Multiple Dwarf Gouramis? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Multiple Dwarf Gouramis?

Hey guys I bought 1 male Dwarf Gourami and it is in a heavily planted 20 high. He seems kind of lomely chasing his reflection and going up and down the tank glass. Could I put in some female Dwarf Gouramis?
If so, how many. I have 5 white Cloud Mountain Minnows as well. I plan to get some Cardinal Tetras Otos and maybe Cory Catfish.
Would this be overstocking?
Should I just not get the female Dwarf Gouramis? Will they breed rapidly?
I just do not want my fish to be miserable and lonely. Or a whole bunch of baby fish.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 05:20 PM
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They do not get lonely.

They are aggressive, territorial fish, and he is not trying to make friends with his reflection, he thinks it is a competing male, trying to move in on his territory.

Female Dwarf Gouramis are not usually available. If you did manage to find them then you would best try to mimic their natural living and breeding habits:
The male establishes the territory, builds a bubble nest.
The female swims by, enters the territory, and if she is ready to breed they do. Then he chases her away, and may get quite aggressive until she is out of his territory.
If she is not ready to breed he will chase her out of his territory. The male can get quite aggressive, especially if he is defending eggs and fry.

Now, substitute the word 'Aquarium' where I wrote 'territory'.
That is how you keep and breed Dwarf Gouramis.


White Cloud Minnows are cool water fish. They thrive in a school of a dozen or more.
Cardinal Tetras are warm water fish. They thrive in a school of a dozen or more.
In your tank you can only really have one school.

Cories would be a nice additions, but, this being a 'high' tank, I would stick with the smallest Corys, one of the dwarf species (up to 8-10 Cories) or one of the smaller 'average' sized Cories (about half a dozen). Most Cories are good in moderate or cooler water tanks, though there are some that are OK in warm water tanks.

Dwarf Gouramis are warm water fish.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 03:49 AM
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If I were you, I wouldn't get another gourami. In my (albeit pretty limited) experience, male gouramis like to be in charge, and they'll bully any other gourami in their space until one of them is dead. With other kinds of (unrelated-to-gouramis) fish, though, they seem to be OK once they establish dominance, and can accept the other fish as "part" of their territory.

Right now I have an opaline gourami in a 20 gallon long, and when he was the only fish in the tank, he *did* seem very bored. He would always try to interact with me whenever I was anywhere near the tank and just generally seemed restless. I don't know if he was lonely, per se, but like their relatives, bettas, gouramis are smart fish, and I do think they prefer having activity around them.

Based on my experience, I would recommend getting a tough and fairly active but peaceful schooling fish to keep him company. Things have worked out especially for me with adding gold barbs. At first, Marcus (my opaline gourami) tried to establish who was boss and got pretty aggressive with this school. I was really afraid for a bit and tried to get him out of the tank, but couldn't, and had to just keep my eye on things and stop him (by pointing at him. Told you gouramis are smart!) from attacking the other fish. After about a day, though, everything had settled down completely. Now the gold barbs *and* Marcus seem very happy. The barb school pretty much sticks to themselves while Marcus does his own thing, but he doesn't fight with them nor they with him, and none of them seem bored or shy. They explore the tank, hang out, just do fish stuff. I'm very happy with the community. Of course, Marcus is an opaline gourami, not a dwarf, and YMMV. Still, I do think that adding a school of fish who can hold their own but who *aren't* related to gouramis can be a really good bet for the fish's quality of life.
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