If you are considering a flame gourami for a peaceful tank I would suggest that it be the last edition if it will be the biggest edition. I have a single male in my 37g and he will not let any new fish swim higher than 4" inches above the bottom of the substrate. May just be my own personal experience. Beyond that, they are great fish and will actually let you pet them when it's feeding time.
If you are keeping more than one of these fish it is best to keep a male/female pair or keep a small group with several males and females. Keeping two males together is probably your problem okieman. These are great fish and I'm surprised they aren't more popular. The only down side is that they are somewhat slow feeders and won't compete well with fast fish. They also appreciate a planted tank with lots of hiding spots.
I have three males together, in a 90 gallon. They get along fine, with each other and everyone else. But I've had others with real aggression issues before; it's just the luck of the draw. In Australia they tend to be diseased. It's rare to see a dwarf gourami tank in a pet store or LFS without a dead or dying gourami, no matter how quickly the dead fish are removed. The fish are extremely timid. They need a well planted tank, and from experience are very sensitive to loud noises or quick movements (including loud footsteps on floorboards). If uninfected, they are extremely hardy. Soft, slightly acid water is best.
I baught a male and female about 3 months ago for my 20gal and the male is extreamly teratorial. he is going to be taken out of the tank and placed by himself. he has a nasty habit of really dammaging the tails of other smaller fish that wonder into his domain.
I agree with most of the comments here, these fish tend to pick a corner or spot and gaurd it. I had 5 in a large comminity tank and had no problems, their colors are nice and they will dart at fish that enter their space, so they may do better in larger tanks where they each can find a seperate territory.
I love my dwarf gouramis! I originally just got a male who was very timid at first. He got chased a fair bit by my zebra danios. I ended up getting him a girlfriend who he chased unmercilessly whenever she came near him (especially at feeding time). When I had just about given up hope of them coexisting together in the same tank, he relented on the chasing and now they make a very cute couple swimming around together. They're very peaceful and docile with great personalities once they settle in. Easily one of my favourite fish! As seafd said, they are rather slow eaters, though mine don't seem to have any problems picking food off the substrate or nipping at the cucumber slices I give my catfish. They'll also eat snails if they can fit them in their mouths.
I love these fish!! ive had around 4 in my years of having an aquarium. I have one w/ 4 serpia tetras 5 red/blue columbian tetras and 3 corys. They all get along great he swims all over the tank and swims with the tetra schools like hes one of them! I usually feed it large flakes by hand to make sure he get enough food! but i would recomend these fish to anyone!
A lot of people seem to be having trouble keeping males together. I should add that my tank is an extremely heavily planted 90 gallon, so they rarely meet each other. For this reason, territorial behaviour isn't a problem. As mentioned below, their temperaments really do vary. I should also add that these fish are peculiarly susceptible to bacterial infection. In addition, they require a relatively high GH to remain healthy. Whatever anyone else might tell you, these aren't beginner fish.
I have 3 dwarf (flame) gouramis in my 38 Gal Tank, they are with 2 extremely docile and nonaggression turtles (thank god =P), a few tetras, some guppies and my bottom feeder crew (5 Sterbai Corys, Albino Pleco, and Common Pleco). They are only aggressive to the other gouramis if they come in there area, which is why I re-scaped when planting it and divided it into three :P (In other words they don't care if my tetras or guppies are chilling around them!) Great fish! I am going to get some other Gouramis for my next project!
I've had my unnamed flame gourami for 2 days now. At first he hid, slowly he came to the front of the tank, when not hiding in the wisteria jungle. He is a slow eater. He likes to look at the op of the tank. My neons and Rasboras devour most of the food before this fih gets a chance. He eats what my corys, snail and shrimp don't get too. i suspect in time, this fish appetite will grow. I hope.
I added the stripe morph of this fish "Rainbow Dwarf Gourami" I suppose. Its about an 1/8 an inch smaller than the flame gourami who has been in the tank a little longer than a week. They shadow each other and the smaller prettier gourami doesn't take much BS from the larger fish. The Flame gourami has so far blown more bubbles in the last two days than my betta ever did. It's been a week and the fish is already horny??? He weaves whatever he can find into his bubble nest. I love the metallic colors in these fish.
My girlfriend and I had both had a few a these(flame and striped), all lost to illness. We decided to pick up another red flame gourami a couple days ago for our cherry shrimp tank. So far, this little guy has been going crazy on the little nematode worms in the tank that the guppy fry hadn't done such a good job cleaning up. I have seen him consume and dislodge lots of hair algae, which is awesome. He's been pulling up huge batches of the stuff I didn't know existed. I saw him stare at a male cherry shrimp for a good few seconds the fish's first day, the shrimp bolted off and the fish lost interest, another plus in my book. Loads of personality in these fish, more than most of my betta fish have had. Almost more curious than my pea puffer was. They don't appreciate lots of noise, so they make a great bedside/office tank inhabitant. Some of these guys, at feeding time, will definately let you know they appreciate the food. The noises! I was so confused at first...