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Gouramis attacking or playing?

Discussion in 'Gouramis and Anabantoids' started by TheeZaf, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. TheeZaf

    TheeZaf New Member

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    I recently bought two healthy blue gouramis for my 4 foot, 200 gallon tank. They share the tank with three other buenos aires tetras. There's been no complications with the tetras so far (apart from feeding time). But both gouramis will chase each other at different times (larger chases during the day while the smaller chases at night, which sounds stupid but that's what I've seen). Is this a form of aggression or purely just the two socialising? To my knowledge they are both females

     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Off the top, welcome to TFF.

    This species, which is Trichopodus trichopterus, is one of the more aggressive of the small/medium sized gourami species. You have a large tank which is good, as males and females of this species have been known to tear into one another until the strongest is left alive, and then sometimes go after other species. Males being territorial are worse than females, but the latter are not exempt from this behaviour.

    Discerning male/female is not always easy especially in young immature fish. The more pointed dorsal and anal fin of males can be hard to discern.

    You have an issue looming with the BA tetra. Being a shoaling fish, they need at least six, preferably a few more than that, to be at their best and free of additional stress. It is likely they will decide at some point to tear into the fins of the gourami; this is a normal proven reaction of shoaling fish when the group is too small. Of course, the gourami may beat them to it and go after them first.

    Byron.
     
  3. TheeZaf

    TheeZaf New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I'll add try to add at least 3 more of the BA tetras as soon as possible, if I was to add more plants and shelter into the tank as well could that minimise the aggression between the two?
    Thanks
    -Theo
     
  4. NickAu

    NickAu Member

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    It wont hurt, It gives the fish being chased some place to hide.

    Keeping multiple Gouramis in the same tank is kinda like keeping a Betta sorority,
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    As NickAu suggested, it may be worth trying. But that depends upon the individual fish. If the temperament of either or both is such that they are feisty, nothing you can do will change this or allieviate it. In the most heavily planted tank, such a fish will seek out the other(s) regardless. Fish "personality" is not something we can change.

    I would up the tetras a tad more too, 7-9. As I mentioned, the more there are the less likely problems will occur.
     
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