Stressed Chocolate Gourami's
I have had two Chocolate Gourami's for almost a year now and they have both been very active and seemingly happy. I had them in a 5 gallon with a few scarlet badis, otto cat, honey gouramis, a baby mollie and shrimp. I recently created a planted tank and switched all fish over from the tank except for the (2) chocolate gourami's and the otto cat. since the move my Chocolates have seemed stressed, nothing has changed in the tank except for they have received more room by their tank mates moving out. The waters PH, Nitrate, Nitrites & Hardness have all remained the same since I have had them; they have lots of plants to hid and swim through but also enough free swimming room too move around there is also a very low current in the tank.... the only thing I havent tried is adding peat or almond leaves that some forums seem to suggest... any other ideas to help my little guys out?
It could be that they are nervous that there are no other fish around... Many species need "dithers" to stay active- basically the fish see that other fish are swimming around calmly and this gives them the confidence that it is safe to come out... Maybe moving the chocolates to the other tank would help?
That is a good thought. I would also mention that this species is quite interactive [see coments in our profile], so it is good to have a small group. Do you know if you have two males, two females or a pair?
I had good results from 6, with 3 of the "common" species Sphaerichthys osphromenoides and 3 of the very similar Sphaerichthys selatanensis [our profile of the first explains the differences]. I had several spawnings, and some fry even survived. But sadly all the fish were wiped out from some type of pathogen.
Which brings me to my second point, and that is the extreme sensitivity of these fish. They are highly prone to skin pathogens and require the most stable of environments. Here is where some dried leaves might help. Oak, beech and almond are fine, and there may be others. Dried leaves will inhibit some pathogens such as bacteria and fungus.
Thanks! I believe I have two females but I am not quite sure how to tell the difference other than a thin yellow stripe on bottom fin which I don't see on either....
I couldn't check on that link from my phone so I will have to look at it later regarding other compatible fish ... Chocolate gouramis and similar species have been hard to track down at my LFS's
Byron were you saying the leaves may cause the fish to acquire diseases, or that it is a good thing?
Sorry, but was that a typo in the original post? You really have them in a 5 gallon tank?
Leaves won't cause diseases. The opposite is true, they'll help prevent them by releasing tannins which have antimicrobial properties.
Not a typo; but its actually an 8 gallon Fluval tank and there are only two no more than 1-1/2" They have been in there for a year and were doing great until i took the others out to give them more space; now they are sluggish and pale in color
Byron: In reference to your comment in red I have the specie of the photo pictured on the right of the info site. What is the easiest way to try to tell them apart? I will attempt to get a good picture of them both today
The two species are easy to tell apart. The "common" Chocolate, Sphaerichthys osphromenoides, is the left photo in the profile, and the right photo is Sphaerichthys selatanensis which has the distinctive horizontal white stripe that the common does not; stripes on it are vertical only.
Distinguishing male/female is a bit trickier, but use the two indicators mentioned in the profile and see if you can tell on your fish.
Leaves (dried) are not harmful provided they are the "safe" species like oak, beech, almond, and perhaps some others I am not aware of. Some leaves do contain toxins but we don't put these types in aquaria. Those mentioned are safe; I collect oak leaves in the autumn after they have fallen from the tree in my garden, and use them in various tanks. They are antimicrobial as blackwaterguy said. Some aquarists suggest putting a leaf in with the fish when shipping for this reason.
With a lot of leaves, the water will stain slightly brownish, as it does with peat and wood, due to the release of tannins. This is not harmful.
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