Agressive Gourami
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Agressive Gourami

This is a discussion on Agressive Gourami within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> My blue gourami has gotten extremely agressive. He tends to beat up my pleco a decent amount. The only fish in my tank is ...

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:02 AM   #1
 
Unhappy Agressive Gourami

My blue gourami has gotten extremely agressive. He tends to beat up my pleco a decent amount. The only fish in my tank is the gourami and pleco (10 gallon). I have a 29 cycling right now but I'm wondering if it's even going to make a difference for him. What tank mates could I add to the agressive gourami/pleco combo? If he's going to stay agressive I may just keep him in the 10 by himself and maybe add some ghost shrimp or something. Or if it comes down to it, I'll try to find another home for him . Which I'd rather not do since I had him for so long.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by gorangers0525 View Post
My blue gourami has gotten extremely agressive. He tends to beat up my pleco a decent amount. The only fish in my tank is the gourami and pleco (10 gallon). I have a 29 cycling right now but I'm wondering if it's even going to make a difference for him. What tank mates could I add to the agressive gourami/pleco combo? If he's going to stay agressive I may just keep him in the 10 by himself and maybe add some ghost shrimp or something. Or if it comes down to it, I'll try to find another home for him . Which I'd rather not do since I had him for so long.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Do you have any rocks or tank decor in the tank? Supplying him with caves and hiding spots might be helpful. Also the 10g tank is pretty small which is probably why he is being aggressive. Add some hiding spots in the 29g and you should be ok.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
 
Yea I know the 10's small. It has a cave and probably 3 or 4 fake plants. It's only two fish that probably add up to about 9 inches. It was supposed to be a grow out tank, but I never did find the time to start a new one until now. Any fish that you'd suggest to go with an agressive gourami that won't get bullied? I feel like the fish listed in the blue gourami profile may be bullied which is why I'm considering just keeping the gourami by himself.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:26 PM   #4
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

You have learned a major lesson, albeit the hard way. Always research your fish before acquiring them, and never buy a fish requiring a larger tank than the tank you now have. Many of us have plans for larger tanks, but this or that may prevent it from happening soon enough. And a 10g is not sufficient space for a blue gourami.

However, having said that, at this point it may be advisable to keep him in the 10g on his own permanently. Moving him to the 29g might help, but there is a risk that any other fish added will be bullied, and then you risk harm to the other fish. And all this bullying and harm is due to stress, and is irreversible. Which means that the fish are permanently weakened and prone to health problems and aggressive behaviour.

You also mention a pleco; the common pleco can attain over a foot in length, and even a 29g will not be sufficient space if that is the species you have. If it is, I would certainly suggest you re-home it (another aquarist, the store...).

Byron.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
 
No. It's an albino longfin. Which I believe only gets to about 4.5 inches. Thanks for the help! I know I probably should've went with a dwarf gourami =/. The pleco and the gourami have gotten along for quite awhile now. I was very suprised at the gourami's random agression. The pleco is waiting in for me in my friends tank until my 29's ready.

Last edited by gorangers0525; 10-18-2011 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by gorangers0525 View Post
No. It's an albino longfin. Which I believe only gets to about 4.5 inches. Thanks for the help! I know I probably should've went with a dwarf gourami =/. The pleco and the gourami have gotten along for quite awhile now. I was very suprised at the gourami's random agression. The pleco is waiting in for me in my friends tank until my 29's ready.
Perhaps I can explain this. Many of us have always held that keeping potentially large fish in too small a tank, even when they are small, causes trouble. Only recently have some scientific studies been carried out and these have now proven this. What happens is the "space" restriction prevents the fish from engaging in normal inherent behaviours. There is also the effect of the water conditions, which are less stable in smaller tanks. Fish release pheromones, and these build up and can only be removed with a water change. The larger the tank, the more "spread out" the pheromones, but in a smaller space they quickly build up and affect the fish. The other more commonly-recognized issues of bacteria and nitrification also play into this of course.

This stresses the fish. And stress weakens the immune system. So down the road, the fish may develop health problems that otherwise would never have occurred. Stress also is now known to incite aggression. Even peaceful fish species can get surprisingly aggressive when they are stressed. And naturally-aggressive species--and all gourami fall into this group because they are very territorial and that means defending their territory--can become very strongly aggressive, beyond the "norm." And unfortunately, once this occurs, the fish cannot revert back; the damage has, so to speak, been done and the fish's temperament has changed.

Aggression is about the only way a fish can react to frustration. The small space [to the fish], the presence of other territorial fish of the same or similar species, certain other non-related fish species, etc can all create frustration (stress), and the fish has no other way except to "lash out."

I hope this has helped to explain the change. BTW, the dwarf gourami carries it's own particular set of problems, as noted in our profile [click the shaded name].

Byron.
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