Dwarf gourami chasing platies

Mk47582

Member
Hi. Fairly new to fish keeping. I have a 16 gallon fully cycled tank with one dwarf cobalt gourami in it (I call him Kobe). I started out with the gourami and platies, but the platies died, the gourami survived. I made some beginner mistakes with cycling, and with stocking the tank too fast. I guess I got a little excited, lol (but feeling guilty I inadvertently killed my little platies). After taking about another three weeks to fix my problems with bacteria and ammonia, I am attempting to re-stock the tank slowly. Today was the first planned re-stock, I added 2 1.5” platies. I also dosed the tank with Seachem Stress Guard to help settle everyone.
To my dismay, Kobe is chasing them around the tank in spurts. I get the impression from watching them that he chases when a plate gets into his line of sight. So the chasing is not constant, but it is frequent. I have tons of silk plants, slate, caves and hides holes in the tank. I’m reading conflicting info; some literature says gourami can be aggressive, and the care sheet on fish lore says “mostly peaceful”. I was advised at the LFS that these two species were ok to place together in a community tank.
Does anyone know if this behaviour is only temporary? I have no experience with introducing new fish to a tank with established fish. Are fish like other pets like dogs or birds, where they establish a pecking order and the chasing will stop shortly? How long is an acceptable period of establishing a fish pecking order, if it exists? Or is this a sign that Kobe is not going to accept another fish in his domain? I do have a second 16 gallon tank which is currently in the cycling process, should be ready for fish 1st week in January, but i could use it to separate the platies from Kobe if this is gonna be permanent aggression. Wasn’t my plan to do that but I just don’t want to have any more fish die...trying my best for them! Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Kribensis27

Member
With dwarf gouramis in a community tank, it’s hit or miss. They can be super friendly or they can try to kill everything in the tank. I think that as long as you have hiding places it’ll be fine for now, but these guys can be terrible to tank mates. Just watch them for aggression and be prepared to possibly have to remove the platies or gourami if things get worse. Btw, your gourami is super pretty!
 
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Mk47582

Member
Thank you! He is handsome. Just not impressed with his behaviour. Thank god I have the second tank as a back up! Do you think they will be ok for one day without monitoring? Going to my brothers house for Christmas tomorrow.
 

Mudminnow

Member
I have always had a soft spot for dwarf gouramis. I've had peaceful ones and others that were little butts. It sounds like yours may be one of the latter. Keep and eye on him. He may learn to accept the platies, or he may not.

If yours does turn out to continue his aggression toward the platies, I've had luck keeping the more aggressive ones with a larger school of small fish (something like ember tetras). Or, you could replace the gourami with something more peaceful.

If you want a small peaceful gourami. You could swap the dwarf gourami for a honey gourami. I've never had a honey gourami act aggressive.
 

Kribensis27

Member
Mk47582 said:
Thank you! He is handsome. Just not impressed with his behaviour. Thank god I have the second tank as a back up! Do you think they will be ok for one day without monitoring? Going to my brothers house for Christmas tomorrow.
They should be fine, just make sure they can hide if needed.
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Member
Personality in gouramis plays a major factor. Yours could be a bit bored with only 2 platies to chase it looks worse. I sometimes find with chasing fish when you add more fish to the tank they kind of realise "well I can't chase them all" and they just give up. But also not uncommon to have a mean gourami. I have 5 pearls, very peaceful as far as gouramis go. The biggest female is a total bully. I originally had 3 but got another 2 and she calmed down. Everyone else is very peaceful.
 
  • Thread Starter

Mk47582

Member
Thank you everyone for your advice. I watched them closely last night, and the Gourami seems to be less interested in harassing the platies. He still chases for a few seconds but then gives up. I have my fingers crossed that this is just an adjustment period right now! I will continue to watch them to ensure none of my platies are too stressed or bullied, if so I’ll separate the platies into another tank.
Happy Holidays everyone!
 

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