Aggressive Pearl Gourami towards Bottom Feeders - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-08-2011, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Aggressive Pearl Gourami towards Bottom Feeders

Hey all,
First off, it’s almost been a year since I started my tanks, and I had no major issues/losses thanks to the people on the forum. So thank you all.

OK, now my problem. I love my Pearl Gourami. His colors are beautiful; he has a lot of personality (even towards humans) and is definitely the “centerpiece” in my tank. He almost never chases my tetra or rasbora (they school together) and spends his time hanging out beneath the floating plants, blowing large bubbles underneath the leaves. Sounds great right? Well he has one major issue, and that is, he loves food. So much that he will (not every time I feed) attack my pleco or loaches so they will leave their wafers/pellets, so he can steal them.

I have a lot of floating plants (not all by choice, loaches like to uproot them) and a lot of bit leaves at the top of the water from some dwarf lily. So there is a leafy divider in which I feed my tetra and rasbora (left side of tank) and my gourami (right side of tank) that way they are not fighting over food. Then when they are eating I drop my sinking food onto a flat rock where the loaches and pleco eat. It’s bad enough the loaches swim all around the pleco like crazy drug addicts, but every now and then (once or twice a week) the grourami decides he wants to bully and he will attack the pleco and loaches so they leave their food and he can eat some. I’m sacred he is either going to kill one, or get a spike to the face from one of the bottom dwellers. Anyone have any ideas how I can stop this madness (I know its in his nature to do what he can to eat, but there has to be something)? I want to note that the gourami will go up to the loaches “lair” or will brush by the pleco when he is sitting on a leaf and he never attacks them

Sorry for the long story.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-08-2011, 02:08 PM
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You can't change a fish's temperament. However, some steps can be taken to perhaps reduce the stress on the substrate fish. First, I would feed some sinking foods at night. Loaches are not nocturnal, but pleco are, so the pleco will get food. Second, feed a lot of sinking food, hopefully the gourami will concentrate on one bit and the loaches will get other. Third, if this is only once or twice and not daily, it may not be an issue.

I have fish (cichlids like Bolivian Ram, Apistogramma, etc) that do this from time to time with the corys. As long as physical damage is not occurring, and it is not continuous, it may not cause much stress. Only you can judge that, as you are there to observe long-term. If this does get worse, obviously removing the offender or the others is the only viable option.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-09-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Great, I know we cant take our fish to training classes lol, but those extra steps is the advice I was looking for, Thanks again!
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