Housing Dwarf Gouramis

Danni524

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So, I’m new to housing DGs and currently have 2 of them in a 5 gallon tank. The lady at the pet store I talked to said that I could house two no problem in the tank I have. She said they are a bit territorial but are the same size so it shouldn’t be an issue. However, I’ve had them for almost two weeks now and one is chasing the other all around the tank. It isn’t biting the other but is pushing him around. I tried adding more plants to give more hiding places and it helped a bit, but at this point I think the tank is too little and don’t want to have the “victI'm fish” to have to continue to live like this. Ido have a bit of money to get a new tank. Right now the biggest I could afford is a 10 gallon. Is that big enough for them or should I get another 5 gallon and separate them or should I keep them in the 5 gallon for now and save for a bigger tank? (one is silver with very light orange dots and the other is all orange except for the head. I also think they might be two males) also I know I should have done more research before bringing them home, but the place I went to has never given false information before. I usually keep bettas but I had one died suddenly from a tumor and wanted to try something new.
 

PascalKrypt

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Oh boy. A 5 gallon is too small for a single dwarf, let alone two.

Could you post a picture of the dwarfs? From your description, it sounds like you have a male and a female. If you have two males though, you would need at least a 40 gallon tank to keep them together without risk. Male dwarfs have been known to kill one another even with ample space. The lady at your pet store doesn't know what she is talking about.

If you have a pair, you may be able to keep them in a 15 or 20 gallon (I would skip the 10 for a bit of extra space, it'll be worth it).
 
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Danni524

Danni524

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PascalKrypt said:
Oh boy. A 5 gallon is too small for a single dwarf, let alone two.

Could you post a picture of the dwarfs? From your description, it sounds like you have a male and a female. If you have two males though, you would need at least a 40 gallon tank to keep them together without risk. Male dwarfs have been known to kill one another even with ample space. The lady at your pet store doesn't know what she is talking about.

If you have a pair, you may be able to keep them in a 15 or 20 gallon (I would skip the 10 for a bit of extra space, it'll be worth it).
Sorry about the bad pictures they’re still not used to me coming up to the tank yet. They were in the same tank at the store and didn’t seem to have an issue. The tank there was about the same size with other fish too. Should I do anything in the mean time while I save for the bigger tank to try and help the orange one out? That’s the one getting chased. Thank you for your help I really appreciate it
 

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PascalKrypt

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Nope sorry, those are two males.
Stores often get away with a lot of stuff we don't at home. Usually their tanks are very crowded which keeps aggressive fish from focusing on a single rival and so prevents fights.
The downside of this is that the fish in the stores are often permanently stressed and unless you have very powerful filtration and daily water changes, you water quality plummets. These set-ups are designed to house fish for a short time, not for their lifespan as your home set-up is meant to do :)

You really need to separate them or you might one day wake up to find one dead. It would be better if you could house them separately for the time being even if it were two small tanks. Is there a possibility you could buy the 10 and keep one in the 10 and one in the 5 until you can upgrade the 5?

Honestly it might be easier to just pick the one you like best and rehome or return the other one. Especially since you were sold these as a pair, which they are not.
 
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Danni524

Danni524

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PascalKrypt said:
Nope sorry, those are two males.
Stores often get away with a lot of stuff we don't at home. Usually their tanks are very crowded which keeps aggressive fish from focusing on a single rival and so prevents fights.
The downside of this is that the fish in the stores are often permanently stressed and unless you have very powerful filtration and daily water changes, you water quality plummets. These set-ups are designed to house fish for a short time, not for their lifespan as your home set-up is meant to do :)

You really need to separate them or you might one day wake up to find one dead. It would be better if you could house them separately for the time being even if it were two small tanks. Is there a possibility you could buy the 10 and keep one in the 10 and one in the 5 until you can upgrade the 5?

Honestly it might be easier to just pick the one you like best and rehome or return the other one. Especially since you were sold these as a pair, which they are not.
Thank you for your help again. Is the 10 gallon big enough for one? I think I'm going to return one or rehome him if the store won't take him back. I don't really have the room for two tanks. Also, if I keep the orange one who seems more peaceful are there other fish I could put with him the 10 gallon or would it be at its limit with just one? Sorry for all the questions. I'm new to community tanks.
 

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Danni524 said:
Thank you for your help again. Is the 10 gallon big enough for one? I think I'm going to return one or rehome him if the store won't take him back. I don't really have the room for two tanks. Also, if I keep the orange one who seems more peaceful are there other fish I could put with him the 10 gallon or would it be at its limit with just one? Sorry for all the questions. I'm new to community tanks.
That's fine, don't apologise for asking questions! It's great that you come here now with this situation instead of after one has killed the other. It happens more often than you'd like to know.

Yes, 10 gallons is fine for a single dwarf. If you want to give him tank mates though, it might be worth considering a 15 or 20 as it grants a little more space. Though most dwarfs should be fine with non-territorial, non-flashy tanksmates, some might still take offense. The larger the tank, the better the odds that everything works out.
You could consider some small bottom-dwellers though, like a group of corydoras habrosus. Or corydoras pygmaeus (not strictly bottom dwellers but should be fine). Or nano schoolers like chilI rasboras.
 
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Danni524

Danni524

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PascalKrypt said:
That's fine, don't apologise for asking questions! It's great that you come here now with this situation instead of after one has killed the other. It happens more often than you'd like to know.

Yes, 10 gallons is fine for a single dwarf. If you want to give him tank mates though, it might be worth considering a 15 or 20 as it grants a little more space. Though most dwarfs should be fine with non-territorial, non-flashy tanksmates, some might still take offense. The larger the tank, the better the odds that everything works out.
You could consider some small bottom-dwellers though, like a group of corydoras habrosus. Or corydoras pygmaeus (not strictly bottom dwellers but should be fine). Or nano schoolers like chilI rasboras.
Do you think a mystery snail would be okay? I have a friend who has a couple and I think they're really pretty.
 
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Danni524

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PascalKrypt said:
Oh yes, that should make for a good tankmate :)
Last question I promise! haha If I were to do a 20 gallon would a long tank or regular be best?
 

PascalKrypt

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Danni524 said:
Last question I promise! haha If I were to do a 20 gallon would a long tank or regular be best?
Long is always better, provided you have the space for it. Virtually all fish appreciate footprint (length x width) more than height, because they make much more use of horizontal as opposed to vertical swimming space.
 

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