Preparing for Gourami... Help

  1. Dark Sky Member Member

    I'm slowly getting organised to add a couple of Gourami to our 100L tank, I'm thinking a male/female pair of Honeys will be the new residents to move in with the Neon Tetras and Corys already there.

    I'd love some advice on making this aquarium an ideal environment before they move in. At the moment this tank has sand substrate, a big driftwood, floating Amazon Frogbit and a couple Contortionist Vals, as well as a handful of Indian Almond Leaves to slowly start the blackwater look. I've been having an issue struggling to get plants growing in this tank since changing the substrate, once that's sorted out I can start getting a few more plants back in there, if that's what they will prefer.

    I'd like some advice on things such as:
    Hiding places- do Dwarf Gouramis need hard-hiding places, ie, rocks & caves, or are they happy hiding in plants and behind driftwood?

    Water flow- do they prefer a still surface, like other breathers, or can the pick the calm bits of water between floating plants? I've got moderate flow and a decent amount of surface agitation, just wondering if I may need to adjust that setup in preparation for them.

    Plants- when I get my plant issues sorted and start planting for Gourami, which way should I head? Obviously they like floating plants, hopefully the Frogbit will have that sorted. Do they need a tank heavily planted with submerged plants as well, or are they happy in a leaf-littery, blackwater setup?

    Thanks for the advice everyone, having heard they can be a bit sensitive I'm keen to create an ideal environment before I add them, so I can just leave them be and won't have to play around in the tank too much while they settle in.
     
  2. lwill Member Member

    I've been looking into them recently too. I have read they can be shy and have read recommendations for lots of plants and hiding places. Hopefully someone with experience can give better tips


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  3. Falcon JJ Member Member

    My DG hides half the time and patrols the tank the other half (swims back and forth along the front glass). He seems very happy with the setup. I have lots of plants (half are real half fake) but none floating, and a cave, and a log for hiding. He uses all of them. Sometimes I can't find him for the life of me. As far as the water agitation, I have read that they prefer a still surface, much like a betta, however I have a bubble wall against the back of the tank and hob filter so there's constant movement. He doesn't mind and comes up to the surface to gulp some air as normal. I also have cories, neon tetras, and sand, so it sounds like your current setup would be just fine and much like mine.
     
  4. Falcon JJ Member Member

    Some pics:

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    Attached Files:


  5. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks for the pics, always great to see just how similar setups work.

    In all honesty, I had been avoiding adding caves. I have one tank set up to look very 'busy' and full, ie, pebble substrate, lots of wood, a scattering of river pebbles and a heap of plants. The future Gourami tank I had intended to be very 'clean', ie, clean sand and one big, beautiful driftwood, and only a handful of plants. When the Corys went in I caved (haw haw) and tucked a small, sandy coloured cave behind the driftwood for them. I've also got a piece of PVC curing which will tuck in a corner.

    My problem with caves is... I can't find any that I think look good! I like yours, but it's a feature of the tank, so I like the way it stands out. In my tank, I want the driftwood to be the feature (next to the fish, obviously), and am having trouble finding a cave which won't detract from it. With a width of only 2', there's only so much floor space on which to spread out in this tank... When I move house I just might have to look in to a 4' ;)

    As she currently sits:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    You can camouflage your caves by sticking moss to them or coat them in an aquarium safe glue & roll them in the sand so they blend in.
    btw your tank's looking lovely, that wood is definitely the centrepiece :)
     
  7. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thank you very much!

    I've done exactly that (silicone + sand) for a Cory cave which will go in later this week.
     

  8. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Gouramis don't need "hard" caves but love dense (floating )plants to hide and
    live. Not too much "open" water to cross.
     
  9. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks for that, I had a little play with adding some black rocks on the left, it creates a really dark corner, as well as hiding the filter intake even better. I'm thinking I'll expand that little rock 'beach' out and grow some thick, rooty plants in there, hopefully!

    Just on water flow, I've adjusted my filter return so I'm still getting decent agitation, but with a couple almost still spots. I'm just wondering about the current within the tank, do they have a preference for no movement, or can they handle swimming with a little current?
     
  10. Falcon JJ Member Member

    That's a beautiful setup. Love the simplicity/ minimalism. I see what you mean about the cave standing out, I'm sure the gourami(s) would be fine with just that driftwood and no cave. I do think they would want more plants though, mine hides in the plants quite a bit. What about maybe a small clay pot on its side covered in sand behind the driftwood where it can't be seen, but can be used by the gourami?


     

  11. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Well done!!! They are primarily "planthiders" and they indeed can stand some surfaceflow as long as there are parts without !!!
     
  12. Dark Sky Member Member

    A few more stems of Thin Val in, I'm presuming the Gourami will like a more densely packed plant corner though?
    [​IMG]

    I stopped by my LFS this afternoon and asked about a male/female pair of Honeys, he's going to call the breeders and let me know what he can come up with.
     
  13. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Top !!
     
  14. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Wow, your tank is looking lovely, I think the gourami will be very happy in there :)
     
  15. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks Coradee, I appreciate that. As I mentioned in my other thread, I'm still undecided about how the Val is planted. I've got pebbles mixed in with the sand in that corner in the hopes of letting some natural fertiliser get down there, but I'm toying with the idea of a divider to keep the sand out and filling it with gravel under the pebbles... Not sure yet... Any input is appreciated!
     
  16. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    That won't be a problem. Take care the they aren't in too deep (you've to see the wittish part just above the roots). They often have adapting problems, so don't remove them when they start turning brownish. It will take some time, but then they'll start growing.
     
  17. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks for that, I may need to 'elevate' them just a tad then... My theory has always been "root them as deep as you can so they can't be easily uprooted by the locals" ...but then, I don't think I've ever grown Vals before.
     
  18. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Still think it's a great plantspecies !! I've the Vallis Nana
     
  19. Dark Sky Member Member

    I stopped by a chain pet store on the way home last night, just on a whim. They usually just have all the 'standard' fare, but last night they had four desperate tanks if different Gourami! Dwarf, Dwarf Flame, Dwarf Blue, Indian Banded, and "assorted", which had Three-Spot, Golden (I think? Yellow with bands) and two little, scared looking Pearls. Unfortunately, all were males. I did have the fleeting thought to rescue the two Pearls, but then the voice of reason chimed in: "Don't do anything you may regret later...".

    Although I'd rather buy from the smaller, aquatics only LFS, I left my details for their fish-person to give me a call and see if she can get a male/female pair of Honeys. Going to stop by the other LFS while running errands today, just in case.

    I figure, the more places I leave my number, the better chances of someone finding what I'm after, right? ...and, worst case, if I can't find the fish I may get a date instead ;)
     
  20. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Applause. Well done and great tactics !!! Focus on the honeys.