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Tetras and Gouramis

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Hiya~
So, I'm about to embark on my first tropical fish tank and after long hours of research and reading have decided I would like to start with a collection of Tetra and Gourami.
However, in a lot of the articles I've read, it mentions that certain Gourami can be aggressive, but doesn't specify much else. I'm concerned that if they are aggressive they may attack the smaller tetra and one another.

I'm looking to begin with Glowlight Tetra, and Black Neon Tetra, moving on to other species as time goes on. And as far as Gourmai go, I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing between Banded Gourami, Dwarf Gourami and Pearl Gourami.
I've curious to know if any other forum members happen to know much about the Gourami disposition, and if any of the breeds I am looking at would be overly aggressive to the smaller tetras and to each other.

Thank you for any replies.
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How big is your tank going to be?

It is difficult to generalize the behavior of gouramis, they can differ from fish to fish. I've never had a problem with them in my tanks, but I keep reading horror stories from other owners. I would buy from a vendor where you can return or have a re-home plan if it becomes too aggressive. The gourami should be the last fish you add to the tank.

I've had some bad luck with dwarf gouramis. I think they are way overbred and suffer from health issues. I've never had one last more than a few months in my tank, its a shame because it's a pretty fish with a lot of personality.

If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, take a look into paradise fish as well. My blue paradise is currently my favorite fish in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How big is your tank going to be?

It is difficult to generalize the behavior of gouramis, they can differ from fish to fish. I've never had a problem with them in my tanks, but I keep reading horror stories from other owners. I would buy from a vendor where you can return or have a re-home plan if it becomes too aggressive. The gourami should be the last fish you add to the tank.

I've had some bad luck with dwarf gouramis. I think they are way overbred and suffer from health issues. I've never had one last more than a few months in my tank, its a shame because it's a pretty fish with a lot of personality.

If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, take a look into paradise fish as well. My blue paradise is currently my favorite fish in the tank.
At the moment, I'm unsure the size of the tank. I'm moving into a new flat and it depends really on the space I have.
I'm hoping to have space for a juwel rio 180:
http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product....m_medium=cpc&gclid=CK6GrdrHz7YCFfLKtAodXQsAJg
The diameters are:
Approx W101 x D41 x H50cm
 

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Black neons are neat fish, but like most schooling fish, they're kinda jumpy and they like to run and hide when something approaches the tank. If I walk by, they shoot off to a corner and hide behind rotala. If I have a seat for 30 seconds or so, they come back out to pip around.

Dwarf Gourami fish are cool looking, but I am partial to pearls. They're energetic and fun to watch. They'll eat anything they can find - great if you have nematodes free swimming. Mine also bites snails in the face for fun, randomly. Pearls are also very cheap - usually less than half the cost of a DG and they are larger and better able to cope with faster moving water.

By the way, the aforementioned DG health issues - Many DG imported currently suffer from Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus, which lies dormant for a year or two and then atrophies and kills the fish. The fish will usually become lethargic, rest on the bottom and then change color as the flesh dies - sometimes a long and painful death. DGI is known to jump species in some cases - part of the reason I don't mess with DG.

Edit: In fact, I remember a posting from a couple of weeks back where a UK member had a DG that started to color change and died shortly thereafter. DGI is present when the fish are bred in the far East - unless you can find a reputable local breeder, I'd steer clear.
 

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Along the lines of aggression, I have kept dwarf gouramis and pearl gouramis and found the pearls to be much less aggressive IME. I can't help you with the banded gourami though.

As Virto said, look for a reputable breeder of dwarf gouramis, two of the three that I've bought (not from a reputable breeder) died within 6 months after purchase.
 

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I have a pair of male DG's and they dont bother my other fish at all. They are aggresive and spar a lot amongst themselves, but never do physical damage. I got them from a friend who breeds them, and (as mentioned above) I would definitely avoid DG that you don't know the history on.
 

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They aren't the ones you mentioned, but I had Serpae tetras and a Honey gourami together. They completely ignored each other. If you end up with a smaller tank, honey gouramis are a great alternative to larger gouramis like the dwarfs and pearls.
 

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Pearl gouramis are fantastic. And they'd be fine with any fish that wouldn't nip the fins or eat them (either piece by piece [puffers] or as a single bite [Malawi eyebiter cichlid]).
 

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IME, dwarf gouramis ate some of my plants
I also have balloon pearl gouramis and they are great with my CPD's
My banded gourami grew a little large and I think if he had the opportunity he'd eat anything
 

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I have been keeping Pearl gouramis with tetras (neons, cardinals, black neons, etc) for years with no problems. Diamond tetras even manages to spawn and have babies in the same tank.

I find that Pearls do better in a small group, I tend to keep 3 M with 2 F, but you would need a tank like 40B or larger.

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40 gallon breeder is a perfect size for a starter. You can do a lot with those dimensions. Good for aquascaping.
 
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