Advice on adding new fish with territorial gourami

Poseidontheaxolotl

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Hello!

I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 1 gold gourami, 2 guppies, 3 kuhli loaches, 1 glass catfish, 1 spiny eel and 2 nerite snails. My problem is, some of my fish have just currently passed away so my tank is very empty. I had two guppies that passed away both while I was not here in the past 2 months. One had a serious case of bloat and fin rot and the other had a tiny tear in his tail but he may have just gotten into a quarrel with another guppy, so I didn't see any signs of any disease when he died. Anyways, I would like to add some more fish to my tank as it is getting emptier and emptier. I started out with 5 guppies, 4 or 5 glass cats and the rest were the same (3 kuhlis, 1 spiny eel and a gourami, nerites are new). So my tank is now feeling a little emptier. I tried a few weeks ago adding 3 beautiful guppies, but it didn't end well as two died and one had to be put in a small bowl and then be surrendered ): My gourami is pretty territorial and I really wanted to add some new guppies. For the catfish its a different matter as I definitely know that they need to be kept in groups of 6 or more, however they are very fragile and die quite easily, so I think my last one may be the last one I keep.

Does anyone know of any fish I could get that would go with the current fish in the tank and that won't be attacked by my gourami? Otherwise I will just leave my tank like this and see where that goes and what happens. I just thought they may want some more companions as they seem a little lonely.

Thanks!!
 

Crimson_687

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Do you know why the other fish died? Did your gourami attack them? I understand you were gone for a long time, but you need to figure out why your fish died before adding new ones.

I would test your parameters frequently and watch for any changes. There is something making your tank unstable, which very well could be the gourami, as you said he is aggressive. Even if he doesn’t outright attack fish, in a 20 gallon tank, he probably considers most, if not all, of the tank to be his. That being said, even if he chased or occasionally nipped the guppies, this is stress that builds up and compromises their immune system, meaning what was once a small nip that could easily heal can now become easily infected by fungi and bacteria naturally found in the tank, or they could die outright from stress if they become so weak.

I would try to rehome the single glass catfish. Even if you don’t want more, it’s cruel to only keep one and the merciful thing would be to relocate the fish to an environment where it can live properly, in a school.

Considering it is a 20 gallon tank with a gold gourami and spiny eel, both of which get very large, I would try to upgrade the tank if you can. Definitely up your kuhlis to 6, as this is the minimum, and rehome the glass catfish, but after that I think your tank is fully stocked. Kuhlis themselves can reach 3-4 inches. Definitely upgrade the tank if you can
 
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Poseidontheaxolotl

Poseidontheaxolotl

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Crimson_687 said:
Do you know why the other fish died? Did your gourami attack them? I understand you were gone for a long time, but you need to figure out why your fish died before adding new ones.

I would test your parameters frequently and watch for any changes. There is something making your tank unstable, which very well could be the gourami, as you said he is aggressive. Even if he doesn’t outright attack fish, in a 20 gallon tank, he probably considers most, if not all, of the tank to be his. That being said, even if he chased or occasionally nipped the guppies, this is stress that builds up and compromises their immune system, meaning what was once a small nip that could easily heal can now become easily infected by fungi and bacteria naturally found in the tank, or they could die outright from stress if they become so weak.

I would try to rehome the single glass catfish. Even if you don’t want more, it’s cruel to only keep one and the merciful thing would be to relocate the fish to an environment where it can live properly, in a school.

Considering it is a 20 gallon tank with a gold gourami and spiny eel, both of which get very large, I would try to upgrade the tank if you can. Definitely up your kuhlis to 6, as this is the minimum, and rehome the glass catfish, but after that I think your tank is fully stocked. Kuhlis themselves can reach 3-4 inches. Definitely upgrade the tank if you can
Thank you for your advice. The first guppy that I had that passed away was a female but I think she died after having babies, but I was very new to fish keeping and didn't know why. My other guppy as I said had a bad case of bloat. The most recent guppy death I was surprised at because I got him when he was very very small, maybe a few days or weeks old. He was one of my original guppies and my gourami never fights with the originals.

I test and change my water once a week and the test results are always the same:

Ph - 7.7
High range ph - 8.2
Ammonia - 0.25 (Its been .25 for 8 months now, and has never changed)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5

I agree with rehoming the catfish, and possibly getting more kuhlis. They're so fascinating and I would love to get more. The most recent catfish death I had was really hard to tell what happened, but when I was feeding them I dropped in the shrimp pellets for them and one got the whole thing, and I think he choked on it and passed away, I noticed around an hour later. I believe I have had catfish die like that once before too. Is this possible?

I definitely understand that I should upgrade to a bigger tank, however I don't really have much interest or a big budget in purchasing a new tank because that means more equipment, cycling the tank and moving all the fish out of the old and into the new. I also don't know if my stand would hold a bigger tank. I know it is better for my fish, I completely understand that they will become bigger and need a bigger home as well, its just the process of buying a new tank is difficult and takes a while to set up. But I will consider it.

Thanks!
 

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