Gouramis had babies in community tank. Now what?

Kuebeecee

I have a 55 gallon planted tank with:
7 tetras
5 rasboras
5 corys
7 otos
2 honey gourami

The honey gourami (who I thought were both male) randomly had babies after a year of living with each other.

It has been six days since the eggs were laid. The babies are now swimming around. They are staying within the floating plants. I was not prepared for this so I just crushed up flake food into powder and sprinkle it in the area three times a day. They seem to be favoring the glass. Assuming they are eating algae? They are so hard to see so I have only noticed a few swimming around.

The problem now is the dad is still super protective of the side of the tank that harbors the babies. Before he would “attack” fish that came near. Now he just randomly goes after the fish, even when they are on the opposite end of the tank. He doesn’t seem to be hurting anyone…just darting at them. I am hoping he doesn’t stress the little guys out. The tetras and rasboras have been schooling together now. As of now, removing the parents is not an option for me, so I have been letting this ride out. Some questions:

- How long does the dad protect the fry for?
- Will he ever calm down and not be so aggressive?
- Will the babies starve if I keep feeding them what I’m feeding them? The flake crushed to powder is basically like the size of a grain of sand.
- Am I safe to clean the tank? At least the side of the tank the fry aren’t occupying?
- Will the other fish be stressed to the point of death if the gourami keeps chasing them?
- Will the Gourami stop protecting the area if the fry are no longer alive?

I have looked up information but I am only able to find things on what to do if you are purposefully breeding them. I’m clearly not, and my only option is to let the cards fall where they may. Just curious on if anyone has answers to my random question. I do hope some of the fry survive!
 

FinalFins

To answer your questions-

The dad will protect his fry until he spawns again, or until the fry wander off.

As long as he is in the mood to breed, he will continuously guard his territory. However, honey gouramis aren't that aggressive, and I would be surprised if he did any damage to any other fish.

The babies won't starve eating flake, but the trouble comes from having them recognize flake. My paradise gourami fry only started accepting flake at around ~1 month. If you can see them eat the flake, they can definitely grow up on it. They probably are eating tiny microorganisms they find.

You can clean the tank anywhere you want, but if you want to preserve the fry, I would run everything into a small mesh if you are siphoning water.

Your tank is 55 gallons, so I think most of the fish have ample room. I think it is a non-issue with the other fish being stressed to death.

As long as he is in the mood to breed, he will continue to guard a nest/territory if the fry are absent.
 

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