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Unhappy Gold Gouramis in heavily planted tank

Muso1981

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29 Aug 2020
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71
Location
Nottingham
Hi Everyone,

I have 3 gold gouramis sharing a heavily planted aquarium with a few other smaller fish and shrimp. I've had them a year and about 4 months ago introduced a Molly which constantly attacked them which I removed and they have not been the same since. They spend nearly all of their time sat on the bottom of the tank if they do come up they bolt as soon as they see me. The water quality is good and no other fish are bothering them so I'm not sure what to do. I called the shop who I bought them from and they couldn't offer any advice and they wouldn't take them back. Does anyone have any ideas what I could do as I'm at the point now of looking to give them away.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,706
Gold gourami as in trichogastor trichopterus? I ask as I've seen some of the golden forms of honey gourami described as gold before and they are very different species. Trichogastor are reasonably tough and feisty fish so it's very curious that they have shown this behaviour. I'm also surprised that they would be bullied by a molly unless there was a huge size disparity.
Do you know what sexes you have? Introducing new fish might work but you'd want more females than males to minimise any aggression but I'd personally rule out any possible health issues first as lethargy can be a sign of a few diseases, so it might be behaviour associated with their health.
 

Muso1981

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29 Aug 2020
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Nottingham
Hi,
They are three spot Gouramis, 2 female and one male. My rank is 120 litres, so I wouldn't want to add anymore in there. The Molly was much smaller than them but just super aggressive, annoying they didn't defend themselves. they don't seem to be lethargic on my opinion, just incredibly nervous. At night when the lights are out they come out a bit. I'm tempted to get a bigger tank.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,706
The tank is perhaps a little small (for when they are fully grown) but shouldn't account for their behaviour. I'm puzzled really if they are healthy because they are normally bold and really outgoing. Do you have any other fish in the tank? Normally a shoaling fish would make them feel secure and bring them out more. I wouldn't add any more either.
It's certainly a strange occurrence that I've never heard anyone else have issues with.
 

Muso1981

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29 Aug 2020
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Hi Mort, thanks for your replies. It's s heavily planted setup with some other small fish and shrimp. Neon tetras, danios, Molly's, clown loaches, plattys and Amano shrimp.
I think I'm going to upgrade to a 240l tank.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,706
With all those active fish it is very puzzling why they aren't thriving tbh. I don't know why they aren't but hopefully they become bolder for you.
 

milla

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3 Sep 2007
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Leeds
Could be too much flow or light.
Flow holding them to a low flow area.
Too much direct light keeping them deeper try to provide floaters and cover near the surface.
A minor rescape may also be enough to change behaviour patterns.
 

Muso1981

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29 Aug 2020
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Thanks @sparkyweasel there are no other mollies in the tank with them, they seem to be afraid of me. I notice them coming out after dark when the lights are out, strange behaviour, I'm transferring them to a new tank soon so hopefully that will reset their behaviour. Interestingly enough I couldn't find anything online about my particular situation.
 

Willage

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3 Apr 2021
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34
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Cambridge
I agree that’s odd behaviour, but they could still just be stressed after the molly attack. Give it some time and they might start to chill a bit. Have you tried some live food to coax them out a bit?
 

Karmicnull

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6 Sep 2020
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Cambridge
My pearl gouramis do the same. They used to be fine until there was some sort of dominance face-off that resulted in a lot of splashing and them all going into hiding. It's been about a month since then and they are just starting to recover their nerve and come out at feeding time if I stay fairly still. Give it another two or three months and I reckon they'll be properly out and about again.
 
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