Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Colisa lalia "Dwarf" Gouramis of Many Names, Honey, Flames, Neon Blue,  Sunset Fire... Compatibility

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

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

Usually Colisa gouramis get along with most everybody... But every now and then there's a "rogue" individual that must be isolated, placed with larger, meaner, faster tankmates.

Gourami compatibility question      5/30/16
Good afternoon!
I've read mixed accounts all over and am hoping the experts will break the tie: I'm considering adding a pair of Apistogramma borelli to my community tank. I've got an established 40gal breeder with a dwarf gourami and small
schools of serpae tetras, rummy nose tetras, and peppered Cory cats. I know cichlids, especially African, are aggressive and unsafe. But my LFS said the South American dwarfs, especially Apistogramma borelli would be safe.
<I do agree. In an uncrowded system of your size; they should be fine together>
I also know they're more aggressive when spawning.... Any good keeping two females rather than a m/f pair to avoid spawning?
<Mmm; not "that much" chance of them reproducing here... and MUCH more fun to observe their behavior as male/female. I'd stock a pair>
<Welcome Steph. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gourami compatibility question      5/30/16

Excellent! Thank you!
<Certainly welcome. RMF>

Aquarium question   3/18/12
Hello, my name is Matt. I have two 10 gallon aquarium's at the moment, both have 4 fish in them. I need some extra room so I'm combining the two tanks into a 20 gallon tank. I know the fish I have will get along with each other, but I have Amano shrimp in the one tank. My question is if the Blood Red Dwarf Gourami fish I have in the one tank will get along with the Amano shrimp?
<Should do. But very small shrimps might be at risk. The presence of plants will help.>
There are 6 live plants in the tank and there seems to be lots of room.
Thank you for your help.
<Good luck! Neale.>

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

Orange Dwarf Gourami Issues... hlth., comp.    3/26/10
<Hi! Melinda with you here tonight.>
I have a problem!
I have a 30-Gallon tank (my first one)
<Congrats on the habit... err, I mean, the hobby!>
with 5 black skirt tetras, 5 zebra Danios, a Plecostomus, 2 orange dwarf gouramis, and 2 baby angelfish.
<Hmmm... have you been reading about each species prior to purchase? These fish don't necessarily "fit..." try using the google search bar on WWM.
Depending on your Pleco, it could outgrow this tank, especially if it's the "common" type, the Danios are more a cooler-water fish, and the Angels may cancel each other out unless, by chance, happen to decide to be a mated pair, or at the very least, both female, and the same goes for your gouramis... Just read up on these guys, and know what to look out for and be able to spot signs of trouble.>
I have a Tetra Whisper EX30 filter,
<After a quick google search, plus use of a calculator (I don't really "do" math!) I see that this is turning over the tank's volume about 5.3 times per hour. This is acceptable; however, please note that as your fish get larger (especially if both angels survive), you may need more turnover.
Also, please look into filtration -- meaning, please read about mechanical, biological, and chemical -- and understand that many hang-on-back filters just don't do it all:
 The only one I can recommend, having used several of them for a while, is the Aqua Clear line of filters, which do provide (or, at least, provide room) for all types of filtration.>
and every Wednesday I put in a bottle of API Stress Zyme.
<May as well buy yourself a sandwich. Or, better yet, some test kits. Can you provide Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels? How about pH and KH?
What temperature are you keeping this tank at? There's a lot of information that's missing here, but I don't recommend spending money on this stuff. Either your water quality is where it should be, and you've done everything right, or it's not, and you need to fix it, and not through use of a chemical.>
A few months ago, an ignorant PetSmart employee said I could a Betta into my tank, (I did not yet have the angels.) and it was strangely fine except for the fact that he was terrorizing my Gouramis.
<Are both labyrinth fishes... I can understand his problem. I have been in chain pet stores and assured that a male Betta couldn't be kept with anything, which is, I guess, the opposite of your issue. However, research is key here: they can be kept with some fish; however, keeping them with other labyrinth fishes is definitely a no-no, unless you're breeding Bettas, and then, only for a short period of time, if you want everyone to be happy. In the end, comes down to your judgment (or lack thereof).>
I got him out and noticed they had paler colors and they lost their feelers. That has since gone away, their colors came back and their feelers were almost grown back.
<Can you give me a timeframe on all of this? How long has the tank been setup, and how long since each species was introduced, etc.?>
However, lately, one of my gouramis has become paler in color, lost almost all his progress in growing his feelers back, (the other one's are back completely) the other Gourami is being mean
to him,
<Possibly both males, or one is simply sensing weakness in the other?>
resulting in some of his tailfin missing, and he camps out in the corner of my tank all day except during feeding time, where he eats just as well as he did before. He has lost the blue stripe on his chin and in place, has gained 2 or three navy blue, almost black patches. I have sent a picture, please respond.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/dwfgdis.htm
and related links, which can be found above. Many of the Dwarf Gouramis brought into the U.S. carry a virus which results in death, and isn't treatable. This virus can be transmitted between Gouramis, but not to other fish. Let me know if the symptoms you read about in WWM "Dwarf Gourami Disease" sound similar to what you're seeing in your own fish. This disease can't be treated, but if you suspect it is the case, the fish should be removed and euthanized to prevent, if possible, illness in the other fish. However, first, please do look to water quality. You're not providing information as to these parameters, so there's no way for me to really know if this is an issue. Lastly, he's been beat up, and he's having trouble recovering, and the other Gourami isn't making it any easier. This, alone, could be causing his behavior. Do you have an established quarantine tank? I would allow this fish the chance to heal before determining whether he suffers from the incurable dwarf Gourami disease, or just needs some time to get "back on his fins," so to speak.
While in the QT tank, I would go ahead and treat with Maracyn, as per the instructions on the package, for bacterial infection, in the case that this is, indeed a "regular" bacterial infection, brought on by stress or poor water quality, and not the dreaded "Dwarf Gourami disease." What I'm saying is that this fish has been through a lot, and now he's getting picked on, and without knowing the length of time you've had both fish, it's impossible to know whether the photo you sent indicates this disease, or some other bacterial infection. I wouldn't give up on him yet, but would, instead, attempt to treat him, by himself, in a quarantine tank.
Due to the survival rate of these fish when they are imported, it would be easy to take a pessimistic approach; however, you obviously care about this fish enough to write, so I'm offering you information I believe will help him if it's possible to help him. Please do write back, with the information requested earlier, if you have any questions after reading.

Colisa lalia and Danio rerio are not really compatible 1/1/2010
crew I just bought a male dwarf flame Gourami when its feeding time he doesn't have a chance to get any food the zebra Danios eat it up should I hand feed my Gourami?
<Colisa lalia and Danio rerio are not really compatible. Keep the Colisa lalia in a tank with warm (28-30 C) water with a gentle water current and lots of floating plants. Danio rerio needs cooler water (18-24 C) and a strong water current and plenty of swimming space. Kept in their own tanks you shouldn't have any problems. It goes without saying if you read up on a fish BEFORE purchase, you won't have problems feeding the two species.
Cheers, Neale.>

Dear Crew
Can I put a dwarf fire Gourami with zebra Danios?   12/31/09
<Best not to. Colisa lalia is a delicate species that needs water that isn't too hard, low to moderate water flow, lots of plants, and plenty of heat (around 28 C being ideal). By contrast Danio rerio needs a strong water current, lots of swimming space, and most critically of all, a low water temperature (18-22 C is best). There's little real overlap between the two species. In any event, Colisa lalia is SUCH a bad investment, I simply wouldn't recommend you keep them.>
Thank You
<Cheers, Neale.>

Fish Selection? FW, BR  1/26/09 Hi I have a 12 gallon tank with 3 mollies in it. I was thinking about getting a single male dwarf Gourami and possibly another small fish. I was reading a lot about gouramis and have read that they are aggressive fish. <Some are... the genus Colisa tend to be tolerably easygoing> Would a male dwarf Gourami be aggressive towards mollies and possibly a Harlequin Rasbora? <I give you good odds that a Colisa lalia would get along with the Mollies... but Rasboras are social animals... really need to be in a shoal/group to do well> If not what other small fish would work with the brackish system I have? (Plus can Harlequin Rasboras live single, like not a school?) Thanks <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/BrackishSubWebIndex.htm the sections on Livestock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish Selection? 1/27/2009 Can gouramis live with guppies, or in my case-mollies and a guppy? <... again, some genera of small/er species, yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the Compatibility, Selection FAQs files linked above. BobF>

Dwarf Gourami, sys., comp.     12/21/08 Hey all. I have 2 well established tanks. One a 50 gallon tank with several species, including Fire Dwarf Gouramis (3) and Dwarf Gouramis (4). They've lived well together in this tank with 3 types of tetras and an albino bristlenose Pleco. I also have a 120 gallon tank with 4 powder blue dwarf gouramis, 2 types of Corys, 4 clown loaches, some neon tetras and 6 Glofish. I wanted to introduce the 7 from the smaller tank into the much larger tank. They seem cramped in the 50 gallon. I have about 20 bunch plants and 3 large pieces of driftwood in the larger tank, so there's plenty of cover, but I want to make sure I won't have any problems between the gouramis before I do this. So far, as they sit, I haven't had any aggressive behavior from any of them. Can you help me? Thanks. Sorry for not including the scientific names of the fish. I hope this doesn't hinder your ability to answer the question. <Greetings. Powder Blue, Fire Dwarf and regular Dwarf gouramis are all the same species, Colisa lalia. Males are mutually aggressive, so when combined, there's always a risk of fighting. In cramped spaces it may be impossible for males to define territories, and because of this, aggression between individuals is relatively low. This is standard practise when certain types of fish such as Mbuna cichlids are being kept. In the big 120 gallon tank things might change. So while I would expect your plan to work, there is a small risk that some of the males may become territory holders. The four already in the 120 gallon may have territories already, but because the tank is comparatively big, those territories don't overlap, and fighting is minimal. Add the seven other specimens, and tempers may get frayed. Certainly, I'd consider moving the rocks and plants about in the 120 gallon tank so that any existing territories are broken up. Then introduced the seven other gouramis, and let them all settle in at the same time. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Dwarf Gourami   12/21/08 Thank you. I'd forgotten to mention that was my plan, to move things around. I also have a couple of slate caves I made that I'll be putting in. I appreciate your feedback. I'll let you know how it turned out. Have a great holiday. <Happy to help. Sounds like you know what you're doing. Good luck, and Merry Christmas! Neale.>

Aggressive honey Gouramis 3/10/08 Dear Crew Thanks for hosting a most informative site. My only regret is that I did not discover it sooner. I am two weeks into cycling a new four-foot, 66-gallon tank using two honey Gouramis (not sure if this was good advice, but it is too late to change). <Bad idea this. Colisa chuna (or currently, Trichogaster chuna) is one of the more delicate members of the Gourami family.> The tank is well planted and has a number of rock and driftwood hiding places. My concern is that the Gouramis are engaged in what appears to be a major territorial battle for a lushly planted corner of the tank. I think they are both males, although I asked the shop assistant for a male and female. <The sexes look alike outside of breeding condition; when breeding, males turn rich honey yellow with a blue-black patch that runs from the lower half of the head along the belly to the front of the anal fin. Females never change colour, and are basically brownish pink with a dark band running along the midline of the body. Do bear in mind that non-wild-type fish can be more difficult to sex.> The fighting ranges from minor spats and chases, instigated by either fish, to frightening wrestling matches near the top corner of the tank (the fish wrap their bodies around each other in a strangling action). This leaves the one fish completely exhausted while the other retreats to the other side of the tank before coming in for another attack. <I'd have thought in a 66 gallon tank this fish should come to some accommodation sooner or later. Do ensure there are plenty of plants at the *surface* of the tank, because this is what Gouramis are interested in. Gouramis, as you know, breathe air; they also build bubble nests and lay their eggs at the surface of the water. So for a Gourami, if all the plants are at the bottom of the tank, it may as well be a desert for all the good it does them! Floating plants are the ideal. Indian Fern (Ceratopteris) is cheap and easy to grow, and heartily recommended.> My questions: 1) Is it possible that a male and a female would behave in such a manner? <Yes.> 2) Is the fighting likely to stop once one or the other proves his dominance? <Hopefully.> 3) Would it help to introduce a number of females to the tank once it has cycled, and, if so, how many? <Adding twice as many females usually works well with most territorial fish. In a 66 gallon tank this should work well.> 4) Any other suggestions? <Remove one of the fish?> 4) After the tank has cycled, would the following combination be compatible: -- 10-12 cardinal tetras (about three months after cycling complete), <Fine; but double the number -- in a 66 gallon tank Cardinals will vanish. You need a lot of them to have any "punch" in terms of aesthetics.> -- dwarf Gouramis (if so, please advise on number and gender), <Nope. Don't recommend these for a host of reasons. They're weak, VERY prone to disease, and will likely fight with the Honey Gouramis.> -- catfish (please advise on species and number), <Any Corydoras of your choice would be ideal. I'd perhaps suggest something tolerant of warm water conditions, like Corydoras panda or Corydoras sterbai. Keep in groups of at least a dozen, and feel free to get a second school of another species -- they mix wonderfully! If you want to try something a bit different, then Asian glass catfish (Kryptopterus minor) is hard to fault. Again, it's a schooling species and is reputed to die if kept in insufficient numbers. But otherwise a lovely fish, and always on view.> -- swordfish (if so, please advise on number and gender), <Think carefully about Swordtails: they need hard, alkaline water, which is precisely what the rest of your fish DON'T want. I'd recommend against them. For this system, I'd suggest an Asian livebearer, the Celebes halfbeak (Nomorhamphus liemi) instead. It is colourful and very active. Keep one male to at least two females, and if you get multiple males, make sure you have at least three males or they will fight constantly. The wrestling halfbeak Dermogenys pusilla is a bit smaller but just as nice; keep in the same way.> -- plus please suggest another species or two. <I think a medium sized tetra or barb would fit in nicely here. A school of Bleeding Heart Tetras would add pink to the aquarium, or Lemon Tetras would add some yellow. A pair of dwarf cichlids would also work nicely. Laetacara curviceps is one very nice species that behaves itself and has lots of interesting colours depending on its mood. Chances are it will even breed in your tank.> Thanking you sincerely in advance Clifford <Good luck, Neale.>

Dwarf Gourami Issue, comp.    12/9/07 Hi Crew, <Michael> I check up on your site from time to time and I find it quite helpful. <I as well> I have 10 gallon tank. I conduct 25-30% water changes weekly. The ph is steady at 6.5 and the temperature is 79. I currently have 1 male dwarf fire red Gourami and two platys, a male and a female. I had a third platy that recently died (possibly was killed). I am writing because my Gourami has been incredibly aggressive and I am not sure what to do. <Mmm, either remove it or try adding some more... Colisa lalia of whatever "breed" females> I initially had two of these gouramis. I was told they were a male and a female, but they were indeed both male and they were attacking and chasing each other constantly. <Ah, yes> I returned one of them to the store and, based on the research I did and based on what I was told by the gentleman at the fish store, I thought this would solve the problem. <Mmmm, maybe not> However, the remaining Gourami has now began chasing the platys instead. He, in particular, began chasing my male sail fin platy. I removed the Gourami to my spare tank for a couple of days to calm down. I returned him a couple of days later and things seemed ok. I returned home one day to find him ramming the lifeless body of the sail fin platy. It was pretty disturbing and I feel terrible about it. I am almost convinced he killed the platy. [I cannot put him back in the spare tank because I have five platy fry growing in there now - and they are doing very well!]. He has now taken to chasing the two remaining platys. The tanks is well planted and I provide plenty of food (flake, freeze dried blood worms, and tetra colour granules). The Gourami particularly enjoys the freeze dried bloodworms and the granules. This is my third fish tank and while I have experienced slightly aggressive Gourami behaviour in the past, I have never seen anything like this. It is a pretty fish, but I think I am left with little choice but to return it. I am thinking of picking up a couple Cory cats instead and making it a (peaceful) platy community. Any suggestions? Thank you! -Mike <Again, your choices are clear... remove the bully or try calming him by adding some females... If it were me, I'd likely trade this rogue in... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Dwarf Gourami Issue   12/9/07 Thanks. I think I will remove the rogue. Cheers, Mike <Real good Mike. Cheers, BobF>

Hey hey! Colisa reading  4/14/07 I have a question - I've been trying to do my research on dwarf Gourami - so I need a straight answer because I keep getting all different kinds of answers on these lil guys. I have set up a 20 gallon tank, along with plants, flourite <... Proper nouns are capitalized...> bedding, the whole thing. I have been filtering it for DAYS now. We really want dwarf gouramis and kuhli loaches - and have been doing plenty of internet searching. So...are dwarf Gourami aggressive or not? <Colisa lalia? Not much> What is a better combination - 1 male and 2 females, 1 male and 1 female... <At least one female per...> I just want to be a good fishy parent haha. Is it a matter of luck?? <Is what?> Please tell me. Thanks guys! -Dee <Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfgcomp.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: hey hey!  4/14/07 Hey guys! I really appreciated the response. So, uh, besides the fact that you would all appreciate scientific names, I guess, I just want to know what is all the fuss about Colisa Lalias being "wife-beaters", or just plain nasty? Thanks! -Dee <Just read. RMF>

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>

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>

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

Gourami whiskers I have 4 Gouramis in a 30 gal planted tank with 15-20 freshwater plants and 2 big rocks with hiding holes and a loach cave for my 2 clown loaches. Also 2 Danios, 2 tetras, a pleco to control algae and 2 rosy barbs.  all are getting along great and life is good except that I noticed that 2 of the Gouramis 1 dwarf blue, and one honey, have had one of there whiskers nipped.  Not completely off, but just shortened a little bit... like maybe a quarter of an inch from a 2 inch whisker.  Has been several weeks and it doesn't show any signs of infection as far as I can tell. My question is should this concern me as I haven't seen any signs of other aggression or infection, and will these whiskers grow back and if so how long will it take to return to the size of the other whiskers. Thank you, Don Otey <It's hard to say what the culprit is here. It could easily be one of your other fish (my first guess would be the Danios or one of the other Gouramis). Unless it continues to get worse I wouldn't worry about it too much, just watch them to make sure they aren't getting picked on. The whiskers should grow back in time but it's hard to say how long. Ronni>

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

Please help fast!!!!!!!! (overly aggressive Honey Dwarf Gourami?) <Might be in reference to Colisa chuna> hi I have a honey dwarf Gourami that I have had for about a year and a half. I just moved it a couple days ago to a ten gallon tank a much larger one than before. I put some tetras in the tank with him and he did nothing. he began attacking the glass and I noticed that he could see himself. I went to the pet store and they said I needed another Gourami in the tank.  <Whoa... what was the reason given for "needing another Gourami"?> I put another Gourami even a little larger and now all it does is attack the larger Gourami. I also have a Bala shark in there he is small however and my Gourami attacks that one to. I don't know what to do. I want it to not be lonely and stop attacking the walls but I cant put any other fish with it. <Really... a Honey Dwarf Gourami, Trichogaster chuna? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anabantoids.htm I was also wondering if you could tell me how to tell the males from the females. maybe I have two males. <Perhaps... but if two or one they shouldn't cause much damage if this species...> I really need help please write me back as soon as you can so I can fix this problem and all my fish can be happy. thank you my e-mail address is XXX <I see it above in the address tray> thanks <Don't worry if the species is what you mention... the agonistic behavior should/will settle down soon. Perhaps consider adding something in the way of "dither-fish"... like small Danios, rasboras, the easier going barb like cherry, checkerboard, gold... see the WetWebMedia.com site re these choices. Bob Fenner>

Adding after Upgrade We've got a 20 gallon tank, newly established (converted from a 10 gallon tank) that has 4 black tetras, 2 tiger barbs, a golden algae eater, 2 hatchet fish, and we just introduced 2 juvenile albino Corys. All of our fish are fairly small, the longest being the golden algae eater, about 2 inches. We recently saw some neon blue dwarf gouramis at the pet store and thought they were very nice looking fish, but were concerned because our black tetras tend to get nippy when they see larger, bright or shiny fish. The 2 barbs (contrary to standard tiger barb behavior) are pretty much completely oblivious to other fish except each other, and the hatchets just hang around the top. Do you think the dwarf gouramis would have a problem in this setup or not? Greg and Debbie <Many tetras can be a little nippy but the Gouramis should be OK. Not sure how long since the upgrade, but wait at least a month before adding any more fish. You should be testing to ensure you are cycled. If all is good then go ahead and add the gourami. Another pair of Corys would be great. They like being in large groups. Get all the same species. Don> 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> 

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> 

Territoriality in small tank Hi Bob and crew, <David> Four days ago I added a pair of Colisa dwarf gouramis to my 12g, well-planted tank, which is also home to a male Betta and an SAE. Betta doesn't even seem to notice the SAE, and was very tolerant of some rasboras I had in there before. However (as I might have expected had I read your FAQs before buying the gouramis) the Betta is being quite aggressive towards the gouramis.  <Happens> For the first 2 days this was just occasional displaying behavior, but over the past couple of days, as the gouramis have started swimming around more, Betta has been hounding them regularly. No outright fighting yet-- in fact, if the gourami is resting in the brush and refuses to budge when the Betta approaches, the Betta will simply park himself very close and keep an eye on the gourami. If gourami is in open water, Betta will display, flick his tail, give chase. <I see> So this is just intimidation so far, but I am concerned it will escalate, plus it is obviously stressful to all parties. Gouramis are starting to peck at each other now too. <Also typical behavior> Before I return the gouramis, or (sigh) get another tank to isolate the Betta, I am wondering... if Betta's behavior is likely to mellow over time, or to escalate? <Good question... have seen both... But I am inclined to suggest you wait/see here... If the animals are not actually physically damaging each other... likely no real problem> ... if controlled overcrowding might help (prevent Betta from trying to establish territory)? <Good question too... I would not do this... overcrowd that is... as too likely your Betta will retreat into oblivion... look to getting some small "ditherfish" though... Maybe some Endler's or Platies (livebearers) or small danios or my three fave tiny barbs (Oligolepsis, Golds, Cherries)... a trio of any of these ought to do the trick. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Territoriality in small tank "Ditherfish"... I like that.  <Not original... don't know if anything I know is...> You say that barring physical damage this aggression isn't overly harmful, but isn't this stressful, for the Betta as well as his victims?  <Mmm, not really... stress up to a point is natural, desirable...> One of the gouramis seems to have a mild case of HLLD-- probably came with it, though I didn't notice, but seems like stress isn't going to help him heal... thoughts? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm  and beyond... Bob Fenner> 

Colisa on hunger strike  07/02/05 Hi crew, <G'morning> I have a pair of Colisa lalias in a 12g tank-- male and female-- along with an SAE, a male Betta, and a trio of platies.  For the past few days the female Colisa has been hiding out in a corner and hasn't been coming up to eat.  I've been able to get her to eat by pushing some food down to her, so I think that she is just being "shy".  She tends to get chased around by everyone else.  This was a problem when I first got the pair, but she's been doing fine for a few months now, and this has just been happening just in the past few days.  I did some replanting recently so perhaps this has triggered the problem. Tank chemistry is good... What can I do to minimize the aggression towards the female Colisa? <Get a larger tank, add more plants, decor for her to hide amongst> The male Colisa, SAE, and Betta all dump their aggression out on her.  What about getting a third Colisa-- I've heard that these do best in trios? <Not likely to work> If that's the case would I want 2M+1F or 1M+2F?  Or would it be better to try adding another trio of dither fish? <Perhaps this last will help... something fast like small danios, rasboras...> On another topic, I've been interested in adding an A. agassizi, but I'm getting conflicting advice on compatibility.  I know they are territorial with each other but not sure about compatibility with other dwarf cichlids like Colisa and the Betta.  What's your experience been with these? Thanks, -Dave <Generally mixable in a system, with a grouping of species as you list. Like warmer, softer water than your other livestock though. Bob Fenner> Aggressive gourami 7/14/05 Hi Crew, The troubles started last week with the addition of the new male robin gourami <Is Colisa lalia... RMF> to our 40 gal tank. It housed 2 golden zebra loaches, 8 neon tetras, and a female robin gourami for almost a year. Thinking that she needs some companionship (her original partner has died a few month ago) we bought this male robin. Initially, she started picking on him, chasing off food, and off good spots, etc., which can be explained as she is almost two times bigger than him. In two days the situation has changed, actually, it has not changed much, but mirrored. Now it is our old gourami that is being chased, she does not eat much, hides in the corners, and looks fairly depressed. To add to the confusion, yesterday I noticed a strange behaviour from them, which seems to me sexual in nature. They stay together side by side; the female curls around the male and they stay for a minute or two, and then slowly swim in different direction looking slightly disoriented. After this the usual pecking continues. I am in a bit of a loss: whether I should bring the male back to the fish store, as female would not survive under such stress, or it is just the way their courtship is, or there is something I can do to make it work? Thank you, Kostya. <Mmm, you might try adding more plant or other hiding material, temporarily sequestering one or the other in a floating breeding trap, specimen container... even plastic colander... to see if they "calm down", otherwise I'd return the newest one. Bob Fenner>  

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: