Adventures of the 35G - Page 8 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #71 of 481 Old 01-07-2013, 02:56 PM
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For right now (until I move into a bigger tank) I'll stick with what I have. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get more of these Dwarf loaches - I may never see them for sale again! Although. . . since I HAVE had such an impossible time finding Kuhli, I might HAVE to nab some if I see them! I won't, though - I'm never going into that LFS ever again, and the chain shops only keep the black loaches around here.

I know what you mean about the gourami. I've always wanted Pearls, but decided to wait until I get a bigger tank so I can keep a group of 5 of them - they DO get big. . . especially compared to all of the tiny fish in my tank! I'm sure you'd notice if they were unahppy, and in truth, they may be living in the best tank they ever have with you. I always have to wonder where these fish come from - fish farms aren't notorious for keeping the best of conditions for their animals :(

Good luck on finding loaches! I hope your shop can order them for you. I don't know what's going on with the loaches this year, but it seems like there are an awful lot of people looking for them, and they've always been a very common fish. . . I don't understand why they seem to have become so scarce all of the sudden.

I can't wait until you complete your stocking, and to watch this tank grow! Off to a great start!
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post #72 of 481 Old 01-07-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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I would have had to restrain myself from buying every single one. I wonder if they knew what they had, or cared more, if the price for them would have been higher. I've never seen them and can't imagine them being very cheap...I'm hoping I can get some Kuhli in soon, mine do seem fine but I'd really love to give them a better group.

I always do worry if they're happy or not, and what conditions they come from. And that brings me to my next and largest dilemma, which I'm really upset about.

So, to start from the beginning. As I mentioned before I have 1 male PG, and 2 females. The male occasionally gives chase, usually after feeding time, but he's never very aggressive over it and it's usually over in less than a second, no harm done. The most aggression is between the two girls, they have dominance fights ever other week or so but it just involves a lot of what I call "body slamming". They ram their sides together until someone swims away, it's quite interesting. Anyways, the females switch being dominant pretty often. Well today there was another switch, but it didn't go like normal. The small female became dominant today, and decided she really did not want the other female around. I don't know if all the fighting "upset" the male, but he started attacking both of them. The small female is fine, but the larger, currently submissive one has lost about 5 scales from all the picking.

I don't have another tank set up right now for anyone to go in, and I'm not sure how to split them, and I'm really upset that it looks like I'm going to have too. I'm thinking of returning the male and smaller, dominant female (if the petstore will even take them...), and keeping the one who got beat up. I'm not even sure if I can return her, she looks awful, but I don't know if she will be happy living with me on her own, without others. There are reports of keeping them singly but that's always a male, and there isn't conclusive evidence if they do well without a group. I feel horrible having to return them, I really do adore them. Maybe I should just return all three and stick to smaller fish? I don't know. I'm so upset right now. I don't know any friends willing to take them which sucks.
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post #73 of 481 Old 01-07-2013, 11:12 PM
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That sucks Jen! Don't really have a good answer for you, just a *hug*

I actually have 2 male dwarf neon gouramis in my tnak and have never seen any sort of fighting between them. Occasionally one chases the other for about 3 seconds, then they switch, but this is about as far as it has gone - to my eyes. Maybe this though is because of a lack of a female in the tank?

Hope this all works out for you!
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post #74 of 481 Old 01-07-2013, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Me too :/ Dwarf Gourami are so pretty, but the ones in my LFS look horrible. If I rehome all three I might think about trying three honey gourami in the tank, but I don't know. I'm just so upset about the fighting :( Thanks for the hug. *hug*

I just adore them but I feel horrible that they're fighting.
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post #75 of 481 Old 01-07-2013, 11:30 PM
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I know, I've had a small issue with one of my fish - who's clearly been bullied in the past before my tank (half missing tail fin) - being a bit of a bully at meal times and being generally unsociable, and i'ev honestly no idea what to do about this at the moment, im just hoping it gradually calms down and he settles in better, but if it doesnt, i would know what to do........send back my fish!?!!??!?!?!? Perish the thought!
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post #76 of 481 Old 01-08-2013, 09:59 AM
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Ahhh, naughty Pearls! I'm sorry you're having so much trouble! *hugs* I know how upsetting it can be. . .

You know. . .I've always wanted pearls, They're really stunning creatures. I did a ton of research back when I had the 29g tank, and decided to wait. Now I have a 55, and I'm STILL waiting. I want a shoal of 3-4 females to 1 male. . . with how territorial these guys can be (even though they're on the sweeter side of gourami), and considering that their max size is 4 inches, it seems to me that it would be best to wait for a bigger tank.

That said, I've read loads of people keeping them in 29g tanks with no issues, but it could be that 3 is too many for the space they have. They've been fine until now, but perhaps they're reaching maturity, and mating has only just become something that they're considering - it sounds like the females are spatting for dominance and breeding rights. In a 35g tank, there may not be anywhere for the 'loser' to get away from the dom, where in nature, she would head off to another area entirely. As long as they're within each-others line of sight, the dominant female is going to go after the other.

If you had the space, the solution would be to add MORE females, that way the aggression could be spread out among the harem, and hopefully no single fish would be taking the brunt of it - but in the 35g, you can't really do that. . . sometimes removing the aggressor for a time, then returning her to the tank will shake things up enough that she behaves herself - but you don't have anywhere else to put her! Dilemma!

From everything I've read and seen, these guys do best in a shoal - but as you mentioned, loads of people keep one male alone without trouble. . .I think it's always a male simply because they're so pretty. . .

If it were ME, I think that I'd take back the aggressive female, and keep the male and the female under close watch. If the male seems to be harassing the female too much for 'favors', then you may have to make the decision to remove one or the other - but from what you're saying, it sounds like HE is being nice enough, and it's just the female that's being a bully. . . this could change as the male matures, but if it's okay for now, it'd be hard for ME to re-home the male who isn't causing a problem.

Another thing to consider is feeding. It's tough to feed a community tank. Making sure the bigger fish get enough to eat without over-feeding the smaller fish is tricky. Is it POSSIBLE that the larger gourami aren't getting enough to eat? Being hungry always makes ME grumpy. Perhaps you could try to target feed them just a bit more than usual and see if it helps? Kind of an out-there idea, but it could work???

I'm so sad that you have trouble in the tank some tough decisions to make. Returning a fish is never an easy thing, but you'll figure out what the best course of action is. I wish I could offer you more, better advice - but I haven't been lucky enough to keep these guys yet. Good luck to you!

As for the loaches, I DID tell the shop owner that he wasn't selling Kuhli. He didn't seem to care much. I suspect he will keep the name the same because that's what people come looking for, and he probably thinks he'll sell more fish under the wrong name, than if they were properly identified. This is also the shop that sells Bolivian Rams under the name of Crown Ruby Rams, so. . . yeah. It was hard not to buy more, but the 2nd batch was free, and I'm NOT giving that place any more of my money. And anyway, with 10 dwarfs, 5 Kuhli, and one Black loach. . .plus the rams that stay toward the bottom third of the tank - the floor space in my tank is pretty well stocked! Just hoping there is no aggression there if/when the rams decide to start a family of their own. . . time will tell!

Last edited by Chesh; 01-08-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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post #77 of 481 Old 01-08-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Usually the submissive female would back down and hide behind the driftwood in the corner, which was her hiding spot. But the female just would not let up this time, and the weirdest thing is she's much younger, almost a half inch smaller than the larger one who, even when she is 'dominant' is a total sweetie.

I'm always really careful about feeding, I spread out the flakes so all the PG can get their share, they all eat in their own spots, the Rasboras get slow sinking mini granules, and the Kuhlis eat left over granules supplemented with sinking pellets. Although my Pear Gourami are total pigs and once they finish eating the females both dive to the bottom and try to eat the granules, which is a total pain to make sure the loaches get enough without over feeding. If anything the smaller one out competes the larger one for food. I'm wondering if she's just an aggressive fish, she was alone in her tank at the LFS for weeks before I bought her.

That is my biggest worry. I'd done a lot of research and heard a lot of conflicting info about PG, and I read a lot of people say that my size tank should be fine. The male is usually pretty sedate and keeps to himself in the corner, and only gives chase if the bigger female starts 'picking' in his area, and he doesn't hurt her. I'd read a lot of people say that the females are constantly harassed, but he really doesn't seem interested besides building the BIGGEST bubble nests I've ever seen, even though I've only seen him attempt mating twice, and it lasted all of two seconds before the female sped off.

You're probably right and it is a space issue. I think I'm going to try returning the smaller female and observe the pair I have left. If he gets too aggressive I might just return them both, so that my female won't be stuck alone in the tank, even though she's an absolute doll. She always greets me at the tank and nibbles my hands when I'm working on planting and pruning. She's just a sweetheart.

How big of a tank were you thinking of getting for the PG shoal?

Oh, and you have the Rams in the 55 right? 5 of them? Is that how they should be kept, in groups? My sister just got two for her tank and they are really shy, I'm wondering if it's because she only has two, or because there are active fish in the tank. They usually keep to themselves in the back on the bottom of the tank.

It's a shame you don't have that larger tank yet, or I would just send them up to you and see if you can straighten these bad kids out :p
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post #78 of 481 Old 01-08-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how it's possible but I'd swear we have identical LFS haha! They don't sell Rams, but they sell all their Gourami (Blue/Gold/3 spot) under the name 'Labyrinth Gourami'. I totally understand, it's such a shame that the worst shops are the only ones getting in the fish that we like. I've finally stopped torturing myself by going in there. Sometimes they're cleaned up and the fish look good, other times almost everything is dead. The last time there was an entire 20gal full of half dead and dead goldfish. It was awful.
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post #79 of 481 Old 01-08-2013, 05:12 PM
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Ug, yes. . . bad shops are. . . bad. *shakes head* Makes me cry - the one I got the loaches from actually sells tattooed fish! I've read about them, but was floored to see them actually for sale. Such a shame. And the tank walls are totally COVERED with BBalgae. Nasty. . . Never. Ever. going in there again.

With the rams . . . these fish are more easily stressed than many, since hers are so new, they're still settling in. It usually takes a week or so before they really open up and become familiar with their new surroundings, so just have her keep an eye on them, and keep the lights dim for a few days - they should come around if there isn't anything frightening them in the tank. BR's really do well with a smaller dither fish (like tetra or rasa) around to make them feel safer, but if they're paired with fish that are too active, it can make them skittish - what other fish does she have in there with them? They also really appreciate a well-established, well planted tank. . .

To shoal or not to shoal. . . seems to be a thing of much debate.

Many people will tell you that it's best to ONLY keep one alone, but I've personally found that a lonely ram is a very different fish, and to me they seem kind of sad when they're all by themselves. . . The reason why people recommend a singleton is because they, like many cichlids, can be fussy little guys. You can't keep just any male and female together, BR have to choose their own mate, and when they do, they often keep that bond for life. In some cases, an unbonded male and female can live together for some time in relative happiness, and even spawn - but eventually it seems that the relationship goes sour and ends with one being harassed by the other and stressed to death. Two males kept with no females will inevitably fight. . .

Nearly all of the BR enthusiasts I've come across (including me!) swear up and down that they really do best in a shoal. I've found that it's best to keep 2-3 females for every 1 male. There will be some antics at first as they establish their territories and hierarchy - lip-locking and chasing, but in my experience, this is seldom violent, and usually tapers off rather quickly.

If she WANTS a pair, the best way to do it is to start with a group and wait until they pair off naturally - then re-home the remaining fish. For now, since they're so new, I'd say just to keep an eye on things and see how it plays out in a week or two :)

I want to have my PG shoal whenever I upgrade Becoming to a 125g tank. I know they can be kept in smaller quarters, but. . . I think they'll make a lovely final addition to a big ol' tank :) That won't be for another year or so, so I'll have to be patient!
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post #80 of 481 Old 01-08-2013, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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She has a really mixed bag, tbh. Her BFs brother works in a fish store and brings fish for her. She has corys, kuhlis, mollies, platies, tetras, a female pearl, a siamese flying fox, and a dwarf crawfish. Quite a mixed bag. Whenever I visit the rams are usually hiding among the back with all the decorations and the plants she has in there. I honestly have no idea of their genders. I believe they're the German Blue variety, if that's even in the same class. I'm not very experienced with Rams, I'm sure you can tell, haha.

That would be really pretty :) What else are you planning on putting in the tank?

On another note, I went down to another lake today and brought home some more plants to test and see if they do well. They tank is looking a little crazy with so many different types but hopefully it will work itself out. I'll be putting up pictures tomorrow, hopefully.

I'm going to be calling the store and see if they take fish returns. I'm not really interested in a refund/store credit, so maybe they'll take her back. I hope so.

I hope the pair works out in my 35. I feel like it's probably too small, though. Which is really bumming me out.

Also, I was looking on CL today and saw a fully set up 55 gallon for sale. I might buy it and put the Pearls in there.
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