I have 2 female 3-spot gouramis that grew up together in a 75g community tank. Originally the same size, now one ia much bigger than the other and bullies it - the smaller one now hides out in the plants and i am concerned is so scared it will stop eating and die. Any suggestions? Thank you!
thanks v much. unfortunately my only option is a 5g tank with (just) one male betta - i could move the beleagued female gourami there. any guess on whether that is a worse option (do not have ability to return to LFS until next week and this just started).
My blue 3 spots that I've had for like 5 years did the same type of thing in the 72g pretty much since adult size, But they were always similar sized. they fight some if they cross paths mostly ventral dueling, occasionally lip locking, one always hangs out by the filter intake, the other basically cruises around the rest of the tank, and occasionally comes over to it to cause a problem.
Neither ever stopped eating though, the one waits for the intake to pull floating food over to it and eats over there, and they've never damaged each other either. the one that isolated does come out more often with so may fish now in that tank I guess using them as cover, but is it ideal? probably not, but no damage is being done to either of them and they figured out a way to coexist and both get food.
One would chase the other, they occasionally face off and lip lock, but again, I'm not seeing damage and I'm not seeing complete shut down and refusal to eat, so I'm letting them sort out their differences.
this was the usual dynamic, one always on the left, the other swimming around, this was when I started moving over and filling out the tank for grow out, same thing still.
Now that I've got more than I'm really comfortable with for angelfish in this tank for grow out, the dynamic shifted. the one that always hangs out on the left and rarely moves is venturing out now and more comfortable, and the one that was so brave and adventurous, sits in the opposite corner looking more uncomfortable than it's ever been. I think it's just so much activity to watch to distract them instead of worrying about each other, one, the normally bullied fish, I think is using the activity for camouflage, and the other, the bully, i think it's just too much activity and now uncomfortable cruising around playing tough, and a visual overload and no longer sure of itself.
the adult angels never mess with them at all, and neither did the gouramis mess with the angels, It's like they weren't even sharing a tank and neither saw each other, so I figured the juveniles could work... and they did, but man it's gonna get crowded here shortly!
Just noticed in the 2nd video for the first time, the black marble at the beginning on the left seems to be fertilizing the glass. LOL. there's no mature female in there... juveniles have a couple months more before they mature still. interesting... never noticed that happening before.
Anyways, will adding fish to give them other things to interact with or focus on help? Not sure, but it seemed to work in my case, but I just had 6 fish in the tank, and now there's 40 and even at 20 additions it really hadn't changed to where the dynamic shifted between the two of them completely.
thank you - there are a bunch of other much smaller schooling fish in there - its a well-stocked tank and i put a lot of thought into stocking matches and not overstocking. So i hear you on the diversions...but the gouramis tend to ignore the other fish and after more than a year being "besties" one just got a lot bigger and is really a bully (only to the other gourami).
Per my reply to the first response, unfortunately i only have two choices in the short term, and i think putting her in with my male betta in a 5g (which has just a few snails and two cloud minnows) may be a worse option than hoping these gals work out their issues. There is plenty of cover / plants in my 75g