Gouramis are one of the most popular aquarium fish, and for good reason – they’re hardy, colorful, and can be very friendly.
However, there is one exception to this rule: the blue gourami. This fish can be aggressive and territorial and may become a problem in a community tank.
If you have blue gourami in your tank, here are a few things you can do to keep him under control.
Select the Right Fish
The key to having a happy and healthy community tank is diversity. With too many of one type of fish, you’ll end up with aggression problems.
The best course of action is to keep somewhere between three and five different types of gouramis in your tank (and ideally, not all blue ones).
In addition to the blue gourami, you can also have golden or sunset gouramis, honey gouramis, and pearl gouramis.
These fish naturally tend to be a bit more peaceful than one another. For example, goldens are generally known as being less aggressive than the other two types of gourami.
By mixing these types of fish together, you’ll reduce the overall aggression in your tank.
If you don’t want to introduce other gouramis into your tank, choose a peaceful community fish instead! Good choices for this include loaches, danios, catfish, and tetras.
Be Careful When Feeding
One of the most common causes of aggression in aquarium fish is hunger. If your fish isn’t getting enough food, it may start to lash out at other fish in the tank simply because it thinks they’re competition.
To avoid this problem, make sure you are feeding your fish often enough. You should aim for about three small feedings per day – this will help prevent hunger-related aggression.
You can also look into sinking pellets and wafers to help ensure that your fish can find their food even if other fish in the tank get to it first.
Set Up a Niche for Each Fish
One of the best ways to combat aggression is by creating a natural and comfortable home for each type of fish. The more space and privacy your fish has, the better they’ll be able to avoid conflict.
The first step is to create territories for different types of fish. To do this, choose one or two gouramis and give each of them their own territory by making sure that the other species are not in their sightlines.
For example, place your blue gourami tank across the room from your gold gourami tank.
This will give each of them privacy, and allow them to avoid conflict until they get used to each other.
You’ll also want to cover the top of the tank with plants or decorations, so that fish can hide when they don’t feel like socializing.
Once you have a general idea of where to put each fish, stick with it! This will help avoid any confusion or anxiety in your tank.
If you keep shuffling the tank around, this could cause aggression problems in your blue gourami.
If you decide to add new fish to your tank in the future, you’ll want to stick with the original setup for at least a month or two.
This should give your fish time to get used to each other and make sure that the new addition will fit in well.
Consider Tankmates Carefully
One of the easiest ways to combat aggression is by choosing tankmates carefully. It doesn’t make sense to keep peaceful gourami with an aggressive one.
A good way to combat aggression is by keeping different species of fish together. For example, goldens are known for being more docile than other types of gouramis, so they’re generally safe to mix with blues.
Look into community fish that are known for being easy to get along with. These include some rainbowfish, loaches, danios, and some tetras.
Alternatively, you can go with more aggressive tank mates like cichlids and barbs. Just be careful – these types of fish may not mix well with gouramis at all.
Invest in Gravel or Marbles
One of the best ways to prevent aquarium aggression is by giving your fish a place to hide. This could be as simple as adding some driftwood, live plants, rocks, or gravel to provide increased shelter within the tank.
By providing plenty of places for your fish to hide and feel comfortable, you can reduce the likelihood of aggression and territorial behavior.
Just make sure you never use sharp pieces of gravel, as they can easily injure your fish if they end up in the wrong place.
Increase Water Flow
Aggression among aquarium fish is often caused by boredom or confinement. If you want to combat this problem, one of the best things you can do is increase water flow.
This will ensure that your fish have a larger area to swim in, and it should help them avoid any territorial behavior.
Just make sure you have proper filtration before turning up the dial on your filter! A good aquaponics system will provide more than enough filtration for a large tank.
It may also help to consider adding another filter or two, which can spread the flow of water around your tank more evenly. Just make sure that you don’t overcrowd your tank, as this can cause problems on its own!
Add Fun Things to the Tank
One of the simplest ways to combat aggression is by filling your tank with fun things to do. Just like humans, many fish need mental stimulation in order to avoid boredom and anxiety.
To do this, you can experiment with different rocks, plants, or decorations around your tank. Each of these should provide a new place for your fish to explore and feel at home.
Just make sure that anything you use won’t break and injure your fish. Sharp decorations can easily cut a fish on accident, leading to infection or even death.
Be careful when choosing rocks as well – some types of rock will cause acidic buildup that could damage your tank over time!
Add Plenty of Plants
Adding live plants is one of the easiest ways to combat aggression and reduce stress. Plants will give your fish a new place to hide, which should help them feel less threatened in their surroundings.
Just make sure that you plant the plants deep within the substrate, so it feels more like a real habitat. If they’re stuck on top of gravel or sand, they won’t get the same benefit.
If you have to use fake plants, you’ll still get some of the same benefits. Just be careful when choosing plants. Some types, like plastic plants, can tear up your fish if they get stuck in their hiding spots!
Be Patient and Keep an Eye Out
One of the best ways to prevent aquarium aggression is by being patient. While many fish are known for being aggressive at first, they can usually become more docile with time.
Just make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of aggression and be prepared to take action if necessary! Aggression in aquariums can quickly turn dangerous or even deadly.
If you notice your fish becoming more aggressive, you should remove them from the tank for safety. This can help prevent injuries or even death in your fishy friends!
Be prepared to give your fish plenty of time to adjust before removing them, though. They may just need a little time to get used to their new home.
When it comes to reducing aggression among your fish, you have many options to choose from. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these are some of the best ways to prevent aquarium aggression without breaking the bank!
Before trying anything new with your tank, be sure that you read up on any potential issues. Aggression can quickly turn severe, so make sure you know what signs to look out for!
If your aggression problems are serious or persistent, contact an experienced aquarist today. They can help act as a voice of reason in your tank and work with you to create the best possible home for your fish!