Are Three Spot Gourami Bully Fish? (How To Treat Them?)

I was just minding my own business, fishkeeping as usual when I noticed something odd happening in my tank. One of my Three Spot Gourami was constantly harassing another fish!

I had never seen anything like it before; is this how gourami behave? I did some research and found out that yes, sometimes these fish can be quite bullies. I did some more research and found out everything I needed to know about the Three Spot Gourami bully.

Bully Behavior But Why?

It’s important to know that Three Spot Gourami are not always the bullies in the tank. The fish being bullied can sometimes be at fault too, which makes it easier for the gourami to pick on them. This could be because they are sick or weak, and therefore less able to defend themselves.

If the fish being picked on is a female, then she is usually being attacked because she is displaying signs that she wants to spawn. Gourami will often pick on the females of their own species when they are spawning.

Three Spot Gourami can be quite aggressive with another gourami as well, so don’t mix them unless you know what you’re doing.

It’s also possible that the Three Spot Gourami you bought is not a male as advertised, but is actually a female. It might be acting like this because it has been bullied by another fish and wants to establish its dominance in your tank.

How Can I Solve The Problem?

The only way to stop the bullying behavior is to give the Three Spot Gourami its own tank. There are ways to get around this, but they’re not advisable, and will only end in more work for you.

You could try hiding the fish being bullied behind some decor so that it’s out of sight of the Three Spot Gourami, but this isn’t a great idea. You can’t always rely on the bully fish not to find its target and it will most likely still pick on the others, even if they’re behind decor; remember, this is a long term problem!

You could also try moving the fish being bullied to another tank temporarily until the Three Spot Gourami has calmed down a bit, but once it comes back, the bullying will start up again.

You’re therefore better off giving the Three Spot Gourami its own tank with some plants and decor so that it can establish a little territory of its own. This way you’ll have to worry about only one bully fish instead of two or three.

The good news is that once you’ve solved the problem, your Three Spot Gourami will be a nice addition to your fish tank and you’ll have no problems with it.

It’s great that we now know why Three Spot Gourami can be bullies and how they can be kept in check. So if you’re thinking of getting one for your tank, prepare to give it its own space if necessary.