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So here's the story, I got two Gourami a few months ago. One gold and one dwarf red flame gourami. The gold one constantly picked on the red flame to the point where the red one was missing a chunk of tail. I moved him to my 15 gallon quarantine tank and his tail improved. Here's where the story gets interesting-I was planning a trip out of town so I decided to rehome the gold gourami and put the red flame back in my planted 75 gallon tank so that I only had to purchase one automatic fish feeder. Mind you, I never had any trouble with any of my other fish being plant eaters including the gold gourami that I chose to rehome...But, when I got back home on Sunday evening I noticed my Vallisneria had taken quite a beating! I kind of assumed that maybe the automatic fish feeder just didn't drop enough food at first. But last night I watched for quite some time to see if I could find the culprit. Sure enough, after a while the dwarf gourami showed me it was definitely him! This was after I had fed them all flakes, frozen bloodworms, and sinking pellets for the rams.
Apparently I chose to get rid of the wrong fish! I kept the red flame because I think he's prettier and because he wasn't the aggressor, now this!! I think the first thing I will try is to put some blanched zucchini in for him to snack on. Anyone else have any bright ideas to try? Please help me out!!

Here's a picture of the tank. This is before I went out of town. I haven't taken a picture of the damage...
 

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Dwarf gouramis are bubble nest builders and will take plant matter in the tank to help hold their nest together. To discourage them destroying live plants (typically ones near the surface) to use shreds of in their nest, give them lots of floaters (anacharis, water sprite, wisteria, duckweed.. I've read they eat frogbit so not that,salvinvia minima, or float other stems you don't mind them messing with.
You can also include some more veggies in his diet. When I had a dwarf gourami he would eat the blanched lettuce and spinach I put in for the pleco.

Incidentally bettas splendens (common sold betta at pet store) also build bubble nest but don't use plants to do it. However I'd not recommend a betta with angelfish (or gourami).
 

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Here's a picture of the tank. This is before I went out of town. I haven't taken a picture of the damage...
:crying:Yes, the Dwarf Gouramis are infamous for tearing up plants to put into their bubble nests. It is fun to watch them drag plants around the tank, rearranging. But it's not fun if you love your plants! Large leafed plants such as anubias, crypts and swords are better in a tank with G's. I've had them pull up whole groups of grasses and fine leafed plants.
 

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I didn't know that about dwarf gouramis. I need to make a list of plant destroying fish. My clown loaches love eating baby vallisneria plants even though they get fed lots of veggies. I get upset, but no one in my house seems to care except me. "Let them eat!" Says my husband.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm really surprised at how much damage one little fish did in just a matter of days. The Vals were doing so well too. I had just given them their first trim last week, they were starting to lay across the top of the water and block the light to other plants.
I will try the veggies first as I have never seen any floating plants at my local fish stores. I could order some though.
Thanks for the input.
Amy
 

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They will rip out even plants stuck down with lead weights once they start nesting. Very destructive for their size.

How do you trim val leaves, it normally just dies back when damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I trimmed them before they were damaged. I'm kind of regretting doing that now. He would have had plenty to eat without making them all look like crap! I definitely won't need to trim them again any time soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That was a cool story Nordic, I read through the whole post. My male gourami however has no female to mate with. Guess I should be relieved that he's not pulling up whole plants. Just making my vals look like crap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I've come to the decision of rehoming the Gourami :( He isn't building any sort of nest with the plants he's simply picking at them and eating them constantly. It's all he does morning noon and night every time I'm looking in the tank. He's already devoured about 1/4th of the Vals in a week and a half. I've tried floating green leaf lettuce, spinach, and zucchini in there for him and he doesn't even seem to notice them. I really like him but I really like my plants too... Can't stand idly by and watch my hard work be eaten anymore. Will find him a home without live plants.
Amy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've tried lettuce spinach and zucchini. He doesn't touch them...
 
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