What to do with fish that aren't getting along?
May 2, 2014 4:52 PM Subscribe
Three days ago, I got three opaline gouramis (Trichopodus trichopterus) for my 20 gallon long aquarium. The tank is planted and has been up and running since November or so, but the only other fauna are some hitchhiker snails that I decided to keep. The gouramis aren't getting along. What would be the best thing to do for them?
posted by rue72 to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Of the three fish, I think two are males (one big, one small) and one is female.
The males are both aggressive -- the larger male against the smaller, and the smaller against the female. At this point, I've moved the larger male to a five gallon "quarantine" bowl I keep running, but he obviously can't stay there. In the hour or so that he's been out of the twenty gallon, the female has been a bit braver than usual and has moved out from behind the filter more (where she's been cowering for about a day and a half), but the smaller male has also gotten more aggressive with her. A few minutes ago, I saw her cowering behind the filter again, and it looks like the smaller male has nipped off a good bit of her tail -- but now she's exploring the other side of the tank, calm as can be, so I don't know if that was just the smaller male asserting dominance or if he's really a danger to her or what.
I don't know what to do -- take them back to the store? Set up a new/separate aquarium? If I take some back, should I keep the larger male (who is also the prettiest and most active), or the female (who does not seem aggressive at all)? Is there any hope that I could keep a male and the female as a pair? How long should the pair's trial period be? I'm not looking to breed them, but I feel terrible taking any of them back. What would be the best thing to do for these fish? What would be the most humane thing to do?