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Hi, currently working on a 10 gallon planted tank, which I think is coming along nicely. Right now it has some guppy fry and 2 zebra nerite snails, but the fry will be getting a new home soon.

I'm planning on getting 3 sparkling/pygmy gouramis from my LFS that I've had my eye on. Any ideas for good tankmates? I have to factor in the tank size, schooling needs, and all that, so any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks!
 

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A species of similar size, which will be difficult to find.

A species which thrives in similar water conditions, i.e. temperature: 22 – 28 °C with pH: 5.0 – 7.5 (your snails will not like that acidic water) and stagnant or very slow moving water. Again, difficult to find. The only other species that come to mind would be other small Anabantoids. And then you risk inter-species aggression.

Also, if those 3 are mixed sexes you also risk intra-species aggression, especially if you acquire a reverse trio.

Trichopsis pumila do best in a species tank, not in a community tank. (Actually most species do, but especially Anabantoids.) This link Trichopsis pumila ? Sparkling Gourami (Ctenops pumilus, Trichopsis pumilus var. siamensis) ? Seriously Fish lists 9 species which are sympatric with T. pumila, but in a 10g tank the only compatible ones would be the 2 small loach species: Lepidocephalichthys hasselti and Pangio anguillaris.

If you want to hear them making the "croaking" sounds that they are so well known for you need to provide a certain level of comfort, and more often than not that entails keeping them alone.

A 10g is a good size for a pair. You needn't separate parents from their fry and after a few months you could return to that LFS with F1's to sell/swap.

Good luck and have fun. They're a cool fish. Very underrated.
 

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There's a ton of nano fish out there. For your tank though, I'd suggest a school of 8 of ONE of the following:
Microdevario kubotai OR nanus
Boraras brigittae (or any Boraras species in general)
Hyphessobrycon amandae (the ember tetra)
Nannostomus marginatus (dwarf pencilfish)
Micronemacheilus cruciatus (zebra hovering loach)

The boraras come from a similar environment as the pygmy's do (stagnant water, warm, acidic)
 

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Buy more than 3 sparkling gourami's, if you can! They are much more comfortable in groups and will cuddle up together under leaves and among driftwood. They are awesome!

I'd go with micro rasboras - Boraras spp. are very cool, stay .5", and won't bother a thing. Be careful, because they are known to jump (seems like half of the reviews out there say they do, half say they don't, but mine do).

You could do a decent school of, say, Chili Rasboras (20-25?) in a 10 gallon with a group of 3-6 gouramis and not worry about bioload or space, assuming you have lots of plant cover.

Whatever you do, I'd stick with rasboras, as they are also from Asia. Tetras might be a little too active for the gourami's, and you won't see them because they'll hide.
 
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