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Hey there! So I’ve recently added two Pearl gouramis in my 26 gallon bow front aquarium!

AND YES I know my tank is probably too small for 2 gouramis! I have around 17 small fish under 2inches expect tetra pristellas in the tank and really wanted a peaceful bigger fish as a statement piece. The employee at my LFS pointed me towards Pearl gouramis as they are beautiful and considered the more peaceful of the gouramis. I took one look and fell in love, they said it was better to put two instead of one alone. I have asked all the employees at my LFS over and over if adding those 2 gouramis to my 26 gallon would be considered overstocking and they said no... if they were wrong please tell me.

I know gouramis love planted tanks so I bought 40$ worth of low light aquarium plants that have been quarantined in a bucket of water with an air stone for 4 days. I will be adding them soon! I’m saving up for the 200$ Fluval Plant 3.0 light

Parameters:
PH: 7.6-8 (It’s high)
Ammonia: I use the API and I’ve never gotten a canary yellow test, however it’s not as green as .25ppm so I’d say small traces of ammonia
Nitrite: always 0
Nitrates: 10ppm
TDS: 190

I do 40-50% water changes ever week, using Prime. I have purigen in the filter that I swap ever 6 months because I’m scared of using bleach. I rinse everything in the filter every 2 weeks and vacuum 30% of the gravel every week, rotating between sections. I don’t add anything except beneficial bacteria after my water changes just in case and fertilizer pellets for plants.

I feed everyday and skip a day to feed peas and blanched cucumbers

so now for my issue!

I’ve noticed that one of the two Pearl gouramis has ragged back fins. I’ve had fish that had fin rot before so I know what this looks like and to me, white edges,etc BUT this looks slightly different

also apparently my lfs gave me one male and one female but I genuinely cannot tell the difference. One of them (supposedly the male) sometimes pecks at the other gouramis body and sometimes chases her and pecks at her tail...could he be doing damage?

thanks for help :)
 

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Yes, it could very well be from fin nipping. I've never been one to keep more than 1 gourami (besides sparkling) in a tank together. I do honestly think it looks more like fin nips than fin rot. If you're noticing aggression you may want to separate the 2 (if that's an option) and plant your tank. Maybe you can plant heavy enough to keep them from seeing each other you might be okay. This is 100% dependent on the individual fish themselves. I do think your tank is a little small for the 2 of them, but it's not to say that it's impossible to make work. Good luck!
 

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Yes, it could very well be from fin nipping. I've never been one to keep more than 1 gourami (besides sparkling) in a tank together. I do honestly think it looks more like fin nips than fin rot. If you're noticing aggression you may want to separate the 2 (if that's an option) and plant your tank. Maybe you can plant heavy enough to keep them from seeing each other you might be okay. This is 100% dependent on the individual fish themselves. I do think your tank is a little small for the 2 of them, but it's not to say that it's impossible to make work. Good luck!
okay that makes a lot of sense! I’ll plant the tank tomorrow and hopefully the female could perhaps hide during the bullying. I’m in a little bit of a pickle since I cannot get another tank and my LFS won’t take back fish...so I guess I have to deal with this!

hopefully she won’t be too miserable :(
 

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I'm so sorry about how your lfs us treating you. They put you in this pickle now you're stuck dealing with it 😡 that's just mean!! I hope things get better. You could always try to make a divider if worse comes to worse.
 

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Yes, it could very well be from fin nipping. I've never been one to keep more than 1 gourami (besides sparkling) in a tank together. I do honestly think it looks more like fin nips than fin rot. If you're noticing aggression you may want to separate the 2 (if that's an option) and plant your tank. Maybe you can plant heavy enough to keep them from seeing each other you might be okay. This is 100% dependent on the individual fish themselves. I do think your tank is a little small for the 2 of them, but it's not to say that it's impossible to make work. Good luck!
Pearls are social like sparkling. My 2 always are within 6 inches of each other I’m considering buying a few because I’m worried they are stressed from being not in a group

I don’t see any fin rot either, the only way I know of Pearl gouramis fighting is putting like 2 males together in a no plants 10 gallon tank. They aren’t super active in my experience and I think a pair can work in a 26 gallon tank if you are careful
 
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