Dwarf Gourami - better alone? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-05-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dwarf Gourami - better alone?

I just got 2 male dwarf gouramis. I currently have 2 10gallon tanks set up. I just had a bunch of fish get wiped out by ich so I'm in a re-stocking phase. I had 5 fish total survive the outbreak, they are currently divided between my tanks. In 1 tank I have 3 peppered cories, and in the other tank I have 2 sunburst platies. Both tanks have a mystery snail, but that doesn't matter.

I'm tempted to put 1 dwarf gourami in each tank. They're both male so I'm not concerned about breeding. I know males can be a bit territorial if they need to be.

What do others think? Am I better off keeping them together in 1 tank, or putting 1 in each? I know I shouldn't think this way, but something about having 1 of a species in a tank makes me think they would get lonely. I've never had gouramis before, so I haven't had a lot of experience with their behavior.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-05-2011, 08:43 PM
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As noted in our profile of the Dwarf Gourami, this fish should be kept in pairs (male/female) but in a 24 inch minimum tank. Two males in such a confined space will be at each other constantly; they are very territorial and naturally aggressive (all gourami males are, to varying degrees). If you are stuck with them, one in each tank would be preferable to both in a 10g, though one would likely not last long if they were together.

This fish also has serious health issues, depending upon its source. More info on this is in the profile. Click the shaded name to see it.

As you say you just got these, I'm assuming they are new and not survivors of the ich. In which case i would suggest returning them for exchange. With even one in a 10g you may have problems with other fish being attacked; gourami take a dislike to specific fish for various reasons, due to colours, or whatever.

Byron.

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 4 Old 08-05-2011, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Eek, thanks. I just might. One of them seems fine, the other is a real jerk. I separated them already, they started nipping. So far, they're only nipping each other and that problem was easy to fix. If they bite my catfish though they're going down the toilet, I am territorial as well :)
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-05-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tf1265 View Post
Eek, thanks. I just might. One of them seems fine, the other is a real jerk. I separated them already, they started nipping. So far, they're only nipping each other and that problem was easy to fix. If they bite my catfish though they're going down the toilet, I am territorial as well :)
Well, I'm glad you posted this, because what you are seeing is text-book gourami behaviour. There is sometimes a fish or two that doesn't follow the text book but usually most do eventually. We can't change what nature programmed into the fish.

Males are territorial, and one of them will almost certainly be the stronger (dominant). The other will lose sooner or later.

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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