I am establishing a 770 liter biotope tank with plants and fish indigenous to Sumatra. So far I have only added four Pearls. My plan is to have large schools of tiger barbs in with the Pearls. I am hoping by getting the Pearls established first and then adding small tiger barbs (2 cm) they will all grow up happily together. One thing I noted was the dominant male frequently occupies a large cave in the tank. He has even dug out a 15 cm diameter hole in the gravel in the cave. He even seems to have a bubble nest in the roof of the cave. He seems to think he is an African Cichlid. I think I will let them breed to see if it is in the cave or the usual way on the surface.
I started with two female lace gouramis. After a few months one of them became swollen in the belly and died (I don't think it had dropsy because her scales were ok). My remaining female was lonely, always swimming up and down at her reflection and moping. Anyway I got a male friend for Lacey and she was overjoyed, always hanging around him. Now they are always together, displaying to each other (they seem to do well in pairs). My Gourami are definitely NOT shy, I think it's because they have peaceful tankmates (tetras, bristlenoses, loaches). They eat ANYTHING: small livefoods, flake or algae wafers, pumpkin or cucumber! They are very beautiful and friendly, they nip my finger when I'm cleaning the tank!
I have kept a pearl gourami for almost a year now, and mine has been the most beautiful and interesting fish so far. It's in a 100 L tank along with some oto's, bloodfin tetras, some cory cats, and Amano shrimp. He can be shy at times, but when it comes to feeding, there is no shyness at all! I've seen him steal a bloodworm right from the mouth of a tetra! I've also trained my gourami to accept crushed snails from my hand. I was having a pond snail infestation, so every day, right before the lights turn on, I would pick out all the snails that I can find, then one by one, I'd crush them, and my gourami soon found out they were edible! Since then, everytime I put my hand in the tank to pick a snail, he'll come by and nibble my fingers, waiting for the snail to be crushed so he can enjoy them. Actually, the cory cats have come to expect that as well! Really amazing fish and extremely hardy...mine has gone through some major water issues and still survived to this day.
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