the more aggressive fish for about a week and then see what happens. <Hmm...> I am wondering how effective is this? <With Trichopterus Trichogaster, not effective at all.> Even in isolation in a homemade colander, you can see the aggressive behavior of the Three Spot whenever the Dwarf is close by. <Indeed.> If this does not work will heavily planting the aquarium be beneficial to curb the Three Spot's aggression? <Nope.> Or should I add a couple of Three Spot females or instead add a couple more Dwarf's. <Nope. These two species are simply not compatible. Certainly not in a 20 gallon tank.> In regards to the Dwarf, its tail fin is severely damaged (~1/3 of it) as well there is some damage to its ventral and dorsal fin. Will the fins heal and grow back? <In theory, yes.> If so, how long on average does one expect the healing process to take? <Couple months, assuming it doesn't get Fin Rot in the time being.> I look forward to your responses, you have a great site! Ryan <Hope this helps! Neale.>

Re: Three Spot Gourami Aggression 1/15/08 Hi Neale, <Ryan,> Thank-you for your quick response. It is too bad that some sites do say that the Dwarf and Three Spot Gouramis are compatible, otherwise I would not have purchased the Dwarf. <Indeed. Female specimens of Trichopterus Trichogaster get along fine with the Dwarfs; it's the males that are mean!> A couple more questions. <OK> Is the Dwarf compatible with the Pearl Gourami? <Should be; these are generally very mild animals.> What other Gouramis would go well with the Three Spot? <Moonlight Gouramis (T. microlepis) should work well, too. I'd avoid mixing Dwarfs with other Colisa spp though.> Thanks Again, Ryan <Happy to help, Neale.>

Snakeskin Gourami color & conflict    11/16/07 I was delighted to find your site-- you are a fantastic "crew" & I so appreciate your knowledge and efforts to share it. <Thanks.> Now, my question, which is sort of two queries intertwined. One is about my snakeskin Gouramis changing color, getting very dark, very rapidly (in a matter of seconds) and then returning to normal. <Most fish can change colour. Not something to worry about unduly.> I first noticed this several weeks ago and I wasn't even sure it was actually happening because it would happen so fast. Now, I am certain that it happens, very dramatically, and is clearly associated with conflict (this is Question Part II), though this did not seem to be the case the first several times that I saw it. <The reasons can vary. Aggression is certainly one reason, which fish having "look at me!" and "leave me alone!" colour patterns, for example. Colour also changes with mood, environmental stress, other colours in the aquarium, even the time of day.> Here's the background info: I have had a 55 gal. tank for about 9 months with 3 snakeskin Gouramis, 10 Neons, 2 guppies, 2 glass fish, 5 zebras, 2 dwarf Gouramis, & a 5" plecostomus. The three Gouramis have grown a great deal since I got them, from about 3" to 5". <Snakeskin Gouramis -- Trichogaster pectoralis -- are one of the larger Gouramis. They're not really aquarium fish, but food fish. Wild adults are up to 25 cm/500 grammes when fully grown. Should be okay in your 55 gallon tank though, as they rarely get so large in aquaria.> I have no idea about their sex (all the dorsal fins look the same to me). <Hmm... perhaps all one sex?> They seem to have adopted territories, e.g. for sleeping, but until very recently didn't seem to be protective of their turf. <Ah, depends on breeding condition. Mature males become significantly more aggressive than otherwise.> Everything was wonderful & peaceful until about 3 days ago. Territory has suddenly become an issue, and they all go after each other with wide-open mouths, sometimes locking mouths (looks like the "kissing" kissing Gouramis do, but aggressive), sometimes running into each other's sides trying to bite and pushing each other around. Just now I noticed that a spot near the mouth of one of them seems to be injured. They rapidly turn a dark grey during these encounters (which can go on for quite a while, an hour, maybe more?) and appear sort of flushed, with red visible through the skin at the mouth and gills. Two of them in particular are doing this, though the third one will change color and get involved sometimes too. My theory is that they are maturing (I have been unable to find any photos of mature snakeskin Gouramis) and so beginning to exhibit mature, sexual behaviors. <Agree with your hypothesis here.> My questions are 1) about the color change: what is it about? is it always a sign of something bad/stressful? it's so remarkable, I can't believe that I can't find a bunch of info about it... <Means many different things. Don't worry too much about it, except when associated with other behaviours. A fish with odd colours that refuses to swim in the open and shows little interest in food is likely being bullied. A strongly coloured fish that dominates the tank is likely the dominant male. And so on.> and 2) about the behavior: are the days of my peaceful tank at an end? <Yes.> what do you think I should do? Remove one? Which one? <Removing two fish would be the obvious thing to do. Or else add four or five females, to diffuse the aggression.> Everything I read say that Gouramis should be keep in groups, so what's up with this? <Gouramis aren't schooling fish. They don't care whether they are kept singly or in groups, provided each male has sufficient space for its territory. We're all family with the aggression of male Siamese Fighting Fish -- but that is simply the extreme end of a spectrum of aggression levels.> Should I not have given them so much room & food so as to keep them immature, stunted, and nonaggressive? <Doesn't work like this.> (I originally purchased 5 snakeskins, and gave 2 to my daughter's school, where they are kept in a bare 20 gallon tank and fed much less; these 2 look much the same as they did when they were purchased, while my 3 have grown & changed so much they hardly look like the same kind of fish.) <Trichogaster pectoralis definitely gets bigger in bigger tanks, but this doesn't mean stunting them is a good idea. Sooner or later stunted males would be aggressive towards each other, and in a 20 gallon tank the outcome would be even more violent. So you're dealing with something in the genes, not peculiar to your tank. Those fish may be females, in which case colours will be less bright and growth rate less rapid.> Finally, can you please either reply directly to me via email or send me an email letting me know where, exactly, to find your reply on Wet Web? Thank you so much-- (and feel free to edit my wordy text!) Sarah <Cheers, Neale>

Discus sel. and Gourami comp.   11/13/07 We have a 180 gallon well planted tank. Our water parameters are stable at approximately 5 ppm nitrate, 0 ppm nitrite, 0 ppm ammonia, GH at 75 ppm, KH at 30 ppm, and pH of 6.2. The temperature is set at 80. Current inhabitants are 4 blue rams, 11 cardinal tetras, 5 Otos, and 4 Pristella tetras. All has been running well for two months, and in another month we would like to add some discus. My first question is how many discus could be added to this tank? <I'd start with half a dozen for now. Discus are schooling fish a lot of the time, though their pair off when sexually mature. But even then, they're much less aggressive than even Angelfish. Add six Discus, and you should be able to get some pairs for breeding from, if you wanted to.> Also, as all 4 rams I purchased were males, if I am able to find a female, would it be safe to add just one female, or should I look for a few to minimize aggression before adding any females to the tank? <Mikrogeophagus males are quite pushy. I'd be keeping at least one female per male; they don't really form stable pairs, and males will try and hold a harem if they can.> Last question, my wife would love to add a Gourami or two to the tank, but are there any that would be compatible with this setup? <Many. The things to avoid are those apt to aggression, such as Trichopterus Trichogaster (yellow, blue, three-spot Gouramis, among others) and Kissing Gouramis. Lace and Moonlight Gouramis usually work well. Thanks for your time, Matt <Cheers, Neale.>

75 gal... stocking... FW... cichlids and gouramis?  10/14/07 Okay i have emailed the crew before about tank set-ups and compatibility and i have finally made a decision. I Plan to have a 75 gallon tank with 3 parrots, since they are not very aggressive cichlids and more docile... <Says who? Blood parrots, despite being malformed hybrids the hobby doesn't need, are completely unpredictable in terms of social behaviour but *often* become too aggressive for generic community tanks.> ...about 5 gouramis (maybe dwarfs) of different colors <Terrible, terrible idea. Don't mix gouramis and cichlids. Gouramis tend to view cichlids as rivals, become aggressive, and then get hammered because cichlids are much more strong fighters. Unless you know what you're doing, avoid combining them. In addition, the quality of commercially produced Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lala) is so unbelievably low that I personally recommend against them. If you have a local breeder, then fine; but if you're buying them from some generic pet store, then avoid. Feel free to read over the Dwarf Gourami healthcare FAQs here just to see how often we get messages from people with sick fish. A recent veterinarian study put the 'Dwarf Gourami Disease' virus at infecting 22% of all the fish sold. Given it is highly infections, that's about as sensible as adopting a rabid dog as a family pet.> and 2-3 Plecos and Cory cats. <Both good choices, except Plecos are solitary under aquarium conditions. If you want a group, aim for something smaller, like Ancistrus. In aquaria, mature Pterygoplichthys can be rather nasty towards one another, in some cases caused fatal damage.> But my question is would it be possible to place puffers in a community such as this one. <Depends on the puffer, but broadly, no, puffers aren't reliable community fish.> I have a particular interest in puffers that will get larger than others such as the topaz. <Topaz puffers are typically (but not always) Tetraodon fluviatilis. Under aquarium conditions, this is a brackish water fish. I've not personally kept this species, but the broad consensus seems to be that while some specimens work well in LARGE community tanks alongside things like Scats and Monos, there are enough aggressive (perhaps male?) specimens to make it an unreliable community fish. Best kept alone or with other puffers of similar size, provided the tank is big enough.> Could you please send me info in regard to this tank compatibility and if the puffers do not work could you please send me some other type of somewhat large but not too large freshwater fish to inhabit my tank ( I am considering pacus to replace the puffers if possible at the most 2). Thank you! <Pacus are simply out of the question. They reach around 70-100 cm depending on the species, and unless you have an indoor pond, they're not viable pets. Lovely animals for public aquaria, and apparently delicious to eat. But not pets. For a 75 gallon tank, you want to be thinking about medium-sized characins or barbs: Silver Dollars, Nurse Tetras, Clown Barbs, Spanner Barbs etc. These are around the 10-15 cm mark, and work nicely in big groups with robust tankmates. Alternatively, if you wanted a puffer species, I've personally found Colomesus asellus works well in carefully constructed community tanks. It is sold as the South American pufferfish. Gets to about 8 cm long, lives in groups, and while it nips slow-moving things (like Corydoras, livebearers, Angels and Gouramis) it is fine with fast-moving tetras, moderately aggressive dwarf cichlids such as Kribs, Synodontis, Plecs, etc. On the whole though, if you want to go with pufferfish, it's often easier to build a tank exclusively for them. This is especially true with the larger, more aggressive species. Cheers, Neale>

Compatibility question  4/18/07 Hello, <Hello.> I have a 55gal tank that has 5 Gourami and 4 dwarf Gourami along with a catfish and a Pleco. I used Dolomite and some crushed coral as the substrate to elevate the PH. <Why? None of these fish need hard/alkaline water. The gouramis in particular want soft-ish water between pH 6.0-7.0. Take the dolomite and coral sand out and replace with plain washed gravel. This will lower the hardness/pH and also darken the tank, which will improve the colours of the fishes. Most freshwater fish "fade" their colours in tanks with a light substrate.> The current PH is around 7.8. I would like to add some less aggressive cichlids to the tank. <No. Absolutely not. The gouramis will be hammered by the cichlids. Exceptions might be made with angelfish and some of the dwarf South American species, but that's about it.> Would I be able to add (2) Yellow Labs and (2) Powder Blue cichlids or should I stick to the Gourami family? <The "family" isn't the issue, water chemistry and temperament are. With gouramis, your safest companions are medium-sized non-nippy barbs and tetras, Corydoras catfish, small Bagrid catfish, glassfish, rainbowfish, halfbeaks, hatchetfish, and so on. Avoid anything territorial or aggressive, including most cichlids, "sharks", etc..> Thanks, Joe <Cheers, Neale>

Re: Compatibility question, FW    4/19/07 Hi Neale, Thanks for the quick response and excellent advise! Originally my 55gal tank was set up as a community tank (for about 10 years). I added some Gourami fish and the tank ended up getting Ich. I tried treating it but most of the fish died. <Odd. Did you by any chance have carbon in the filter? It is such a common mistake to make. Carbon removes medications, and hence the fish will get sick (and die) no matter how carefully you medicate them. Otherwise, there's no reason standard community fish should die from ick -- it's so easy to cure.> I quarantined the rest of the fish in a spare 10gal tank. I decided to make the 55gal tank a cichlid tank, that is why I used dolomite and crushed coral. <I assume you mean either African Lake or Central American cichlids, as most of the other kinds don't need particularly hard or alkaline water.> The Gourami fish ended up getting better so I put them back in the 55gal tank. They seem to be doing great. They have a good appetite, they are very active and their coloration is good also. <Very good.> When I set the new tank up I used 10gal of 'dirty water' from my 30gal tank and 'old' filter cartridges to help kick start the 55gal tank. <Moving the water was pointless, as there's almost zero filter bacteria there. Old filter media does work well, so good call.> Based on your advise, I'm definitely not going to mix cichlids with the Gourami. <There are still *some* cichlids you could add. Just not African Lake species. There are some lovely Pelvicachromis on the market that would work very well with them. You could also try some of the smaller South Americans, such as keyholes or Sheepshead Acara. In fact anything in the 2-4 inch size bracket with a mild temperament would work nicely. In a 55 gallon tank each fish should be more than able to set up home without trouncing on the others real estate.> The Gourami have been in the tank for about 2 weeks now. Do you think it is OK to leave them with the elevated PH? <It's your call. Trichogaster spp. gouramis are fine at pH 8 and in moderately hard water. Colisa spp. gouramis less so.> If not, I'll have to find them a new home. I really like the new look of the tank with the coral and dolomite. <It's your tank. But honestly, if it was me, I'd take out the calcareous substrate and replace with something like silica sand. It's just as bright (if you like that sort of thing) and very cheap/easy to obtain, but doesn't alter the water chemistry. Will give you masses more flexibility in terms of adding new fish. In a 55 gallon, I'd be looking at getting a nice school of barbs or midsized characins like Congo tetras or better yet Tetragonopterus argenteus (a real stunner). Rainbowfish would be superb additions, too. Adult (rather than juvenile) rainbows are amazing fish and live for many years, making them good value too.> Thank you, Joe <Cheers, Neale>

Mixed Gourami... comp.  4/8/07 Hi, love the site some great advice, was hoping you could help. <... spaces between sentences...> I have a 125 litre tank originally with Bala sharks ,Silver dollars ,Guppies, Mollies and a Blue spot Gourami. I have recently purchased two pink kissing Gourami but the blue spot is constantly chasing them and nipping. What would be my best route to contain this ? Regards Chas. <Mmm, you could try moving the aquarium decor about, moving the aggressive fish into a floating plastic colander for a few days... If the behavior persists after this though, it will be necessary to move someone... BTW, your tank is over-stocked with the fishes listed... the Balas and Dollars get way too big for this sized world. Bob Fenner>

Paradise fish tankmates   3/19/07 Hello crew, <<Greetings, Adam. Tom here.>> I have two 8 gallon, unheated tanks each containing a male paradise fish, java moss and java fern. I bought what I thought was a female in hopes of spawning them and placed it in with my wild coloured male. The male was not too impressed with his new tankmate so I transferred it to the other tank where it then began to attack my blue male. The "female" has a much stockier body, shorter fins and is usually a pale brown colour but when it sees a male its colours darken and it develops iridescent blue edges on the fins and it flares its fins and projects its gill covers. How can I be sure that this is in fact a female? Are there any definite characteristics I can look for? <<First, Adam, dont let the behavior of the female lead you to think you may have gotten another male. If its contained to flaring at one another along with changes in her coloration, this can be/is part of the mating ritual. It may look like theyre squaring off for a set-to but that isnt necessarily the case. From the way youve described your third Paradise fish, it sounds to me like youve got a female. The tail split is far less pronounced on the females as well as the tail tips being far more rounded. Theres also a spotted pattern to the coloring of the males tail fin while the females all have fairly uniform coloring to theirs. The dorsal and anal fins are also shorter and rounded at the tips as compared to the male. My male displays vertical bars that are quite distinct as opposed to the females which have them but are much less apparent. (My males eyes also look like hes ready to kick the snot of out something/anything all the time. Almost scary looking, really.)>> I know females are not supposed to be imported into Australia but this one looked really female in the store and the guy said they do come in from time to time by accident. <<Hmmm Theyre not supposed to be imported, hes not supposed to have them and, if he gets any, he shouldnt be selling them to his customers. Hed do very well in the States! :) >> Also, are rosy barbs and leopard danios appropriate tank mates for these fish? <<Within the context of what youre asking, Adam, I would say that the Barbs would be fine but the Danios might be questionable. In my 50-gallon tank Ive got Black Skirt Tetras and Serpae Tetras with mine, none of which will put up with any of the Paradises garbage. My squadron of Corys wouldnt care if I put a Great White in the tank with them. Ive a lone Angelfish that the Paradise fish take steps to avoid and my Boesemanni Rainbows seem to get along fine with them though, admittedly, theyre nearly twice the size of the Paradise fish. Finally, my Sailfin Pleco doesnt much care about anything other than his personal piece of driftwood and eating. (Gorgeous animal but doesnt say much.)>> I got some cheap feeder ones to see it they can cohabitate. Can you suggest any better tankmates? What about white cloud minnows or zebra danios? <<The issue here, Adam, is finding fish that will work in eight-gallon tanks. Just between us guys, Id rather see you upgrade to larger tanks or leave well-enough alone. Your Gouramis will lose a lot of attitude if housed in bigger environments but youve got a couple of species set-ups right now. A couple of minimal ones, to be honest. Like Bettas that Paradise fish are so often compared to, you really want to recognize the limitations of small aquariums and accept them for the good of your pets. Easier said than done, isnt it?>> Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated. Adam <<Stick with what youve got for now, Adam. When youre in a position to get larger quarters for your fish your options will improve dramatically. I hope things work out for your new couple, by the way. Cheers. Tom>>

Re: paradise fish tankmates (Follow-up)   3/21/07 Thanks Tom, <<Hello, Adam, and youre welcome.>> Unfortunately for one of the feeder barbs the male paradise lived up to his rep as a cold blooded killer. It calmly swam up to it and promptly proceeded to remove its face, not a pretty sight. <<Ye gads! Thats a bit over the top even for a Paradise fish! I suspected the cramped quarters would lead to squabbling but not downright mayhem. Im sorry about that to say the least, Adam.>> I rescued the remaining barb and put it in the pond with my other barbs and  Buenos Aires tetras. So far the danios have escaped injury from the other male (in the other tank). I placed the original male in a clear floating tank and returned the female. Will this help get him used to the idea of having a wife?   <<Right now, Adam, I dont know how far I would trust this particular fish even with a female of the same species. It would probably be prudent to consider the possibility that this fellow is a rogue or, very close to being one. Given the almost non-existent supply of females that you have available Down Under, Id be very leery of potentially jeopardizing her with a known killer. Observe them for a bit before chancing a close encounter and then watch both of them like a hawk!>>   I don't think I'll add any more tankmates unless I do upgrade to bigger setups. <<I think this best as well, Adam.>> Also, what is the minimum temperature leopard danios can tolerate? <<About 50 degrees (F.). I wouldnt push this for a long period, however. (Where Im at, 50 degrees doesnt sound all that bad, though. :) )>> I "rescued" them from the feederfish tank at my LFS and if I have to remove them I'd like to add them to the pond but I don't know if they can handle the lower winter temperatures like the barbs and tetras. <<Actually, theyve got quite a large range of tolerance, Adam. I wouldnt be too concerned as long as they can be kept above 50 for most of the time.>> Adam <<Good luck and keep an eye on Jack the Ripper! Tom>>

Gourami suggestions??  3/10/07 Hi everyone, <Mustafa> At first, forgive me for my English.  I  have some questions and I searched internet, unfortunately I could not find any info that could answer my questions directly; therefore I feel that I could ask my questions to you :) <Good> I have a 80-litre tank (17.5 gallon). In this tank I have 2 female pearl gouramis, 1 dwarf gourami, 6 neon tetra, 1 true SAE and two Corydoras (I do not know  their species -albino Cory??-).  My question includes two stages. Firstly, could I add 1 male and 2-3 female dwarf gouramis to the tank ? (for two male dwarf gourami how size tank is needed for peaceful aquarium?). <A ten gallon will do for the Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia)... You may have to move the Pearl Gouramis (Trichogaster leeri) in time though... they can become a bit territorial in crowded or small volumes...> Second, could I add 5 or 6 rasboras to it? <Yes... of small species> I really want to have a tank with 4-5 dwarf and 2 pearl gouramis, 6 neon tetra, 5-6 rasboras, 2 Corydoras and a SAE my favorite. Thank you for your time, have a nice day !! Mustafa Erata --from Istanbul / Turkey <Thank you my friend. To you as well. Bob Fenner>

Paradise fish, beh., comp.   2/28/07 Hello Crew, <Jessica> I have a 30gal freshwater tank that's been empty save for a pair of bristle nose Plecos for about two months. Firstly, to insure it was well cycled (I made that mistake with my previous 10gal and it was rather horrible), and also just because I haven't been having much luck getting any other fish. Anyway, I recently (about a week ago) got a Paradise fish who after quarantining is now with the Plecos (introduced two days ago). My first question is that he's kind of... Hyper, I suppose. All he seems to do is pace back and forth along the glass really quickly. I'm not sure that he's eating either, because he's too busy flying around to pay attention when I put food in. I've seen him eating some of the Plecos algae wafer, but that's about it. Is this normal behavior for a Paradise fish? Or is something wrong with him/the tank? <Is likely normal... this fish is probably seeing its reflection... reacting to such... will greatly calm down with the addition of tankmates...> All water levels (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc.) are as they should be. Also, I have a Opaline Gourami and a school of Harlequin Rasboras in quarantine right now, and I've been reading some worrisome stories about Paradise fish consuming smaller fish. <These will all be fine together> The Opaline doesn't bother the rasboras at all in the QT tank, so I'm not too worried about him being aggressive (until he get's larger anyway) towards the smaller fish, and I feel like he's big enough and 3in right now) to defend himself from the Paradise. Do you think my Rasboras will be ok with the Paradise? <Yes> They're a little on the small side right now as well, I'd say they're about an inch or slightly larger not yet two inches, but it's hard to tell since they're fast and hard to get a good look at. The tank is well planted with plenty of hiding spots, but I'd rather know now before I put them in and find out. Thanks for you help, Jess <I think you will have a very nice display here. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Gourami tank, Colisa lalia comp.   2/14/07 Hi everyone, <Erin> I absolutely love your site, and thank you for all the great Gourami information!  I'm a new tank owner with a 20 gallon that includes 5 Tiger Barbs and 2 Gourami (One Dwarf Red Flame, one Powder Blue, both male). <The same species, Colisa lalia> I've been scouring your answers on solutions to aggression because my Red Flame will not stop tormenting my Blue. <Both males? This is natural behavior> He chases him all day and head butts him but so far no visible fish damage.  I don't want to get rid of this beautiful fish, but I also want to protect my Blue and had hoped to add a couple more Gourami (maybe a Gold?).  I wanted to add one or two more males, <Uh, no> but seem to be finding conflicting information.  Would adding two more males diffuse the aggression or make it worse? <Likely worse> Would I be better off adding maybe 3 females (I've been reading that a higher female to male ratio may calm them)?, <Yes, this is best> or would that be a little too crowded for my tank? <Should be fine> I read your advice on sequestering the aggressive male in a floating  tank, which I plan to do, and adding floating plants...are these solutions better bets for fixing the problem than adding more fish? <Worth trying> I also had hoped to eventually add a couple of non-Gouramis, but now I am worried that my tank as a whole is getting too aggressive. <Just the gouramis toward their own kind, sex...> The Barbs leave the Gouramis alone, but will both aggressive species gang up on a new species?   <Mmm, no... but the Tiger Barbs can become nippy...> Can you recommend any other fish that might work well in this mix? <Small danios, rasboras... many small catfish species...> What type of algae eater would fare best in this tank? <See WWM re> Thank you so much, I'm sorry to add to your load of aggressive Gourami questions! Erin <No worries. BobF>

Platy, Gourami compatibility  2/12/07 Hi, <Hello there> I'm new to tropical fish keeping and so far ( fingers crossed), everything is going fine. I've had a mid sized silver dollar, pleco, Bala shark, sucking loach and 3 gouramis for a month or 2 now. yesterday i <I> added 5 tiger barbs and 3 swordtail/platies. <Mmm... some of the other fishes may go after this last...> Yesterday all was fine but this evening one of the what now seems to be a platy rather than a swordtail ( i think from looking at net pics), is non stop nipping at the gouramis. It seems to be biting or kissing it for want of a better term. Is this normal or will it cause the gouramis problems. <Might be trouble if persistent> i'm <I'm> confused as from what research i've <...> done on the net, platies are supposed to be peaceful easy to keep fish, but this little bugger is causing me dramas. <Perhaps a "rogue" individual... Happens... Can often be cured of this habit by isolation (in a large net, floating colander...) for a few days... or the addition of more members of the opposite sex> I'm not 100% what type of gourami i have. Looking at the pics on the net and your site, the look pretty much like dwarf Gourami. <There are several "sports" of Colisa lalia...> Would this make a difference to their compatibility? <Could...> Thanks for your time on this Lee <Bob Fenner>

Angry Pink Kissing Gourami  2/1/07 Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank with 1 ropefish, 2 rainbow schoolers, 4 female swordtails, 1 male swordtale <tail...> , 2 blue gouramis (one thats <that's> gold), 1 whiptail sucker fish, 1 plec. sucker fish, and one large pink kissing Gourami.  Now my problem is after feeding.  Most of the fish are satisfied with frozen bloodworms, but the kisser never seems to eat them, so I feed her tropical flakes.  after she finishes eating, she darts around the tank chasing anything that moves, and harasses them this way for about 30 minutes.  She only does this after eating, and she gets more aggressive each time.  its mostly just fin nipping, but its starting to worry me.  Any suggestions?  Thanks a lot! <You may have a "rogue" individual here, but Helostoma are social animals... should be kept in at least pairs. I would look into wafer-type food formats and getting at least another kisser of about the same size. Bob Fenner> Re: Angry Pink Kissing Gourami    2/2/07 Thanks!  She is roughly 4 years old.  She's always been with blue gouramis in a 10 gallon but recently she was added to the new 55 gallon tank.  Ill look into getting a buddy for her.  She is extremely large; about the size of my palm.  I've just never seen be aggressive before so it worried me. <Unlikely to find such a large specimen... I'd opt for two more of the biggest you can find>   This question is off the topic, but am curious.  Im looking into getting a freshwater snowflake Eel, but am not sure if it will cope with my ropefish or not. <Mmm, not real freshwater... not compatible... See WWM re. Bob Fenner> Gouramis and Red Tailed Black Shark   1/19/07 Hi! Pip from Worcester England here! I'm just curious as to why my Red Tailed Black Shark keeps eating the slime off my Blue and Red Dwarf Gouramis? <Nutritive> She doesn't do it all the time, but more often than she used to. Will she stop it? <Unfortunately not likely... and is destructive> The reason I ask that is I have a Male Betta in the same tank and he used to pick on my Gouramis when they were first introduced, nipping their fins and displaying to them, and when I asked at the aquaria shop what I could do about it, the gentleman I spoke to told me not to worry, that it would stop. <Mmm, generally not a problem... as the smaller gouramis are aware of the Betta kin's propensity to do this... will/can avoid it> Sure enough, it did and they've been fine ever since. It's a 36 inch tank, so it's not exactly small and there are plenty of plants and hiding places, and they are all fed a varied diet, though the gouramis and shark do like the algae tablets that I put in, and I notice the slime eating happens more at meal times, especially when there is an algae tablet in there. Could she be trying to get them to leave it alone? <Mmm, not really... as stated the minnow-shark derives nutrition/food from such activity... May also be a bit of an agonistic/territorial display... but whatever the "reasons" this activity damages the Gouramis... if too much... I would at least try adding some "dither-fish"... perhaps some small grouping of barbs, danios... to "draw off" the attention of the RTS here. Bob Fenner> Dwarf Gourami    1/5/07 Hey Crew, <Jessica> I'm sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't find the answer to my question. I have a 29 gallon well planted (plenty of hiding places) aquarium with no fish yet. I want to get some Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia), Dwarf Loaches (Botia sidthimunki), and a school Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha). <A nice mix> I would like to have as many of the male Gourami as possible because they're the most colorful. How many of these Dwarf Gourami could I have in my aquarium without increased fighting due to lack of territory space? <Mmm, likely six... perhaps two males, four females...> Or if necessary, how many females would I need to keep also to decrease fighting? <A few more than the males> Also, will the smaller Rasboras be eaten?? <Not unless they were much smaller, no> Or are they ok to go with Dwarf Gouramis? <Highly unlikely> Thank you, Erin <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Future Gouramis  12/30/06 Hello, <Hi there> I just got a new 30gal tank for Christmas, and as of today am in the process of cycling it. While I'm still deciding what to put in it, I'm leaning significantly towards some gouramis. <A great group of animals> My question is that ideally, I would like to have more than one species of Gourami, or at least 2 males of different colors. I know that male Gourami will fight with each other, but was wondering if housing them with a certain ratio of females as well might deter fighting? <Does have a discernible effect, yes> Or do you know of two types of Gourami that might get along peacefully together? <Mmm, yes... for here, in a small-ish volume, some of the smaller species, or a smaller and larger mixed together... The genera Colisa and Trichogaster likely...> If I can't have either of these things, what would you suggest to put in with a Gourami pair (preferably with a lot of color) that won't get picked on? Also, (before I get any fish) I would like to make this a planted tank. Do you have any advice of plants to put in with Gourami that they might prefer? <Oh yes... ones found in/about the same habitat in the wild... All can be searched, read about... even just on WWM, but I'd use the Net en toto... perhaps even a book or two... from the library? Bob Fenner, who would start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and on to the linked files above... over to the Planted Tanks subweb...> Thank you, Jessi

Re: Future Gouramis   1/3/07 Hello again, One last question. Would you advise against keeping Colisa lalia and Colisa fasciatus in the same tank? <Actually, these should go together fine> Both are listed as being peaceful enough for a community tank by a number of sources. Thanks for the help, Jessi <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Giant Red Finned Gourami... comp.   12/12/06 Hi there, <Hey there> I have a giant red finned gourami in my 100 gallon aquarium.  Since I've added him a year ago, he has grown at a fast rate. <Ah, yes... the "true" goramy (not a mis-spelling), Osphronemus> He is currently 13" from lip to tail.  The problem is, since he has grown he has become very aggressive towards a large albino Oscar. (around 9" long).  He is fine with the regular Oscar and Green Severum. <Need much more room... The albino is more similar to the Gourami in appearance> He just doesn't seem to like this Albino Oscar.. he behaviour has been getting worse recently, and he took out one of the eyes on the Albino. <!>   I don't have room in my apartment to separate them, what can I do to calm his aggression?  I've tried rearranging the aquarium, it works for a few hours at most. Thanks for your time, Justin <A much larger volume might help, but at this point, removing either the aggressor or the losing Albino is the route to go. Bob Fenner> Gourami bullies - larger tank or separation likely required...  11/16/06 Hi Mandy here, <Hello, Jorie here!> I have a 32 gallon well planted tank with rock caves and terracotta pots,  so there is plenty of hiding places.  I have 2 gold females 3" one slightly  fuller than the other, 1 blue male 3" (Mr. Blue) and Mrs. Blue 2 3/4". I also have 2 angels 3", Pleco, 4 small clown loaches. <The clown loaches, as well as the common Pleco (I assume this is the type of fish you refer to) can grow up to 12-18"...hope you have alternative arrangements for them later on.  With regard to the gouramis (and I absolutely love Mr. and Mrs. Blue's names!), you've provided lots of cover via plants and decor, which is good.  I think it may be time to upgrade the tank - and perhaps consider adding another female blue Gourami.  Gouramis can be pretty territorial and aggressive, and this is what you are seeing...> The biggest female gold has taken over half of the tank, only allowing the plec and loaches in... <this makes sense, as the Pleco and loaches are bottom-dwellers, whereas the Gourami likely lives in the middle to upper portions of the tank>, the others are chased out. Mr. Blue will then chase Mrs. Blue into a corner so she is chased all the time. I have tried taking the  biggest gold out, the other gold just took over where she left off, still resulting in Mrs. Blue being chased. I've removed all gouramis, changed tank around... <meaning the decor, I imagine> ...added Mrs. Blue first, then later adding the rest, they still took up the same positions. I have wondered about adding another blue female to distract the male, and maybe a gold male - what do you think? <I think if you upgrade to a 75 this may solve the problem; otherwise I think you may compound the problem. For what it's worth, all the solutions you tried are what I would have recommended also...> Mrs. Blue is chased so much she is very pale, though no damage is being caused to any of the fish. <This kind of stress is likely weakening her immune system, and she may well get sick in time...> It would be nice to see a balanced tank. <I agree.  I think upgrading to a larger tank would likely help solve these problems, and will eventually be necessary for the bottom-dwellers (you will likely have to find alternative homes for 2-3 of the loaches, eventually, though - these guys get BIG!)  If you can't upgrade right now, I would suggest putting Mrs. Blue into her own tank - 10 gal. at a minimum.  It sounds as though you've tried everything else within your power to fix the situation, and now, it's a disaster just waiting to happen...> Please help save Mrs. Blue many thanks  Mandy. <Best of luck - hope I've helped.  Jorie>

How do I tell the difference between (a betta with) shredded fins from fin and tail rot, and shredded fins from an overly aggressive blue paradise gourami?   8/23/06 < I'd wager it is more likely from violence. > I've been trying to help the betta and the gourami get along, but they seem to be incompatible. < I cannot seem to come up with a way to achieve this insurmountable task. It is direct competition, and the betta is ill equipped for the job at hand. If he were a true fighting betta with short fins, he might stand a chance. > I think I'm just going to have to give one of them away.   < That sounds like a great idea. > They're in a 5 gallon aquarium with physical, chemical, and biological filters (AquaChem Hex 5, I think).  Tank chemistry is still a little squirrelly, but I'm working on that.  Temperature is steady around 80 degrees.  They have live plants and a "cave" (coffee cup) that they both use. At first the betta was aggressive, chasing and biting the gourami, so I sequestered him in a breeder net for a few days.  After I let him out, the gourami became aggressive.  He's been chasing the betta, even sneaking up on him so as to have a better chance at doing some damage. < That's typical for Gourami types: Ambush style tactics. > I came home from work the other day to find that the betta was missing about half his plumage.  All shredded and ragged looking.  The gourami is now sequestered as a result.  I suspect the gourami has been tail nipping, but I saw pictures of fin and tail rot that looked just like the Betta's condition.  What should I do?   < When in doubt, do partial water changes. If the water quality is causing the infection, dilution will correct the situation, and allow the fish in question to heal. Fin rot usually has well defined white edges, while damage from violence is more erratic. > Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a bunch! < Hope I helped some. RichardB > Susanne. Re: Betta and Gourami   8/24/06 Thanks, Richard, for your reply. < You are very welcome! > Very helpful. < Not all would feel that way, but thank you! > I'll give away one of the fish, and move the Betta to a large bowl in the meantime. < That is a wonderful idea. Remember to do partial water changes at least once a week, to ensure water quality. Good luck! RichardB > S. Gouramis and plants sel.    7/13/06 Hi folks. Could you please help me with a small problem? I have a 100 gal. freshwater tank with 10 blue Gouramis and 8 albino Cory cats. I am trying to get some live plants started but the fish eat them down to the stalk. I need advice on  low lighting plants that they won't eat. <Mmm, Ceratophyllum demersum, Ceratopteris, Anubias, Cryptocorynes...> The Amazon sword I put in lasted 2 days...The anacharis lasted 30 min.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work and thanks again...DR <Good to provide some inexpensive live plants for food occasionally... Like the Anacharis/Egeria. Bob Fenner> Re: Source water concerns for FW and human use  - 7/2/6 Hi Bob, Just an update for you re. my well water problems and newly installed R/O unit. After installing and clearing filters for about 2hrs. <I recently replaced ours... "kitchen remodel"... another euphemism for sure... took me about five hours...> the water tests are much improved. Ammonia tests 0 ppm. as does nitrate and nitrites. The ph value has gone from 8.4-8.6 without filtration down to 7.5 or so. <Ahh, much better> I know my fish and plants will enjoy the change and that we will reap the benefits of cleaner water. I do so appreciate your concern and help with this problem. Now would you give me one small piece of advice that I have gotten numerous answers on at LFS's and other websites?  I have a tank with blue and gold gouramis about 3" long. A bit aggressive as they do get. One tank with angelfish 'gold pearlscales' which are also a bit mean. I recently got 4 pearl gouramis which are about 2 to 2 1/2 inches and are quite timid. They are in the quarantine tank now and are ready to move. Which do you suggest... put them with the mean angelfish or the mean gouramis?  Or buy another aquarium...lol. <Mmm, whichever of the two you want to try (I'd go with the Angels myself), I would move these Trichogaster leeri in, after moving the present fishes for a few days... so they can become established> Just give me an excuse to. I only have 4. Once again Bob. Thanks for all your help and actual concern with my water problems......DR <A pleasure. Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>

Blue Gourami Injury or Disease - I can't figure it out - Pics attached   5/15/06 Hi,   <Hello there> I have 2 Blue Gouramis about 2.5 inches long that have been in my 55 gallon tank about 4 weeks now.  The other day, I thought I'd try out some pinkish red tiger barbs.  Well one was a little psycho at anyone. <!>   That fish got sent to fish jail (breeding pen), however I noticed soon there after that my largest Blue Gourami had a red section on one side of his/her underbody.   <I see it/this> I don't know if it was there before I got the tiger barb, but it looks concerning.  I've read through all of your articles (awesome info) and still do not know how this should be diagnosed.  It looks like maybe it could be a nip from the fish, however, maybe it could be a disease?   <Perhaps... bacterial. But could be secondary to a physical break as you surmise> Tank parameters: 55 gal, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrates, 0 Nitrites; water change occurred 3 days ago and was a 20% change.  Temp is 76 degrees.  Tank has small gravel, plastic plants, real plants and a large piece of driftwood across the tank.   Tank mates are: 2 (total) Blue Gourami's, 4 mollies, 5 gold barbs, 1 cherry barb, 2 very relaxed tiger barbs (pink), 4 high fin tetras (who hate the tiger barbs), 7 bloodfin tetras, 8 Rummynose tetras, <Mmm, the Tetras like very different water than the barbs, Gouramis> 5 Cory cats, 1 platy and some small fish swordtail that is pregnant.  The blue gourami's are pretty much the largest fish, but they are very cool.   On the blue Gourami in question, there now appears a white spot (hard to photograph) that looks like it could be scales re-growing, but I can't find any before, during and after shots on the net of this occurring. I have a 10 gal tank that I can get ready for a hospital tank (minus a heater for now) to put the Gourami into.  I also have some Melafix to use if this is the direction to go.  So my bottom question is. 1) Can you tell by the pictures what this might be? <Not conclusively> 2) Should I pull the fish to its own separate tank or wait to see if the scales are coming back and it heals on its own.   <Yes, I think I would... and add salt per WWM, perhaps Nitrofuranace to the water> Thank you, James PS.  If you are going to post a response, please email me, I'm trying to keep up to date on your site postings, but don't want to miss anything should I need to get this hospital tank going right away.   Thanks a bunch and keep up the good site. <We respond directly to all. Bob Fenner>

Stocking Plan  - 04/05/2006 I am planning on setting up a 55 gallon tank in about a month or so and was just wondering if my fish choices were likely going to be compatible or if they are very difficult to keep. I figured in a 55 gallon there would be ample hiding places. I have plenty of time for tank maintenance. I wanted to put some gourami's, a Cory or two, rosy barb and maybe another barb, a gold dojo loach, and a gold algae eater. I have read lots of conflicting things about how I should purchase my gourami's but not much on the others. Should I get one male of each species of gourami or a pair of each species or half males half females one of each species. I am just looking for some general info on gourami's although it may not exist. I don't know how important it is to keep the fish the same size, like will a max 5 inch gourami pester a max 4 inch or things like that. I have heard to stay away from mixing dwarf and normal gourami. I figure the algae eater although it can possibly get quite large shouldn't bother anything and the Cory's will hold their own, but I don't know about the barb's. Also, is there any small schooling fish I can add a lots of that may have a chance at safety? Thanks! Mike <Male Gouramis can tend to be a little aggressive. But usually it only involves a little chasing. As long as you have plenty of hiding spaces, and everyone is getting enough to eat, you should be OK with mixing species of the same size. But every fish has his own personality. Many times this factors in far more than the general info available for the species. So give it a try, but keep an eye on them. Adding females may add a reason to fight. I would avoid doing this unless your goal is to breed. As for the loach and Cory, not usually a good mix. Pick one or the other and add five or six of the same species. They both do much better in a group of their own kind. Same goes for the barb. Rosies are good community fish, but need the comfort of a school to thrive. And I would avoid the Algae Eater at all costs! A Bristlenose pleco is a far better choice. They are better at controlling most Algaes and are far less aggressive. A single BN pleco will do fine by himself, but you could have two in a 55 without problems. Avoid the "Common Pleco". They grow slowly, but to a monstrous size. Make sure you do a fishless cycle before stocking the new tank. Don> Mean Fishies to Blame for Gouramis Death?  - 04/05/2006 I bought a large Gold Gourami and put it in my tank I came back after a while and the gold had its eyes eaten out.  I want to add more fish to my tank but I don't want to have them ripped up by my paradise fish.   So what should I buy? <Are you sure the new addition was killed by the pre-existing tankmates and that it just did not die from ulterior causes. Often when fish dies the first body part picked at by other creatures is the eye...if this truly is aggression it sounds like you have decision to make, whether or not to keep or rid yourself of the aggressive animal, Adam J.>

Chocolate Gouramis With Discus  - 03/27/06 Hi! First, thanks for the wealth of info on your site! I do have a question that I have not found an answer to. I am slowly planning a planted Discus tank. Likely tank-bred discus, Corys, and some dither fish like the cardinals. I have recently stumbled upon a little fish that apparently is sometimes used as an indicator fish in discus tanks the chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides). ( HYPERLINK " http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=11235" http://www.fish base.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=11235 )They are very sensitive to water quality and require warm, soft, acidic water (24-27*C, pH 4-6). I really like these little guys and would like to keep a few of them with the discus, whenever I actually get that tank set up. I do have one, have kept her for a month now (the ones at the LFS were all dead four days later, that is why I could not get her any companions yet) and she seems to be quite happy now at 84*F, pH 5.2 in a 5-gallon planted tank with frequent (every 2 days or so) 30% water changes (the pH is kept down by peat in the filter). Nitrates 5, nitrites ~0.05 (below 0.1, the lowest concentration the kit registers but not quite clear), ammonia 0.1 (apparently peat leeches some ammonia into the water) but at such low pH, should not be too toxic. Had to learn quick about keeping this delicate little fish and daily water changes in the beginning I really like the little girl! :-) Working on getting ammonia down to 0 is it even possible with peat in the filter? <In an acidic environment there are fewer bacteria to break down the waste. A little current and some additional live plants will help.> Now for the actual questions. First, would a shy fish like the chocolate Gourami also work as a dither fish in a discus tank, or would it be strictly an indicator species? Would the discus harass the little guys? < The discus will be big bullies to smaller shy fish. Eventually they would become weak from not eating or die from stress.> Second, with the water requirements for the chocolate Gourami (pH 4-6, very soft) will it even be compatible with tank-bred discus, or would only wild discus be able to enjoy such acidic water? < Water parameters are fine for both wild and domestic discus.-Chuck> Thank you in advance, Yury

Paradise Fish Tankmates   3/24/06 Hello, I love the site and am always checking on it since starting my first aquarium. My question is about my 30-gallon tank. I have 3 paradise Gouramis  (1 black and 2 red), a dwarf Gourami and a candy stripe Pleco.  I wanted to know if the Gouramis will harass my Pleco, I do have a lot of rocks and driftwood for hiding? I also wanted to know if you have any suggestion for one or two more tank mates? Thanks a lot <They will probably leave the Pleco alone. Stay away from barbs and cichlids and look for community tank fish that are about the same size.-Chuck>

Single Gourami   1/31/06 Good Evening~ I have a female honey dwarf gourami who lost her male about a month ago-and although my guy at the LFS said that he usually isn't into "replacing" the departed-I'm thinking that she is slowing down, not being as active as she was...seems to be in a funk-and everyone else in the tank has someone to swim with. My question is does it have to be another honey dwarf, or do they mingle with any other gouramis?.... <I used to breed genus Colisa gouramis (and am still a big fan)... and am of the strong opinion that you should indeed replace the male here. You could try a Colisa lalia (many sports, but "the" dwarf gourami> I've been seeing some "flame" honey or "golden" honey dwarfs...would this pairing work? <Yes, likely these are the same species> Any input would be greatly appreciated. Am still pretty much a newbie and have appreciated all the info I've been able to pick up here! Thanks a lot, Judy <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Gourami - Platy mix  - 1/30/2006     Hi crew!   If this question has already been answered, I'm really sorry! I am a newbie fish keeper, with a 10 gallon tank. I have a Rena Filstar i1 filter, a light and a heater. (Both Aquarian/Rena.) I have 3 Fish: Minnie , Mickey and Pluto, <Good names!> all Mickey Mouse Platies, (1 male, 2 female) which I added after two weeks of cycling. <Hope this was long enough> There are a few live plants, although I'm not really sure what type they are; I was advised by my local aquatics store. I also have a piece of bogwood, washed carefully before use. I have now had the tank running for about four weeks, and the Platies have settled in nicely. I did a lot of research before purchasing the tank etc. My first question is about my water. I have done a water change a week after buying the Platies, one yesterday (both about 25% - 30% ; should I be doing more?) <Mmm, no... or not likely. Please see WWM... and learn to use the indices, search tool: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm> and am about to do one today. I do not have a test kit, as the store said they would test the water for me when I go back on Saturday. Is this bad? <It's not as good as having your own kits... some parameters (e.g. ammonia) are transient... change quickly... while the water sample is being transported...> Should I buy/have bought a test kit? <Oh! Yes> My water looked a little yellow before I changed it yesterday - could this be the bogwood? <Definitely, yes> I washed it before I put it in: letting it soak for 24 hours then scrubbing it. Is this going to affect my fish? <Can, yes... the decomposition can lead to drift in pH (downward)... for instance... too much, too fast can be trouble... Only time, experience can/will tell though... regular maintenance, sufficient alkalinity in your source water... may keep in sufficient check> I have looked at them carefully, and they seem to be OK, swimming around, eating well etc. The do not seem to have Popeye, gasping at the surface etc. Should I be doing a water change more regularly? What should I do? <Perhaps some activated carbon in your filter flow path...> I've only had the little guys for about 2 weeks, but am already very attached to them, and I don't want to make them ill.   My second question is about mixing Platies with other fish. I would really like to have a pair of Dwarf Gouramis in there. Would that be OK? <Should be, yes>   Thanks for your very useful website! It has been of endless use to me in starting my new hobby. (which I love!) I have bought two books on keeping fish and got some from the library, but none of them have as much information as this site, and although some of them go into complex water chemistry, none of them answer all of the simple questions that I need the answer to! This is the Holy Grail of the fish keeping world! From a newbie fishkeeper.   P.S sorry I did not send this from your site; I could not get it to work! <No worries. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Overstocked Tank - What To Add?? - 01/08/2005 I have a 5 gallon tank with one red paradise Gourami, 3 small danios and three small algae eaters and they have plenty of room <Mm, no, they don't.  This is too much bioload for such a small aquarium.  Paradisefish get rather large for such small confines, and danios prefer much more space for schooling....  as for algae eaters, the only suitable for a five gallon tank are Otocinclus; I do hope this is what you have.> but my Gourami is a bit of a grumpy old man because from time to time he will chase the danio around the tank but they are to fast for him. <Paradisefish are somewhat aggressive....  In this small tank, he's requiring all of it for his territory.  The other fish are "invading", in his eyes.  His behaviour will not change.  The danios - most any other fish, really - will always be stressed to the max trying to find a way out of the paradise's territory.  This really isn't a good situation.> I want to add a new fish to this tank <Mm, no, you don't; not for the fishes' sakes, anyway....> but I am not sure as what to add. <More space or less fish.> Any info you can give me would be great. <Either go for a larger system (the paradise would be able to establish a territory and leave space for others in a tank of 24" or more....  maybe 30"....) or re-think your stocking scheme (remove the Paradisefish, stick with just the danios and (hopefully) Otos).  These routes are your best bet.> Thanks for your time. <And thank you for your consideration.> Amanda Roberts <Wishing you and your livestock well,  -Sabrina>

Overcrowding?  11/20/05 Hello. I have written to you guys before and you were very helpful, so I thought it would be smart to check with you before I made a new addition to my tank. I currently have a 10 gallon tank with 2 sparkling gourami, <Trichopsis pumila?> 2 black skirt tetra, and 1 threadfin rainbow. They are happy and healthy and have been for a few months now. The water parameters in the tank are stable. I would like to add two more tetra of a different kind (possible true Rummynose) to the tank and I was wondering if that would be too crowded. All the fish are pretty small (no bigger than an inch and a half) and I plan on getting a larger tank within the next 6 months. Thanks a lot for your help! Jessica <I do think you should be okay with this addition behaviorally and physiologically. Bob Fenner> 

Freshwater Tank, Gourami and General Reference Books 10/25/05 Hi, there! Hope you're doing well. My wife and I are planning a new planted freshwater aquarium, in the 55 -75 gallon range. We want a variety of plants along with driftwood. For livestock, want a mix of Gourami, perhaps Colisa lalia, Trichogaster leeri, and Trichogaster trichopterus.  <sounds good>  To add an active and colorful schooling dimension to the tank, we'd like a medium school of Paracheirodon axelrodi. To round out the bottom layer, we're planning on a small group of some Corydoras specie.  <very colorful and hardy!>  Finally, for algae control, we're looking at a few Caridina japonica, or perhaps some Crossocheilus. <I would get the latter and leave the shrimp out of the mix!> Since this is our first "real" attempt at a planted freshwater tank, we'll be getting "Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants" (Hiscock; based on your recommendation) in an attempt to avoid floral disaster. <good book!>  I also don't have any freshwater fish reference books (just marine), and would like to get one, especially since we'd like some more detailed compatibility information (particularly regarding the Gourami mix). Could you recommend a general freshwater fish reference book, and perhaps one with detailed information on Gouramis? I really am overwhelmed when it comes to the former; for the latter, I've seen some recommendation for "Gouramis and Other Anabantoids" (Richter, 1988, TFH), but apart from being out of print, I'm concerned that given its age it may not be as good as a later publication.  <<The fishes have likely not changed in thousands of years, let alone decades.  MH>> <could possibly be true>  Could you help me out with some suggestions?  <Gouramis and Other Labyrinth Fishes by Gary Elson, Oliver Lucanus is a good book and can be purchased at amazon.com for 7.99!, Encyclopedia Of Exotic Tropical Fishes For Freshwater Aquariums is good too by Glen S. Axelrod, Brian M. Scott, G. S. Axelrod, Hope that helps> Thanks so much; I love the site -- keep up the great work! Scott Baker <thanks, IanB> 

Re: A few more questions, re F8 Puffer, adding FW fish 10/6/05 Hi again - I know I ask you guys a lot of questions, but I have a few more. Sorry. <That's what we're here for.> First off, my figure 8 puffer was healthy and eating two days ago. Last night, the power went off for a few hours and now he won't eat. His feces is pale, and the only thing I can think of is that maybe he got too cold. <I'd check to make sure his water quality is good.  Is he in a brackish tank?  Have you tried feeding him some yummy snails or shrimp?> Second, I have a 20 gal. housing a juvenile p.k. Gourami, 7 Neons, a baby platy and a mystery snail. I know the p.k. will get big, but he's small now.  Would you recommend getting any more fish, or would that be too much? I thought a gold Gourami or a Betta (my Gourami is peaceful) would be neat.  <I think you could put a few more fish in there, assuming your water quality is excellent now.  You're right.  The p.k. Gourami will need a bigger tank.  They grow pretty fast.  Gold Gouramis are often quite aggressive and will also need at least a 30 gallon tank; they can get to be about 5 inches.  Bettas are closely related to Gouramis and will almost inevitably fight with them.> Thank you for listening.  <Catherine>

Gourami tankmates 10/1/05 What other fish would you recommend for a small pink kissing Gourami in a ten gallon tank, kept at around 85 degrees F.? He's been lonely, with just a baby platy and a snail.  I had my eye on a dwarf freshwater puffer (not s.w.), or maybe a dwarf Gourami.  Something pretty, preferably intelligent with lots of personality. You'll probably say a 10 gal. isn't enough for the p.k. Gourami - but it's all I have and can afford. I got the fish before being properly informed:(  Thanks. <You're right, I am going to say a 10 gallon tank isn't enough for the kissing Gourami.  In fact, you can't put another fish in the tank until you get rid of that one.  If you can't afford a larger tank, then I recommend taking him back to the fish store.  It's not fair to the fish to be stuck in a tank at least 3 times to small for him.  As far as dwarf puffers, I've got 3 in a 10 gallon.  They can be extreme fin nippers, so I'd recommend only a small algae eater like an Oto to go with them.  They love snails, but only as snacks.  Check out the WetWebMedia chat forum for more ideas in a 10 gallon.  Catherine.>

Gourami tankmates 10/2/05 I've tried returning him, and no one will take him.  <Chain stores often won't take fish back.  Many local, independent fish stores will take fish either for store credit or for donation.  But in some areas it's hard to find one.>   It's either I kill this fish, or he stays put for a while. When he's bigger, I can try putting him with a bunch of cichlids. I HAVE NO CHOICE. If you yourself can afford for me to send him, you can have him. If not, he'll stay where he is.  <I already have rescue cats and I understand about being misinformed about tank sizes.  That's why I ended up with bigger tanks.  Good luck with him.> Thanx alot. <"Alot" isn't a word.  It's "a lot".  Catherine>

Adding and Mixing Gouramis 9/20/05 I have a 38 gallon tank which has several different species of fishes, which includes one Flame Gourami.  <What else is in the tank? Is the Flame Gourami male or female?>  There used to be two of them, but one had to be returned to the pet store because it was too timid, and the other gourami (which we kept), kept chasing it into the plants in the tank.  <I would have returned the bully as he (?) is likely to continue being nasty.>  I would still like to add at least one more gourami to the tank, but a different type, so maybe the remaining Flame Gourami may not be hesitant to chase it.  Some of the ones I am considering are the Neon Blue Gourami <small and generally fairly timid>, the Sunset Thick-Lipped Gourami <several fish with similar names, maybe Colisa labiosa, another smaller fairly timid gourami>, the Blue Gourami and the Opaline Gourami <Blue and Opaline are the same species.  They (especially the males) are known to be a bit aggressive.> Which gouramis would be best suited for adding to the tank, and do I have to add more than one?  <If your Flame Gourami is a male, Id add females to the tank to minimize aggression.  With gouramis, there is a lot of individual variability in personality.  Ive got a pair of blue gouramis (known to be aggressive) that are terrified of a smaller female lace gourami (known to be passive).  Of the fish you listed the Blue/Opaline are most likely to stand up to the Flame.  Like I said, keeping one male minimizes aggression.  Feel free to add one or a couple more, but beware there are no guarantees on behavior.> Thanks, Mike <Hope I helped, Catherine PS, check out the chat forum.  If you post your question there, you may find a more diverse range of experiences.>

Strange Mix  9/19.5/05 Hi again. Just wondering, if I house my 1.5 in. P.K. gourami in a ten gallon with some goldfish until he gets bigger, would he be able to live peacefully with five African cichlids in a thirty gallon? The cichlids range from 1.5 to about 3.5 inches long. They live happily, so I think with a lot of hiding places, that they might accept him. I have no one else who will take him, and am at the end of my rope. Please help me! Thanx. <Can't really say I like either part of your plan. Gourami can withstand a wide range of water conditions, but they like it warm. The goldfish like it cool. But if these are the choices I would plan on keeping him with the goldfish. I think the cichlids would kill him. Don> Kiss Your Gourami Good Bye  9/17/05 Hello. I have a friend who has a 30 gal. tank, with five African cichlids, all ranging from 1.5'' to about 3.5''. Keep in mind she may soon be getting a 55 gal. She's going to adopt my 1.5'' pink kissing Gourami, and I was wondering if this is a wise thing to do. Also, what regular food should I keep for two dwarf puffers in a 5 gal.? Thanx. < The aggressive African cichlids will not tolerate the Gourami in their territory for very long. Not a good idea. FW puffers like snails, worms, frozen brine, krill and some kinds of flake food like OSI brine shrimp flake.-Chuck> Blue Gourami Aggression I have a blue Gourami fish and just the other day it started chasing around my 2 Bala sharks. When I bought them they were in the same tank. And the Gourami doesn't seem to care about the other fish in there. I did hear that blue Gouramis can be territorial but at the same time peaceful. Do you think that the Gourami is really out to kill the Bala sharks? Nick <Well, some Trichogaster Gouramis do "turn mean", but Bala Sharks are fast and smart... able to stay out of the Gourami's way... if the tank is large enough. Am sure you're aware of how large these minnow-sharks get, their propensity for jumping... Bob Fenner>

Parrot Cichlid With Gourami I have had a Gourami and Parrotfish for over three years now living in a 20 gallon tank. The parrotfish has always bullied the Gourami, but most of the time they get along fine. My parrotfish has been acting very strangely over the past week - moving the rocks around in the bottom of the tank (HUGE pile on one side), and today he was swimming up and down the side of the tank in an agitated manner - I actually think he tried to "jump out" tonight. My husband also noted the parrotfish was "attacking" the Gourami the other night. The parrotfish is showing signs of stress with black marks showing up on his fins and body. My Gourami hasn't been eating regularly and I just saw tonight has a single swollen blood-red eye. I purchased Maracyn 2 for the tank under the guidance of a pet store worker. I have not tested the ph or the ammonia and the temperature has spiked in the tank to over 84 degrees - we put the a/c on in the room to help cool the water down. Should I  try to test the ph and treat the water while I am using the Maracyn 2? Not sure if I needed that after reading all the articles on your site, so I don't know if I should stop treatment and balance the water or do both. Help! Victoria < Your parrot cichlid has now established the entire 20 gallon tank as his territory and will defend it from all other fish and probably from external sources like humans walking by. The injury is probably from the parrot attacking the Gourami. At 84 degrees the fishes metabolism is elevated and this could make them more aggressive. Don't worry about the ph but watch for ammonia spikes because the antibiotics will probably affect the good bacteria used to break down the fish waste.-Chuck> Dwarf Gourami compatibility in a 10 gallon tank I'm setting up my first tank (10 gallons) and I'm trying to pick out a group of fish that will get along and be happy. Ideally, I'd like a Blue Dwarf Gourami, a couple of Sunset Fire Platys, a small school (5 or 6) neon tetras, and an Oto or two for housekeeping. Obviously this will be a little on the high end of the inch/gallon rule but I'm prepared to make more regular water changes. Will these fish all get along? <Should, yes> Will 10 gallons be enough for them not to feel crowded? <Mmm, not much, no> Also, will the Gourami become aggressive since it is by itself? <Not likely... Colisa lalia can be picky, but mainly this happens with a mix of sexes/individuals of their own kind> I made that mistake while cycling my tank with a single red eyed tetra who constantly nipped at the two smaller platys that it shared the tank with. Thanks so much for the assistance. <Thank you for writing, expressing your earnest concern. Bob Fenner> 

Gourami Getting Beat Up Hey guys, need to know if I can put my 4 inch Gourami in my 80 gallon with swordtails. Thanks, I got a Jack Dempsey picking on him in the 90. < Your Gourami will have a greater chance of survival with the swordtails than with the Jack Dempsey.-Chuck>

Why can't we Gouramis be friends? Hi there, <Hello Ross> I have a small freshwater tropical tank with two blue [three spot] Gouramis. I bought the first one a few days ago, and added the second about 24 hours ago, thinking that the first one could be lonely, and no-one likes to be lonely. <Mmm, not everyone...> However, the first one [Mr. Fish], now just attacks and torments the new one non-stop! I believe they may be a pair [purely by accident], as Mr. Fish has a noticeably bigger, more pronounced dorsal fin, and his head and back are more angular. <Good description... likely the first is a male> When he attacks, he changes from a blue-tinged silver to quite a deep blue marbling. Poor Mrs. Fish spends most of her time trying to seek refuge behind the filter, and I think her tail fin may be getting torn. Is there anything I can do to stop this quarrelling? Or are they just sorting out who's the dominant one? I'm reluctant to add more fish as the tank is only 30 litres. But at the same time I don't think Mrs. Fish is going to last very long under all this stress... Thanks for your help, Ross Dougall. <I would put Mr. Fish in a floating contraption... a breeding trap or just an all-plastic colander for a week or so and see if this calms him down... do this NOW. Bob Fenner>

Gourami-Betta compatibility Hi, I recently got a male Siamese fighter in a 2 foot tank and thought he looked lonely in there, so I put in some more plants for hiding spots, and got several dwarf Gourami and placed them in with him. So far they seem to be getting along fine doing their own thing. I figured that if the Gourami were going to show any aggression putting a 4 in they would hopefully take it out on each other and not the Betta. I shall let you know how it progresses. <Please do... sometimes Gouramis and male Bettas mix, sometimes they don't. Bob Fenner> 

I took advice on Gourami/Tiger Barb II Steven Pro, About putting two Gouramis in a 29 gallon tank, will two males fight? <Yes> Will I be over loading the tank when they get larger? <No> Thank you for the thumbs up on my setting up the extra tank though. It is indeed hard to wait through a good long quarantine. <But you will be rewarded in the long run. -Steven Pro>

FW Ich, African Cichlid Compatible Cats Hey Bob, <Hey Gage> Gage here, just drinkin, dreamin, and answerin emails. <Sounds familiar>   I was wondering if I could enlist your help in a couple of matters, and was hoping that this would not get posted on the daily's.  I've got a couple of emails in my box that I am not sure about. <Okay.> First off is regarding Gourami Fry with Ich.  Will a regular dose of meds kill the youngans?  I was thinking maybe a half dose, and some aquarium salt? <Better to use/suggest elevated temperature (about 85 F.) alone... sans med.s. The higher average kinetic energy will do the trick.> The next question is about catfish to include in an African tank. "r these guys related; Pseudodoras niger and Megaladoras irwini?? " <Insert both names in Fishbase.org and you will see.> I was thinking no because their names are completely different, but I dunno. <You will. What sort of reference system, materials do you have? The "net" is better every day, but... I still have to "go to the library".> >here is the rest of his message: "I am looking for a catfish that I can put in with my African cichlids.. at the moment I have a few Synodontis multipunctatus in there and they are all doing fine.... I was wondering could a Pseudodoras niger or jaguar catfish work in that kind of a tank.. I saw the Pseudodoras at my LFS and the guy told me that they can live in a tank with a ph of up to 7.8 and GH of 25... mine are ph 7.8, KH 12, GH 16.. its 280 gallons.. 96 x 24 x 31 dimensions.. currently I have 8 fish in there.. a Kigoma frontosa (about 3"), Malawi blue dolphin (3" also), a gold Lepidiolamprologus profundicola (4"), 2 Neolamprologus sexfasciatus (2"), 3 Synodontis multipunctatus (4").. I plan to get more fish later on, but this is what I have at the moment.. I also plan to get 3 more Mpulungu Malawi blue dolphin.. 4 Mwele orange Altolamprologus compressiceps, 4 Mutondwe gold head Altolamprologus compressiceps, 5 Synodontis angelicus, 3 Synodontis multipunctatus and also 1 Lepidiolamprologus kendalli.. that's all I have looked into at the moment.. is this a good idea?? if not can u recommend any other catfish that would work.. I really like how the Pseudodoras looks... its really cool and plus I have the big tank that it requires.. I just got my 280 gallon.. its cycling at the moment.. pls help!!! " >As far as I know Frontosas are Tanganyikan prefer not to associate with Malawians.  I have also heard that mixing Synodontis is not the best idea. <Some mix quite well> Please feel free to kick some knowledge, that's youngan for please help me out. <A pleasure. Please do "send" messages that you don't feel you have time to delve into onto me, others.> Best Regards, Gage <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Gouramis <Ananda here today answering freshwater fish questions...> I hope this isn't a stupid question, but I've surfed all over and still am uncertain if mixing different breeds of Gourami is ok. <I've seen a 29 gallon tank with three different species of Gouramis. One was sufficiently nasty that he had to be put in the "penalty box" tank, but otherwise they were okay together.> I have a new pair of Sunset Fire Gouramis in a 28 gallon with a baby clown loach (2 inches).   <Please get your clown loach a pair of buddies -- these are schooling/shoaling fish and much happier in groups of three or more. And it's very cute to watch them all pile up on top of each other to sleep at night.> The tank is established (the prior tenants are now at home in a 60 gallon).  I know I have room for other fish, but want to make sure is don't upset these cool fish.  The store where I got these also has Power Blue and Gold gourami's.  Would introducing another pair or two create havoc? <Well, perhaps temporarily, as the existing fish look at the new fish and say "Hey, what are you doing here?" From there, it depends somewhat on the individual fish. But I think you could add another pair or two of Gouramis. More on Gouramis and there relatives at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the associated FAQs.> Thanks! Beverly Vance <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

Gouramis In A Group Dear Anthony (just a wild guess here), <Oops- Anthony's cheerful(?) colleague- Scott F. here> My 30 gallon freshwater tank finished cycling almost 3 weeks ago.  It now houses 3 platys, 1 balloon molly, and one female Betta.  pH is 7.8, temp is 79 F, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are 0.  By choice I have only artificial plants.  I would like to add two male dwarf Gouramis - are the Gouramis a good choice? <Dwarf Gouramis are among the most peaceful of all fishes-great choice for a mellow community aquarium.> Will two males live together peacefully (I want two males because they are prettier than the females and I'm not interested in having the Gouramis reproduce)? <Well, in my experience, it's better to keep these fishes in small groups, like 2 females and 1 male, or 3 females and two males. Keeping two males together seems to result in one harassing the other into submission, in my experience. There also might be some occasional aggression between the Betta and your Gouramis.> I've read they like plants floating on the surface - I'd rather not have this (even artificial ones).  Will they be miserable without that? <No- they should be fine. In nature (and in the aquarium), they often rely on floating plants to provide an area for building their nests and depositing eggs. They appreciate the cover, but it is certainly not necessary to have floating plants for these fishes.> Should I add some aquarium salt to the water?  How much?  What brand? <Personally, I'd skip the salt> I thought I'd also get 2 or 3 Corydoras sterbai as scavengers -  are they suitable tankmates for this group? <sure- these are great fish in their own right!> I would not plan to get the new additions all at once. <Good plan-build up your population slowly> Thought I'd start with the Gouramis if you give me the go ahead.  Any thoughts would be appreciated. <With the above caveats, I'd say that they would make great additions to your tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Judy

Crowded aquarium? Good morning, <Good afternoon, Sabrina here> I am writing about my six gallon Eclipse aquarium I have had up and running for 6 months.  I initially cycled the tank with a flame dwarf Gourami, and after the appropriate time added another blue dwarf Gourami and two very small albino Cory cats.  At the beginning, I noticed the flame dwarf ( which was slightly larger than the blue) seemed to be the tank bully, which I chalked up his being the first in the tank.  Recently I have noticed the roles have reversed and the blue is now larger, the flame having lost weight.  At the same time, I have observed the sizable growth of the two Cory cats, who are now probably at least  1.5 inches each.  So my questions are these: first, it is necessary, as I suspect based on the typical rules for fish keeping, to remove one or more of the fish because of the size of the tank? <I do not feel that two Gourami and two Corydoras is too much for your system.> second, should it be one of the dwarf gouramis because they seem to have such an antagonistic relationship? <I do believe that you should remove one of the Gourami, but not due to crowding issues - this aggression will continue, probably worsen significantly, over time.  Chances are that you have two males, and tensions will always be rather nasty between them.  It could conceivably get bad enough that one is continuously injured, or worse.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Thanks,  Matt

War or peace in the tank? (10/11/03) Hi everyone, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> My wife just picked up a male Betta and was wondering if she could put him in her 5 gal tank with her male ram & dwarf Gourami without any problems. <Um, not likely at all. The Betta and Gourami are both Anabantoids, and are very likely to go to pick on each other. Also, the tank is fully stocked with just the ram and Gourami -- in fact, I'd rather see those two fish in their own, bigger tank, at *least* 10 gallons. The 5 gallon tank would be great for the Betta, either by himself or with a few ghost shrimp or algae shrimp (the latter also called "Amano" shrimp) to help clean up the place. Besides, shrimp are cool. :-) > THANKS in advance - DS <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Gourami shredding goldfishes I have a 20 gallon long with 3, 4 inch goldfish in it. And 1 blue Gourami. I have had the tank for 2 years with no major problems. About 2 months ago, I bought a shubunkin fish. It swam with the pack almost immediately. This morning when I woke up I noticed that my blue Gourami was chasing around one of my 2 year old goldfish whom he's lived with all along. His fins are almost shredded and he is floating sideways. I love my fish dearly and am very confused at why this is happening. <Blue/two-spot/opaline/gold Gourami (all color morphs of Trichogaster trichopterus) tend to be rather aggressive.  Chances are, with the addition of the new fish, the Gourami felt crowded, and decided to, 'uncrowd' the tank - his way.> I put my Gourami in another tank for now. <Good.  Keep him separate from the goldfish, or this'll probably happen again.> Can I save my Fish in time? <Hopefully!  Keep your water quality as good as possible, keep up with water changes, and stay on top of ammonia and nitrite.  It might be a good idea to medicate with an antibacterial like Kanamycin sulfate (Aquatronics sells this as "Kanacyn") or Nitrofurazone (Aquatronics sells this as "Furacyn").  Watch him closely for bacterial infection if you don't medicate; wounds are an open door for illnesses to set in.> All the other fish are fine. And my pH and ammonia levels are normal.  Katana <Wishing you and your goldfishes well,  -Sabrina>

Another (different) Gourami question Hi all, <Hello!  Sabrina here, today> My wife has a 3 inch sub adult male pearl Gourami. He is currently in her 10 gal. community tank. He is very nippy and aggressive to his tank companions. <Wow.  That's a touch unusual for this, the most peaceful of the large-ish Gourami.> She is planning on moving him into a planted 20 gal long tank with Cory cats. She would like to know what other fish would make good tank mates? She has read of the pearl being kept with paradise fish or angel fish, would one or both be ok? <In a 20gL, angels will really be pushing it; not a good choice for a small tank at all.  But paradise fish would be an excellent choice!  If you end up getting a male paradise fish, do keep an eye out for any aggression between him and the pearl.  Another neat option would be to get a couple of female pearls, instead; that could be a lot of fun.  Enjoy!  -Sabrina> thanks,  Dave & Kathy

Bettas and Paradisefish - 02/18/2004 I have a question. <Okay> Tell me please can I put in my 20 l aquarium 1 Betta (male) and one Macropodus (male)??? <This may be do-able, depending upon the temperaments of both fish.  If both are relatively laid-back, it should work out fine.  I have seen particularly aggressive Paradisefish (Macropodus sp.) terrorize fish more than three times their size, but I've also seen a few that are quite tolerant of most any tankmates.  Same with bettas, some are very peaceful, some are terrors.  I would say try it, and be prepared to remove one of the fish if you see any serious aggression.> Thanks! <You bet!  Wishing you and your Anabantoids well,  -Sabrina>

Gouramis as "the butler" The angelfish are both babies, and SEEM extraordinarily peaceful. In regard to the gouramis, I had to return the gold Gourami to the store, as he was terrorizing the powder blue one, but he would have been in the tank a full 24 hours before I added the powder and realized they couldn't co-exist.  He only seemed aggressive towards his own kind, but I suppose he could have done it.  Also, the Danios are about the same size as the tetras and they play chase with each other quite a bit-although neither seems to dominate. That said, however, the tetras ranged in size from babies to adults, and I think the one that got killed was one of the smaller ones.  Could one of the Danios have done it? <If the fish was weaken or damaged by another fish then the other fish start looking at the wounded fish as food. At that point they are probably all guilty.> There's still 5 out of 6 in there, though, and I would think that if it were a fish still in the tank that he would have taken out another one. I plan to clean gravel and change water today, so I guess it's possible that I'll find his body and find that he died of natural causes-although I still imagine he'd be viewed as food and eaten already if that were the case.  Is that correct? < I think any dead fish soon becomes looked at as food by the others.-Chuck> Cyndy Monarez/Thomas Nelson Flame Gourami Help! My very 1st fish (purchased in May) was a Flame Gourami who lived happily until I got a 2nd Gourami (a Blue one). They lived together for about 2 months but the Blue Gourami was too aggressive and nipped at the fins of the Flame. Fearing this would be too stressful I have recently moved the Blue into another tank. This 10 gallon tank also contains 3 Tetras,  3 small Ghost Catfish, and now 2 new Black Mollies. The Flame Gourami appeared to be getting stressed from the other Gourami and began hiding and evading most of his day. Now ever though the Blue Gourami was removed, the Flame Gourami continues to spend most of his day hiding and rather than coming to the surface at feeding time as he used to, now "runs" and hides as fast as he can when I approach the tank, sometimes running into the side of the tank in his hurry to get away. Yesterday I found this Gourami laying on his side, seemingly gasping for air and I assumed he was dying. However he has moved around but now he is swimming around, but in odd ways, as if he is disoriented. He seems unable to stay right side up and even swims in corkscrews patterns to get around the tank. Looking at all your information about fish disease the only thing I can attribute this to is stress but other than staying away from the tank as much as possible so as not to care him, I do not know what else to do. He has no growths on his body nor are there any oddities about his general shape/appearance. He has some fins nips on his tail fin, which were from the other Gourami, but they have never affected his swimming before. His other fins appear fine. The blue stripe on his dorsal fin varies in brightness from day to day--but always has. The Ph level to the tank was a little acidic so I have fixed that and I increased the output to the filter to increase airflow into the water. None of the other fish appear to be bothered if it were a general tank condition issue. How can I de-stress my fish before it is too late or is there another explanation? <The stress may have weakened you fish and caused an internal bacterial infection. Do a 30% water change and clean the filter. I would treat with Metronidazole and leave the light off for most of the day unless you have live plants.-Chuck> Thanks for any help you can provide. KMR

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