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Aggressive Opaline Gourami Tankmates?

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by karai3, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. karai3

    karai3 New Member

    Jul 20, 2019
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    Hi all!

    I've got a 3 inch male opaline gourami in a 75 gallon that chased and nipped every other gourami I've put in with him, and they were all female too! I've tried two female blue gouramis that he nipped constantly (had to remove them from the tank). I then tried two female opaline gouramis, same thing. I've heard there's a social pecking order(??) where they will establish their standing in the tank so I gave them a few days to sort it out but he didn't seem to be slowing down. I didn't want to stress the females out (they were starting to look really beat up) so I returned them. I've got 11 serpae tetras, 6 julii corys, and 2 bristlenose plecos in there with him. Recently though, he's been chasing the serpaes more frequently and aggressively.

    I know males can be very aggressive and territorial, but can I do anything to reduce it? I've got plenty of hiding spaces, a cave, driftwood, and several plants. I read something about putting a bigger fish in to even out the aggression in the tank and put the gourami in his place. Is there a fish compatible with all the fish in this tank that will help balance it out? I was thinking a pair of electric blue acaras maybe? I'd appreciate any suggestions of bigger(ish) fish that can handle themselves against a gourami who thinks he's boss.

    If this doesn't work out, I think I'd like to get those two female blue gouramis back. Do I need more than two? I've heard that if you keep a female only group, you'd need four?

    Thank you in advance for all responses :)
  2. Moony42

    Moony42 Fish Crazy
    Tank of the Month Winner!

    Apr 4, 2019
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    Hello and welcome to TFF!!!!

    I honestly think you should add a silver dollar or two. When my gourami show attitude, i temporarily keep a silver dollar to shut them up.
  3. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Jan 26, 2008
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    Perth, WA
    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    How long has the tank been set up for?
    What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels in the tank water?
    How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
    Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

    Any chance of a picture of the tank?
    If the pictures are too big for the website, set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more. The lower resolution will make the images smaller and they should fit on this website. Check the pictures on your pc and find a couple that are clear and show the problem, and post them here. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after you have taken the pics otherwise all your pictures will be small.

    All Gouramis are territorial. Blue, opaline, 3 spot, and gold gouramis are all the same species, just different colours.

    If you have lots of floating plants in the tank it will help break up territories and provide hiding places for the fish. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is the best floating plant. It grows rapidly on the surface and has lots of big roots to break up territories. You can also plant it in the gravel and it will grow there too.
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    As has been mentioned, this species is one of the most aggressive of the small/medium sized gourami. Male gourami, like male cichlids, are territorial and this will be expressed differently (meaning in terms of how the male enforces it) depending upon species but also individual fish temperament. We had a member here who had a female gourami of this species that had to be isolated into her own tank because she just killed other fish, gourami or not. You cannot somehow "train" such fish to be different; the aggressive territoriality is engrained in the fish's DNA, and if for some reason the individual fish takes this to a higher level that has to be accepted.

    Having said that, rearranging tank space can sometimes help, but I would very much doubt it will do anything here but stress the other fish more. You need to isolate this male, return it, or keep it alone.

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opaline gourami tank mates


opaline gourami tankmates