12-22-2011, 08:40 PM
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Your guess on stress is likely accurate. For the record, gourami and cichlids should never be combined, since both have territorial aggressive tendencies and frequently view each other as if rivals.
As a very sort-term solution to assist the gourami, the smaller tank is an option. But given that this fish will attain 4-5 inches and possibly 6 inches, this should not be considered a permanent solution. I certainly would have no other upper-level fish in with it in so small a tank; this gourami can itself become quite nasty and in small surrounding such fish often display increased aggression. Corys being substrate fish might be OK, but one cannot be certain. But please, forget the barb. This is way too small a physical space for such fish in with a gourami.
By the way, this gourami is the species Trichopodus trichopterus, the Blue Gourami; it has several colour varieties of which Opaline is one. More info can be found in our profile, click the shaded name.
The single Firemouth in the 29g will work. As noted in our profile, suitable companion fish are the medium peaceful barb and larger characins, and substrate fish (the cory would be OK in here). Tiger Barb do not fit this description, and I would not suggest them with a cichlid. Fin nipping is likely. Note their profile for further info.
We all learn from our mistakes, and this is an example of why it is important to fully know the fish species before acquiring it. Small fish may seem innocuous in the store tank, but placed in decent surroundings they usually begin to exhibit their natural tendencies as they settle in and mature. The adult size and temperament of any fish must govern it from day one, ensuring there is adequate space for it as an adult when it is acquired.