08-12-2012, 08:23 PM
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Cichlids and anabantids are much alike in that the males of all species are territorial. Some male gourami can be as rough in defrending their space as some cichlids. While lots of space (large tank) and lots of plants/wood to break up the area into suitable territories can sometimes work, sometimes it cannot. Some species are worse than others. I personally would never suggest angelfish with gourami, there is simply too much similarity in not only the territorial defense but their near-identical general browsing/feeding/cruising habits.
There are exceptions to most general guides, but the guide is based upon normal situations, i.e., the majority. Hoping for the minority situation and risking the fish to achieve it is not in my view wise. If one has multiple tanks to be able to re-home problem fish, fine; but most of the members are limited to one or perhaps two, and getting rid of trouble fish to stores is not always an option either.
As for all fish in a given situation being "well," that is sometimes not easy to diagnose. While there may not be physical combats, the fish are still sending out chemical signals (pheromones and allomones) that the other fish can read, and this is just as stressful. You can read more on this aspect in my article on stress in the Freshwater Articles section.