08-04-2007, 02:18 PM
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Well, based on your post, you know what size a Blue Gourami (which Gold, Three Spot, Opaline, Lavender, and Platinum Gouramis are) reaches if well cared for: 5 or 5 1/2 inches. However, you're using the inch per gallon rule, which breaks down over about 2". While you might, possibly, be able to house that gourami in a 10 gallon by itself, it will not be happy or healthy. I recommend a tank at least 30, preferably 36 inches long for a fish that size. If you are contemplating a second one, that's pretty much mandatory. Also, my experience with gouramis is that they can be kept solo, in a mated pair, or in a group of 5 or more.
It's the aggression vector thing I've talked about in relation to loaches. With 2 gouramis, aggression flows in 1 direction - strongest to weakest, so a mated pair is the only way to keep the stronger from harassing the weaker to death. With 3 gouramis, aggression flows in 3 directions - not enough to keep the weakest from starving to death as I know from sad experience. With 4 you get 12 vectors of aggression - better, but still not yet safe. However, with 5, you get aggression flowing in 60 directions, which is diffuse enough to ensure that no one will get beaten to death. The formula is Factorial(# of Fish)/2. (Incidentally, this is the same way you can build a governing structure in which no one can be blamed for anything, but I digress).
So I recommend a larger tank. In a 10 gallon, the gourami is going to get cranky and aggressive as it grows, and will be more disease prone.
If that's not possible, then you're kind of stuck. The problem with a smaller cory is that the smaller the cory, the larger the shoal, and the more shoal oriented they are. Pandas like to be in a group of 6 at a minimum, 10 is better. If you could lay hands on some Moth cafish - 2 or 3 - that would solve your janitorial problem with a minimum bioload impact (as you can safely keep 3 moth catfish in a 5.5). A trio of kuhli loaches might work or they might not - again, they prefer larger groups (6+), they can be delicate in my experience, and you have a gravel bottom, whereas they prefer sand or finer gravel.