Cory Catfish And Gourami Stocking?

Lex1

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I only have a 10 gallon but would love to have 4-5 Cory catfish and one dwarf gourami. With my tank size is it possible to have that combination work? If not what are my stocking options for either a Cory tank or a dwarf gourami tank? It seems like every site I go to for research has a different take on stocking suggestions.

I also keep reading different advice on having an exclusive gourami tank. Some places say that gourami should be kept one per tank for territorial reasons and then other sites say they do great together.
 

Initiate

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I would suggest a twenty long, cories and gourami are both very active fish and the footprint of a 10g is not large enough. As long as cover is provided for the cories to seek refuge in they should be fine, the gourami will only be aggressive when the cories 'annoy' him. Feed the cories a high protein diet like shrimp pellets.
 
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Lex1

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So my 10g is too small to have just cories in also? If I could keep 5-6 cories by themselves I could make a nice planted tank. I have an empty 10g right now so I’m looking to get that filled with something before getting any bigger tanks.
 

MissRuthless

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Perhaps you should look into sparkling gouramis - they won't kill each other, a group can live in a 10g, and they are pretty much the cutest and most interesting freshwater fish you can get (ok, I may be biased) - think tiny, blue eyed bettas. Dwarfs need more space, tend to be mean more often than not, and are also pretty badly bred and highly susceptible to various diseases.

Cories won't die from being kept in a 10g if it's a very healthy, established tank, but they will not thrive, and if your tank is empty right now then it needs to be cycled first. Most cories can't withstand the stress of cycling, and especially with this being your first tank it's likely they won't survive. Best to wait until you're ready to upgrade for them.

Other nano fish that I like for 10g are ember tetras, chili or dwarf rasboras, and scarlet badis. You can never go wrong with a betta, or two if you buy or make a divider. Also any type of shrimp except filter feeders, or snails. Again though, all these fish other than the betta really need to be put in an established tank... a betta could survive the cycle if you keep up on testing and water changes, but since you haven't already made the mistake of chucking fish into your uncycled and hence soon-to-be toxic tank, it would be wiser and more humane to set the tank up and fully cycle it first.
 
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Lex1

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It’s not my first tank but I am still very new to fish keeping. I currently have a 6.5g set up with a single male betta. I’ve been having his tank up and running for about 3 months now so I’m familiar with cycling. I had my 10g set up and cycled ready for fish but I ended up taking it down because I decided I was just going to stick with my betta. After a few weeks of seeing that empty 10g tank on my shelf I can’t resist filling it up again lol.

I LOVE the dwarf rasboras and scarlet badis. Would I be able to mix those two species or would I be better off with a single species tank? Also what would be the stocking numbers and male to female ratio (it it matters). Thank you for help!
 

MissRuthless

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You could keep them together, though the scarlet badis are extremely shy and a lot of people report issues feeding them with other fish in the tank. They also need a densely planted tank, like very densely planted, and many won't accept prepared foods so you would likely need to raise brine shrimp or something similar for them - some people keep them with colonies of cherry shrimp as a food source, but to do this you'd need to establish a decent breeding colony before introducing the fish. They are definitely not an easy or "beginner" fish, but can be kept if you're willing to put in the work, and fully establish and plant the tank first of course. I would go with either one and a small school of rasboras, or a species tank with a male and a harem of maybe three females. Some people buy and keep just a pair successfully, but I'd be worried about unforeseen aggression as you won't have a backup tank to separate them if needed.

I cannot stress enough that badis are not easy fish to keep. If I ever see them in a store, lord have mercy I will buy them on the spot and rearrange my life around them, but I dread the work that will be involved. A few sparklers would be good experience to get under your belt before taking those on though - they're a similarly tiny, shy, picky and super cute, but easier to keep. I mean you could do it, but it will take much preparation, work, and money spent on live food culturing and tons of plants. If you do decide on them and rasboras, I would add them first and then wait a few weeks before adding the rasboras, so they can settle in and find hiding places aren't too freaked out.
 

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I also keep reading different advice on having an exclusive gourami tank. Some places say that gourami should be kept one per tank for territorial reasons and then other sites say they do great together.
I have honey gouramis and the thing is, you should either have one male in a tank alone in my opinion - because the male gets territorial with other males. Or one male and two females- this is because the male with want to spawn constantly with the females and will chase them really aggressively and he will do it constantly! In a small tank where the females dont have space to run from him he will chase them to exhaustion. I ended up with 3 honey gouramis in 8 gallon tank because of bad advice and it was bad. Within a month I felt so bad for my mistake that I upgraded to 15 gallon for them. But even there the male is giving rough time to even to other fishes when they get anywhere close to his bubble nest, I even see some scales missing on the females. The male will be rehomed to separate tank soon.

Please don't underestimate advises about how much space the species need, because from my own experience, it WILL lead you to fishes but also you being stressed.
 

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Agree with that! Most gourami species cannot coexist, regardless of anyone who says they keep males together in x y z circumstances it is always risky. One honey would make a nice centerpiece in a 10, or a small group of sparklers, but the others all need more space and if there are females present with multiple males, ANY species will fight. This is the same reason I recommended only one male badis with a harem, a lot of people say two males and four females is ideal but I wouldn't want anyone squabbling over territory with that little space. I will say though that sparklers generally do much better than honeys IME in small tanks, though they must be densely planted and have some sort of division (not a divider but plants or decor to split the tank) so they can stake out their own areas. Right now I have three of them in my 5.5g, two are males, all are wanting to spawn so there is some chasing, but everyone has a home and no one gets hurt, they just do a lot of tough guy dances and occasionally sneak up on each other to nip the other's tail and scare them. Their tank is an absolute jungle though, and it wouldn't work any other way. This is after I trimmed out a half gallon bucket worth of plants last night:
IMG_2059.JPG


In the long term I think I may move them to my 30g long and add to the group, but they are comfortable enough here that I plan on adding another female as soon as I find her.
 
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Lex1

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I’m definitely not ready to try any badis. I know I’m not skilled enough to care for them properly. You definitely have me sold on a sparkling gourami tank though. Your tank is incredible! What types of plants do you have? I’ve always wanted to do a really densely planted tank like that but never knew where to start. More research it is lol.

Do you think 2 males with 4 females would be a good way to go for a 10g? I’m not sure if 6 together would be pushing it or not for that size tank. Sorry if my questions are repetitive. Ive never owned anything except bettas and I rather be safe than sorry.
 

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I don't think I'm ready for badis either, it's fine. That's a whole lot of work! That's why I'm just nursing my sparkler obsession They're actually really similar to bettas - they're related. I think 5-6 would be fine in your 10g, but they're difficult to sex as adults and impossible when they're young so you may end up having to remove an overbearing male at some point depending on what you end up with and how they act. They don't fight nasty like other fish though, they only fight over females and it's a lot more displaying, dancing and chasing than anything else. Sometimes they nip each other bad enough to fray their tails a little, but that's usually as bad as it gets. They don't try to murder each other or anything. I've read that they use their clicking "croaking" sounds basically to size each other up, and because of that they're able to have their tough guy confrontations without actually fighting. If the LFS employee will let you, you can put them in the clear dip & pour that they use and shine a flashlight through them, and if they're mature you'll be able to see the ovaries as a yellowish pinkish spot behind the stomachs of the females, up near the spine. They breed pretty easily in the right conditions, and it's pretty awesome to watch the male tend to the nest and babies.

You wouldn't have much room for a cleanup crew other than shrimp or a few snails though. My sparklers have done fine with cherry shrimp, but some do gang up and murder them for lunch. Amanos would be a good option if you didn't want to risk it. Nerite snails are cute and eat tons of algae, and don't reproduce. They don't come up to the surface to eat, I feed them betta pellets crushed with a mortar and pestle and they catch them as they sink, then pick around at the plants and surfaces most of the day. I've never found a pellet that was small enough for them, and they mostly just spit out crushed flakes. They do pick up a lot of what falls, but you have to be careful to only feed a tiny bit at a time so it doesn't end up everywhere. It's like fishkeeping, miniaturized.

Oh yes, thank you for the compliment! The plants are the most important part. In their tank I have java moss, lace leaf and regular java ferns, crypts, moss balls, anubias and a sword behind the driftwood, and the floaters are water sprite and duckweed. They're all really easy, low tech plants - I can't grow anything else. I don't do anything special for them, when I get the motivation I'm going to redo the tank with soil substrate capped in black sand (the sparklers look more sparkly on black substrate) but everything grows just fine with the gravel.. it's hard to vacuum it well around everything though. The driftwood pretty much splits the tank in half and helps with their little territorial spats, and the shrimp use the smaller crevices to hide in. The water sprite is their favorite, they're always hanging out in it and hopefully scoping out nesting sites for me they like next to no current so you only want to use either a sponge filter, or I use one of the small whisper internal filters with a stocking over the intake and keep the water level right up to the outflow, which causes the plants to grow over the entire surface except the area right in front of the filter.

Jeez I wish I could talk everyone into getting sparklers this easily! They really are some of the coolest fish in the trade. So much personality in such teeny tiny little packages some people say they're fragile and hard to keep, but being labyrinth fish who live in near stagnant waters and drainage ditches, and having been subject to much less line breeding and genetic degradation than bettas and DGs, they're actually fairly hardy and forgiving of exposure to less than ideal conditions at times.
 

SFGiantsGuy

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I like Sparkling gouramis as well; they're a great nano fish. My fave is Honey Gouramis though. They're peaceful, pretty small as well. Err, all of the ones I have ever seen were small though...kinda tough to find around here in this state though...they're almost always sold out! : (
 
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