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Author Topic: Mean Dwarf Gourami, needs a friend?  (Read 8302 times)
Travatron
20 Gallon: Apisto Agassizi, Bolivian Ram, Neon Tetras, Peppered Corys
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« on: February 16, 2008, 08:38:06 PM »

So my powder blue dwarf has become a complete bully.  He is housed in a 20 tall with 5 rasboras, 4 peppered corys and and oto.  He has become very aggressive toward all of them and has recently started stalking the bottom and taking any sinking wafers for my corys.  He is very well fed because he eats everyones food so I know its not hunger. 

What is making him so mean?  I was told my an LFS employee that getting another male might distract him from my smaller, defenseless fishies.  Are all dwarf gouramis always this mean and would getting another one help?
Thanks and  11579
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Taylor
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2008, 08:40:37 PM »

Getting another one would just make it worse. Can you tell us what the water parameters are?
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Travatron
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2008, 08:47:38 PM »

20 gallon tank
78 degrees
pH 7.4
Ammonia 0.15
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0
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Taylor
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2008, 08:54:14 PM »

Ah, so it's cycling. He's probably aggressive because the water parameters are stressing him out. You may want to watch for any signs of illness on him, as dwarf gourami's are not the hardiest species.
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Travatron
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2008, 09:01:45 PM »

He actually had hole in the head when I got him but its mostly gone now.  Hes very active and healthy.  I just did a water change so hopefully he will stop being such a grouch.  Thanks for the help.
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Debra
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2008, 01:58:59 AM »

I doubt that your Gourami is chasing the other fish because your tank is cycling. All fish have different personalities. My dwarf Gourami will chase other fish. He wants/needs to be in charge of the tank and this is his way of keeping him on top of the pecking order. It is perfectly natural. If he is chasing and nipping at them to the point of stressing them out or hurting them, then he will need to be moved to his own tank.

Your tank isn't fully cycled. You are at risk of losing everything in it. You should not add an ADF to a tank that is not fully cycled and stable. The fish you have put in the tank are not hardy enough to be used as cycle fish.

I really wish you would have asked here before you bought them. Test your water daily and keep changing your water. You really should move the ADF and change 100% of its water daily until the tank is cycled.

Hope that Helped, and Good Luck.
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fishbuddy
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2008, 08:59:21 PM »

Make sure you have plenty of plants and natural barriers in the tank to help your little guy establish territory. Dwarf gouramis are not generally aggressive, but do like to establish their turf. When I had mine he had a favorite plant he liked to hide in, even though he would also explore the tank. I think plastic plants are okay (that's what I had at the time) but I'm sure real plants are better. They also have fairly high requirements on water quality, so I am very concerned that you are still cycling. This may be too much for him to take. They also like water temps a little warmer than some other tropicals - I can't give you numbers but I'm thinking 78-80. Check my accuracy on this though. I love dwarf gouramis, and have not seen an aggressive one. A single male in a tank should get along fine, if he survives your cycling phase.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 09:05:50 PM by fishbuddy » Logged
gbrboy2
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2008, 09:41:55 PM »

I had the exact same thing happen to me.  I bought another dwarf gourami, and it worked for a while.  They would stalk and harass the other small, peaceful, community fish and bite me as a pair.  Then one day, the new one took a huge chunk out of the old one.  Although they both survived a three day move, the old one was so weak that it eventually died.  The new one went on to beat up almost every other tank mate I put it with, including a firemouth.

If you get a mean dwarf gourami, they are always mean unless they are almost dead.  They seem to have a lot more personality when they are mean though, almost like cichlids.  My dwarf gourami seemed to get along with a pair of kribs and a clown pleco, but the best thing to do is give him his own tank that is already cycled. 

I hope your dwarf gourami survives the cycling process
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2008, 11:45:05 PM »

The fish is not "mean". It is merely acting true to its nature. Perhaps with a larger territory, fewer occupants, or the reduction of environmental contaminants the aggression issue would be lessoned.
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Travatron
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 01:36:14 AM »

Make sure you have plenty of plants and natural barriers in the tank to help your little guy establish territory. Dwarf gouramis are not generally aggressive, but do like to establish their turf. When I had mine he had a favorite plant he liked to hide in, even though he would also explore the tank. I think plastic plants are okay (that's what I had at the time) but I'm sure real plants are better. They also have fairly high requirements on water quality, so I am very concerned that you are still cycling. This may be too much for him to take. They also like water temps a little warmer than some other tropicals - I can't give you numbers but I'm thinking 78-80. Check my accuracy on this though. I love dwarf gouramis, and have not seen an aggressive one. A single male in a tank should get along fine, if he survives your cycling phase.

Here is my tank, I think it is pretty well planted.



My temperature is currently 79.5 degrees.  I also did a water change today so ammonia is almost at 0.  The tank fish have been in the tank for a month now and still no Nitrites.  I must be doing something wrong.  I think the fish is just a bully since he is by far the biggest and fattest.
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Kim
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 09:56:36 AM »

It's very nice looking Trav but not planted quite enough. The best thing would be to put lots more of the tall plant, the corkscrew val in there so it's a nice big clump. The gourami will like that a lot, mine always made his "spot" in a grove of vallisneria, and once when mine all died off he got so angry that he was mean to all of the other fish.
You just have to make him a little more comfortable.  Smiley

The plants look healthy, they may be helping to keep your ammonia and nitrite readings low.

That gravel looks kind of sharp for cories.
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Travatron
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 02:02:12 PM »

The plants are still young and need to grow but Ill try and get some more.  Also the corys barbels have grown a lot since I got them and show no signs of damage.  I was worried about that too with the large gravel but its actually quite round and doesnt seem to hurt them.

Thanks for the help
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fishbuddy
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 09:08:46 PM »

I wouldn't worry too much about using some nice tall plastic plants just to get the place nice and cozy for little powder blue. It sounds like you've got a nice start and a nice plan for long term natural growth, but your little guy needs some pretty quick results, it sounds like. Some floating plants on the top could be nice for him too, and get the direct light a little less in his face. He might even appreciate a little cave to call his own.
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Travatron
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 09:26:54 PM »

Thanks for all the suggestions but all he does is patrol the open waters and attack anyone who comes out of hiding.  There is also a cave which he has never gone near.  The spiral val hangs over the top but he never really goes under them.  Hes so aggravating, doesnt act anything like what a dwarf gourami is supposed to.

Anyone know some low light floating plants that arent duckweed? 
 11579
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2008, 09:47:27 PM »

What are you feeding, Travatron?

(I used duckweed with my gourami, and nothing else of the floating variety- sorry, no help there.)
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Travatron
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2008, 12:24:17 AM »

What are you feeding, Travatron?

(I used duckweed with my gourami, and nothing else of the floating variety- sorry, no help there.)

I feed frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp, tropical crisps, tropical flakes, sinking algae wafers and sinking omnivore wafers.  My gourami hogs all of them.
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Kim
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2008, 12:47:27 AM »

Trav, I'm sorry you're going through this, they're usually peaceful. Maybe you just got a mean one, maybe it's related to Debra's dwarf gourami.
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2008, 09:12:17 AM »

Have you considered moving into the live culture range to satisfy the hunting instinct? Honestly, it probably needs it's own tank or a larger tank to meet it's territorial needs, but if it's just got an uuberstrong hunting instinct, live cultures might sate it temporarily until you have a new home for it.....
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mduros
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2008, 12:13:43 PM »

Trav,
I've been following this and you got some good advice.  Here's my 2 cents.  Take it or leave it.  Your tank probably is a little small for this guy right now and he feels cramped.  Once you get more plants going he will feel MUCH more comfortable and will define his territory within the plants.  None of my gouramis like open space.  The tank that my gouramis are in is a rat's nest of plants.  I have floating anacharis, frogbit and duckweed.  I also have a ton of java moss which everyone loves.  Now I'm not implying that a 20 and some tankmates is too small for dwarf gouramis in general, but just for yours right now.  I would just go out and buy more plants, see what lives and what doesn't.  I love wisteria.  My tanks don't have enough light to grow it in the gravel so the stems die off but the wisteria leaflets flourish as floating plants...  Your boy should hang whereever the thickest greenery is.  Here are some pictures of my tetra/labyrinth 55 gallon tank looks like.  You will notice that one side has more open space for the tetras to swim. 

Then the other end is a jungle of growth for mama and papa opaline, a honey gourami harem, and two female bettas.  The tetras do go into the growth and spawn.  The labyrinth love to find the eggs and eat them, but I rarely see the labyrinth fish in the low growth part of the tank.



Take care,
Mary.
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