Dwarf Gouramis sold in pairs

Bill

Member
Hi!

I'm considering buying a dwarf gourami for my 160L, they are lovely! In my LFS they are sold in pairs (1 male with 1 female). They are all in the tank together and seem to get along fine, but I've heard that the male can stress out the female by chasing her etc. I don't want to get more than one female to share out the stress, but equally I don't want any of my fish buddying off together and going all territorial on the others.

Would it be OK to get a pair, or would I be better off with just one male (the males are the nicer-looking ones ;D)? Are they happy as solitary fish?

Thanks!

~Bill
 

Luniyn

Member
I have a single male in my tank (yeah they are the nicer looking ones) and he's doing fine by himself in the tank (well with the 5 tetras and 3 cory cats I have). As for the 1 male to 1 female, you have a 50-50 shot of it working out fine. If the male is overly aggressive, he will chase the female around the tank and most likely stress her out to the point of death. That's why it's usually recommended to have 2 females to divide his attention. On the other hand it might work out just fine, especially if they have grown up together in the same tank for a while in the pet store. I think the reason they seem to be OK in the pet store is because they never quite feel comfortable enough in with all of those other fish and usually no decoration to hide in if they get in over their head. So they seem well behaved because they are too stressed to worry about defending any territory. It's once you get them home and they start to settle in and think "hey I like this place... it's mine and no one else can be here" that the problems arise. So best advise is to see if the pet store would take back the female if you noticed a problem and you could just keep the male if the pair didn't work out and you don't want a second female. If not then it's up to you if you want to take the 50-50 shot... it might work out great and yeah they make nice additions to the tank.
 
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Bill

Member
Thanks Luniyn, that's really helpful! I'll ask them, yeah... it'd be kind of cute to have c ouple in my tank
 
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Bill

Member
Well, I bought a pair yesterday, and it's not looking too good The male is chasing around the female constantly. The female spends all her time hiding and hasn't eaten anything. If the male isn't chasing the female, he's barging into my other fish. Is he just establishing a territory, or is he always going to be a bully? I can see that the other fish are tense. I'm not getting a good feeling about this at all :-[

*edit* Highly likely that the stupid LFS won't take the female back either > Any ideas?
 
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Bill

Member
Update; they have calmed down a lot now. The female is still hiding, but the male isn't bothering her nearly as much, and the other fish have relaxed too. Looking good
 

Luniyn

Member
It does take a bit for them to get used to their new surroundings. And because they are related to betta's, yeah they can be pretty territorial as well. The other fish will eventually adjust and the male will calm down as you've already noticed. Hopefully he's not too high strung that the the female will eventually feel safe enough to come out and play. I wouldn't worry about here for a bit as they can go for a week easily without eating. So let her just feel safe and she should come out on her own when she gets hungry enough. If not then if you have sinking shrimp pellets, my Dwarf Gourami loves them. So much so, I have to drop them in separate parts of the tank so he gets enough and my cory cats get enough. But if you drop one near where she hangs out, she can get some food in her which also might help get her less stressed. Good Luck with them.
 

armadillo

Member
And I have a rule to only start worrying about a permanent solution (tank move) for aggressive fish after a week of co-habitation. Before that, it could really settle itself.
 
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Bill

Member
Thank you Luniyn and Armadillo! They have really chilled out now. The female is still shy but I am seeing more and more of her, and the male has stopped dashing about at 50mph. Looks like it's going to be ok
 

armadillo

Member
Oh that's great. So it settled itself then. Good stuff!
 

timg

Member
Just watch for the bubble nest! With a pair, they will try to breed sooner or later, and when they do, that's when the male will get aggressive again.

My male dwarf would take on anything, regardless of size when they look to mate, so just be prepared for it. I can't understand why the shop would sell pairs, rather than singles though. Around here, there is a shortage of females and I always like to have a two to one ratio with dwarfs, so as to give the females a chance!
 

Callum The Cat

Member
he actually lost his female

Peace Out Callum!
 
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Bill

Member
Yes, thank you Callum!!!!!!!! for your help...
 

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