Pearl Gourami Sucking On Angelfish?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Misha, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. MishaNew MemberMember

    I have a full grown yellow angelfish and femaile pearl gourami. They always got along, no one bothering the other. They even hang out in the same corner. However, lately I've seen the pearl sucking on the angelfish's side until the angelfish turns around and bonks her on the nose. So the pearl has a white mark on her nose now. It will heal, and I will think the behavior has stopped, but then it starts up again! What is going on? There doesn't seem to be aggression, they're not chasing each other, it's just the occasional sucking and bonking, and then they're in the corner together again hanging out. I was thinking I would have to get rid of one, but again, it's not aggression. Any idea why the pearl is bugging the angelfish in this way and how I can stop it? Will this behavior stop on it's own eventually? Anyone? Any ideas? I love them both....

  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Can you list some more info? Tank size? What's your complete stocking? Can you take a pic of the tank?

    The fact that they're hanging out in the corner makes me thing they're stressed, and they may be bickering too.

  3. MishaNew MemberMember

    The tank is a square 53 gallon. I do weekly water changes and vacuum every Monday. In fact, I just finished. My water quality is always good. I have four corys, two pinapple swords, a platy, a siamese algae eater, 3 long-finned barbs and .... a sailfin spotted pleco. And a mystery snail.

    I don't mean that the two are always in the corner, they wander about. But they do hang out side by side in the corner frequently. And when you say "bickering" that is kind of what was nagging at me... They aren't fighting, but they aren't really getting along. But they used to! And the thing is, the pleco is getting big. He's at ten inches and I was thinking, is it crowded now? I had black skirt tetras but gave them to my fish guy to make more room and was thinking of replacing them with six black neon tetras instead. I know the pleco will have to go but I am having a hard time with it. He's become sort of a pet. Perhaps stress is a factor? But why is the gourami trying to suck on the side of the angelfish? Any Ideas at all?
    If I have two choose between the two, it would be the gourami that has to go, but I can't give him to my fish guy with a
    sore on his nose! :) Thank you for responding!

  4. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You have stocking issues, if you'd like to discuss them.

    While the tank is large gallon-wise, it's not very large in terms of horizontal swimming room. They may be feeling like there's not enough room in the tank for both of them.
  5. MishaNew MemberMember

    I believe you are probably right. This square tank is lovely, but limited to swimming space. I've had both fish for about six months, and the problem just started just recently. I'm only about a year into being a fish nerd.

    I'll have to isolate the gourami to heal the nose and then bring him to my fish guy. Such a beautiful fish, it hurts to have to have it go. I did manage a 1.5 min video of the behavior if you care to see. And Thanks so much for your time. I appreciate it .
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  6. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    The gourami is a male (in matingcolors). He's trying to settle a territory for mating reasons .
  7. MishaNew MemberMember

    That is interesting. Will the behaviour stop? Should I get him a female, or will that cause even more chaos? Should I remove him completely? I sure would like to figure out a way to keep them both. Thanks again!
  8. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I would remove him if you can't upgrade your tank to give them more room.
  9. MishaNew MemberMember

    I'd love to upgrade, but my home is too small. I'll take your advice. Many Thanks!
  10. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Agree with TD. The tank
    is too small for a pearl and an angel or a pair of pearls.
    Sorry !
  11. MishaNew MemberMember

    Well, the pearl will go. It's a bummer but another newbie mistake. They got along so well for half a year. Any suggestions for an exceptionally cool peaceful fish that doesn't get too large and doesn't need a lot of swimming room? I've been trying to get the perfectly balanced tank. One of my mistakes was a sailfin molly. Gillbert. He also had to go. He kept going after the gourami! I just can't seem to get it right...
  12. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't add anything else. The angel will fill the centerpiece role for the tank, and I don't think there's room for anything else.
  13. MishaNew MemberMember

    Thanks. I'll stick with just my angel fish. It was a rescue that's why it's so big and I took it after I already had the gourami. But me, the beginner didn't do the proper research. I didn't realize the gourami would grow to be that size or be a possible pest. Thanks both of you for the sound advice. :)

    Just thought I'd throw in an update. I still have the angel and the pearl. The strange behavior has stopped. Even my fish guy said it probably wouldn't stop. Well it did. Now the pearl just kind of... follows the angel around, but only sometimes. It wasn't about territory and it wasn't aggression. I had seen how aggressive my sail-fin Molly was and I had put him in "jail" and then back to my fish guy. What the pearl and angel were doing had been nothing like the molly. It was something else entirely. What it was, I have no idea. But it stopped. Maybe they worked something out :) And I'm glad I still have both fish. They humor me.

    What I have learnt in the last year is that the best way to learn sometimes is trial and error, intuition, experience, watching your fish closely and patience. Yes, there are guidelines and suggestions and cold hard facts... but some things you just have to find out for yourself. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017

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