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Old 12-31-2003, 08:57 AM   #1
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Planning a new tank, scrapping the 5.5 gal

Okay, after months of having the 5.5 gallon up, running, cycled and empty, I impulse-bought a 10 gallon. I had a 10 gallon before for QT, but donated it away. Now, the 5.5 will be the QT, and the new 10 will house new fish friends.

This widens the possibilities of what I can keep, although I was looking forward to some white clouds for the 5.5. Now I'm thinking dwarf gouramis! The fish store guy showed them to me and they are absolutely beautiful! And they come in so many diff colours! I've been researching them for two days so far to see if I'd be compatible with them. LOL

How many dwarf gouramis live comfortably in a 10 gal tank? Do they get on well with any other fish? What do you feed yours? and, is it okay to keep only males?

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:23 AM   #2
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In many cases, just one Gourami. They can be quite moody 8) Sometimes you can get away with multiple Gouramis, there is no way to know until you try. Two would be a good fit for a 10g.
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:29 AM   #3
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In my experience the Dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia, is very peaceful, almost shy, with other fish but I've had males get into some fairly vigorous combats with other males when spawning time comes around...to the extent of badly torn fins and some body damage. Even females will squabble to a lesser degree but they always seem to set up a sort of 'pecking order', like most other Gouramis.

A big male C. lalia will get to about 6.5cm (2 1/2 inches) and females are usually a bit smaller. They aren't very fussy about water conditions but prefer neutral to slightly acid conditions. I've had my best successes with Dwarf Gouramis in planted tanks. They are one of the bubble-nest builders that often uses bits of plants and other debris in the nest.

There have been a LOT of color varieties of C. lalia produced in the last few years, supplementing the variety called the 'Sunset Gourami'. My personal favorite is still the original color pattern, however. I've noticed that almost all of the 'chain' pet stores (PetCo, PetSmart, etc.) are only selling males. When I asked them about this practice they said it was because the females don't sell (being less colorful).

You CAN keep a couple of male Dwarf Gouramis in a ten-gallon tank as long as there are plenty of hiding places for the one that loses out in the inevitable struggles that will take place. Personally I would do my best to find a pair or two. That way you might get a chance to watch their fascinating breeding habits and bubble nest building.
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Old 12-31-2003, 10:03 AM   #4
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My male dwarf gold gourami is always fighting with a flying fox but nothing serious. He just keeps poking him with those feelers of his and chasing him around.

I would keep one dwarf as a centerpiece fish and build around him. The white clouds really aren't the best choice unless you can keep the temp to the low 70'sF. That should still be fine for the gourami and then add some nice cories for the bottom.

Gouramis like live plants so I would make sure to have some in there. Since the 5.5 gallon is cycled you can use the substarte and filter from it to get the 10 gallon ready for fish.
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Old 12-31-2003, 10:34 AM   #5
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It really bothers me that distribution centers only sell the males. That must mean they kill the females that aren't used for spawning. For that reason I opted for Giant Gouramis (I don't know the scientific name so maybe you can help hereFruitbat). They are almost as colorful as the dwarves, sold in pairs, and they don't really get that much larger .
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Old 12-31-2003, 11:45 AM   #6
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You have to be careful about using the name 'Giant Gourami' because it can be used to refer to two dramatically different fish.

Osphronemus goramy is a giant indeed! It can reach lengths of 60cm (about 24 inches) and is a popular food fish in areas of Asia where it is found. They used to come in to pet shops as 3 inch juveniles and were purchased by unsuspecting aquarists who were amazed when their cute little 'gourami' outgrew their 10 gal tank.

The gourami that BrianNY has is undoubtedly Colisa fasciata, which also comes in labeled as 'Giant Gourami'. This one is only a giant if you compare it to its cousin Colisa lalia. C. fasciata is a relatively peaceful fish from India that looks a lot like an overgrown Dwarf Gourami. Males get to about 11.5cm (4 1/2 inches) with females a bit smaller. They like a planted tank with plenty of hiding places and can be shy if they don't have them. C. fasciata is easy to spawn. They're not picky about water conditions but like their heat...temps between 78-80 degrees F are just about right.
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Old 12-31-2003, 04:14 PM   #7
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I have had such rotten luck with gouramis that I'm very hesitant to have them again. Whenever I get two males they fight. When I only have one they harrass the other fish with their "hands" and stress them out. Colisa fasciata is a beautiful fish. I don't think I've ever seen those at the lfs.

And Osphronemus goramy is oooogly!
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Old 12-31-2003, 04:46 PM   #8
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Sati...

I've had pretty good luck with gouramis as long as I kept one male to a tank. I've got a male and two females in my aquarium right now (Blue Gouramis - Trichogaster trichopterus) and they have established a definite 'pecking order'. The male chases the two females and the larger female chases the smaller one. No damage has ever been done, however. The subordinate fish will try to escape but, when finally cornered, will make a submissive display and the chaser leaves it alone.

The gouramis have never tried to bother my barbs or my Rasbora borapetensis, nor will they even think about messing with any of the loaches. In fact, one of my Schistura subfusca loaches has decided that whatever spot it happens to be in at any given moment is its territory and it will happily chase any and all other fish away...including my big male Blue Gourami.
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Old 01-03-2004, 01:17 AM   #9
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How many gouramis do you have in one tank, Fruit?
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Old 01-03-2004, 01:25 AM   #10
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I have had bad luck with gouramis. I had 2 flame gouramis that I thought were a pair but turned out to be two males that beat the crap out of each other. One weekend when I was driving home I took them with me and both of them died during the trip (in seperate open bags in a mildly heated cooler. Apparently from what I have been told my my lfs they don't travel well.
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Old 01-03-2004, 03:21 AM   #11
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Right now I've got 3 Blue Gouramis in a 26 gallon along with a number of other fish (see my sig). One male and two females. The male chases both females and the larger of the two females chases the smaller but they've never done any damage to each other. They completely ignore all of the other fish in the tank.
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:44 PM   #12
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Well it seems dwarf gouramis may be a little trickier than I had hoped. I didn't realize aggression could be such an issue. At the lfs, there were tons of males all in one tank, and I didn't notice aggression. The employee I spoke to (was relatively young and definitely new) told me I could have 5 in a 10 gal. Not likely!

Anyway, they are beautiful fish, and maybe if I find a pair I like I'll pursue it further. For now, I'll continue reading about them and trying to decide what my other options are.

Thanks for your input everyone!
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:12 PM   #13
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You could try for a couple of male dwarf gouramis in your 10g if you have a backup plan. They may surprise you. I have 3 in my 10g (2 neons and a flame), all male, as well as a betta (his temp home till Xmas vacation is over and he goes back to work with me). Its a well planted tank, and they may be part of the answer; its easier to claim territory when theres lots of diff territories to be had. They will occasionally chase each other around when one oversteps his boundaries, but overall they get along well. In fact, its only the 2 neons that do that; the flame goes wherever he pleases and is ignored...

I did have a backup plan tho in case it didn't work; friend of mine was willing to take one or 2 if necessary.
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