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Aggressive Dwarf Gourami?
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Christi
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011

PostPosted: 2011.01.14(Fri)11:51    Post subject: Aggressive Dwarf Gourami? Reply with quote

Hi! About two years or so ago I got myself a dwarf gourami for my 100L community tank, which was stocked mainly with guppies. I loved this little fish and decided to get another one. Soon after I introduced him to my tank, the first one started to get aggressive toward it and later the guppies. This got so bad that I had to give him away after he had pinned one of my guppies to the gravel and shredded him. All information that I've found about these guys states that they're peaceful, and the remaining gourami was perfectly behaved after the other left the whole time I had him.
I would really like to get two or so of these fish again, and was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with them, and whether getting them at different stages had anything to do with the bullying.
Thanks!
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spartan plume
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Joined: 03 Jan 2011

PostPosted: 2011.01.14(Fri)12:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gouramis by nature are aggressive (the larger ones more so) but even smaller ones.

They have an aggressive hierarchical dominance social structure , which they will establish and maintain life long, this means chasing, flaring fins and play fighting, this is normal within the species.

When males are placed with other males or with females with more than one male aggression is higher.


With plenty of live planting which really is a must for gourami, (and isn't hard work at all) if the aquarium is filled with soft plants when chased the submissive gourami will not hurt itself and will be able to break the line of sight, then the aggressor will usually break off the chase.

As with the unfortunate incident with the guppy, some fish esp gouramis are just spiteful, it might have been just that individual . It also may be that adding females will be better rather than another male, three to one.
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Christi
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PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)5:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Smile
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)6:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strongly recommend against getting more than a single dwarf gourami in that tank - I think it is very unlikely to work long term heavily planted or not. I hear a 4' long tank is the minimum one can reasonably expect two male dwarf gourami to CO2-habitate, have never had a tank that long but can certainly say it doesn't work in smaller tanks. They are territorial fish & placing two together will cause them to fight over who "owns" the tank. Two males is practically guaranteed to end up with one dead and in my experience male/female pairs don't have a high success rate either.

Getting them at different stages probably didn't help - the existing one would've thought the whole tank was his territory and the new fish was an unwelcome invader. As to the guppy shredding, changing the dynamics of the population in the tank sometimes does cause fish to act differently, even if it is changed back to how it was before - unpredictability is reasonably common in gourami/bettas.
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Topper
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Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)8:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As to the guppy shredding, changing the dynamics of the population in the tank sometimes does cause fish to act differently, even if it is changed back to how it was before - unpredictability is reasonably common in gourami/bettas.


Very true. The guppy is the slowest swimming fish in your tank - not difficult for a gourami to overpower.

Quote:
They have an aggressive hierarchical dominance social structure , which they will establish and maintain life long, this means chasing, flaring fins and play fighting, this is normal within the species.



True and not true. When confined in a tank, the normal social bickering will turn into disaster as the lessor fish will be killed or stressed to the point that their lives are significantly shortened. They just don't have enough space to escape. And there is no such thing as play fighting with fish.

Quote:
some fish esp gouramis are just spiteful


I'm sure you mean "overly aggressive". Spitefulness is a human trait that fish don't have.

You could consider a Pygmy Gourami (Trichopsis pumila) as a replacement. About half the size of the dwarf but much more peaceful in general.
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spartan plume
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Joined: 03 Jan 2011

PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)9:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I'm sure you mean "overly aggressive". Spitefulness is a human trait that fish don't have.


I'm outta here! talk about a rude contradictory statement Shocked

Does it ACTUALLY matter! Rolling Eyes dear oh dear
we know what I mean

Quote:
And there is no such thing as play fighting with fish.


If you believe THAT you follow much spouted dogmatism opposite to nature, the size of this tank is quite adequate for dwarf gourami,not everyone has a tank the size of Texas!! Rolling Eyes
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Christi
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PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)9:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you believe THAT you live in a utopia which is opposite to nature, the size of this tank is quite adequate for dwarf gourami,not everyone has a tank the size of Texas!!

That was just a signiture. Laughing
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)11:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

spartan plume wrote:
Quote:
And there is no such thing as play fighting with fish.


If you believe THAT you follow much spouted dogmatism opposite to nature, the size of this tank is quite adequate for dwarf gourami,not everyone has a tank the size of Texas!! Rolling Eyes


I don't believe fish "play fight", either. "Oh, hey, sorry about that. I was just playing "nip your fins off"... no biggie, right?"

The tank is adequate sized for a single dwarf gourami. Nobody disputed that. But having a pair of them probably isn't going to work out.
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)12:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartan, do not take some of these responses as an attack. I see none of them as rude. A forum such as this, everyone is entitled to opinions.
In this case, it is true - spitefulness is indeed a human characteristic. Play fighting DOES exist in nature, but not with fish. You had the hierarchical social structure (or pecking order) correct. Fish with spar or fight for dominance, territory, etc., but not play fight like you see lion or bear cubs, etc.
Rales has a good point. One fish is fine in this tank, but the nature and size of these fish restrict any additional gouramis.
As mentioned by Topper, pygmy gouramis make a great fish, and may be more suitable in this tank.
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spoonemore
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2011.01.15(Sat)19:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes spartan, we knew what you meant. Very Happy

May we all not get too into "parsing words." Myself included.
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