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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I introduced 2 dwarf gourami to my tank a couple of days ago, a male and a female.

They seem quite happy and feed well, I give them a mixed diet of flakes, blood worm and brine shrimp which they love.

They're in with 6 cherry barbs - they all seem to tolerate each other, I've not witnessed any aggressive behaviour from anyone but I know it's still early days.

So here's the thing - the male is very slow, just bobs around mainly at the top of the tank and occasionally drifts down to the bottom to hang out with everyone, but his behaviour seems very normal.

The female however is not anywhere near as calm, she either:

a. swim at high speed back and forth at the front of the tank along the glass or
b. go from corner to corner swimming up and down at high speed

It's almost as if she's looking for a way out. I have read that other people have had this experience and it soon settles down after a week or so, but what is she trying to do here? She seems fine otherwise, like I say I've seen her eating, sleeping, and she does sometimes go over and see what the male is doing (he seems more afraid of her haha).

My setup is a 48 Litre tank (about 10 gallons), with 3 ornaments (a barnacle thing with lots of smalls holes and hiding places and a bit of a cave/tunnel, a coral shaped thing that also has some holes and a cave/tunnel, and a big bit of driftwood that they can hide behind/under). I have various live plants, some carpet types some taller ones, the fish love them. I have a plant substrate layer under about 2 inches of gravel. Water temp is at 26 degrees Celsius (I have two thermometers to monitor it at different ends of the tank).

I take daily water samples and so far all levels look spot on (although I am still undergoing the new tank cycle, so am expecting a spike) PH: 7.5, No2: 0, No3: 0. I do regular water changes, about 30% every few days using TapSafe, and I'm using filter boost as well.

So what's up with my little female? I'm sure she's not well, maybe hormonal or just adjusting to the new environment?
 

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Well, let’s start with the good - cherry barbs and dwarf gourami are very compatible so there shouldn’t be any trouble there. On to the bad.... dwarf gouramis are much like bettas in that they do not tolerate their own kind too well. They don’t fight like bettas, but in every single instance I’ve seen where someone gets 2 (or more), they are left with one. Stress is a killer - fish needn’t fight to kill one another. In a tank of your size, that’s a certainty from what I’ve seen. Don’t mean to be a downer but that’s just the way things are.

As for the glass surfing - that’s fairly normal. Or maybe I should say it’s not uncommon. It ought to subside in time. I think it’s too soon to tell if it’s anything other than being new to the tank.

So here in the states, females are not available for purchase. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people claim to have a female that was in fact a male, so I have to ask - how do you know you have a female?
 

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Well, let’s start with the good - cherry barbs and dwarf gourami are very compatible so there shouldn’t be any trouble there. On to the bad.... dwarf gouramis are much like bettas in that they do not tolerate their own kind too well. They don’t fight like bettas, but in every single instance I’ve seen where someone gets 2 (or more), they are left with one. Stress is a killer - fish needn’t fight to kill one another. In a tank of your size, that’s a certainty from what I’ve seen. Don’t mean to be a downer but that’s just the way things are.

As for the glass surfing - that’s fairly normal. Or maybe I should say it’s not uncommon. It ought to subside in time. I think it’s too soon to tell if it’s anything other than being new to the tank.

So here in the states, females are not available for purchase. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people claim to have a female that was in fact a male, so I have to ask - how do you know you have a female?
Hi jaysee, thanks for responding to my post :smile2:

I'm aware that gourami are closely related to bettas and are somewhat intolerant if you have 2 males together, however I am in the UK and my LFS sells male and female gouramis. It's quite common in the UK and people often buy them in pairs like I did. Not sure why they only sell males in the states... they go well together, he follows her around like a dough-eyed puppy and there's no aggression there at all :wink3:

My female gourami (she's definitely female, much plainer in colour than the male, and has a more rounded dorsal fin) has settled down now. I added another tall plant for her to hide behind and also got an aerator to provide some bubbles which she seems to really enjoy, she practically sits on top of it and floats in the bubble stream.

So she's now swimming around quite happily and eating loads, so I guess my worry was for nothing!

Now I'm a little more concerned about one of the male cherry barbs as he's started acting strange since a couple of hours ago, going round in little circles and up and down in one corner, not behaviour I've seen before but perhaps a topic for another time if he keeps it up...
 
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