Pearl Gourami Or Electric Blue Acara

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by JLeeM, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. JLeeM

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember


    I'm having a very real struggle with my future stocking plans. It'll be a while before I can even get my new 40 breeder running, but I can't help plan for it. Originally this stocking plan was for a 30 gallon, but we see how that worked.

    Part of my problem comes from inconsistent data/feedback on temp requirements for Pearl Gourami. First, I was told that gouramis in general do better in the long run on the lower end of their scale. Around this same time or shortly after, a very well respected "stocking master" (no offense, insult, or pun intended) told me that a Pearl could handle 75 F being that it matched my other stocking plans that they had helped me with. Now, everyone is telling me that 77 F is their bare minimum.

    While speaking with one individual, they recommended an Electric Blue Acara instead. As luck would have it, this is another fish on my list of one day must haves. So now I don't know what to choose.

    The 30 stocking plan was

    1 Pearl Gourami
    8 Panda Cories
    8 Black Skirt Tetras
    8 Neon Tetras (or other temp compatible)
    1 Bristlenose Pleco
    2 Bolivian Rams
    3-4 Mystery Snails
    4-5 Nerite Snails
    Temp: 74-76 F

    Now I'm trying to figure out how much I can change this for a 40B. For example could I do 2 Pearl Gourami and 3 Bolivian Rams? Could I add some Khuli Loaches with the Panda Cories? Could I just add more to the two mid level schools? Should I just go with the EBA? If I do, how will that change my other stocking? I'm at a complete loss.
  2. JesseMoreira06

    JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    IMO pearl gouramis need warmer temps , the bare bare minimum would be 75f but would thrive a higher temps 77f+.

    Blue acaras would do very well at 75f.
  3. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    What's the ideal temp and the highest temp you would put the panda cories at? I've heard a lot of 72-74, but recently read they are more active around 77. This goes against everything I've been told. It's still lower than the 80 degrees for sterbais though. So I don't know, once again.

    Oh and same question for the Bolivian Rams?

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  4. JesseMoreira06

    JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    panda corys I would do 70f to 75f being the highest , 77f would really be at their highest range which I wouldn't recommend. The Higher temps would cause their metabolism to speed up which would make them more active ect.. but in the end their life span can shorten dramatically due to this.

  5. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Same temp for the Bolivian Rams? Also, how much lower than 75 could the Acara go so that the Pandas aren't maxed out? I've read that they should be in 77-82 as well, just like the Pearl Gourami.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  6. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    When in doubt, go to a scientific site. I used Fishbase, and that gives a pearl gourami 75f/24c as the low end of its natural range.
    I never kept them much warmer than that, and I had good success with that fish.
    The acara will probably kill the Bolivian Rams. It's only a 40 gallon. I would say one or the other. Their territorial needs are the same, so they will compete.
  7. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Acaras and Bolivian Rams are both gentle species, and live in two different areas of the tank. Right?

    What temperature exactly did you keep Pearl Gouramis at? Can't get too high because of the Pandas and Bolivian though.
  8. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    The genetically modified electric blue is less aggressive than a "real" acara, but it is individual. I don't keep petrie dish forms of fish, and blue acaras are notoriously unpredictable. Most are sweethearts, and some are hellions. Still, it has exactly the same niche as a Bolivian ram - an open spawning substrate dweller.

    And I have never had an aggressive Bolivian.

    The rumour on the electric blue is that it was a petrie dish forced hybridization with a genetically modified electric blue Ram, which is why it is supposed to be milder than its natural blue acara cousin. The fish can't cross outside of a laboratory, but the exact origins are a trade secret. GMO fish are banned from sale in many countries, so the deeper the secrets, the more the profits.

    I used to go with the centrepiece idea, and often had a few pearls playing that role. They did well anywhere from 74 to 77f. I never heat higher than that unless it's to breed a fish. I've had fish for 50 years as of this year (gulp), so I would say I had at least 3 or 4 set ups with pearls over the years.

    The males hate eat other though, and the bickering gets kind of brutal. Only one male per tank...
  9. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I agree with @NavigatorBlack

    To keep both the ram and acara together I'd consider a 48 inch tank as minimum. Both are relatively peaceful but I've seen some say that some of the blue acaras that were used to create some of the eb acaras recently may have been green terror hybrids. Can't comment on the validity of this but if true that may account for some of the more aggressive eb's.
  10. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    There is a dwarf Cichlid called Nannacara anomala. It is very adaptable about water, relatively peaceful (but hard on Corys when it breeds - so are all Cichlids though) and it looks like the blue acara hybrids in breeding colours, at a third the size.
    They used to be common and cheap, but the GMO fish took over the market.
    They have a different niche (cave spawners) and got along with Bolivians here.

    It's almost like the fish farms spent a lot of time messing with the genetics of blue acaras only to produce a fish kind of like a nicer fish that already existed from nature. You might want to research them a bit and see if you like the idea. I like that fish, but don't take my word for it.
  11. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Is this a 36 inch long tank? Another cichlid that might work (though again, nothing is for sure) would be a festivum or angelfish. Festivums still spawn on rocks on the substrate but spend most of their time near the surface. I've never tried this combination but my festivum got along with similar fish in the past. @NavigatorBlack might have a different take though
  12. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    I like the festivum group, but they are interconnected species that can be hard to tell apart. Mine got huge - I had to give them to a friend because they were just too big for my 75 gallon community. If they stayed small, they'd be ideal, but they just kept growing here.
    I'm quite tall and don't have hands like a currently famous politician, but my festivum were bigger than my hand by the time I rehomed them. Big fish.

    Angels are a great choice, but 40 breeders are low tanks, and I think they look best in tall ones. Now in a 55...

    I also freely admit to having a prejudice towards small fish. I always seem to suggest dwarfs...
  13. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Ahh. The festivum I kept stayed small. Topped out at about 3.5 inches. He may still have had some growing to do but he had slowed down dramatically.

    Wasn't aware this was a 40b. I would take the angelfish suggestion back then.
  14. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you both so much. That's cleared up a lot for me. Probably will post a proposed stocking list later on this thread.
  15. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    How about this, @NavigatorBlack and @tyguy7760

    2 Pearl Gourami (m/f or f/f)
    6 Black Skirt Tetras
    8-10 Cherry Barbs or Zebra Danios
    10 Panda Cories
    3 Bolivian Rams (hopefully m/f/f or f/f/f)
    3-4 Mystery Snails
    4-5 Nerite Snails
    Some Ghost Shrimp
    Maybe 1 Albino Bristlenoses Pleco

    Can also decrease to 1 Gourami and 2 Rams if I have to, but if not then awesome.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017

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