20 Gallon Tank my blue gourami is eating my red wag swordtail--help!

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legs

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I'm new to having an aquarium, and I've only had this 20 gallon set up with fish for about a week. I have one blue gourami(susan), one male red wag swordtail(claire), and a violet goby(greg). The goby just chills and does his own thing, but my swordtail is getting followed, bitten at and sucked at by my gourami. I woke up late this morning, so the fish got a late meal--but apparently not the gourami; he took off three scales from the side of my modestly small swordtail for breakfast! I'm worried about my swordtail getting picked on anymore, and I was wondering what I could do to help him out. My intuition tells me to get more swordtails, to provide safety in numbers--or something like that, but I had someone suggest to get another gourami so that they pay their attention towards each other (rather than the swordtail). I've been reading some of the other threads on this forum, and you guys seem to know what you're talking about, any ideas?
 
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Gouramiguy17

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You have an agressive gourami, what size is he, i have kept mine in with platy fry over 1cm and bigger and he did fine with them. I would recemond returning the gourami to the petstore and getting more swordtails
 

Shawnie

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welcome to fishlore!!! gourami's are very territorial fish and sometimes do not play well with others as you have seen....have you seen him fighting with the platy and biting or are you assuming hes doing that? if you put in a bunch of taller plants, whether it be fake or real, that might help...adding another gourami will be an all out war IMO...and not sure with the fish you have now, if you have room for more swords...maybe another member will have more info on that for you..and goby's are brackish water fish and he really needs a brackish tank...although they will surivive in freshwater, they dont thrive and much prefer the brackish side...
 

legs

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I've actually seen him going up and trying to nibble at him. The swordtail used to be quite jolly and would swim around all over the tank, but now he just mopes around by the edges and only actively swims in order to get away from the gourami. The gourami is about three inches long, lips to tip of the tail, and the swordtail is about the same length, but he's a much more slender fish, and that measurement includes his long "swordtail" since he's a male. I planted some bulbs in the tank, but since they'll take a while, i guess i should get something else in the meantime.. what does IMO mean?

And about the goby--I know! I hate admitting it, but I got the goby from walmart, labeled as a dragonfish. They were keeping him in a freshwater tank, and it was only after I bought him and did a little research that I found out he's a goby and ought to be in brackish water. I feel like giving him back to walmart would be cruel, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with him; I heard that if they're kept in fresh water they'll live for about 4 years tops.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Legs and Welcome to Fish Lore. I see according to your aquarium information that you are not aware of the nitrogen cycle? If this is true you'll find the link below a necessity and a great help to fish keeping. The above posters have you covered on the immediate problem. Best of luck and again Welcome to the site.
Ken
The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
 
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