Ideal Conditions for Gouramis
I have done some research but need info on Gouramis - specifically dwarf flame and powder blue. (I have Malawi cichlids). research is good, but I prefer getting advice from experienced hobbiests that keep Gouramis day to day, year to year. What is realistic life span in ideal tank conditions, and what are consistently the best conditions for a gourami. I've read little to no movement, so is a sponge filter better? 10, 20 or 30 gal - I'll be keeping only males so I figure the less the better but how many gallons per fish is ideal? Temp ok @ 78F? and are they going to disturb the plants and substrate like my cichlids do? Also are fresh or fake plants better. I have a 30T so is 16" plants all-right or floating. I also have black shale, but would like to use driftwood. i know driftwood is alright w/discus but will it affect the ph for a gourami? Thanks any info is great!
Hello and welcome to fishforum! Gourami like soft, acidic water, very different from Malawi! It's not quite as extreme as discus, but driftwood will certainly be just fine. Any ph between 6.0-7.4 should be great, and soft is good, probably around 4ish, although they aren't too picky. 78 should be a very good temp. While they certainly don't like heavy flow, they aren't very sensitive to it (unless they're trying to build a bubble nest and it keeps coming apart), so any standard power filter or something like that will be fine.
I'm not sure exactly what fish you're talking about, as there is some overlap in those common names. Are you referring to Colisa lalia? Those guys can be pretty territorial, I wouldn't put more than two in a 30T or maybe 3 in a 20-30 long. On the other hand, they'll be perfectly fine with a wide variety of bottom dwellers and even some quick mid-level fish.
I'd recommend a floating plant like duckweed or water lettuce for them to hide in, it will break up the line of sight to keep them from fighting, and they love to hide in it. IMHO live plants are always better, as they are good for water quality, but the gourami won't really care one way or the other, as long as they have places to hide. They won't mess with the plants at all, nor will they dig in the substrate, they are surface dwellers.
Dwarf gourami (including the different color morphs) are pretty heavily bred with hormones in asia, so they are known to be a lot less hardy than they used to be. I'm not sure what the lifespan would be, but I'd recommend buying from a local breeder if possible, or maybe getting a less popular species.
Best of luck, gourami are very fun fish, and can be quite hardy and easy to care for. I think you'll find them much simpler than your African cichlids. Feel free to keep asking questions!
Thanks for the info - I really appreciate the input. Yes it is the Colisa lalia. I will no doubt continue to post more questions as set up is completed and the gouramis get settled in. Thanks again!
Glad to help, good luck!
Well, I'm not sure where to ask this but several others weren't right and I don't want to start a new thread.
I also have a 30 tall and I started with 8 dwarf gouramis, which I got from a breeder to avoid the virus the pet store one's supposedly inevitably have. I was under the assumption that dwarfs maxed out about 2 inches and were very shy so the tank wouldn't be crowded and they'd all get along.
They seemed to all get along and be happy for about 3 weeks and then within a week 5 died. 2 flames are doing great, the remaining powder blue is head down and "S" shaped and for the last week I've been sure he'd be dead by the end of the day.
It's damn hot, so the tank is about 82 to 84, but other conditions are fine, no ammonia, no chlorine, no nitrite, nitrates about 20 ppm, good filtration and aeration.
The breeder, when questioned, admitted that he had not been doing this for years like he originally claimed but was only on his second generation and preferred to refund rather than replace.
I'd really like another flame and 2 or 3 powder blues, I just think dwarf gouramis are some of the prettiest fish out there, but are they really not going to tolerate more? What sort of water conditions should I strive for? What sort of fish could I add? (In my old 10 gallon I had 2 powder blues and a bastard black molly that wouldn't stop chasing them until they died - I don't want to buy the wrong fish again.)
So, the S shaped powder blue died last week and now what i thought was a perfectly healthy flame died yesterday. Down to one flame, water conditions are all fine (same as previous post).
Just not sure. Am I doing something wrong, or can I blame the stock?
Blame the stock. Gourami are notoriously badly bred. Although the heat probably isn't helping.
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