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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Soo going crazy with MTS, currently cycling a "55" (really 48) gallon, and also getting a free (woot) 15 gallon hand me down from family soon. I was thinking after its setup and cycled I'd put my powder blue dwarf gourami in there, and get some other small fish, turning the tank all the fish are currently in into a hospital/quarantine tank. I want the dg to be the centerpiece fish, and king of the tank. I cross checked a few fish at my lfs that Googling says can go into a 15 gallon, but I'd love your input on ones that won't be fin-nippers or complete food hogs and starve my goruami out.

Harlequin rose-barbs
Cherry barbs
Platys (no specific breed)
Silver-tipped tetra
Orange Von Rio tetra
Blood-fin tetra
Glowlight tetra (not the glo fish, the natural species)

To be clear, I want the dwarf grouami and only 1 other species of compatible community fish for a 15 gallon.

Why isn't neon tetras on the list? .. Short version: my niece (poorly)kept them and... they mutated for so much breeding.. it was disturbing... Won't go near those for a looooong while

If you've kept a dwarf gourami with any of these fish (or had them in community tanks) please tell me your experience with them, any advice or other suggestions? Which won't be prone to mass breeding issues?
 

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Silver tipped tetras are a great looking fish! Really active, nice color, NOT a community fish. They chase everything... to death. Maybe the size difference would be enough for them to leave your gourami alone but they eventually turned my community tank into a silvertip tetra only tank.
 

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One thing to watch out for with the dwarf gouramis- they are VERY susceptible to iridovirus (also known as DGIV). Most of them come from asian fish farms, where the disease is rampant. You take that lovely boy home, and two weeks later he is dead, even though your tank parameters are perfect. It happens very frequently in the hobby. If you can, try to find fish that have been bred by local fish keepers. Juvies from a local hobbyist's tank are much more likely to be virus free, especially if you want to keep the fancy colored varieties. Another option is to buy wild strain fish from places like ted's fish room, or Frank's aquarium. Wild strain fish are not subjected to DGIV, and end up being far healthier and more robust then the imported fish farm strains. This is speaking from experience- After loosing several sets of dwarf gouramis over the last decade, I got confused and frustrated. Until I read about DGIV- then it all made sense. I have 3 wild strain now, and I'm very pleased with their health and behavior!

Having said that- any of the more relaxed, small schooling fish are lovely with dwarf gouramis. They are slower moving fish, and could get frightened or out competed by speed demons like zebra danios, their feelers can get damaged by nippy fish like barbs. They do great with more relaxed species of tetra (easy rule- if it's a tetra that's shaped like a cardinal you should be fine). Another fun idea would be pygmy corydoras- Corydoras Pygmaeus. They actually school in the midwater column, look a bit like tetra, are very gentle and hardy. Great companions for gourami, and you can get a lovely shoal going in a 15 due to their petite size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Silver tipped tetras are a great looking fish! Really active, nice color, NOT a community fish. They chase everything... to death. Maybe the size difference would be enough for them to leave your gourami alone but they eventually turned my community tank into a silvertip tetra only tank.
Ok thank you for the feedback.


One thing to watch out for with the dwarf gouramis- they are VERY susceptible to iridovirus (also known as DGIV). Most of them come from asian fish farms, where the disease is rampant. You take that lovely boy home, and two weeks later he is dead, even though your tank parameters are perfect. It happens very frequently in the hobby. If you can, try to find fish that have been bred by local fish keepers. Juvies from a local hobbyist's tank are much more likely to be virus free, especially if you want to keep the fancy colored varieties. Another option is to buy wild strain fish from places like ted's fish room, or Frank's aquarium. Wild strain fish are not subjected to DGIV, and end up being far healthier and more robust then the imported fish farm strains. This is speaking from experience- After loosing several sets of dwarf gouramis over the last decade, I got confused and frustrated. Until I read about DGIV- then it all made sense. I have 3 wild strain now, and I'm very pleased with their health and behavior!

Having said that- any of the more relaxed, small schooling fish are lovely with dwarf gouramis. They are slower moving fish, and could get frightened or out competed by speed demons like zebra danios, their feelers can get damaged by nippy fish like barbs. They do great with more relaxed species of tetra (easy rule- if it's a tetra that's shaped like a cardinal you should be fine). Another fun idea would be pygmy corydoras- Corydoras Pygmaeus. They actually school in the midwater column, look a bit like tetra, are very gentle and hardy. Great companions for gourami, and you can get a lovely shoal going in a 15 due to their petite size.
Thank you for the info on DG, I am aware of the disease, my dwarf gourami is over 16 months old, and if I recall correctly from my reading, past the age that he would have died from the disease (think its within fish 6 months to a year max?)
Thank you for the tips about barbs, I'd ruled out danios already from tales of fin-nipping. Unfortunately the smallest cory my lfs stock is "julian", we don't get pigmy here and the workers are more brain dead than zombies when asked about stocking or special orders.
 

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I've had julian with a DG, (ok, they were sold as julies, but in fact aree Trillineatus) get 3 or 4 of them, and you would be fine. I had 3 Trillineatus and 2 peppered corys @ one time. The pepperes got killed off when Columnaris hit my tank, but the trillineatus survived without incident and are still kicking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've had julian with a DG, (ok, they were sold as julies, but in fact aree Trillineatus) get 3 or 4 of them, and you would be fine. I had 3 Trillineatus and 2 peppered corys @ one time. The pepperes got killed off when Columnaris hit my tank, but the trillineatus survived without incident and are still kicking!
I haven't read up on corys in a while but don't they typically need sand bottoms for their borrowing/foraging and do best in groups of 6 or more? Are there any species of cory more prone to dig up plants? I'd rather avoid anything that will damage or uproot plants. I'll re-using gravel, I don't know what size it is.. its not large but its not incredibly small/fine either, you could says its the "generic" size gravel you get from pets stores.



Still looking for other suggestions for fish to go in a 15 gallon planted tank with the dwarf gourami that won't out compete it for food or bully it, or be a problem fish with plants.
 

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Most rasboras species.

Trigonostigma heteromorpha (harlequin)
Trigonostigma espei (lambchop)
Trigonostigma hengeli (glowlight)

All the nano fish rasboras maybe also. Not sure if they would be too small and get eaten.

Or some other small asian fish:
Danio margaritatus (CPD)

In 15 g I would tend to choose some of the smaller species mentionned.
 

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I really like the Blood Fins. I have 9 in a 20 long and are a great fish. Constant activity always chasing each around.
 

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I say get a bunch of bright male platies. They come in many colors so you can get some variety even with the same species. And all males = no baby fish problem
 
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