Urgent: Gourami Attacking New Cardinals!!

  1. jscott Initiate Member

    Please help!!!
    I have a brand new cycled tank and I had a blue dwarf Gourami for a week before getting four cardinal tetras. They stayed very pale and 2 died within 48 hours. My tank is 20 gallon and the water is great. The gourami acted aggressive when I first put them in, but he had stopped, so when I returned the dead fish I got more, just to see if they would be less stressed as a group of six. Now he is bullying again and won't stop!!! I don't know what to do, wait the night and take them back tomorrow?? Gouramis are supposed to community fish with tetras, I'm so confused! I do have two filters running and an extra 10 gallon tank, but it has a couple hairline cracks so I can't risk putting water in it. Should I keep them in a bucket or something?? I'm SO so sad.
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What are your exact test results for the parameters? Do you have any plants or decor in the tank? How did you acclimate the tetras to your water?
  3. jscott Initiate Member

    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = 5
    PH around 7
    Temp 81 due to summer time in GA
    Decor is very large piece of driftwood and 4 small plants but they have pretty good sized leaves.

    I acclimated by floating the bag and adding a very small amount of water every few minutes for 45min to an hour.
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What is the gourami doing to the tetras exactly?
  5. jscott Initiate Member

    When I first put them in, he acted like they were food... It looked like he bit a couple of them and then calmed down over the next 24 hours (or maybe he didn't because I woke up to him pecking at a dead fish). With the new batch he keeps chasing them and trying to nip them, especially if they wander away from the group. Right now, he is doing his usual laps on the right side of the tank, and the tetra are mostly on the left side, but one is staying at the surface so I think he must be dying... :(
  6. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    I had a 3 spot, with 6 Black skirts, 6 black neon tetras. Never had a problem. When I add new tank mates I rearrange some of the decor and turn the lights out, it prevents some territorial issues. (I read it somewhere) Might be the temp. its at the high end. I keep mine at 76'.
  7. jscott Initiate Member

    When I researched it, it said they like warmer temps, up to 81/82... What can be done about it when the house is hot because it's 86 outside?
  8. AquaNoob Member Member

    YOU need SOME A/C
  9. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    You are just at the high end. It could be he acting out due to the stress of new tank and new mates. Or he (I am assuming he is a male) could just be an aggressive fish.
  10. jscott Initiate Member

    AC is on and It's a nice 77 in the house, but the water stays between 79-81, and the heater is not that high.

    Yeah, I'm thinking he's just an aggressive fish which is SO disappointing. I cycled my tank for two months and researched everything including compatibility and matching water parameters with specific species, and now all I've created is a fish torture chamber. So upsetting.
  11. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    It happens, I have had to rehome about 6 fish. I keep my 55 a nice peaceful community. It might work out, maybe another member has some advise.