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FAQs on the Blue, Three-Spot, Gold/en, Opaline, Even Albino! Gouramis, Yes, The Same Species, Trichogaster trichopterus,  Systems

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish

Related FAQs: & FAQs on: Trichogaster trichopterus 1, Trichogaster trichopterus 2, T. trichopterus ID, T. trichopterus Behavior, T. trichopterus Compatibility, T. trichopterus Selection, T. trichopterus Feeding, T. trichopterus Disease, T. trichopterus Reproduction, Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,


Aggression and injury to three spot Gourami... env.    3/18/10
Hi -
We're complete novices and are just starting out with a 10 gallon tank.
<Do read here please:
It's been set up over 4 weeks now, and after getting the water tested last week at our LFS and getting the green light, we purchased two male three spot gouramis.
<How did you cycle the tank? If there's no ammonia source, letting the tank sit with the filter running for 4 weeks achieves precisely nothing. Any water taken from such a tank will indeed seem "fine" because there's been no ammonia going into the water. There's nothing to test! You must cycle the tank with some sort of ammonia source. A pinch of flake food every day or two works well, though many folks like to use bottled ammonia to raise the concentration in the water to between 1-5 mg/l. Either way, there's ammonia going into the water, thereby replicating what happens when there's livestock in the tank. An aquarium without fish is just a box filled with water, and in now way cycling.>
There are no other fish in the tank, but we noticed right away one was more aggressive than the other.
<This species cannot be kept in a 10 gallon tank. Who told you this would be a good idea? No aquarium book would recommend this. Three-spot Gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus) are [a] far too big for a 10 gallon tank and [b] known to be aggressive. Even a single male can, will cause trouble in a 30 gallon tank. So let's get real here, and choose fish suited to a tank this size. There are plenty to choose from. Retailers will happily exploit your novice status and sell you any old thing. That's why we recommend you buy an aquarium book before you do anything else. Failing that, come talk to us.>
The non aggressive one suffered an injury on its head about 5 days ago - it looked like a minor scratch. We've been monitoring it, and it appeared to be healing fine until today when we noticed the aggressive one biting the
wound of the non aggressive one and now it's red, irritated and seems larger.
<Finrot. If this tank wasn't cycled with a source of ammonia, then the water quality in this tank will be pretty dire by now. Non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels stress fish, reducing their immune systems, and allow wounds to become infected. Finrot can be treated using antibiotics (e.g., Maracyn) or antibacterials (e.g., eSHa 2000) but either way water quality has to be perfect or you're whistling into the wind. Be sure not to get hoodwinked into using salt or tea-tree oil "medicines". They don't work in situations like this and are, at best, preventatives rather than cures.>
I've been checking on them throughout the day, and it seemed to happen only during their feeding time this morning. Should we should permanently separate them, or separate them until the injury has healed, or just separate them at meal time? Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
<Return both of these fish. They don't belong in this tank. If the tank isn't properly cycled, anything you throw in is likely to get sick. Cycle the tank, and then stock carefully, choosing species suited to such a tiny aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Aggression and injury to three spot Gourami
Thanks. We did cycle with the fish flakes,
but I'm sure that our LFS saw us coming.
Even after telling them the size of the tank, they still suggested the two three spot gouramis - to quote "I've found them less aggressive in a pair".
<A pair isn't two males. And in any case, the males are pretty hard on the females outside of spawning. Trichogaster trichopterus is a species I have trouble recommending. Although hardy, cheap, and colourful, it's
aggressive and as it ages becomes increasingly lethargic. So like the Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia) this is a species I don't see much point to. For a small aquarium, either Sparkling or Croaking Gouramis are much better, or failing that, a female Betta can work well too. Cheers, Neale.>

Three spot Gourami, sys., comp.  1/9/10
Hey there!
After extensive research I'm still a little lost haha.
I recently brought a tank which is 88.87 litres (22gal) . As a "surprise" my mum brought me two female three spot Gourami (both are about 3cm currently) after much research I am still wondering if they will be ok in this size tank?
<Can be, yes>
They are currently the only fish in the tank although I'll be adding a small school of panda or sterbai Corys within the next week or so, could I add anything else or is the tank too small?
<The Corydoras will make a fine addition here, and you do have some "midwater" room for another small species... perhaps some Rasboras, Danios or one of the more peaceful, small Barbs. Please read here re:
And lastly I read on one website that if there is male three spot Gourami the females will die because they get so full of eggs!?!?!
<Mmm, not likely if cared for properly. Given good maintenance and nutrition. Please read here:
and the linked files above>
I hope this is not the case
Thank you for all your time
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Shy Gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus behaviour, environment)    9/16/08
For about 9 months, I had a 72 gallon tank running with assorted fish, and all was well. Then, at the beginning of July, we had a disaster at our house and I was forced to farm the fish out to friends with tanks while our house was repaired. I have now cycled the tank (all readings are good) and brought back first the 12 rummynosed tetras which seem to be
perfectly happy and all. Next to come back, about a week later, were the 5 gouramis (3 golden, 2 Opaline). Since they have been back (5 days), all they do is hide in the plants, all huddled together and their markings are very dark (although they do come out briefly to eat). They were never like this before the disaster, and the friend who took care of them while they were away, said that they weren't like that in his tank. Just wondering if this is normal? And, if yes, any idea how long this will last for? Should I continue to reintroduce the remaining fish to the tank? Would any kind of fish help them to settle in better than another?
Looking forward to your reply.
Thank you!
<Hello Cheryl. The gouramis you are keeping -- varieties of Trichogaster trichopterus -- are generally very outgoing animals. However, there are a few things they can't stand, and so I'd review these before anything else. They don't like strong water currents, and they don't like nippy or aggressive tankmates (and Rummynose tetras might be nippy, though they are usually well behaved). They may simply not be settled into the tank; review in particular water quality. Although you say the readings are good, repeat your test two or three times across the day to see if it stays consistently good. Adding food can alter the balance, so while nitrite might be zero first thing in the morning, after you've fed the fish it can go up. Nervousness in fish is commonly associated with water pollution and also with unstable pH, so check the pH as well. In any case, since the tank is new, leave things be, and do the usual water changes and provide only small meals. Don't think about adding any more fish for at least two weeks. As a rule of thumb, you should never add fish to a tank if the existing fish aren't doing what they should be doing. You could make things worse! Cheers, Neale.>

Plant cover for Gourami in quarantine Hi! I was just wondering if it might be ok to float a leaf of romaine lettuce in a quarantine tank with a single Golden Gourami just to give it some cover.  I don't have a plant to put in at the moment. Thank you, Steve <Hi Steve.  This may be more trouble than it is worth.  The leaf would have to be rinsed really well to make sure there were no pesticides on it.  It would not take it long to start decaying so it would have to be replaced frequently.  I would probably just pick up some plastic plants next time I was at the fish store. -Gage>

Gourami question Hi all, <Hello Mark> Can't say enough good things about the amount of help you've given us fish lovers. <You would, perhaps will do the same> I've got a 10 gallon freshwater tank.  Some fish have come and gone, but the mainstays in the tank are a 2 1/2 inch Gold Gourami and a 2 1/2 inch Iridescent shark. My problem is that I've recently begun to add fish to the tank...I added a 2 inch silvertip shark who gets along great with everyone one, but the Gold Gourami seems to be attacking a 1 1/2 inch Blue Gourami that I added. <Mmm, really, the root of the difficulty here... the size of the tank... too small> The Gold Gourami has always been aggressive to smaller fish (small leopard puffers and mollies).  I figured that adding a larger sized fish (the Blue Gourami) would help to calm the Gold Gourami down, but he just cant seem to break the habit of chasing all of the other fish around the tank. <It might work... to isolate the original... gold Gourami... in a breeding trap, or even just a good sized net, hung on the corner of the tank... for a few days... This often re-sets the "dynamics" in a system> Barring total isolation of one, is there anyway that I can keep the Gourami's together?  The attacking never goes beyond chasing and the occasional nip, but I'm just afraid that the stress will do him/her in. Thanks for the help, Mark <You are likely right... try the isolation trick... and if this doesn't work? Perhaps a larger system? Or a trade-in. Bob Fenner>  

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