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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I have a cycled, heavily (artificially) planted 38g tank which currently houses 2 pearl gourami. (Third died suddenly...I'm not sure why.) I will be getting another female gourami for the tank. When I do that, I'm also thinking of getting some tank mates because the tank is really quite empty.

I was thinking platies or swordtails because they're fairly easy to care for...however, I don't want fry. Is there any way to make sure they don't breed? I know livebearers reproduce often and reproduce a lot, so is there anyway to keep this to a minimum? I'd be okay with the other fish eating the fry (I hate to say it) but at the same time I'd rather not have to deal with that either.

So, are there any other types of fish I can keep with my gourami? I'd prefer to stay away from tetras and smaller fish. Sorry if this post didn't make much sense, and thanks in advance!
 

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Why not more gouramis? You can try blue, opaline, giant, thick-lipped....
 

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You can do swords - just get all males. I you could also do something like cherry barbs and then some bottom dwellers like Corys or kuhli loaches. I know you don't want small fish but your tank is not really large enough to support big fish.

Why not more gouramis? You can try blue, opaline, giant, thick-lipped....

Mixing different species of gouramis in a tank that small is a terrible idea. Blues and opalines are the same species, BTW. Furthermore, pearls are not tough enough to live with 3 spots....especially not in a tank that small.
 

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I know they are. That's why I suggested them. I've never had problems mixing gouramis. Why do you think it's a terrible idea?
 

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Because they are territorial fish and fight. And as I said, pearl gouramis are not tough enough to handle 3 spot gouramis, especially not in a tank that small.
 
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Coming from the perspective of bringing in 50 adult sized T. trichopterus, of various strains, and putting them in 30 gallon tanks, without issues, other than daily water changes, I think he's safe with a few gouramis in a 38.
 

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Coming from the perspective of bringing in 50 adult sized T. trichopterus, of various strains, and putting them in 30 gallon tanks, without issues, other than daily water changes, I think he's safe with a few gouramis in a 38.

Like I've said before, how you do things from the commercial side of things is NO REFLECTION on what should be done on the recreational side. You obviously have no experience mixing gouramis long term in a community tank or else you wouldn't have provided such a ridiculous example.

Like we have to tell almost every newbie to the hobby, you can't stock your tank like the fish store holding tanks. They are called holding tanks for a reason. The fish are highly stressed and that keeps things in check. Working in the industry I would have expected you to know and understand that.
 
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I love Pearls, I haven't kept them yet, but have done a lot of reading up, and see a ton of threads and journals tracking the progress of others. . . I've seen it happen before where fish that are typically considered to be incompatible have been kept together with no issues - but more often than not, mixing gourami seems to end badly when the fish reach maturity - particularity in smaller tanks. Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable trying it. . . it's your decision, of course - but if you do decide to mix these, I'd advise you to be certain to have a back-up plan in place. Better safe than sad, right?

I'm planning to put Pearls in with my Bolivian Rams and kuhli loaches - but I'm holding off on that until I get a bigger tank set up. . . mixing cichlids and gourami can be iffy, too. This tank is about 19" tall, I'm assuming? Do you think rams would work here, Jaysee?
 

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I've kept my school of pearls with rams for a long time, first in a 45 and now in the 125. I would not think twice about keeping them together.
 
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Actually, I have kept them together in a community tank as a pure hobbyist, when I was a kid, long before I ever worked for a wholesaler. I had one blue gourami that was a bully. I stand by my advice from years of experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Whoa whoa alright guys thanks for the answers! By bigger fish I meant "Larger than cardinal tetras" really...maybe like swordtail or platy size.

I'm definitely not putting another gourami in there besides another female pearl. (Just out of curiosity, would adding two female pearls for a total of 4 pearls be alright in this tank? It is quite over filtered because it used to be a fancy goldfish tank).

I'll look at male swords...do they have any tendency to fight aggressively with each other?
 

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I had no trouble with 5 in my 45. 1m and 4f. I wouldn't do more than 4 in your tank though.

The swords might squabble from time to time but shouldn't be anything requiring intervention on your part.
 
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Here's a thought - When I was in high school, I bred Pearl Leeris in a 15 gallon tank. Breeding bubble-nest builders can be a fun thing to do.
 

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Here's a thought - When I was in high school, I bred Pearl Leeris in a 15 gallon tank. Breeding bubble-nest builders can be a fun thing to do.
I think it's best we stay on subject and help the OP with their specific questions. You however can start your own thread on your breeding experiences. I'm sure we all would enjoy hearing your fishkeeping experience :)
 
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