Pearl Gouarmis are so shy!!!

Narcicius
  • #1
I've had a new pair of pearls for about a day and half, so overnight basically, and all they do is hide behind some plants I got for them, first I thought the problem was the zebra danios haunting the tank, so I removed them today, I need to know when the pearls are going to start eating, all I have at the moment is flakes and bloodworms. They are all alone in the 29 gallon tank so they have plenty of room, especially because they're both barely over an inch apiece. I'll definitely try soaking the food in garlic if they start reaching the breaking point later on, that's just not an option right now so any other ideas are appreciated.

It's day three and they're still not eating, I really need some help before I have to take my fish back, or they might die, I'm freaking out a little just watching them sit behind all my plants sitting as still as possible. The shyness is so weird because they are all alone in the tank.

Help!

Does no one have any idea what to do with my pearls, I'm still kinda new at this and have never had a fish that won't eat for nearly three days.
 
Blub
  • #2
Hi!

Gouramis are naturally shy fish. I heard a story a little while ago, where someone got a lone male Dwarf gourami and he took about a week before he started venturing out. Have you heard of 'Dither fish'? When you have the Cherry babrs you might be surprised how much more they come out. They will feel more confident to see lots of fish swimming out in the open - and I know that's what my Cherry barbs do.

Fish can go for weeks without food. Don't worry! In the wild, no fish expects to eat everyday. Relax! I'm betting they'll come out a lot in a week or so. Are you sure they're female?

You may want to read this page:
Although it does mention a lot of them being shy, a pair of females with active cherry barbs and plenty of plants should become really active. I'd just give them time. Pearls are just a little sensitive - they've just come into a completely different world.

Oh yeah, and I think you should go planted - (Well, maybe semi-planted) plants eat nitrates, less nitrate you have to get rid of, less maintenance! I have loads of plants in my 47gal, and I add liquid fertilizer with each water change. They thrive! And my gouramis love them.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hatchet can I put marbled hatchets in with my gouramis? or would the cherry barbs make better tank mates?
 
Blub
  • #4
Hi!

Marlbed hatchets tend to get a little big. They grow to 8cm long - and you need at least 6, plus they are prone to white spot and can jump up to 2M in the air when stressed - making water changes difficult. Cherrys are better tank mates. Common or Marthae silver hatchets would work. I still say Cherrys.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
cool, thanks again for the advice, I thought I researched them, but I was under the impression that they only get 5cm long, guess I got a bad site.

Oh and btw I have fake and real plants in the tank, all of which are doing well but I don't know if I should keep the airstone off or not, I've heard that it keeps CO2 out of the tank which the plants need to survive. Hate to be a newb but this is the first time I've actually had real plants.
 
Blub
  • #6
Hi!

Well, the problem with Marbled hatchets is they are prone to whitespot... They get to around 6cm if your lucky. There is a lot of debate on how big they get - due to lack of info on these species. 4cm for Common hatchet, 6-8cm for Marbled if you ask me. I'm thinking of finding out the exact measurements soon by adding a pair of Marbled hatchets to my Common hatchet school (both hatchet species school) to find out. I really love Marthae silver hatchets - they get from 3-4cm. (Lack of info - I can't find an exact measurement)

I keep my plants (I hate fake ones!) without an airstone and they are fine. No CO2, either. In normal aquarium conditions it isn't always necessary. I just add my liquid fertilizer with each water change.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I have an air stone and my filter creates bubbles in the water, will this kill my plants? I mean I knew that they needed co2 and that air stones remove it from the water but now that I have something other than gouramis in the tank don't I need some surface agitation? I hate to be a newb but please help
 
Trio123
  • #8
Really strange about the pearl gourami's not eating... have they started to munch yet? I have one and he is the fattest guy in the tank... when I first got him he was very shy because I had a gold gourami in with him that was beating him up. When I got rid of him the pearl wasn't nearly as shy. Then when I left the tank alone for a week... no moving anything, just left it alone, he became less shy... now I can do a water change and he'll come right up to my hand. His favorite is live brine... maybe you could try that? Garlic is always a good idea though when you can. Sorry I'm not of much help I know the feeling, I had a dwarf gourami that wouldnt eat and eventually died.
 
Blub
  • #9
Hi!

Keep the airstone in there. If your really worried - ask around if anyone knows how to do a DIY CO2 injector. I don't - put it in your sig though and someone could help. What else do you have in there now? I'm guessing it's the barbs. Listen - if you want - you can get a Flash or Clown pleco instead of a BN. They do the same job, but are slightly nicer to look at.

Do you know about feeding plecos cuccumber yet? There's a long post on it in the 'Fish food' forum on this site.

How are your pearls getting along? As Trio said - leave them alone for a bit and try to keep the area the tank is in quiet and they'll become the queens of the aquarium.

 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
The pearls just started to eat yesterday, but only a little, not to mention that they were venturing out of the darker parts of the tank. I just added six cherry barbs and the pearls are were they were, hiding and without appetite. Also the barbs are actively schooling with the two zebra danios I had in the tank. I hope the pearls come around, they're stripes are fading pretty bad. also my nitrite readings are spiking a little with no ammonia readings, really worries me. but the nitrite readign aren't serious I keep them low with adequate water change.
 
Blub
  • #11
Hi!

If there's nitrite - chances are the tank isn't properly cycled. If you can get BioSpira - get it now. The Pearls no doubt are stressed by the Nitrite in their environment. Did you cycle the tank? Don't bother feeding them for a week. That'll help reduce Nitrite. Do daily 10% water changes.

Also, do you feed the Pearls slow sinking granules? It's very important to provide your fishes with a varied diet. Mine live of 10 odd kinds of food! I have flakes, wafers, pellets, granules, frozen bloodworm, cuccumber, and a few others.

I heard somewhere Cherrys and Zebrs schooled - now I have firm evidence. Well, that can't be a bad thing!

 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Sorry to say that when I woke up this morning one of the female barbs has died, the male is trying to breed with the other four constantly, While he is chasing them the zebras will join in if they pass by to close, its kinda funny but I think its stressing the females way too much.
 
Blub
  • #13
Hi!

Oh great! Normally, the male only chases 1 at a time. He divides his attentions between all 5 (And in my tank he stopped bothering altogether after a week or so.) - but the Zebs are the things responsible for deaths. If the females are being chased by 3 things - that's not good. That and the nitrite.

Can you put the Zebras in the Shrimp tank? I know it's to small - but we never said you could take them on board, it's not your fault you had them. This is one of the reasons why I love the UK - no chain stores that cycle with fish! I was happy to see the employees of my fav LFS talking all about the Nirogen cycle to the customer's. I was listening too - he was great!


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
When I had the zebras in the shrimp tank they seemed fine, I'll definitely try that again now that I found a heater for it. I'm also very glad that your lfs prmotes knowledge of the nitrogen cycle not trying to make a sale. It's also good to know that cycling is natural in the UK. Thanks for all the help and I hope to save my females when I get home.
 
Blub
  • #15
Hi!

Remember, they can go for a long time without food. They should be fine soon. God, I'm killing myself for buying a really noisy filter for my 7.5gal Bowfront Betta tank... It makes more noise than my 47gal's filter! It's an AquaOne MaxI 101F.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I think another one of the females is about to die, The water parameters are fine and all the other females are coping just fine, but this one is secluding itself a lot. I also starting feeding the fish whole baby freshwater shrimp crushed up, I do this daily with the regular flake food. They eat it fine but I noticed one of the female barbs is a bit swollen, I don't know if this is from eggs or the food. How often should I feed them the shrimp?

Sorry for the filter noise, it seems like companies that supply filters and air pumps need to have silence as one of their features.
 
Blub
  • #17
Hi!

Do the shrimp once a week. It pollutes the tank more than flakes.

Pearls are shy fish - you need to keep thehide aher time. She should come out in the end - and don't expect her to play at the front 24/7. the idea of this tank was heavily palnted, with Cherry barbs at the front, a BN sucking on a large centeral piece of bogwood and a pair of beautiful Pearls creeping around the plants, sometimes coming out to play at the front. My Dwarfs sometimes hide at the back.

 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Cool, the idea part is kinda like a commercial, and btw when I said female I meant barb, my pearls are doing great. I have been feeding bloodworms once a week, but I didn't realize that the shrimp were pollutants, well now I just need to incorporate some veggies into the weekly meal plan, anything recommended other than peas for my fish?
P.S. It was fun feeding the shrimp so often the fish go nuts when I crumble those shrimp husks into the water. I'll miss the daily excitement, also I got one of the danios out of the tank and into the shrimp tank, but the other is impossible to catch, I don't want to try for to long as it will stress my other fish.
 
Blub
  • #19
Hi!

The female Cherry is probably the shy one. Worth watching her, though. Cuccumber is a great veggie for fish - it's best fed to plecos and when you get a BN you should do it around 3 times a week. When are you getting your pleco, anyway? If you like, and wouldn't mind not having an algae eater - then you can get a Queen arabesque pleco. It's carnivorous, and will mean no cuccumber, but amazing patterns. If you can find a Clown or Flash pleco - he should eat algae like BN but with a nice pattern. Have you got your bogwood sorted out for your pleco yet?


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
I would love a queen abaresque thet look so cool, The thing is I can't find anything other than common plecos. My current lfs keeps promising bristlenose shipments every week, the thing is when I come in on weekends the shipments never came in. I know for a fact that the chain stores in my area don't carry them, because they're not pleasant looking for potential buyers. Kinda stuck at the moment, and I can't find any bogwood, people keep reccomending a large plastick driftwood piece for my tank.
 
Blub
  • #21
Hi!

Geez... Just when you need a BN - and some bogwood for his digestion system...
You should ask for a Clown or Flash pleco. They do the algae eating, but with lovely colours.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
I'll try for some of those, do they need bogwood as well?
 
Blub
  • #23
Hi!

Yup. They need bogwood. That's a problem finding it... Ask your LFS when you get the Clown/Flash if you can have some real bogwood. Otherwise, I think it's possible to make wood you find on the ground safe for fish - but you'll have to ask elsewhere about that - I'm clueless on how! (Simply because I have all the Bogwood I could ever need)

Try these 2 links:



 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
I'll be sure to look into it, although at the moment the tank has absolutley zero algae in it(visible algae at least), I wonder if I just keep the sunlight off the tank if I could just skip the pleco?
 
Blub
  • #25
Hi!

You don't know what your missing...
I don't really value plecos for their algae-eating values (Although it is a big bonus!), rather their amazing personality's and quirky action. BN's are really great to watch, Crispy has worked out exactly how to stop the other fish eating HIS catfish tablet - spread out on top of it and suck like crazy! They are really fun fish to have. Clowns and Flash's aren't as crazy as BN's - but have a lovely pattern and still have a personality and a half. Read the links in my previous post. You'll probably be sold! (There's a reason they where yelling with joy every time they found another clown pleco...)


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Both of those plecos look really good, I just don't have any direct access to buy one at the moment, I'm starting to wonder if I can get a catfish or small shark in my tank, not for sure as most catfish are nocturnal and I don't plan to get nightvision to enjoy them.
 
Blub
  • #27
Hi!

Ah. I'm a bit of a Catfish geek... I read about lots of Catfish before making my desicion just to get a BN and 6 corys. you've got 12inches left in there... Sharks are out of the question, too aggresive for the Pearls and they'll go back to the sorry state they used to be in. You can ask the LFS to get some Flash/clowns for you?

Wait, lunch. I'll edit this post and finish it when I'm back up. Look around Planet Catfish and find a few catfish you like the look of in the mean time. See you...


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
lol k, kinda weird its only 9 in the morning over here. and when you get back, are there any catfish you reccomend that aren't shy or nocturnal?
 
Blub
  • #29
Hi!

It's half 2 over here! Yeah - it was a late lunch...

Right, you have 15inches more space in there. Now, the obvious small, peaceful catfish is a school of corys. Talking catfishes are basically 100% nocturnal. There isn't really many cats I'd say would go well in there, apart from those plecos we where talking about and corys. Here are some fish I reccomend to 'fill the gaps':

6 Panda, Sterbai, Julii, Bandit or Leopard cory cats,
10 Common (AKA Silver) hatchets,
3 more female cherry barbs, 1 more male cherry barb and 6 Common hatchets,
8 Harlequin rasboras, (Highly recommended!)
8 Oto cats, (Watch it with these guys. They are very sensitive, they're basically mini-BN's otherwise)



 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
I really like the rasboras although I kinda want something a little bigger, doesn't have to school at all, just needs to look nice, sorry for being so difficult when asking for advice, just want some pets rather than something to show my guests.
 
Blub
  • #31
Hi!

Isn't that the pearl gouramis? They get to 10-12cm and are stunning to look at.
Now, this will be hard! Since you can't keep different labyrinth fish species together (The main large, pretty fish family AKA Gouramis and Bettas) there aren't really many fish like that, especially non-schooling ones. Cichlids don't tend to get on with Labyrinths either - so Angelfish aren't an option. Hey - what about a trio of male Swordtails? They are very nice to look at and get to around 12cm, plus they won't end up eating the barbs!

 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Swordtails look good, I heard that they need a little salt in the water so, I don't know what issues may come up there.
 
Blub
  • #33
Hi!

Swords don't need salt in their water. It can be beneficial - otherwise Swords are extremely easy to keep.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
That's good to know, Il consider these fish now, I hope I finally settle on something, also I know its probably natural but my pearls are showing a little aggression toward each other now that they're used to the tank. Nothing to serious though from what I've seen.
 
Blub
  • #35
Hi!

They are probably establishing dominance between each other. Swords are pretty cool fish - always swimming at the front and very pretty and peaceful. There are quite a few varietys of swords - so work out which ones you want!


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Well I'm still enjoying my pearls quite a bit as of now, I just like the idea of more fish, I am also just attracted more to larger fish, ones that can be alone. It seems that when you get a school of fish you communicate with the entire school not one fish induvidually. One of my best friends has a beautiful tank filled with all pet fish, the only fish he has more than one of are a pair of iridescents. I can see that he has such a connection with each of his fish that I personally am quite jealous of. First I was hunting a schooling fish, now I just want pets rather than some eye candy. even though I still want attractvie fish. I also enjoy long fins and fluid movement. So bettas and catfish are a top choice. I hope I can stock the rest of my tank eventually.
 
Blub
  • #37
Hi!

Bettas and gouramis don't mix. Aren't you getting another tank for a Betta soon? A tiny one?

What do you think of Swords then? No, they aren't schoolers. Really if you want 'pet' fish you need a tank dedicated to them, like a Betta tank or Neville's Oscar tank.

No catfish really suit what you want I'm afraid - apart from BN's and other dwarf plecos. Although they don't tend to have personality I guess.

I think Swordtails will be the only thing that suits what you want Buddy.You can just get 1 sword if you like. I'd get 3, each one a different strain.

 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Eh, and I do plan to get an eclipse 5 or 6, for a betta. I still don't know about the swords, from the pictures I've seen I'm not very interested at the moment. Maybe if I see some first hand then I'll like them more. The only thing I can think of is having more gouramis, but I'm not sure how that'll go.
 
Blub
  • #39
Hi!

Different species of gouramis don't get along. You could re-arrange the tank and get 1 male Pearl and 2 more female pearls if you really want gouramis.

Look at pics of loads of different strains of swords. Not just the red and orange ones! They come in a lot of the colours platys come in.


 
Narcicius
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
OK Hatchet not to seem like I just ignored that last post, but I have been given the opportunity of free opaline gouramis, this is quite the conundrum as the guy I am talking to is moving away, he wants to start over on all his stuff, this is mostly due to the fact that the move will take place over several weeks and he beleives his fish will die, he said free opalines or he will just leave them in the tanks and hopes they survive until he can move them. I know this sounds neglectful but that's why I want to save them. I will not even bother if you think the opals will hurt my pearls, but they are beautiful and I want them to live. Please tell me what to do, and I will look at swords when I find out that I can't get the opals(I love gouramis!!!)
 

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