Help with Semi aggressive fish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-19-2011, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Semi aggressive fish

Hi, newbie aquarium owner here. I just started a 40gl freshwater tank, and went to petsmart today to get my first fish. after some helpful compatibility discussions, i decided to go for a semi aggressive tank. I started off with three fish to see how they did. I got a bala shark, a powder blue gourami, and a Leporinus
Fasciatus. According to the girl at PS they would work well since they were all about the same size and all semi aggressive.
In the amount of time it took to have dinner, the fasciatus fish has shredded the other two fish's fins, and damaged one of the bala shark's eyes.
So I guess Im not sure where to go from here. Do i remove the fasciatus fish? Will the other two fish recover? it looks like they are both having trouble swimming, and the shark is having a hard time finding food.
Thanks for any help you can give.

Last edited by saint fu; 06-19-2011 at 07:00 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 12:49 AM
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Hello and welcome to TFK.

Unfortunately you got some bad advice from Petsmart. The Leporinus is much more aggressive than the other fish and will get large. I would return it. The Bala shark will also eventually outgrow the 40 gallon.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply. no worries about the shark outgrowing the tank, he died over night. i don't plan on getting another one though, i did a little more homework on them and realize I couldn't accomodate him long term. I plan on returning the Leporinus today. I really like the gourami, and was thinking of stocking the rest of the tank with different types of them. Would they get along, or be more aggressive to each other? Thanks again.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 01:24 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Well, sad to say, what I would have advised has already occurred. We sometimes learn the hard way, and as jeaninel said, we cannot always rely on advice from stores. Now you've found us though, and we can help.

We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page takes you there. In posts if the fish name (scientific or common) is exactly as it appears in the profile, it will be shaded, example: Blue Gourami or Trichopodus trichopterus, and clicking on the shaded name will open that fish's profile. Info on numbers of the species to have, minimum tank size (for the species alone), water parameters, compatibility, etc. is included in the profiles.

If you read the gourami profile you'll note this can be aggressive. One male and 1-2 females in your 40g would be fine. And some other compatible fish, maybe some bottom fish. Other mid-level fish would include the smaller peaceful barb, medium rasbora, or characins (tetra). Many species of these are in our profiles, and you'll find that some would work and some wouldn't with gourami.

And you can always ask us questions.


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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