Pearl gourami - harem

CraniumRex

I have 7 juvenile Pearl gourami in a 36 gallon grow out tank. They are young - maybe 2.5 - 3” and exhibiting breeding behaviour. There are 6f and 1m.

Couple of questions for experienced Pearl gourami keepers.

1. In your experience, what is the best temp to keep them at? I currently have them at 78.5 up from 77 and not sure if that is what is sparking the breeding behaviour. Some sites list 72/82 as min/max temp and others 77/82. Thoughts? Would lowering the temp diminish the breeding behaviour or do I even need to worry about it. Mr Pearl is pretty aggressive with all the girls, which I understand is typical.

2. Is the ratio of many females okay? I read on most info sheets to keep 1m:2-3f. Seems to spread the male’s aggression out and the females aren’t hiding and though they have lots of places to go they seem to seek him out - but interested in if this is a good situation.

3. Tank is pretty heavily planted - I’m maybe looking for an excuse to add another 55 g but if they are species only in a 36 g (36” long x 13 x 18 high) is that really pushing too small? I’m not prepared to rehome any of them but have other tanks I could move some to though I’m loathe to split up the group. I keep N03 < 10 at all times- I’m more interested in if they need additional real estate irrespective of water quality.

Thanks in advance for this and any other insight you can share.
 

Darthmoli

Answers :)
1) 77/82 is just fine and they can do just fine in water that is a little colder. 72 would be a little cold I would think for Gourami's. I typically wouldn't go to 72 for an extended period of time though its not gonna be the worst. They just enjoy the warmer water. I keep all my Gourami's anywhere from 75-80 and yes the warmer the water will definitely make them start to feel like its breeding time. You can lower the temp to discourage it if you like but if you have that many females and only one male there isn't much damage he is gonna do. Which is probably why your females seek him out :) they are interested too. Keeping the water around 75 will keep them from thinking its mating season.

2) Your ratio is just fine. Dont worry about it. In fact I'd say its probably pretty optimal. Though you might get a dominant female that may bully the others the male should sort that out pretty quickly.

3) You are probably pretty close to fully stocked but no I wouldnt worry too much about your tank being too small. If you start to get really bad aggression issues from your females then maybe consider going to a 55 but honestly its probably not necessary. I know Pearls when they are full grown can get pretty big (6 in or so) but as long as its heavy planted and you keep nitrates down they will be fine. In fact if you were to upgrade I would say skip the 55 and go straight to the 75. :) But thats just me
 

CraniumRex

Thanks for the very thorough and detailed reply Darthmoli. If the girls are also enjoying the attention then I’ll leave them to their fun. I’m unaccustomed to the constant chasing but if no one’s having a hard time then I expect that might make everybody happier and less bored in their glass box.

I’ll keep an eye on everyone and ensure I keep the nitrates down. Ooh skipping right to a 75 sounds right up my alley. What’s a 10th tank, right?? :D

Really appreciate it - I’m so encouraged by your answer! Thanks again!
 

ProudPapa

It's too bad we don't live close to each other. We could maybe work out a trade. I bought juveniles that were difficult to sex, and wound up with six males and two females, but so far it seems to be working okay.
 

CraniumRex

I’ve been watching your thread with interest JettsPapa - I got mine as juveniles as well and crossed my fingers. I was really lucky. Glad it’s working out okay!
 

Darthmoli

I had a problem where I had a bunch of males together after mis-sexing them when they were young and raising a bunch of males up together. But since there was so many males it was harder for them to establish territory and once the hierarchy was established there was very little fin nipping or aggression that happened. While its typically not ideal especially if one decides he wants to start mating, if you can keep the water cooler and from thinking its mating time having a bunch of males isnt all that bad. Mine actually got along better than the massive harem of females I ended up growing out as breeders XD. The females seemed to hate each other :D
 

CraniumRex

(Refrains from making potentially sexist comment)
PS and FWIW I’m female.
 

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