Pearl gourami trio not getting along

Aprilbeingbasic

Hey guys,

I recently (2 weeks ago) bought 3 pearl gouramis for my 48gal, heavily planted tank. They are juveniles so a bit hard to be sure on sex but the lady aimed for 2 girls 1 boy. The bigger one, has decided the middle of the tank is theirs and chases the other 2, no worries I know that happens with gouramis and no one is actually getting injured. there is a clear order to the 3 gouramis, big fat one (girl maybe?) is most territorial, middle one (boy maybe) gets chased but stands its ground, and littlest (girl?) is the most chased and seems to be losing a bit of colour. All are eating.
Im trying to decide where to go with this tank and wanted more experienced opinions-
option 1
rehome little guy, let the 2 that get along pretty good stay as a pair and get a school of diamond tetras (10)
option 2
get 2 more pearls, to try and make a more dispersed pecking order and leave it at that
option 3
just wait till they are old enough to sex then decide

this tank is a 182litre, 4 ft tank. hardscape and plants, plenty of hiding spots. There are 6 leopard cories also in this tank and I will be adding a peppermint BN. Cycle is stable now and have not read ammonium or nitrites since adding the pearls. Pictures below


20201216_173524.jpg
this is top dog who I think is a girl.


20201216_173648.jpg
this is middle guy who i think is a boy

20201216_173934.jpg
this is little one who I think is a girl and has lost a bit of black
 

UmNick

Hey guys,

I recently (2 weeks ago) bought 3 pearl gouramis for my 48gal, heavily planted tank. They are juveniles so a bit hard to be sure on sex but the lady aimed for 2 girls 1 boy. The bigger one, has decided the middle of the tank is his and chases the other 2, no worries I know that happens with gouramis and no one is actually getting injured. However as this week has progressed I've noticed the smaller one is getting chased by both the gouramis and is losing some colour. Probably from stress. The other 2 have a clear order but they do give and take the chasing, the smaller one never gives any back. So question is, do I move on little one as the other 2 seem to have a good system, do I get another female to try disperse chasing or do I just wait, they're still young and confirm gender before deciding. Just a bit worried because of colour loss

As long as the smallest one has enough places to hide, rest, and isn't being beat up too heavily, I would just wait it out to have a more definitive answer. If there aren't enough places to get away in the tank, or if the smaller fish starts to show more signs of stress/injury maybe you should move her. I have somewhat limited experience with gouramis, so im interested to hear what someone a little more experienced with them would suggest. Good luck to you, and your little fish!
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

As long as the smallest one has enough places to hide, rest, and isn't being beat up too heavily, I would just wait it out to have a more definitive answer. If there aren't enough places to get away in the tank, or if the smaller fish starts to show more signs of stress/injury maybe you should move her. I have somewhat limited experience with gouramis, so im interested to hear what someone a little more experienced with them would suggest. Good luck to you, and your little fish!
They do have enough spaces to hide and no injuries. I was looking at them closely today and besides colour loss nothing is wrong with the little one. I think the biggest bully is actually a female and the middle one is the male. But can't be sure
 
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DoubleDutch

Could you place some pics?
 
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Redshark1

They differ in character. You may wish to set a time limit on how long the suffering should continue (though the fish would probably opt to bail out now if it didn't hit a glass wall).

I've had aggressive female Pearl Gouramies that gave the other PGs no peace. As with Angels, a single fish is less likely to cause trouble.

But this seems reasonable behaviour set in the context of a fish needing a feeding / breeding area that will support it / and its family.

These issues are part of why I moved on to keeping more social fish that naturally live in groups.
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

They differ in character. You may wish to set a time limit on how long the suffering should continue (though the fish would probably opt to bail out now if it didn't hit a glass wall).

I've had aggressive female Pearl Gouramies that gave the other PGs no peace. As with Angels, a single fish is less likely to cause trouble.

But this seems reasonable behaviour set in the context of a fish needing a feeding / breeding area that will support it / and its family.

These issues are part of why I moved on to keeping more social fish that naturally live in groups.
I think I will give it till after new years. There are things that are making me more relaxed- the little one doesnt constantly hide, always comes out, eats very well. And I did today see it kind of staring down and nipping a bit at the bully.
 
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ProudPapa

Waiting until after the end of the year sounds like an okay plan, but I like your option 2 also (maybe because I have 8 of them in my 40 gallon breeder).
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

Waiting until after the end of the year sounds like an okay plan, but I like your option 2 also (maybe because I have 8 of them in my 40 gallon breeder).
I like option 2 aswell haha I thought it would give the tank some more natural behaviour. I went for 3 because I thought I wanted a school of diamond tetras but now I dont think Im too fussed haha theyre very pretty fish and already quite personable, follow my finger, come to the glass when I enter the room. no shyness like other people have said.

Also if you can help me with sexing please do haha Im unsure
 
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ProudPapa

. . . Also if you can help me with sexing please do haha Im unsure

It's difficult for me to tell also when they're young. Initially I had what I thought was a male and two females, and it turned out to be three males.
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

It's difficult for me to tell also when they're young. Initially I had what I thought was a male and two females, and it turned out to be three males.
yeah I think they might even all be girls. Guess ill just have to wait and see
 
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jinjerJOSH22

Hi, I would also suggest option 2(even if you didn’t have an issue ).
As for sexing, I think you’re right, going by body shape, the girls look more plump. And I think that may be a male in the middle though I’m not completely sure.
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

Hi, I would also suggest option 2(even if you didn’t have an issue ).
As for sexing, I think you’re right, going by body shape, the girls look more plump. And I think that may be a male in the middle though I’m not completely sure.
yeah seems to be the plan. I went for 3 because i thought I wanted a diamond tetra school and really wanted to keep my tank understocked but now I just feel 5 pearls will look so much nicer and dont really need the tetras
 
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