Pearl Gourami stocking and tank mate ideas/suggestions and plants
I have a new(to me) 125g tank and was thinking about pearl gourami's as the center stage, like 8-10 of them, then one or two schools of compatible sedate fish and some corys for the bottom. I was thinking for the gourami 2-3 males and the rest females (open to advice here too). I've looked through the fish profiles. I'm just out for suggestions that folks have had experienced success with these guys. Easier to narrow my options that way. Also what are some good plants to go with these guys that an aquatic plant beginner could succede with?
So quick recap:
1. Is the number of gouramis an okay number and the perportions of male to female good?
2. Good companion suggestions, only thinkiing 2 different kinds in addition to gourami and corys.
Water: PH is 7.5-8 depending on the day, KH 12
Filter: Fluval FX5
Substrate: gravel and eco complete mix
*it will be a while before the tank is even ready for fish, lots of elbow grease to work so have lots of time to pick out set up.
I don't have personal experience with Gouramis, but based on the database we have on-site, 8-10 seems like quite a bit. This would leave space for about 3-7 other adult fish using the inch per gallon rule of thumb. If you go with something like 2 males and 6 females, you'd have enough space for 5-6 corydoras (best kept in groups of at least this size) and another relatively small singleton fish.
Of course, you aren't going to add all of this at once. I may be going by some very general rules, but if you include live plants or anything it'll help with the amount of fish allowed. In the end, it's not so much a limit of space, as making sure your nitrates are routinely kept as low as possible.
Provided there is good sight division in the tank, achieved with many plants and bogwood/branches, the number should be OK. It is the territoriality of the males that is the issue, not the bioload. And as some males can be fairly docile and others might attempt to rule the tank, it is difficult to say more. Replicating the natural habitat, as described in the profile, is one way to hopefully achieve this.
Tankmates. Quiet, peaceful fish, nothing too active (forget danio, most barbs, some characins); rasbora are ideal, the medium/larger species (the dwarf species in Boraras will be quickly eaten). This also appies to characins. I recall once standing in front of a tank in a store and seeing 3 gourami (blue I think they were) circle a neon tetra that was gone within seconds.
Plants. If you want to be authentic to SE Asia, Aponogeton, crypts, Vallisneria [this will thrive in your medium hard water]. Wisteria perhaps, though with minimal lighting 9for the gourami) it may not last. Water Sprite floating is ideal.
Just a caution on the substrate; Eco-complete is quite rough, I have felt it, as is Flourite (which I have in one tank). Someone with considerable experience with substrate fish told me a while back that corys do not fare well over these substrates, and having now experienced this myself, I would concur. I moved my corys out of my Flourite tank. If this is still in the planning stage, I would consider a different substrate if corys or loaches are intended.
I didn't realize the substrate was rough, what a bummer. Thats good to know. I've only seen it in pictures. I was planning on putting that down as a base layer and then covering it with pea gravel. Would that work to keep it away from the corys or would just pea gravel alone be better?
As for the rest of the set up I was going to try for the best replication of natural environment with plants and decor. I like the idea of creating thier world just like they would have it. Its quite pretty anyway. Would it be best to limit the Gourami to just 1 male and 3-4 females so there is plenty of space and only one king of the tank?
As for the tank mates another question: what is a good smaller but not too small size. 2-4 or 3-4 inches? I figured anything under 1.5 inches was definatly way too small.
What works better for stocking order? 1. tank mates 2.bottom feeders. 3. gourami 4. algea eater
or gourami before tank mates? Or does it matter who gets settled in first?
Mixing substrates usually doesn't work. At some point, the two will mix. Having tried enriched substrates, gravel and sand, my suggestion would be to go with sand or fine gravel and depending upon plants you can use substrate tab fertilizers. I have maintained nicely planted tanks with only liquid fertilizer added weekly, but some substrate-rooted plants will do a bit better with substrate ferts. But having had a Flourite substrate now for more than 6 months, I would not bother with this again; the expense in my experience has simply not been worth it, given the result. My plants (and some are the same species) in my sand and gravel tanks are doing just as well as in the Flourite. Save some money.
On the roughness, I choose Flourite over Eco-complete because it felt less rough. I used my fingers to test them. But now, after six months, the Flourite is still definitely rougher than my gravel or sand.
Sand would make a natural substrate; with chunks of bogwood. For a swamp-type setup (home to the gourami), Aponogeton, Red Tiger Lotus, cryptocoryne species. For a quiet stream setting, Corkscrew Vallisneria, crypts again. Water Sprite floating in both.
For the substrate fish, in a stream aquascape, any of the small/medium loaches if you are being semi-authentic. In a swamp setting, the dwarf species of loach work well, even though not "swamp" fish but they are better suited to this aquascape. My dwarf loach and banded dwarf loach in my 33g lagoon tank (which is swamp-like) are doing very well.
I have not picked out any kind of algea eater. I just always like having one for internal maintenance. My living room (where i plan to put the tank) has lots of windows. there really isn't a location I could put it that wouldn't have some light. I had a 10 gallon in there a while back befor I took it to work with me. It was always growing tons of algea (no real plants, and no algea eater). When i did have an algea eater, there really wasn't much of a problem with algea. Its not a must, it was just a preconsived idea I've developed. But it may not be an issue with there being live plants this time. That is what I have been reading from you guys. :) Done properly of course.
I haven't really considered loaches. I'd only parused a bit when I was trying to figure out what the guys that came with the tank needed. I was surprised to find that they were considered rather agressive. I wasn't too excited at the idea of an agressive set up so didn't look further. Those guys as well as the other fish that came with the tank were relocated to my local fish shop to find a good home.
After looking at the guys you mentioned they may be a nice addition. So is fine gravel that size similar in behavior to sand. I've not been a big fan of sand. I've never used it but have seen it being used and in my new purchase, had to clean up after it. It came with a canister filter and the thing must have been 1/3 full of sand that had been sucked up. I'm still working on getting the last of it cleaned up. When I saw it in the tank it seems to waft everywhere... it just seems messy. I will note that both the tank i saw and this one I purchase were both without any kind of plants. One was being set up and this one just had sand and large rocks. Do you find it to be messy and have lots of it getting sucked up by the filter? Or does all the vegetation settle it down pretty well? I think i could get used to the idea of it if I new that it wasn't alway messy. How about maintenance, does it need to be vacumed like gravel, if so does it tend to get sucked up? If the fine gravel isn't as light and easily turned up do you have any suggestions where it can be found? I did some quick serches and haven't really found much.
Guess this has turned more into a tank set up post instead of an Anabantid. should I continue this post elswhere?
Your planned tank stocking sounds really exciting with 8-10 Pearl Gouramis - they are beautiful, elegant fish.
The Pearl Gouramis with a Rasbora school would be magnificient.
The 125 gallon capacity would allow you to have a LARGE school of Rasbora (or whatever you decide). I personally think a school of 30+ of the same fish would look awesome and is so natural as compared to 2-3 smaller schools of different species - just MO.....
MAKE SURE TO POST PICTURES WHEN YOU ARE DONE :-D
I've always thought that the pearl gourami are one of the most beautiful interesting fish. I love how they study things. Sometimes its as though they are stairing you down. Thats my interpretation anyway. They are really a neat fish.
I'm definatly looking forward to a smaller fish school to go with the gourami. I love schools of fish. I have a small school (8) of harlaquin rabora in my 55g set up. They are a lot of fun to watch. It will be great to have a school of maybe 15+ (not nessisarily the harlaquin). Lots of room bring so many interesting possibilities. :) I'll definatly post some pictures as it goes together. It will take some time (lots of cleaning and painting and cleaning and cleaning). But I cant complain, I don't mind the elbow greese in exchange for a small price tag. Good ol Craigs list and moving speacials. :)
i always caution on algae eaters because almost all of them that suit small species fish will only deal with common green algae. There are several suitable ones , but I always recommend getting fish that you like as fish; the algae-eating factor is just a bonus.
If you stay with the small/medium sized loaches most (but not all) are peaceful. Check the profiles of the species.
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