Thinking About Anabantoid in 6.6g (25l) Tank...Suggestions/Ideas Welcome!

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gilltyascharged

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So, I have a 6.6gal tank (16" long/8.5" deep/11.2" tall) that I am hoping to stock with centerpiece anabantoid. In the past I've kept male B. splendens, but am hoping to branch out a bit. The tank has a Marineland Penguin 100B HOB filter, although I've figured out how to the slow down the current for residents preferring a more relaxed flow. I do have a nice adjustable heater, and room temperature would be 65F degrees at the very lowest. The hardscape can be changed to fit individual needs and requirements, but will remain heavily planted. I will note that the substrate is currently a smooth, white-colored gravel- while my plants seem to be doing okay in it, not sure how well it would compliment the inhabitants.

Any suggestions or ideas? So far I'm looking at a pair of Licorice Gourami or perhaps a trio of B. albimarginata, but a single Honey Gourami (more on that below), a pair of Sparkling Gourami, or even a small group of Scarlet Badis seem appealing.

On a side note, I have read quite a bit of conflicting information on housing Honey Gourami. Some sources insist that it is better to keep them in pairs or a group, while others say that they can be kept individually with no real problems, while acknowledging that they do enjoy a little bit of action. There also seems to be a debate on whether or not they can be kept in a 5gal tank at bare minimum, with answers ranging from a simple "they'll be fine" to "that's downright cruelty!"

Thanks in advance!


PS. I have also considered CPDs, small rasbora species, pea puffers, and wild-type bettas for stocking...however, planning on those being a second option if the first doesn't work out :D
 
I do not think this tank suited to honey gourami or any fish that size. In fact this small a tank is going to really limit your options unfortunately. The problem with gourami is the males are territorial, and they do best in small groups. When I had pygmy sparkling gourami, I had six in a 3-foot tank and they were stunning, because I happened to get two males and four females and the males "talked" to each other as they displayed, and the fish were in their element. I am not a believer in keeping fish outside their expected environment, i.e., denying them a group when they obviously interact with one.

The Badis badis are possible. The licorice, not sure. CPDs are not suited here, they need a group of 20 and a 29g minimum tank. The dwarf rasboras as in Boraras are fine in a 10g, so...maybe, but they need at least 10-12 These are shoaling fish, and the group is extremely significant for their well-being.
 
Licorice gouramis would work. They are one of the very few species that can live in a tank that size. You may never see them, because they are shy, but they'll be in there.

Honeys, no. The labiosa things sold as honeys, nooooo!

Hobby Betta splendens can do okay in a 5 because their fins are outrageously deformed, limiting their swimming, and they are ambush predators. They aren't active. Other Anabantoids can be very active, especially wild form ones. It's the deformity that makes Betta splendens work, not the breathing structures. Put a wild caught B splendens in a small tank and it will die quickly. They dart around like rockets.
 
I do not think this tank suited to honey gourami or any fish that size. In fact this small a tank is going to really limit your options unfortunately. The problem with gourami is the males are territorial, and they do best in small groups. When I had pygmy sparkling gourami, I had six in a 3-foot tank and they were stunning, because I happened to get two males and four females and the males "talked" to each other as they displayed, and the fish were in their element. I am not a believer in keeping fish outside their expected environment, i.e., denying them a group when they obviously interact with one.

The Badis badis are possible. The licorice, not sure. CPDs are not suited here, they need a group of 20 and a 29g minimum tank. The dwarf rasboras as in Boraras are fine in a 10g, so...maybe, but they need at least 10-12 These are shoaling fish, and the group is extremely significant for their well-being.
Thank you for letting me know--I had no idea CPDs required 20+. Prior to this I was of the impression that they only needed 6-8 min. for a happy tank...good to know that in advance.

I have seen conflicting stories on whether or not male gourami were okay kept individually, as some accentuated that they were territorial, and others made it sound like you could only keep several in a tank 20+ gallons (which makes sense on account of stocking levels, but didn't clarify their social needs).

With the Boraras/Microrasbora/Microdevario species, I was looking at perhaps 8-10 of a single species, such as a Boraras Dwarf, Kubotai, or Nana rasbora...technically I would be close to 100% stock levels, but in a heavily planted with a good filter, could this possibly work out?

Another thought would be a Badis badis tank with a shrimp colony...being the little micropredators they are, any shrimplets would probably make a great meal lol
 
Licorice gouramis would work. They are one of the very few species that can live in a tank that size. You may never see them, because they are shy, but they'll be in there.

Honeys, no. The labiosa things sold as honeys, nooooo!

Hobby Betta splendens can do okay in a 5 because their fins are outrageously deformed, limiting their swimming, and they are ambush predators. They aren't active. Other Anabantoids can be very active, especially wild form ones. It's the deformity that makes Betta splendens work, not the breathing structures. Put a wild caught B splendens in a small tank and it will die quickly. They dart around like rockets.
I was thinking of T. chuna versus C. labiosa--those things are huge! I don't think I would be comfortable keeping them even in a 20-30g minimum. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm also assuming from your answer that B. albimarginatus is out of the question...a bit of a shame, but maybe in the future :)

Licorice gourami I've pondered, as I really like their quiet personalities and subtle, yet intricate appearances. Would it be safe to keep a pair with some Cardina shrimp? Upon checking AqAdvisor, it says that it would probably be fine, given that there would be plenty of hiding places with the planted setup and a low-flow.

In the past, I've had bettas who could barely stand even the slightest current, and others who actually seemed to enjoy the oversized HOB I had in the tank! Veiltails seem to be more fragile, but the Plakats and shorter-finned individuals appear to be much more hardy.
 

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