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I bought my first gourami--a male Pearl. He was in quarantine for 20 days, and I just put him in 55 gallon. I have 8 green neon tetras, 5 chili rasboras, 5 dwarf chain loaches, and 3 pepper cores. I also have a small colony of cherry shrimp.

I know that my Pearl is a lot bigger than my other fish, but I thought this was one of the most shy and peaceful of the gouramis, so I thought it would be fine.

Here are my questions--

From my reading, I thought that gouramis tend to hang out at the upper levels of the tank. Not this guy. He is all over the tank.

Is this different behavior?

He is not actively chasing anyone, but all of my other fish get out of his way. It has been less than 24 hours, but I am really worried that he is stressing out my other fish. Some of the chills are just fine and swim very close to him. A couple of them are hanging out in a very sheltered area. The tetras are schooling tighter than normal, but they also seem ok.

Are the fish stressed? Should I give it more time?

I really like my Pearl, he is pretty neat to watch and I would really like to keep him, but don't feel comfortable putting him back in my 20 gallon. It seems too small for him.

Finally he is such a vacuum cleaner! I can't believe how actively he hunts for food. He searches everywhere. I am worried that my other fish won't get enough food, due to his searching high and low. I read that you need to have other peaceful fish in the tank because Pearls are so shy and retiring.

So what do you all think?

Is this beautiful fish acting normal or not?

Should I keep him?

Thanks so much for answering a new confused fish keeper.

:confused:
 

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I'd keep him, just give all the fish some more time to get used to each other. I've never had any gouramis that just stayed at the top. I love them, great fish.
 

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My pearls are the same - top to bottom, always cruising for food or something interesting to poke at. While the largest fish in my tank, the rainbows and tetras have taken to schooling with the pearls, following them around. They are not aggressive and the other fish have no fear.

Best of all, it's always funny to watch them poke at the cory cats with their little stick-fins. You can just imagine the cats thinking...hey...quit it. Hey, man...enough. Hey. Fish. Stahp!
 

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The Fish schooling tighter and getting out of his way is completely natural, larger fish tend to scare them into tighter schools until they realize they pose no threat. They also swim all over the tank
 

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I bought my first gourami--a male Pearl. He was in quarantine for 20 days, and I just put him in 55 gallon. I have 8 green neon tetras, 5 chili rasboras, 5 dwarf chain loaches, and 3 pepper cores. I also have a small colony of cherry shrimp.

I know that my Pearl is a lot bigger than my other fish, but I thought this was one of the most shy and peaceful of the gouramis, so I thought it would be fine.

Here are my questions--

From my reading, I thought that gouramis tend to hang out at the upper levels of the tank. Not this guy. He is all over the tank.

Is this different behavior?

He is not actively chasing anyone, but all of my other fish get out of his way. It has been less than 24 hours, but I am really worried that he is stressing out my other fish. Some of the chills are just fine and swim very close to him. A couple of them are hanging out in a very sheltered area. The tetras are schooling tighter than normal, but they also seem ok.

Are the fish stressed? Should I give it more time?

I really like my Pearl, he is pretty neat to watch and I would really like to keep him, but don't feel comfortable putting him back in my 20 gallon. It seems too small for him.

Finally he is such a vacuum cleaner! I can't believe how actively he hunts for food. He searches everywhere. I am worried that my other fish won't get enough food, due to his searching high and low. I read that you need to have other peaceful fish in the tank because Pearls are so shy and retiring.

So what do you all think?

Is this beautiful fish acting normal or not?

Should I keep him?

Thanks so much for answering a new confused fish keeper.

:confused:
I imagine he will settle down and with that so will your other fish. I would be worried about your shrimp though. My Pearls love shrimp!
 

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I don't have personal experience with that breed, I have a powder blue dwarf gourami, but he too will explore all regions of the tank. Its usually: top in morning (near feeding time when lights turn on) for 2 hours, them down to the lower middle to bottom areas to scavenge algae and missed food flakes for 2 hours, then anywhere in the tank the rest of the day. He explores the plants, rests against them, pops up for air (or to work on his nest) and will come over to greet my finger on the tank (anywhere on the tank). If you want a true top region fish killifish might be an option.
The fish can be a bit nervous from the new (largeer to some) resident but everyone should settle in fine, nothing sounded out of the norm from what you described.
 

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I dont see anything alarming here - just leave the pearl in there with the other fish. How big is he? Just make sure he doesnt hit any other fish at feeding time. My male pearl can get nasty during feeding and when he builds his nest, other than that he is a cool dude - really magnificent at 2+ inches with a bright orange neck. He is shyer than the female PG.
 
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