HELP. My fish are eating everything

Discussion in 'Gouramis' started by yayshpankay, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. yayshpankay New Member Member

    So I have a 10 gallon tank, and I've had it since December 2009 and I'm pretty new to having fish so I don't know a whole lot about what I'm doing.

    The lady at the fish store told me to get gourami's to live with my beta which I already had. My beta and one of my gourami's were killed within the first day. My beta was eaten and the gourami was beaten? until it just couldn't swim anymore.

    Today I got a rubber lip pleco and the woman assured me it would be fine in my tank, but it's already missing and I'm assuming my gourami's ate it because I searched my tank and can't find it.

    I feed my gourami's regularly, so do you think they're just malicious fish or do all gourami's do this?

    Pleaseeee help me because I really hate these fish right now =[

  2. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Hello & Welcome to Fishlore!

    I see you don't know about the Nitrogen Cycle, it's the most importent thing in fishkeeping.

    You have gottin some bad advice from your fish store. Bettas and Gourmais can't live together since they are related. Bettas need a tank to themselves period. A 10g tank is not big enough for a Rubber Lip pleco that grows to approx. 6" or for any pleco for that matter as they produce alot of waste, some get quite large and need space to swim. How many Gourmai's do you have now and what are they, Dwarf Gourmai? They are territorial and being in such a small tank they will defend THEIR tank. Do not add anymore fish to your tank.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  3. yayshpankay New Member Member

    Right now I have 2 gourami's. I have no idea what kind they are. Today the woman at the store told me they were the same kind, just different colors. One is a silverish/bluish color and another is orange with zebra looking stripes on the top, if that helps at all?

  4. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Hmmm....maybe Dwarf Gourmai's. Are they about 2"? Usually it's best to keep only ONE Gourmai per tank unless it's a male/female together. They are like Bettas, hate their own kind. That is why you had deaths in your tank because you mixed Betta and Gourmais. The two you have now get along fine?

    Here's a great link in stocking a 10g.


    Most here have gotten bad advice from a fish store, you have come to the right place to get situated and learn. :)
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  5. 2focusd New Member Member

    Wow, I'd never ever shop at that fish store ever again! As has been said earlier, bettas (especially males) ALWAYS need to be housed separately. Sometimes people can get lucky with a female betta in a small community tank (like I have) but even then it takes some skill to ensure that everyone's getting along. Also as has been said, gouramis pretty much hate their own kind, and a 10G tank is too small for them, so they'll constantly be fighting to the death for territory. Lastly, algae eaters such as a pleco are meant for a larger tank (30G+) and should only be added after the tank's been established for awhile so that they'll have enough food/algae/ to eat. The only thing that could survive in a 10G tank would be an otocinclus, and even then I'd advise against it as otos are VERY sensitive to water conditions and could be an easy target for your gouramis.

    Also, it sounds like perhaps you have one blue gourami (also called a three-spot gourami) and one neon gourami. If that's the case, the blue gourami can get up to about 5" (I have one that's about this size in my 55G community tank and he behaves nicely since he's the only gourami species) and the neon gourami will probably hit 2.5" - 3", both of which make them too large for a 10G tank :(

  6. yayshpankay New Member Member

    Both my fish are about 2 inches long and I've been told they are both females, but they could've been completely wrong because they were wrong about everything else so far.

    Does this mean I can't get any more fish at all?
  7. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Personally, I can't stand gouramis. In my opinion, they are NOT a community fish. :;2cents

    Oh, and I agree. I would never shop at that pet store again. Is it part of one of the big chains? Or a smaller store that specializes in fish (doesn't sound it).
  8. yayshpankay New Member Member

    I'm starting to hate gouramis too.

    But yeah, I got them at petsmart but I really don't have a choice. I go to school in the middle of nowhere Maine and that's the closest place to get fish, besides walmart.
  9. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    You'd be surprised at little tiny fish stores that are tucked into strip malls and the like. You have to do research though to find them sometimes. But it's always well worth it.

    If you want to give me the names of some towns near you, I'd be happy to see what I can find.

    Very few Petsmart, Petco or Walmarts have staff that actually are familiar with fish. It's definitely a case of buyer beware!
  10. e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    Can you send us a picture of the two fish so then maybe we can help identify for sure what they are?

    But I'm guessing you're probably going to have to part with ATLEAST one of these guys if not both. I would just go to back and ask to speak to a manager and just tell them all the terrible information you have been given by one of their employees and then tell them you now have two fish that are too large for your tank thanks to them and you'd like to return them (that is if you are over the return date) or exchange them for nicer small fish that can stay in an aquarium. I'm sure all of us who are posting would have great advice for stocking a 10 gal tank
  11. funkman262 Well Known Member Member

    You're completely right. I thought the only pet stores nearby me were Petsmart and Petco, but then after doing a google maps search for pet stores, a long list popped up so now I whenever I need anything fish-related I try to go to a new store everytime until I visit them all and figure out my favorites ;D
  12. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    If you want, return them and get smaller fish that are suitable for that size tank. Deff find a better fish store first. There are some smaller Tetras, Guppies, Pygmy Corys, Honey Gourmai, Sparkling Gourmai and Red Cherry Shrimp would be some ideas.

  13. yayshpankay New Member Member

    SO those are my fish. My camera is pretty crappy so I don't know if you can see them well enough to know what they are.

    But I go to school in Unity, Maine and there is one fish store but it;s really sketchy and not very good. Other than that, I don't know of any others.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  14. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    Actually, the blue one looks a bit like a normal Dwarf Gourami, which, though it only gets to 2-2.5 inches, really does better in a tank of 15 gallons minimum. Not so sure what the orange one is. Honey gourami? If it has stripes, then definitely not.

    I really doubt that your BN pleco was eaten. Have you looked in every little nook and cranny in the aquarium? (BTW, the pleco's also a bit too big for your aquarium, sorry. You'll be surprised at how limited a 10 gallon tank is for stocking, as I learned the hard way)
  15. bolivianbaby Fishlore Legend Member

    The gourami on the left is a gold gourami. They're a color variation of the three spot gourami.

    The gourami on the right is definitely a dwarf gourami.

    That is a bad situation. Both the gold and the dwarf gouramis have bad attitudes and don't like to share space. You may want to re-home the gold gourami. The dwarf gourami should be fine in your tank.
  16. yayshpankay New Member Member

    Both of them are great together. They teamed up and killed my other gourami a couple of months ago and have never hurt each other.
  17. 2focusd New Member Member

    Well, that's not going to be a permanent thing. Before long they'll be going after each other and you're gonna have a really ugly situation on your hands...

  18. Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Hello and welcome to Fishlore!
    I'm sorry you're losing fish. Even though your two gouramis may be okay now as they mature their natural aggression towards other gouramis will peak and you may end up losing another. I don't think gouramis are malicious but aggression will definitely be increased if they are feeling cramped. At this point I would recommend returning the gold gourami as it will get too big for your tank. Also, if by chance your pleco is still alive and you find him, I would recommend returning him too since he will also get to big for your tank. You can keep the dwarf gourami if you like, but it will mean having to cycle your tank with the fish in it. If possible I would recommend returning both fish for now so you can start a fishless cycle. Then once your tank is cycled we can help you in choosing fish that are suitable for a 10 gallon tank. Though I will warn you now, the list of fish suitable for that tank size is a short one. However there are a few combinations that would make for a very beautiful tank. :)

    If you really want to keep one for now than I would recommend using the refund from the gold gourami to purchase a bottle of Seachem Prime. Prime is a water conditioner that will remove the chlorine and chloramine from your tap water, but unlike most other conditioners it will also detoxify ammonia and nitrite, both of which are toxic to fish. Read the link provided in post #2 on the nitrogen cycle. Understanding the nitrogen cycle and the importance of cycling your tank is extremely important. Here is a link on how to cycle your tank. Four Methods Of Fishless Cylcling As you can guess, the methods described here are for cycling a tank without fish. For cycling with Fish you will need to do daily water changes with the Seachem Prime I described above until the cycle is complete. Another option for cycling with fish is a product called Tetra Safe Start (NOT to be confused with Tetra Aqua Safe). Tetra Safe Start (TSS) is a bacterial additive that will jumpstart your cycle and when used properly cycle a tank in 7-10 days. The smaller bottle, which would be sufficient for your tank size, generally runs around 12-15 dollars. It can be slightly harder to find as chain stores like Petsmart and Petco don't carry it, but sometimes a smaller mom and pop fish store will. It is readily available online. If you decide to keep your dwarf gourami and cycle with him in the tank this is actually the method I would personally recommend if you can find it and don't mind the cost.

    You will also want to invest in a good liquid test kit. API makes an excellent Freshwater Master Kit. It can be pricey (around 30$) but it is very much worth it. Test strips I would not recommend as they are very inaccurate and will actually cost more in the long run. Testing is the only way to know if your tank water is safe for your fish so it is very important to have a quality test kit, especially with a new tank.

    Good luck with your tank and keep us posted!
  19. yayshpankay New Member Member

    You seriously need all that stuff just for a small ten gallon tank?
  20. bubblynutter Well Known Member Member

    Sure do! Welcome to the world of responsible fish keeping! Never as easy as the LFS makes out... ;)

    Prince gave you some excellent advice.
    The TSS is not mandatory, but would be the safer option since you already have fish. The only exception would be if you tested your ammonia levels and they are above 1.0ppm. Levels above this run the risk of killing the beneficial bacteria in the TSS.

    I've never used the stuff personally, it's near impossible to get in Australia.
    I had to cycle with fish in, and the best you can do is daily water changes with Prime, and test your tank every 24-48 hours just before doing a pwc.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010