Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Philnominal 12-21-2011 11:54 PM

Opaline Gourami
I currently have a 29 gallon aquarium set up with fish and judging by the amount of water it took to fill the tank a 15 gallon hexagon tank cycling. Currently i have 4 peppered cory cats, 2 false juli cory's, 1 blue opaline gourami and 1 firemouth cichlid in the 29 gallon as of now.

The Gourami however gets irritated from time to time by the firemouth who seems to leave the cory's alone. Though i have yet to see any damage done to the Gourami i can imagine this stresses the fish out. I was wondering (but highly doubt) if i could move the gourami to the smaller hexagon tank? I was also thinking of moving the corys over and adding some cherry barbs then either placing rainbows or tiger barbs along with a bristlenose pleco in with the fire mouth.

I guess my question is does any of this sound like it could work?

Both tanks are over filtered as i have a Marineland Penguin 200 on the 29 gallon and a Topfin 30 on the smaller tank.

Questions Comments and supportive criticism welcome.

Byron 12-22-2011 07:40 PM

Your guess on stress is likely accurate. For the record, gourami and cichlids should never be combined, since both have territorial aggressive tendencies and frequently view each other as if rivals.

As a very sort-term solution to assist the gourami, the smaller tank is an option. But given that this fish will attain 4-5 inches and possibly 6 inches, this should not be considered a permanent solution. I certainly would have no other upper-level fish in with it in so small a tank; this gourami can itself become quite nasty and in small surrounding such fish often display increased aggression. Corys being substrate fish might be OK, but one cannot be certain. But please, forget the barb. This is way too small a physical space for such fish in with a gourami.

By the way, this gourami is the species Trichopodus trichopterus, the Blue Gourami; it has several colour varieties of which Opaline is one. More info can be found in our profile, click the shaded name.

The single Firemouth in the 29g will work. As noted in our profile, suitable companion fish are the medium peaceful barb and larger characins, and substrate fish (the cory would be OK in here). Tiger Barb do not fit this description, and I would not suggest them with a cichlid. Fin nipping is likely. Note their profile for further info.

We all learn from our mistakes, and this is an example of why it is important to fully know the fish species before acquiring it. Small fish may seem innocuous in the store tank, but placed in decent surroundings they usually begin to exhibit their natural tendencies as they settle in and mature. The adult size and temperament of any fish must govern it from day one, ensuring there is adequate space for it as an adult when it is acquired.


Philnominal 12-22-2011 08:44 PM

Thank you for the response. I have already taken the liberty of finding the Gourami a new home at a local fish store because i didn't think this was a very good solution so my 15 gallon is still empty and awaiting me to make plans for it. I had done a fair amount of research on both the Gourami's compatibility and the Firemouths separately, but i failed to check up on how they would react to each other so i did not know they would see each other as rivals. An oversight i will not make again.

Now i need to plan out the 15 gallon hex and figure out exactly what species will be accompanying my Firemouth in his 29 gallon aquarium.

Once again thank you for your input.

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