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Old 07-21-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
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Question Who will be friends with my Dwarf Gourami?

I have a 20g tall tank setup with moderate fake planting and ~2Tbsp of aquarium salt in the mix and I keep it around 80F. Inside this tank I keep two Dwarf Flame Gourami and a Fiddler Crab (he's doing great btw). I plan to wait another month or so before adding in some tankmates but I want to have everything planned out well before buying time.

I'm looking to add tankmates from a few different categories and could really use some input if anyone has experience or knowledge with these combos.

Algae Control:

Amano/Red Cherry Shrimp - Fast enough to escape Fiddler and low bioload.

Otocinclus - I dont think I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about these fellas. Also they could swim to some hard to reach areas for the shrimp.

Bushy/Bristlenose Pleco - A little bigger, but an albino would look nice against my black substrate.


Eye Candy:

Boesemani Rainbow - Small, pretty and my reading indicates a reasonable chance of cohabitation with the Dwarf Gourami.

Praecox Rainbow - A little simpler looking than the Boesemani so mostly a preference between the two.

American Flagfish - Eats algae and pretty, but maybe nippy? and I hear they like cooler water.

Dollar Sunfish - Big question mark here. They get 4-5", which could be an issue, but I think they are beautiful. It's really hard to find consistent info on aggression so any firsthand experience would mean a lot to me!

Freshwater Eel - I don't have any preliminary research done on specific types of Eel, just have seen in a few threads that they are compatible with Gourami and I would enjoy the uniqueness.

So clearly I have not narrowed the field that much yet. Anyone who has had Dwarf Gourami or a Fiddler with any of these fish, especially in a slightly salty environment, please speak up! Or if you just happen to know what will or won't work also please let me know! It's hard not to get over excited when dreaming about what your next little buddy will be in your tank!
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:25 AM   #2
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You won't want to add any of those fish with aquarium salt in the water. Aquarium salt is to be used only as treatment for parasites and illness. Ich, for example, is commonly treated with salt. Once aquarium salt has been in the water for a couple weeks freshwater fish begin to suffer internal damage.

Fiddler crabs are wild caught creatures from mongrove swamps in Florida. They are semi-terrestrial crabs that must have a land area, as well as a brackish water area. Brackish water is made with marine salt, not aquarium salt. I can assure you your crab is not actually doing great in a freshwater aquarium environment, and will not live out it's intended lifespan if you keep it this way.

I recommend before adding any fish you eliminate all the salt from the tank and set up a small brackish fiddler crab tank.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aricml View Post
I have a 20g tall tank setup with moderate fake planting and ~2Tbsp of aquarium salt in the mix and I keep it around 80F. Inside this tank I keep two Dwarf Flame Gourami and a Fiddler Crab (he's doing great btw). I plan to wait another month or so before adding in some tankmates but I want to have everything planned out well before buying time.

I'm looking to add tankmates from a few different categories and could really use some input if anyone has experience or knowledge with these combos.

Algae Control:

Amano/Red Cherry Shrimp - The gourami's may eat them but otherwise it's fine.

Otocinclus - Sure, you can add 3-4 as long as the tank is well established, atleast sixe months is good.

Bushy/Bristlenose Pleco - 29 gal minimum

Eye Candy:

Boesemani Rainbow - 55 gal minimum

Praecox Rainbow - 29 gal minimum

American Flagfish - Don't think it would be a great mix with the gourami.

Dollar Sunfish - These need atleast a 55 gal but maybe bigger, not positive.

Freshwater Eel - I would recommend a group of kuhli loaches. They are sort of eel like..really the closest thing suitable for a 20 gal tank.

So clearly I have not narrowed the field that much yet. Anyone who has had Dwarf Gourami or a Fiddler with any of these fish, especially in a slightly salty environment, please speak up! Or if you just happen to know what will or won't work also please let me know! It's hard not to get over excited when dreaming about what your next little buddy will be in your tank!
Notes above in blue
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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You won't want to add any of those fish with aquarium salt in the water. Aquarium salt is to be used only as treatment for parasites and illness. Ich, for example, is commonly treated with salt. Once aquarium salt has been in the water for a couple weeks freshwater fish begin to suffer internal damage.

Fiddler crabs are wild caught creatures from mongrove swamps in Florida. They are semi-terrestrial crabs that must have a land area, as well as a brackish water area. Brackish water is made with marine salt, not aquarium salt. I can assure you your crab is not actually doing great in a freshwater aquarium environment, and will not live out it's intended lifespan if you keep it this way.

I recommend before adding any fish you eliminate all the salt from the tank and set up a small brackish fiddler crab tank.
Great advice!
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
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No problem, the people at my LFS told me that they keep that proportion of salt in all their tanks at all times and it helps the fish and would allow me to support the crab. But I've seen a bit of advice making me questions that choice, especially when I see that aquarium salt doesnt have the trace elements the Fiddler needs to be happy.

So if the salt is removed and the Fiddler put in a happier home, would there be any fish not on this list that might do a good job at algae removal or just being unique and fun to watch?
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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So if the salt is removed and the Fiddler put in a happier home, would there be any fish not on this list that might do a good job at algae removal or just being unique and fun to watch?
There are loads of fish to choose from! I personally like schools of tetras, and they would be fine with gouramis. I don't know about the flagfish, sunfish or eel in your list, but the rest should work. Keep in mind that the BN plecos have a large bioload.

Let me know if you're planning another tank for the fiddler and need help! Or look at the link in my sig.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aricml View Post
No problem, the people at my LFS told me that they keep that proportion of salt in all their tanks at all times and it helps the fish and would allow me to support the crab. But I've seen a bit of advice making me questions that choice, especially when I see that aquarium salt doesnt have the trace elements the Fiddler needs to be happy.

So if the salt is removed and the Fiddler put in a happier home, would there be any fish not on this list that might do a good job at algae removal or just being unique and fun to watch?
Yeperoonie! There are always interesting fish out there. The best thing to remove algae IMO however is to find the root of the problem of why the algae is there. Adding fish only adds to the bioload which means more food for algae to eat, which is not helping really.
With DGs, you could do killies (some of the more suitable communal species), tetras, rasboras, barbs (I reccomend cherries), cories, khulis as someone reccomended, livebearers, or if you can find one a pencilfish looks great if kept with the DG and nothing else. As for algae eaters shrimp will do, or if you're looking for fish BPs, or otos if you're tanks been established for a while. And there's always the good old MagFloat.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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No problem, the people at my LFS told me that they keep that proportion of salt in all their tanks at all times and it helps the fish and would allow me to support the crab. But I've seen a bit of advice making me questions that choice, especially when I see that aquarium salt doesnt have the trace elements the Fiddler needs to be happy.

So if the salt is removed and the Fiddler put in a happier home, would there be any fish not on this list that might do a good job at algae removal or just being unique and fun to watch?
I keep a pair of pitbull plecos in a 20 gal that do a great job at keeping the tank spotless. Pitbulls are a more social species of pleco that do best in pairs or more. They stay very small, 3" or under with a small body mass so their bio-load isn't as large as most plecos. What kind of filtration do you have on the tank? That's something to keep in consideration when stocking.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
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I would also suggest kuhli loaches. They are very eel looking and they seem to slither across the substrate. VERY fun fishes. They can reach about 4 inches and they do best in groups. They also need some places to hide like plants or caves. Mine have a hollow log. If you only get 1, you will probably never see it because they seem to need a group in order to be comfortable. Otos are good, but I think I personally prfer the pitbull pleco. There is a world of possibilities out there though!
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:15 AM   #10
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I have a dwarf gourami in my ten gallon and he is doing great. I used to have a different one but he got dropsy. I saw that he was acting aggressive towards his tank mates just before I noticed that he started to swell up like a balloon. So I quarantined him and gave him aquarium salt but it was too late. but the one I have now does vet good. He gets along well with the guppies I have and is actually the most shy. If I walk up to the tank, he will hide behind a plant or inside the sphinx deco I have. But his beauty makes up for his shyness. Lol. They are surprisingly pretty peaceful compared to some of the other gouramis... (like the "common" gourami)
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