Long-time mostly-lurker here. I have a 100 gallon community tank (6 ft long, not terribly tall), pretty heavily planted. I added 1 male and 2 female pearl gouramis a few months ago. Lovely fish. Now, about 3 weeks ago, I added co2, and suddenly, the gouramis are breeding like crazy.
There are hundreds of tiny fry currently living in the plants near the top of the water, near the original bubble nest site, with the male trying to keep other tank inhabitants away from the area. The females spawned a week or two apart, so basically, once the first brood was out of the bubble nest, the second female spawned. Now the second brood is out of the nest, and the first female is plumping up again and starting to venture into the male's territory, nibbling his sides, nudging him towards the bubble nest area, etc.
I don't particularly like this breeding - my poor other surface/mid-level fish (white clouds and cardinals) are being relegated to hiding in the plants on the far side of the tank. The male is pretty aggressive, although he has not injured or killed anyone yet. The temp is currently only 73 degrees (!!), and still, it looks like the breeding is "on."
I'm not making any particular effort to raise the fry, but they seem to be finding enough to eat that they're staying alive. I imagine most of them will become snacks for the white clouds and cardinals as they move away from the nest area. A few white cloud fry have grown up in this tank, but most of them disappear when they're pretty small.
I don't really want to re-home the gouramis since they truly are lovely fish, but really, this is not a very peaceful community tank right now. Does anyone have any words of wisdom? I've wanted the gouramis to be happy with the conditions, so one side of the tank's surface is pretty low-flow, with floating plants. If I increase the flow of water near the surface, will that be discouraging enough to stop them, or will the male just try to build bubble nests in futility until he croaks from exhaustion, while the females nag him endlessly about why the nest is not ready yet? :help:
Thanks for any ideas; would love to hear from anyone else who's been in this predicament.