06-03-2008, 03:40 PM
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The rams will definitely become "aggressive" if you get a pair and they begin to breed. There's a difference between aggressive and predatory, however. The rams will simply want to keep the other fish away from their eggs and fry. In a small, crowded aquarium this can lead to deaths as the rams try to keep away fish that have nowhere to go. However, I really think your aquarium is big enough to handle the problem. As long as you provide sufficient hiding spaces at opposite ends of the tank, your other tank inhabitants should be able to find shelter from breeding rams. Not to mention that the cories are armored fish. Mine aren't too bright and venture too close to my breeding kribensis on occassion, but don't seem at all bothered by the kribs' attempts to keep them away. Neons can easily dart away from rams and shouldn't get hurt.
Gouramis are another option for sure, but they can be territorial amongst themselves. Also, I find gouramis to be pretty lazy fish. They mostly just hang about or drift around slowly in the aquarium. They definitely won't exhibit the interesting behaviors that a pair of rams will.
To summarize, the aggression of the rams is definitely a risk factor but provided the right environment and coinhabitants, you should be able to avoid any serious problems.
(Note: I wouldn't recommend mixing the gouramis with the rams. I have dwarf gouramis with my kribs, and sometimes when they venture too close to the kribensis fry and the krib parents try to chase them off, the gouramis mistakenly believe they can hold their own and refuse to swim off peacefully.)