Gouramis

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martha.isabel

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Hi, I'm looking for some advise on keeping gouramis as every website i read gives mixed information. 
 
i have a 4ft fishtank, and in it i have 
3 bala sharks
5 serpe tetras 
and 2 clown loaches
 
i really want to get gouramis, maybe 2 gold and 2 three spot. but some webistes say they will just fight and others say they will coexist happily together. My partner also really likes angels. my tank is 17ich tall so the angels should be comfortable but I'm just really wanting to know if the gouramis can live together happily. 
 
thank you! 
 

DrRob

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The golden and three spot gouramis are the same species, just different colours, much as angelfish can be found in several different colour and pattern types.
 
They are indeed an aggressive bunch at times. Males are territorial and will tend to fight, so 4 could be a problem. My personal experience with the three spot group is that they can be pretty nasty, but that may have just been the individuals I had, I've heard of them being more placid. It's worth looking at lace/pearl gouramis as well, as they tend to be more peaceful for only a slightly smaller fish.
 
As an aside, your current stocking could get to be problematical as time goes on, as you have three shoaling species there, with the bala's and clown's both getting large (both to a foot fairly easily) fairly quickly, so a shoal of them needs a bigger tank than you're keeping them in, particularly the bala's as they're very active swimmers, as well as being large.
 
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martha.isabel

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how long will it take for the balas and loaches to get huge? they are currently only all 5cm? we will upgrade tank size when needs be. 
As for the gouramis, i do like the pearl, but was looking for more colour as they arent as bright as the three spot or the gold. my tank really needs some colour so if i wasn't to get gouramis what could i introduce instead? Or how could i go about the gouramis  and still keep the peace
 

sawickib

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Whats your waters pH and hardness? I would feel inclined to get some congo tetras, they get pretty large for tetras and the males can be very colorful. 
 
I would also agree the clown loaches and balas would need am much larger home soon, balas are fast growers but im not sure about clown loaches, i would try to rehome them with your local pet store.
 

DrRob

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Congos are nice fish, although I would say they're more iridescent than plain colourful. Pearl males, when mature, are very colourful, with quite an intense red at times. Otherwise there are always the dwarf or honey types for more colour but less size.
 
With the golds or blues, your really only want one male in a 4 footer. Adding females is generally fine, but if breeding happens then make sure you have a back up plan for what to do as aggression levels will rise considerably.
 
Sadly balas particularly will grow very quickly. By the time most people have realised what they have then they need to already be setting up the bigger tank to get ready in time. With balas you're looking at a huge tank. To keep them happy you're looking at a shoal of foot long very active fish. Recommendations tend to be around the 8 foot mark. Clowns also need a shoal, and also get to that size quickly, but aren't quite so active, so people tend to say that you can get away with 6 foot tanks, although, as with anything, the bigger the better, that's really a minimum size.
 

evan47

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i only have experience of red dwarf gouramis. i had a pair of males in my tank that coexisted pretty well for a couple of months then they started squaring up to each other frequently and then harassing other fish in the tank. i removed one and all was well.
 

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