Dwarf Gourami Decade Later

Katona

Hello wise ones.
I'm recently returned to the hobby after about a decade away and I have some Dwarf Gourami questions for you. I last had DG in 2013. (The bright light blue variation. Often seen as "Powder" or "Cobalt.") At the time, I couldn't by just a male unless I went to a mass market pet store. My LFS only sold Male/Female pairs. I never had issues and once even had fry...that were immediately sucked into the filter.

First question: I never had problems with bullying. For those of you who've been doing this for a decade, is this a newer inbred trait? Or are the same people having bullying issues today that were before?

Second: I keep hearing how ugly/plain females are, but my light blue females were basically the same colour as the males. Is this another new aspect or was I just way to free with colour boosting treats? I admit I don't know the "wild" or "flame" types as well, so perhaps those females are the "grey" ones everyone keeps talking about?

Ideally, I would like have at least a pair again. I have read a suggestion of 2-3 females to 1 male. I have access to a specialist with females, so this would be possible. Please feel free to give me all your thoughts; good, bad and ugly! (Intended home is a 47 gal bowfront, moderately/heavily planted and 'scaped with driftwood, botanicals and clift/cave.)
 

jinjerJOSH22

Hello and welcome to Fishlore.

I admit I don't know the "wild" or "flame" types as well, so perhaps those females are the "grey" ones everyone keeps talking about?
This, Powder Blues are the exception and are very similar in colour to the males. Other colour variations are usually a dull silver colour to a rust orange but nowhere near as colourful as the males.

In a 47 you could do a pair or even a small group, the choice is yours to make in my opinion. Their is enough space for the female to escape in that setup.

Personally I wouldn't keep any Dwarf Gourami and I'll leave my article on them here to say why: My thoughts on Dwarf Gourami/Trichogaster Lalius - Aquarium Article
 

Katona

Thank you jinjerJOSH22 for your thoughts and excellent article. I had read about DGIV, but also seemed to see what indicated a decrease in the last couple years. Do you, personally, feel that things are moving in the right direction? Do you notice any difference in terms of locations? (e.g., North America is particularly good/bad)

This is so frustrating, as I never had any issues with any of mine behaviour, health or otherwise. Besides being too much of a noob to understand what to do with the fry, I spent many quiet moments in the past watching them swim around.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Do you, personally, feel that things are moving in the right direction?
It's hard to say for sure but given how often I have seen threads here on fishlore I would say no. Obviously people often join here with issues so there would naturally be a bias towards illness but given my experience and how often I visit local(and not so local) stores only to see very unwell or dead Dwarfs.
Do you notice any difference in terms of locations? (e.g., North America is particularly good/bad)
Can't say I do, all I can say is that it is widespread.
This is so frustrating, as I never had any issues with any of mine behaviour, health or otherwise. Besides being too much of a noob to understand what to do with the fry, I spent many quiet moments in the past watching them swim around.
It's not always bad, I think there is a lot of misinformation around this species when it comes to care and especially when it comes down to sexing. Often when there is a issue it's because someone thought they had a male/female pair only to post a photo of two males. Also the idea that these fish can be kept in small aquaria, this can be a big issue.

Personally I would avoid them though if you have a reliable source then go ahead and get them! Alternatively you could keep other Gourami a 47 is good for a lot of other commonly kept species such as the Pearl Gourami. Keep in mind Gourami are social and personally I don't believe a pair is usually a good idea.
 

Katona

Thank you ProudPapa and again jinjerJOSH22. I know pearls and honeys have a ton of admirers in the hobby, but they do nothing for me, personally.

I actually thought that I had no practical interest at all in any other type of gourami, but then I came to a full and complete stop while browsing my local niche Fish/Reptile store. They had a tank full of Opaline gourami. I looked them up and realised I like the blue variant as well, but my readings online seemed to indicate the need for a larger tank than mine (55+) with 6 or more specimens.

I'm going to read through back posts on both, before setting my heart on anything.
 

CMT

I purchased 2 male dwarf gouramis from different reputable LFS 10 months ago. One went in my daughters 20 gallon and one in my 75 gallon community.

My daughter's was very personable, interactive, and a sweetheart. No issues whatsoever. About 6 months in it started showing all the signs of DGIV and died within 3-4 weeks.

The one in my tank is beautiful and still completely healthy. It also tends to overeat, is a punk to other fish, and generally acts like a pest. It's nothing that hurts anyone, but he's just always invading everyone else's personal space lol. It messes with the overall calm in the tank.

So bottom line for me...they are definitely beautiful, their personalities vary, and DGIV is definitely still a possibility. If I could have reversed the personality and health of our 2 fish, we would have ended up with a great fish. As it is, I kind of regret ever getting them.
 

chromedome52

Once upon a time I could have suggested Banded Gourami, Trichogaster fasciata. However, they are virtually unknown in the hobby these days. They are like a slightly larger Dwarf Gourami (they used to be called Giant Gourami, not to be confused with Osphronemus species). Colorwise they are very similar to wild type lalia. The other variety that is rare these days is the wild type labiosa. There used to be a debate whether or not it was the same as fasciata.

The health of Dwarf Gouramis seems somewhat dependent on the source. There are a few smaller online sellers that get wild collected fish occasionally. Oddly, the wild fish are the ones that aren't infected.
 

Katona

I wanted to update since I met with my local source for females yesterday. We had a very frank conversation about DG and it more or less mirrored what was here. "Ten-fifteen years ago these things were bulletproof," was a sentence that really stuck out. He gets his stock from Singapore and didn't flat out tell me not to get any, but basically said if I enjoyed them in the past I may not have the same experience this time around.

As much as I like the DG, I think I'm pretty resolute about passing on them at least for the time being. I've now got some 3-spot questions, and will head over to that forum to ask them. Thank you again everyone for your thoughtful (and of course helpful) replies.
 

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