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Discussion Starter #1
We have had a lovely community tank for a little while with no problems other than the occasional disappearing neon tetra.
We took out time to decide on a gourami and eventually chose the Dwarf Gourami neon blue variety.
We got one male and two females on suggestion from the person at the store. As they are the blue neons, the females are also slightly blue. They all looked very peaceful at the store, but we were aware they could be 'territorial' at times.
We have a 200 litre tank with a few silver sharks, a three spotted gourami who is a kitten, some neons and two clown loaches.
For the first few days the male was fine and would just swim around, then he began to pull up just about every plant in the aquarium to build a bubble nest.
THis we had no real problem with, but then the violence started.
He now spends most of his time chasing the two females around all day every day, only stopping to chase the other gourami or one of the silver sharks if they dare to swim anywhere near his nest.
The nest isnt really bubbles, its just lots of leaves all stuck together, and both the females are looking pretty stressed and certainly not ready to spawn.
THis has been going on for about three weeks now and im worried the constant speeding around under the covers and through all our plants and sticks is stressing all the other fish and he is really just terrorising them rather than spawning with them.

Does this sound like normal pre-spawning behaviour or is this guy a rogue? He even had a go at my girlfriend when she was cleaning near his nest. Sounds more like a betta than a dwarf gourami who is supposed to be peaceful.

The guy a the store told me to bring the females back and he would settle down. If I knew this would work Id try it, but im worried that since he doesnt seem interested in the females now, he'll just move onto other fish.

Any suggestions would be VERY appreciated!! ;)
 

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sounds like pretty normal behaviour to me, i believe that gouramis are aggresive fish...i have one in my 10 gallon tank and he likes to chase everything around...i'm pretty sure he would find something else to chase around if you removed the females. what about taking him back to the lfs and exchanging him for another female?

also...i am not very familiar with determining the sex of gouramis...but is it possible that the guy at the fish store was mistaken and actually sold you several males? just wondering..good luck!

bri
 

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I agree with bri here, it does sound like normal behavior for a dwarf gourami. They are not known to be peaceful fish, and if spawning or feeling crowded, they will attack the others.
I also agree with bri about wondering if this isn't 3 males? Female dwarf gourmais have a bit different shape to the dorsal fin, but are very obvious because they lack almost any color at all. Most LFS's don't stock them because they don't sell well, because of the lack of color.
Can you post a picture of the gouramis you speak of? This would help us to help you much faster and much easier. If it turned out to be 3 males, the behaviour would make even more sense.
 

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Hi and welcome aboard, Zen.:wave:

Are these gouramis exactly Colisa lalia?:) As Dawn mentioned, females are rather drab(more of silver in coloration). Males are brightly-colored. They are not exactly the most peaceful anabantids I've seen.

I had a male before and he was very aggressive. I had to move him to a pond where there are more plants where he can keep building his bubblenest. Ah well..At least, he found his favorite hobby of making bubblenest using strips of filamentous algae, whorls of elodea densa and bubbles.:crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the replies everyone. The major difference with the females is that they have a swollen stomach, are much smaller and they have a top fin that starts a bit further back than normal.
Do male Dwarf Gouramis try to spawn when there is no males around?
He has managed to kill three neons now so he will have to go back. the guy at the store says they have had a 'bad batch' of neon blue males recently.
Hopefully that should calm things down for a while at least.
he is beautiful, but his constant violence has been going on for three long weeks and its getting kinda old. A peaceful tank is now a warzone.
 

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Hi Zen.:wave:

zen242 said:
thanks for the replies everyone. The major difference with the females is that they have a swollen stomach, are much smaller and they have a top fin that starts a bit further back than normal.
Is that their characteristics? I always have think that female dwarf gouramis are silvery or drab in color than males.:)
Do male Dwarf Gouramis try to spawn when there is no males around?
Males will always try to coddle females to spawn with them. Whether there are other males around or not, to them it doesn't matter.:wink2: I had a male and even without any other males to rival with and even females to spawn with, he still marks a territory on the surface and makes bubblenest.
He has managed to kill three neons now so he will have to go back.
Sorry to hear that.:blueworry:
the guy at the store says they have had a 'bad batch' of neon blue males recently.
Not entirely true. Male gouramis will always be aggressive especially with other fish. But exceptions may be allowed to their personalities. Some are docile but some can be violent. You will never tell nature.:wink2:

Hope all will go well soon.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The other thing the guy at the store said was to get a few males. This doesnt seem to go with what ive read through out the net.
 

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zen242 said:
The other thing the guy at the store said was to get a few males. This doesnt seem to go with what ive read through out the net.
Definitely a wrong advice. More males would mean more means of staking territories.:blueworry: I would go for more plants or females. I prefer plants as a means to stop aggression.
 

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Males will be territorial with each other no matter what you do. As for females, you and blue both have it right... the females have almost no color, the dorsal fin is rounded at the back end vs the males pointed.
I tried to access the link you posted, but it said page not found. I have worked with dwarf gouramis for many yrs, and it is possible for the males to differ in color, some lighter than others. It is typical in all females to have very little color, mostly silvery with a few hints of markings to them. Is it possible you had males that varied in color?
As for turning your tank into a warzone... that's normal, and should be expected when dealing with even the dwarf gouramis.
It's also not uncommon for someone who works at a LFS to know very little about the fish and how to properly care for them. It's sad, but few stores train their employees, and even fewer require them to know anything about fish when they get hired. It's a scary world out there. What you have read on the net about the aggressive behavior is true, and the more males you have in a tank together, the more violent it can get.
I never suggest keeping any gouramis in the same tank as neons, as they are easy prey. If you wish to keep the tank peaceful, the best thing to do would be to return the gouramis and work with something less aggressive.
 

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Dawn, thanks for the added information.:) Link is also not working. I keep trying but it doesn't work.

Also, on the side note, I'd also avoid mixing dwarf gouramis with bettas and guppies. Guppies are often the helpless victims. They do not know how to attack and will often get the risk of having tattered fins and eventual death due to constant attacks. The same can be said to the bettas although bettas will be able to attack in retaliation.

Zen, good luck.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks for the info.
It looks like he might have to go back im afraid.
it amazes me how calm they seemed at the store, but i guess once he has his own territory and females about it brought out his bad side.
Are honey gouramis a little more peaceful, or is it generally the luck of the draw and violence if spawning as well?

I found the pciture by searching google image for 'neon blue dwarf gourami female' - and it comes up there.

Im pretty sure they are female, although they are light blue like in that picture.
 

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zen242 said:
Are honey gouramis a little more peaceful, or is it generally the luck of the draw and violence if spawning as well?
Like other fish, they also have different natures. One male with several females will be the best option. Male anabantids tend to be quite aggressive during spawning season and that will also apply when they are staking for territories.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well i got some decent advice today from the owner of the large aquarium in melbourbe.
Apparently once males begin to spawn there is a switch that pulled and they will continue to try and spawn all the time - relentlessly grumpy, and bubble nest building.
Things that trigger spawning are ofcourse having females in a tank and generally good conditions - good water quality and the like.
We have taken he and the girls back and have decided on a lone rainbow fish. He seems much more calm.
 

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Oh, what species of rainbow is that?:)
Time to make a new thread in Cyprinids section.:checkedout:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi
here are some pics of 'Rambo' - the male Gourami - first one attacking my partner, second one biting at a mole on her arm...



 

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Nice tank.:thumbsup: I had this male dwarf gourami which keeps biting my hand whenever I touch his bubblenest.:blueshake:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That was actually the other side of the tank, his nest was over the other side! And he spent the last 8 hours of his time in our tank hunting and killing as many Neon tetras as he could. We had to seperate him in a plastic bag for the last 6 hours after he hunted down and ate three neons - nasty piece of work...
 

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zen242 said:
That was actually the other side of the tank, his nest was over the other side! And he spent the last 8 hours of his time in our tank hunting and killing as many Neon tetras as he could. We had to seperate him in a plastic bag for the last 6 hours after he hunted down and ate three neons - nasty piece of work...
:blink: So where is he now?:blueshake:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
yeah we swapped him and his ladies back at the store for a peaceful rainbow fish and some new plants. The politics of the whole aquarium has changed - its like the war is over ;)
 
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