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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on combining my 10 and 15 gallon tanks into a 40 breeder sometime in the next month or so. All of the fish I have in the tanks right now are small (or smallish) schooling species (cherry barbs, espei rasboras, celestial pearl danios, and pygmy cories). I plan on building up the schools once I have them in the new tank, but I'm also thinking I would like a large centerpiece fish to go in there with them.

Can anyone foresee compatibility issues between a pearl gourami and the celestial pearl danios. I know that pearl gouramis are very laid pack and peaceful fish, but I'd like some testimonials before putting a 5" fish with a school of fish that get less than an inch long. Has anyone here had a pearl gourami with CPDs before or, say, Endler's livebearers?

Alternatively, can anyone suggest a different, bigger (3+ inches) fish that would work with what I have?
 

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I wouldn't suggest it... it might be possible, but CPDs are so little, I'd just be concerned.

If you want somebody large but gentle, try a twig catfish. They're suckermouths who get about 7" long but are very slender. They don't move very much, but they tend to sit out in the open.
 

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I have 4 pearls, one is male and the other 3 are female. They are so graceful and gentle its crazy. But then again my tank is super peaceful, even my male blue gouramis who is a solid 4 inch fish.

I should mention my first male pearl gourami had to be replaced due to his aggressive behavior towards the female. He was a huge bully but never bothered my baby cardinals or other fish. Just the female pearl.

They tend to ignore all other fish outside of gouramis, unless the other fish is attacking of course.

Here is my male
 

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I have 4 pearls, one is male and the other 3 are female. They are so graceful and gentle its crazy. But then again my tank is super peaceful, even my male blue gouramis who is a solid 4 inch fish.

I should mention my first male pearl gourami had to be replaced due to his aggressive behavior towards the female. He was a huge bully but never bothered my baby cardinals or other fish. Just the female pearl.

They tend to ignore all other fish outside of gouramis, unless the other fish is attacking of course.

Here is my male
That is one beautiful photo thanks for sharing it!!
 

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If pearl gourami are too big, what about trying sparkling gourami? Or are they too 'hide-a-lot' for your plans?
 

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If pearl gourami are too big, what about trying sparkling gourami? Or are they too 'hide-a-lot' for your plans?
Or a croaking gourami! They are so underrated, but beautiful once they are comfortable and color up. They don't hide all the time but will set up a territory and rarely leave that area. Very peaceful as long as there aren't any other gouramis around. A croaker will get bigger than a sparkler but you should only keep one. Also they don't like current. An adult is about the size of a female betta.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry I took so long to reply to this. I really appreciate all the suggestions from everyone.

Betta132: I have a small bristlenose pleco that I forgot to mention. I was looking for something mid- or top-dwelling. I've seen the twig catfish at an LFS, though, and they are really cool fish. If I didn't have the pleco, I might try it.

philipraposo1982: That's a beautiful pearl gourami you have. From what I've read, they can be a bit aggressive and territorial toward conspecifics, but I've never read anything about them being aggressive toward or predating on other fish.

AJR930: Wow, I've never seen those before. They remind me of Betta albimarginata. Unfortunately, it looks like they get almost the same size as pearl gouramis and have much larger mouths. I'll definitely remember them, though.

AquaAurora: I've had sparkling gourami before. Very pretty little fish. I was wanting something larger to act more as a focus in the tank. I've also not had very good luck with them. They were doing really well and croaking quite often at one point, but then they started dropping off one by one and I don't have any more. Maybe it would be easier to keep them happy in a larger tank.

sushant: Subsequent reading suggests that you might be right here. I've read a few people suggesting small, top-dwelling schools to act as dither fish for CPDs, and, thinking back, I do remember mine being more active when I had a small school of white cloud mountain minnows in there with them. My roommate really wants marbled hatchets in there, so I'll probably get some of those.


While I do appreciate all the input and discussion, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I now have a male dwarf gourami in quarantine who will probably be going into the tank if things work out. A couple came into the store explaining that their fish tank had busted and they were just looking to rehome their fish as quickly as possible. He was in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag with mollies, platies, neons, a guppy, a 5" Chinese algae eater, and no air, so he's not looking too hot right now, but I'm hoping he gets better. He was gasping on the bottom of the tank, so I have him in a breeder net now along with some frogbit so he's closer to the surface.


However, feel free to continue discussion for anyone else who might be in a similar situation regarding stocking.
 

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Pearl gouramis are much more peaceful than dwarfs, which can be bullies. I don't think that's going to be an issue in your tank, though, because the other fish are so much faster.

In general, pearl gouramis are great tank mates for any peaceful fish. I have an older male that lives with young platies and doesn't harm them. He might eat small fry if he can catch them - I rarely see the platies until they are already half an inch or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I understand that dwarf gourami are potentially mean fish, which is one reason why they weren't my first choice. This one kind of fell in my lap, though. He wasn't going to last much longer in that Ziploc bag. I'll keep a close eye on him and if I have any trouble with him, I have somewhere I can take him.

It's good to hear about your pearl gourami. If he's getting along well with half inch platy fry, then I doubt celestial pearl danios would be a problem. If the CPDs don't seem bothered by larger fish and I end up not keeping the dwarf gourami, I'll probably look for a young pearl gourami and give him or her a chance to grow up alongside the danios.
 

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Its important to remember that all fish have their own personalities. Blue gouramis are said to be more aggressive and not good with other gouramis like pearls or fish for community tanks. But my blue gourami is so gental, he would never hurt any fish. Never shows any aggression either.
 

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I have a blue gourami as well and he is also a very peaceful fish. But he shares the tank with a silver dollar and a fishing bait minnow as well as some adult plecos and there has never been any aggression between these fish. However, I would never dream of putting another gourami or some small fish in the tank with him. That would just be asking for trouble.
 

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As for the gourami, I have no clue. But I do know this. I have a large fully grown apistogramma cacatuoides (the one in my avatar) he is 3 1/2 inches and could fit 2 cpd in his mouth at once. I have 12 cpd's in the same tank as him and it's a 15 gallon. When I initially added them I had 8, and he killed 3. Then he stopped. After 1 week I have never lost another cpd, they swim around him constantly and even seem to play with him at times.

But as a word of caution, my male apistogramma has had 2 batches of fry and helped raise both. It is possible he views small fish as needing to be protected. He currently is in the 15 gallon with 4 young male apistogramma (his sons) one is 1 1/2" and the other 3 are about 1". He doesn't harm them or chase them. He occasionally flares his fins at the large one when he gets too bold. That is also not normal. My apistogramma is really laid back.
 
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