Aggressive female to female


HI there,

I bought two female opaline (blue) gouramis over the weekend and the one female incessantly chases the other one, nipping and bullying her. 

Even when the bullied female goes and hides, the more aggressive one seeks her out amongst the foliage and picks up the chase again.  The fast chase often leads to swimming into objects and I'm worried about injuries that may result.  The other side of the tank has a male kribensis who has marked out a little corner for himself so he chases the bullied female away when she comes to hide in his zone.  He doesn't hurt her, just does a mock charge to get her to move along.

I did wonder whether the bully gouramI may be a male but they came from an all female tank at the pet shop and I can't see a difference in the dorsal fins, both look rounded as females ones supposedly do.

The bullying is definitely worst at feeding times and if the bully fish is not in feeding mode at other times of the day, she seems to leave the other one alone, even swimming alongside her quite peacefully.  But I'd say at least 70% of the time when I look in, the bullying is occurring.

Is this a territory or food issue?  I don't want the bullied one to die from stress but maybe they both just need to settle into the new tank...

Other community tank mates include:
3 salt n pepper corys
10 neons
1 male kribensis cichlid (also a new addition)
1 small pleco

Tank size = about 30 US gallons or 115 Litres

The bully gouramI doesn't bother the other tank mates, although is very "hungry" and once she has gobbled up the flakes at the surface, she moves to the bottom and makes short work of the shrimp and algae pellets which are actually there for the corys and pleco.

Any thoughts?



Generally speaking, the Kribensis and the gouramI shouldn't be together in the same tank as they are not compatible....While they are peaceful they are all territorial fish and they will eventually grow too large for the 30g.....The two gouramI can get as large as 6" each and the kribensis can get to 4" and are generally recommended for tanks 50 gallon and up. Depending upon what type of pleco you have, I have you roughly at 25" of fish without the gouramis....or pleco....Common Plecos can get up to 16" if that's what you have......Do you know what type of Pleco it is?

It could very well be that A: The gouramis are feeling overcrowded or B: the kribensis is causing stress between the two gouramis and one female is trying to establish her territory while the other doesn't seem to be able to find a place for herself or C: Female can be quite aggressive toward each other and they just may not get along.

I hate to say it, but it looks like you're overstocked and I would see if I could take the gouramis back and find a smaller algae eater than the pleco......

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