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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I simply love this family of fish- They seem like a tamer, more regal version of a cichlid, and thus I am going to be adding quite a few from different sub-species to my new 55 gal.

Any helpful advice on this particular species of fish? I intend to have four different sub-species in groups of 3-6 depending on size. Thoughts?
 

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Well, the gouramis vary greatly in temperment and size. Some species can be very aggressive and some very passive. On the other hand some speices may peak growth at 2" and others may get massive. It would help to look into the growth/aggression tendencies for each type that you happen to take a liking to.
There are very many varieties like golds, blues, opalines, pinks, pearls, powder blue, fire, honey, red dwarf, sparkling, paradise, chocolate, samurai, giant, and snakeskin...to name a few.....
Many are passive, but some of the more readily seen "pet shop" varieties like the golds, blues, and opalines, can be somewhat aggressive and not like having competition with other "like" gouramis in the tank. Some are and some aren't. All of these get slightly bigger, but tend to stay within 4-5 inches at full growth
The dwarfs, chocolate, honey, and fire...which are sometimes seen tend to be passive and stay smaller.
The pinks, giants, paradise, can get a bit bigger.

Putting too many different types together can lead to aggressive competition, but with these fish, each has a different personality. I would stay away from the blues, opalines, and golds if you are going to have may different types in a tank. These guys grow pretty quickly and usually like to chase the others, casuing stress and nipped fins.
Some breeds like the chocolate are for experienced aquarists that have a certain water quality. They are a liitle more difficult to take care of. Just do a little research before you buy and decide what is best. If it looks like they arent getting along...separate them, because this probably won't change, and you will end up with a dead/dying fish soon.
 

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I just adopted at Pearl gourami from a lady that said he would chase her blue gourami around. I happened to have a 55 with a single rummy nose tetra in it. So now it has a rummy nose and the pearl that is 4-5 inches.

I think alot of it is just the personality of the fish and how old/when they are introduced to the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see, very interesting. I am trying to figure out a way to keep enough species to keep my tank more visually appealing. It is going to be heavily planted so hopefully i can keep enough areas of the tank to where there isn't too much combat over territory.

I have been looking at dwarf gouramis as well as sunset gouramis as the two I'd like to focus on as they don't get too large and have very very nice color schemes, though I am also considering going for the larger ones just to have something that more or less "fits" a large tank. The part that annoys me with this is that there doesn't seem to be any kind of definitive consensus on how these fish behave! I've read about large blues getting along great with members of it's own and other subspecies just as often as I've read about large blues bullying the others around. I'd experiment in a small tank just to see how they behave first, but if I understand right most of the aggression comes from territorial battles.

Either way, any advice is always helpful!
 

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I see, very interesting. I am trying to figure out a way to keep enough species to keep my tank more visually appealing. It is going to be heavily planted so hopefully i can keep enough areas of the tank to where there isn't too much combat over territory.

I have been looking at dwarf gouramis as well as sunset gouramis as the two I'd like to focus on as they don't get too large and have very very nice color schemes, though I am also considering going for the larger ones just to have something that more or less "fits" a large tank. The part that annoys me with this is that there doesn't seem to be any kind of definitive consensus on how these fish behave! I've read about large blues getting along great with members of it's own and other subspecies just as often as I've read about large blues bullying the others around. I'd experiment in a small tank just to see how they behave first, but if I understand right most of the aggression comes from territorial battles.

Either way, any advice is always helpful!
Choosing the dwarfs to start with would be a very good idea. They are usually slow movers and very calm. If you want to accent the small dwarfs with a larger type, go with the pink kisser or pearl. If you really like the blue type...I would go with the Opaline blue. They are probably the least aggressive of the similar types (opaline, two spot blue, and gold)
 

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Haha see here we go again, because these fish have such a wide personality base, I just adopted a pearl that was getting agressive toward other gourami in a 60G tank. I say that you set your tank up, pick out what gourami you want to put in it and get them at the same time. That way you don't get one that establishes the whole tank as its territory then add another because the new one will be seen as an invader.
 

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My personal favourites are chocolate gouramis (although i wouldnt put them in a community) and pearl gouramis because non of them are aggresive or get to big:)
 

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I love my gourami's. I bought a few for my 36gal when i first got into the hobby and then I learned how aggressive they can become.

Gourami want to be the largest fish in your tank. They will get aggressive if there aren't enough hiding spots for them all. I had a Pearl, a 3 spotted blue & a Dwarf in my 36gal and they did fine for a couple months but eventually my blue & pearl started showing aggression towards each other. There was a point where I had to confine my pearl gourami to a large net for days on end, until I finally got my 88gal tank setup.

After I established my 88gal I moved both the pearl gourami and the blue gourami into the large tank, and left the dwarf alone in my 36gal. The pearl and Blue chase eachother around, but that tank is so big they can escape eachother... and it becomes quite entertaining to watch. After a few weeks alone in the 36gal, my dwarf became very shy and would do nothing but hide. I almost thought he was dead a few times because I couldnt find him... but he is a real good at hiding. So I bought a Golden Gourami for the 36gal to keep the dwarf company.

The Golden and Dwarf gourami do not ever show aggression towards eachother. The dwarf still hides and rarely comes out of the driftwood, but the golden gourami is very social and forward, and entertaining... sometimes you catch a glimpse of the dwarf hanging out, but if you stand up he darts back into his hiding spots.

Both of my tanks have Angel fish, and they seem to get along great with the angels. The trick to introducing angels (because gourami want to be the largest fish in your tank) is to buy baby angels that are smaller than your gourami... and allow them to grow in the tank. One of my angels in my 88 has gotten HUGE and has passed my Pearl and Blue gourami, but all the fish get along great.

Also keep in mind, a well fed tank is a much calmer tank. And my Gourami LOVE blackworms/bloodworms :)
 

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I didn't read over all the long responses, but I'd advise against more than one Dwarf Gourami, if that is what you would like. It may work out for a bigger, 75+ tank, but the males will attack and eventually kill each other. I have one that has killed 3 others. Took me that long to figure it out. I even tried putting in 2 at one time - bad call.
 

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I have gouramis in my 55 gallon. One pearl , one blue, 2 gold, one opaline, and 2 powder blue dwarfs. I really like them. They wernt real aggressive till I raised my water temps to help kill out ich. I almost have it gone and very little remains on my bigger angelfish. Also have neon tetras and 2 other angelfish in there and they don't mess with them only aggression is towards other gouramis. But when I had lower temps ( around 72 - 73 degrees ) they wernt aggressive at all.
 

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^ Gouramis do best at temps' of 77-82 degrees.... 72-73 is reeeally low, glad you turned it up.

I am in LOVE with my Fire Honey Gouramis! They are the sweetest little fish! I have 1 male and 3 females in my 20g tank. I've had them for about 4 months and they haven't grown much - there about 1 - 1.5 inches... supposed to top out at 2 inches. They get along fine. Every once in a while I'll see the females swimming against each other (dominance) or chasing each other a bit, but it's like 10 second spats and then everyone is best friends again. They come right up and nip my hands and arms when I work in the tank. I tickle their bellies!

I HAD 1 male Dwarf Fire Gourami (MUCH different from a Fire Honey) and 3 females in my 36g. The male was about 2.5 inches (supposed to top out around 3) and the females were around 2 inches. It is a heavily planted tank with lots of drift wood and rocks and areas for everyone to hide. The male killed all 3 females within 2 weeks and then he ended up getting sick and he died.

Gouramis are well known for getting ill easily - I've been lucky with my Honey's so far - *knock on wood.

I wouldn't put more than 1 male of any gourami in a tank smaller than 100g's. Females you can usually do a few as they are normally less agressive, but sometimes they can get mean. 1 male and 2-3 females is the most recommended number to keep them in. (Males will not tolerate females of another species, just as a warning...)

In your 55g, I'd try either Honey Gouramis or Pearl (aka Lace) Gouramis. (Either species at 1 male to 2-3 females. (3 females is nice, because if the male pairs up with 1 then the other has a 'friend' to hang out with - that's what I was always recommended.) Honey's will top out at around 2 inches or so, Pearls get 4-5 (sooometimes 6) inches.

If you are determined to have more than 1 male, do 2 males and 4-6 females.... always want to make sure there are lots of girls so the males don't feel like they have to fight over 'slim pickings'.

They enjoy heavily planted tanks with drift wood and rocks (even caves to hide in.) You can let some plants grow tall and drape over the water. They like the shade that is made and will also build bubble nests in them.)
 
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