Centre piece fish

Sammy Islam

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Hey everyone,
I'm coming to that stage where i want a pair (or two) of some sort of centre piece fish! I started my scape 5 weeks ago and it's maturing nicely. Its a aquascaper 900 so 186L, probably 150L after soil and hardscape.

I originally set up the tank intended for a pair of german blue rams but my male died the other day and i've decided i don't want to replace him and try again, so ill be giving my female to my mate who has a male, failing that she will be donated to LFS.

I've always loved gouramis, use to have a dwarf gourami and he was a right character/nutter. So i'm thinking maybe 2-4 honey gouramis? Has anyone got any experience with them? Would they be suitable for a scape like mine?

My tanks running at 25 degrees in anticipation of putting in the rams, but what's the best temperature for the gouramis? Are they jumpers? Do they hunt shrimp?

My current stock is:
14 Asian rummy nose tetra
4 ember tetra (10 more waiting to be caught and transferred from old tank)
20+ red cherry shrimp

IMG_20200217_183011__01__01.jpg

Thanks!
 
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Believe it would be best to try and get 3 females and 1 male. The colour morphs can be hard to se at a young age in the shop and the natural coloured ones look the most stunning to be honest so worth waiting for them to come in or ordering specifically.

Don’t see why they wouldnt be suitable for your tank or compatible with your other fish. Whilst I’ve never seen one eating a shrimp immune did seem more confident after my last honey passed. Not sure if this is usual though...
 

Sammy Islam

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Usually the LFS has loads of them in a tank, usually they have the red ones and the yellow, or maybe sunset variety. How do you sex them? I assume the females have less colour than the males, and a rounder dorsal fin thing? As to the shaper/pointy male?

I was thinking either 2 sets, red M/F and yellow M/F. Or 4 yellow/orange 1M/3F. Can i lower my water temp a little? 25 is pretty high and would benefit from more co2/o2 and less evaporation.
 

Sammy Islam

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Thanks, i've read a few profiles and am edging towards them really. Will go have a look at a couple LFS and observe them for a bit and see if i can find some females too.

Might have to get some flaoting plants for them, maybe a bigger variety. Not loads just a few to move around the surface of the tank, would look pretty cool.
 

Gill

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If you are going to go for the yellow honeys or sunsets.
Females are rounder and have a solid black line running along the lateral line. Males will have a slight Black wing to their chest and pectoral fin.
Also with All Gourami Rounded Dorsal Female Pointed Male.
Floating Plants are a must for them so that they can bubblenest.

Also 2 Males to 4+ females would work best. That way you will see A Hierarchy to the group and a Dominant Male will emerge with the Strongest brightest colours. You will also then see the Males Sparring and Dancing to the females to entice them into the nesting areas they have made.
 

Sammy Islam

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If you are going to go for the yellow honeys or sunsets.
Females are rounder and have a solid black line running along the lateral line. Males will have a slight Black wing to their chest and pectoral fin.
Also with All Gourami Rounded Dorsal Female Pointed Male.
Floating Plants are a must for them so that they can bubblenest.

Thanks! I will definitely look out for that. I have a decent flow, circular motion so might have to have a section to keep the plants contained. Will they be good with the flow?
 

Gill

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Yeah they don't mind high flow. Just make sure they have an area where they can relax and def floating plants sectioned off. Either Using Air Line, Or I used Gutter Gaurd from the Poundhsop suctioned into a Corner to allow Floating plants to grow into a thick matt. You can even use Crochet netting to section off a part.
 

Sammy Islam

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Cool, i'll try figure out the best place i can do it, probably back right corner but that's where i need light for my R. H'ra

The middle of my tank has less flow so will be a "calm" area hopefully. So you recommend 6 for my tank? I'm Ieaning towards the sunset colouration as it would compliment my embers and rummy nose.
 

alto

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So i'm thinking maybe 2-4 honey gouramis? Has anyone got any experience with them? Would they be suitable for a scape like mine?

From Mark Evans Journals
(he added them to most tanks as he felt they helped eliminate surface film, he mentions adding 4-5 to a 90cm, somewhere he has some photos of a couple males looking just stunning (sadly I can’t seem to find it :())

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/120-x-55-x-55-journal-finished.17974/page-15
scroll down to #287 for an amazing photo

Filipe Oliveira also keeps these in his home tanks

Like most gourami, they will take some shrimp - though don’t seem to be avid shrimp hunters, so I’d establish the shrimp colony before adding (most fish)

Unfortunately the more colourful forms are reputed to be hybridized with dwarf gouramis so share some of their more aggressive demeanour and health issues (dwarf gourami Iridovirus... which at least seldom infects any other fish in the community), instead look for the wild type form
(note that most shops will sell the red, yellow and sunset forms as “pure” honey gourami, these will usually mature to a larger size)

Note that honey gourami come from fairly still waters, so while they will survive in higher flow tanks, I’d not add them into a tank with excessive flow
Once your plants are grown in, the fish should be able to find lower flow areas
I’d not worry about floating plants (unless you’re a fan of these anyway)

Awesome scape!
I’d add another 10 - 15 Sawba resplendens - it’s generally recommended to have a good mix of male/female ... but the best photos of these fish I’ve seen is an old ADA Iwagumi (I think) - the blue sheen of the males contrasting with bright orange faces
As these are mostly wild caught, and I’ve seen a good number with a “wasting disease” I suggest feeding a levamisole~food for 3-5 days, then repeat after some weeks
 
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alto

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Dwarf cichlids will love that sandy area ;)
(though if your water is very hard & alkaline, I’d only add tank bred, more adaptable species)

If you want more rams, I’d add a group of 7-9 juveniles as they don’t form strong “pair bonds”
 

Sammy Islam

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From Mark Evans Journals
(he added them to most tanks as he felt they helped eliminate surface film, he mentions adding 4-5 to a 90cm, somewhere he has some photos of a couple males looking just stunning (sadly I can’t seem to find it :())

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/120-x-55-x-55-journal-finished.17974/page-15
scroll down to #287 for an amazing photo

Filipe Oliveira also keeps these in his home tanks

Like most gourami, they will take some shrimp - though don’t seem to be avid shrimp hunters, so I’d establish the shrimp colony before adding (most fish)

Unfortunately the more colourful forms are reputed to be hybridized with dwarf gouramis so share some of their more aggressive demeanour and health issues (dwarf gourami Iridovirus... which at least seldom infects any other fish in the community), instead look for the wild type form
(note that most shops will sell the red, yellow and sunset forms as “pure” honey gourami, these will usually mature to a larger size)

Note that honey gourami come from fairly still waters, so while they will survive in higher flow tanks, I’d not add them into a tank with excessive flow
Once your plants are grown in, the fish should be able to find lower flow areas
I’d not worry about floating plants (unless you’re a fan of these anyway)

Awesome scape!
I’d add another 10 - 15 Sawba resplendens - it’s generally recommended to have a good mix of male/female ... but the best photos of these fish I’ve seen is an old ADA Iwagumi (I think) - the blue sheen of the males contrasting with bright orange faces
As these are mostly wild caught, and I’ve seen a good number with a “wasting disease” I suggest feeding a levamisole~food for 3-5 days, then repeat after some weeks

Thanks, will have a good read through the journal. I will go have a look and observe as i'm still unsure what to get. Will probably head over to maidenhead aquatics as they usually have a massive selection of fish.

I understand most fish will eat baby shrimp, but as long as they don't actively hunt them then i'll be happy.

I'm not sure if i want anymore asian rummy nose, even though i think they are great and very colourful, their behaviour makes the tank hectic as they chase the females constantly in groups and they have like an orgy in the crypts so half the time the tank looks empty :lol:

Can i not use meds dripped on say tetra crisps? Because i've never seen medicated food, do you have any recommendations? I do have meds, but haven't used any as they all are very active and eat alot and dont look like they are wasting. But would be good to make sure i guess.

Dwarf cichlids will love that sandy area ;)
(though if your water is very hard & alkaline, I’d only add tank bred, more adaptable species)

If you want more rams, I’d add a group of 7-9 juveniles as they don’t form strong “pair bonds”

I wish! Would love to find some tank bred ones from a local keeper but other than that i don't want to try again they are hard work when their quality is generally low. Also i would think rams would rip out all the HC and MC :lol: but if i see some really healthy rams some where i may be tempted to buy a pair or small group. Do they do better in groups? And how many M/F?
 
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alto

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I’ve not had any issue with rams and plants (I do add rams once plants are established for several weeks), I have had some ram groups become dedicated shrimp hunters :wideyed: :oops: :sorry:
It’s very difficult to find decent rams locally - most shops bring in the L and XL off the shipping lists, which means the fish have been growth hormoned (or are hybrids) ... unfortunately these fish sell very well to beginner hobbyists so it’s difficult to convince a shop to import smaller, more expensive stock


For medicated foods, I use Seachem’s protocol (it’s on the Focus page re previous thread)
You can certainly try preparing a strong solution of whichever medication and soaking the tetra crisps - if possible, I’d include Seachem Focus as a binding agent - though if you add the medicated food in a series of small additions so that fish consume food within 5-10 sec, that may work well enough

If you’re not keen on the S resplendens behaviour, choose alternate fish
I had ~35 and they were everywhere in the tank, there were definitely more males than females in the group, they often separated into 2 “streams” that would weave together, then separate again - I quite enjoyed watching them
As they seemed very healthy, I never medicated but by the 18month - 2 year mark, I had only a handful remaining
Speaking with other hobbyists, this seemed not unusual
As I’ve since seen shipments come in quite emaciated, I’ve begun to wonder if I’d have had a different experience if I’d treated for internal parasites

I’m very keen on chocolate gourami species S osphromenoides, S selatanensis, S vaillanti
but they can be challenging to source (especially healthy stock) and require suitable tankmates (I’d not attempt these fish in hard, alkaline water)
They are lovely interesting fish with unique behaviours but aren’t a good fish choice for an active busy tank - or if you prefer an active shoaling species (though most will drift more once settled)
 

Gill

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If you would like to Keep rams with Shrimp, Lots of Hiding and cover for the shrimp so they can feel safe. Rams are good hunters and spend alot of time sifting sand looking for food.
If you dont want to keep hormone fed Rams, then buy from a UK breeder, You can find them on Aquarist Classifieds and the BAND app. If you want a Shop that Sells UK Bred Rams, then have a lot at Premier Aquatics in Runcorn. He used to Work in the Fish Section at Chester Zoo and has been breeding many fish for years,

So soften Flow you can use Amazon Swords to deflect flow in areas, And they provide cover aswell and Also if you let the Leaves grow to the Surface and overlap, they create bubble nesting areas.
 

Sammy Islam

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I’ve not had any issue with rams and plants (I do add rams once plants are established for several weeks), I have had some ram groups become dedicated shrimp hunters :wideyed: :oops: :sorry:
It’s very difficult to find decent rams locally - most shops bring in the L and XL off the shipping lists, which means the fish have been growth hormoned (or are hybrids) ... unfortunately these fish sell very well to beginner hobbyists so it’s difficult to convince a shop to import smaller, more expensive stock


For medicated foods, I use Seachem’s protocol (it’s on the Focus page re previous thread)
You can certainly try preparing a strong solution of whichever medication and soaking the tetra crisps - if possible, I’d include Seachem Focus as a binding agent - though if you add the medicated food in a series of small additions so that fish consume food within 5-10 sec, that may work well enough

If you’re not keen on the S resplendens behaviour, choose alternate fish
I had ~35 and they were everywhere in the tank, there were definitely more males than females in the group, they often separated into 2 “streams” that would weave together, then separate again - I quite enjoyed watching them
As they seemed very healthy, I never medicated but by the 18month - 2 year mark, I had only a handful remaining
Speaking with other hobbyists, this seemed not unusual
As I’ve since seen shipments come in quite emaciated, I’ve begun to wonder if I’d have had a different experience if I’d treated for internal parasites

I’m very keen on chocolate gourami species S osphromenoides, S selatanensis, S vaillanti
but they can be challenging to source (especially healthy stock) and require suitable tankmates (I’d not attempt these fish in hard, alkaline water)
They are lovely interesting fish with unique behaviours but aren’t a good fish choice for an active busy tank - or if you prefer an active shoaling species (though most will drift more once settled)

I do love the asian rummy nose, i i bought them for their natural behaviour as they just do their own thing, like they dont know they are in a tank! :lol: i have a mix of males and females but there are definitely more males and they are very interesting. Also i love the fact the embers follow them around which should be even better when the rest are added in.

Regarding feeding i actually put food in very slowly, couple crisps at a time as they have very small mouths so take longer to eat, so the binding the meds may work pretty well with my feeding routine. Will check out seachem focus! :wave: i may just do a complete round of meds when i have the tank fully stocked.

If you would like to Keep rams with Shrimp, Lots of Hiding and cover for the shrimp so they can feel safe. Rams are good hunters and spend alot of time sifting sand looking for food.
If you dont want to keep hormone fed Rams, then buy from a UK breeder, You can find them on Aquarist Classifieds and the BAND app. If you want a Shop that Sells UK Bred Rams, then have a lot at Premier Aquatics in Runcorn. He used to Work in the Fish Section at Chester Zoo and has been breeding many fish for years,

So soften Flow you can use Amazon Swords to deflect flow in areas, And they provide cover aswell and Also if you let the Leaves grow to the Surface and overlap, they create bubble nesting areas.

Thanks i'll have a look at the band app and see if i can find anyone that's not too far away. I live down south so don't really want to drive up north :lol:

I would say theres lots of hiding places for the shrimp, especially between all the gaps in the rock and behind where all the stem plants are, plus there will be more places to hide once it's grown in a little bit more.

I bought my rams because they looked healthy and wearn't massive. I observed them for like 30mins before picking the two that seemed to have paired up and were young. I've seen some monster rams in my LFS, like the size of acara fish, i wouldn't buy them.

I would like some rams, they are my favourite fish by far, the colours are lovely and their behaviour is amazing and so cool to watch them interact.

Are there things i should look out for when purchasing rams? I always look at their bellies and see if they are fat or skinny, also their fins and gills/respiration.
Ideally i'd like a pair or maybe 2M 3F.

Will head over to a LFS tomorrow and just have a mooch about and get a feel for some centre piece fish.
 
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alto

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Ideally i'd like a pair or maybe 2M 3F.
I’d suggest 3-4 males 3-4 females - sufficient numbers of each sex so that a more dominant fish has more than one “other” to focus on
I prefer to select Rams etc from a single group (assuming I’ve found a decent seeming source) so would select 4 male, 3-4 female ..... then in the (unfortunate) event of some losses, I will (hopefully) still have sufficient numbers
Your present female will likely have something to say about the new rams coming into HER territory, adding a group of juveniles will diffuse the tension

When feeding larger foods to smaller fish, I usually just crumble the food

Hopefully you can continue to run the smaller tank as a Quarantine/Hospital tank
 

Sammy Islam

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Unfortunately i have to get rid of my old tank, i don't have the space anymore now i have the as900. Was going to be broken down last weekend but will probably do it really soon.

If i see a group of rams that look healthy and chunky (but small) i may be tempted to buy a group i don't really want loads of them, but will definitely buy a group rather than a pair. Maybe 2M 3F max seeing as i already have a female. If i do get a group i will probably just put them through a couple courses of the medications from the other thread to make sure i have the best chance from the beginning.

On a side note, what would you think the volume of my water is? 186L tank, 27L soil, 22kg rock, alot of plants and wood. I assume like 150L?
 

Sammy Islam

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My rams never really dug up any plants but i would imagine in the new scape they could uproot the mc/hc from nibbling bits they fancy seeing as they are ground feeders, thats why i wanted a good sized sand bay. They are good at ripping too, that's why i wanted a pair, less damage caused than if i had 6 :lol:
 
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