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Tank Mates -Ideas and suggestions
I have had a 30 gallon tank for about seven months. I have two male and one female cherry barb. They don't bother any of the other tank mates (tetrs, female guppies, ottos) but my question pertains to Gourami's. Can Cherry Barbs and Gourmis be put in the same tank?
I have done some research and the data is contradictory. Ideas? Experiences?
I didn't research Gourami other than the Paradise Fish, Pearl Gourami and the Betta Splendens. I have a betta in the tank now, sort of by default, and it is working out OK with the cherry barb, zero signs of aggression between the fish and zero fin nipping. The others were more due to my water parameters and tank size. The barbs are a better idea than the tetras so that will be more of a factor than the barbs but my barbs are not quiet, they are all over the tank constantly.
You will need to check out how to decide on your mix, group vs pair, group ratios and that sort of thing. Also watch your tank doesn't get too full particularly if you bump your barb shoal up then add the gourami. The gourami are a larger body fish so I suspect (but don't know) that they are larger loads on the tank than the typical "1 inch of fully grown fish per gallon" rule... which is only a starting guide but worth using when deciding on initial mixes).
My expierience with agressive feeder's like barb's and slower,more peaceful species like gourami,showed that the barb's will easily snatch food long before the gouarmi get their share.
Have also noted that nearly all barb's will nip fin's of slower fishes.
Recently noted that pectoral fin's of a pearl gourami I was keeping in warm tank,
(barb's are more comfortable in cooler water) were being nipped to shred's by fancy guppies.
I moved the gourami to warm tank with cardinal tetra's and cherry shrimp and after a week the fin's are healing nicely.
Point being that barb's may or may not, confine the nipping which is their nature,to themselves.
In any event, I would select Honey gourami ,or Pearl gourami before the other species of gourami which are often carrier's of Iridovirus,mycobacterium,which may or may not be transferred to otherwise healthy tank.
Of course this should get more fun once the catfish are introduced.
It is funny watching Oscar decide that he is going to get a sinking pellet and he motors down and snatches it from the barbs though. I don't know if a gourami wold do that so feeding might be more complicated but paying attention and adjusting how the feeding is handled should look after this potential problem and help to avoid the typical over feeding issues at the same time.
If I just toss in the food it doesn't work so well for Oscar and more ends up on the bottom.
I do see the gourami feed from the bottom now,,but at first he was slow ,way too slow.
He now competes with cory's, shrimp, but they are much more wary of him than the guppies that swarmed the area where food was distributed.
A Betta is not a Gourami. They are both Anabantids, but outside of that should not be compared.
The suggestion to increase the school size of the barbs is a good one, they should be kept with at least 6. The same advice goes for your tetras and ottos.
Cherry Barbs should be quite peaceful, unlike say Tiger Barbs.
I'll take that one step farther, I don't recommend betta (male particularly) to be added to any community tank... mine was by default as he pre-existed the tank and I knew the possible outcomes including re-tanking him if it were necessary. When you have the option of starting out fresh, never pick something that is already a potential problem fish.
Normally barbs and gouramis couldn't live together but the cherry barbs is a quieter and calmer barbs and can coexist with gouramis. Just take into affect the aggression levels on different gouramis because, from my experience, gouramis like the paradise fish are more aggressive than the honey gourami.
As said previously increase the shoal of the cherry barb to atleast 6.
Personally, I have three gouramis, a gold, opaline, and pearl gourami in my 75 gallon with 11 cherry barbs (other fish to like cories, kuhlis, and snails). My gouramis get more than there share of food
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Well, I added some barbs and everything seemed to be in order. Then I started loosing them. Since my last post I have lost ALL barbs purchased from the LPS and one male that I had since the aquarium was cycled last year.
I only added three very small cherry barb.. was that too many to add all at once? My ammonia did rise but never over .20ppm
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