Aggressive Honey Red Gourami Help 

fishyparents14

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I have 3 honey red gouramis in a 22g tank along with some neon tetras and corydoras. Recently, they started turning darker, which Ive read is a sign of maturing. However, one of the gouramis started becoming more aggressive than the others, bullying and chasing the other 2. Fish store said they’re all males. This morning, my son found one of the gouramis dead, most likely stressed out from the bullying (all the other fish are ok, water parameters are normal). Is this normal? I thought they were peaceful? Should I take out the bully (picture below)?
 

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fishyparents14

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Crispii said:
Judging from the picture, it looks like your gourami is building a bubble nest. Gouramis will become aggressive if they are breeding.
Even without a female in the tank? Will this behavior pass? I mean... should I do any intervention for the other gourami who might be bullied to death too?
 

Crispii

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fishyparents14 said:
Even without a female in the tank? Will this behavior pass? I mean... should I do any intervention for the other gourami who might be bullied to death too?
They can build one without females. If there's constant aggression, then you can remove the aggressor.
 

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I think that may not be a honey gourami, but a thick-lipped gourami (but do post some more pictures, and of the others as well so we can confirm - also so we can double check genders). They are relatively peaceful for a gourami but not nearly as much as honeys.

A bubble nest is like a territorial stake. Remove it and make the conditions unfavourable to build one (some more surface agitation with an air stone is a good solution) and the aggression should dampen. It may not disappear altogether though.
 

chromedome52

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Yes, that photo is a male Sunset Thicklip Gourami. The body will eventually get to be a chocolate brown color, while females will stay more or less orange. They can be considerably more aggressive than Honey Gouramis, especially toward their own kind.
 
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fishyparents14

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Aww I’m so sad to know theyre not honey gouramis! :( Thanks for the inputs everyone!
 

DoubleDutch

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PascalKrypt said:
I think that may not be a honey gourami, but a thick-lipped gourami (but do post some more pictures, and of the others as well so we can confirm - also so we can double check genders). They are relatively peaceful for a gourami but not nearly as much as honeys.

A bubble nest is like a territorial stake. Remove it and make the conditions unfavourable to build one (some more surface agitation with an air stone is a good solution) and the aggression should dampen. It may not disappear altogether though.
Just curious but do you seriously think this is the best way to prevent gouramis to build a bubblenest?

I personally doubt it is a good idea to destroy a nest and make circumstances so unnatural that they won't be able to make one. The hormons involved will still be there and I'd say the fish will be extra agitated / agressive.

I don't know about Thicklips but in most cases temperature is a trigger to this so lowering that coule be a more natural way to me.
 

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DoubleDutch said:
Just curious but do you seriously think this is the best way to prevent gouramis to build a bubblenest?

I personally doubt it is a good idea to destroy a nest and make circumstances so unnatural that they won't be able to make one. The hormons involved will still be there and I'd say the fish will be extra agitated / agressive.

I don't know about Thicklips but in most cases temperature is a trigger to this so lowering that coule be a more natural way to me.
It's worked in my experience... though I've always avoided keeping the most aggressive species myself (three-spots, dwarfs) so there's that.
Yes, you can't prevent the sexual maturity and hormones that come along with it. However unlike, say, dwarf cichlids, establishing a territory is not - IME - a natural inclination in their day-to-day interactions. It is the bubble nest itself that is the trigger for territorial instincts, because the moment it exists there is a real possibility of a female approaching and a spawn occurring at any moment. No female will spawn without a nest (well, almost none), so no nest = no suitors. Moreover I imagine that the male would want to impress the females by showing how well secure he keeps his nest by attacking/chasing any rivals far off.

That is not to say that they won't spar if there isn't a nest, but since the nest = territory it can help in individuals that are not particularly predisposed to aggressive behaviour. If you have an already aggressive fish though (as in one where such instincts are not triggered by the desire to mate alone), then it probably won't do much. Some gourami just don't tolerate any other to claim the limelight, so to speak, and will bully anyhow.
So it may or may not work.

Though I do agree with you that this isn't the best solution. But if an owner is unable or unwilling to upgrade, spread the fish out over different tanks or rehome one of them, then this is a band-aid that may help a little. I don't think I would recommend it for more aggressive species but thick-lippeds shouldn't be too eager to tear each other to shreds, so a little dampening of the triggers for rivalry may just help.

Edit: Maybe an interesting note, but I've seen it in a harem of honeys. When a WC with warmer water triggered nest building in the male, the females started sparring for dominance that very next day. Not that it was violent, but they were doing their little circle dance of intimidation, something that they rarely did before. I really notice an increase in this behaviour whenever the male has a nest hidden beneath some leaves.

Edit 2: That is to say, this is a combination of my limited experience and logical thinking. It could very well turn out that I am in the wrong and you are right :p
 

DoubleDutch

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PascalKrypt said:
It's worked in my experience... though I've always avoided keeping the most aggressive species myself (three-spots, dwarfs) so there's that.
Yes, you can't prevent the sexual maturity and hormones that come along with it. However unlike, say, dwarf cichlids, establishing a territory is not - IME - a natural inclination in their day-to-day interactions. It is the bubble nest itself that is the trigger for territorial instincts, because the moment it exists there is a real possibility of a female approaching and a spawn occurring at any moment. No female will spawn without a nest (well, almost none), so no nest = no suitors. Moreover I imagine that the male would want to impress the females by showing how well secure he keeps his nest by attacking/chasing any rivals far off.

That is not to say that they won't spar if there isn't a nest, but since the nest = territory it can help in individuals that are not particularly predisposed to aggressive behaviour. If you have an already aggressive fish though (as in one where such instincts are not triggered by the desire to mate alone), then it probably won't do much. Some gourami just don't tolerate any other to claim the limelight, so to speak, and will bully anyhow.
So it may or may not work.

Though I do agree with you that this isn't the best solution. But if an owner is unable or unwilling to upgrade, spread the fish out over different tanks or rehome one of them, then this is a band-aid that may help a little. I don't think I would recommend it for more aggressive species but thick-lippeds shouldn't be too eager to tear each other to shreds, so a little dampening of the triggers for rivalry may just help.

Edit: Maybe an interesting note, but I've seen it in a harem of honeys. When a WC with warmer water triggered nest building in the male, the females started sparring for dominance that very next day. Not that it was violent, but they were doing their little circle dance of intimidation, something that they rarely did before. I really notice an increase in this behaviour whenever the male has a nest hidden beneath some leaves.

Edit 2: That is to say, this is a combination of my limited experience and logical thinking. It could very well turn out that I am in the wrong and you are right :p
It's not about being wrong or right to me.
I was just curious if such "drastic" measurement would solve the issue.
 

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DoubleDutch said:
It's not about being wrong or right to me.
I was just curious if such "drastic" measurement would solve the issue.
You and me both! I have little experience with having to use such measures myself so I'm not too sure either, but it might be worth trying.
 
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