Animal Stories - Opaline Gourami

Animal-World Information about: Opaline Gourami

The Opaline Gourami is a long time favorite with aquarists, and a very attractive fish that comes in a variety of color patterns!
Latest Animal Stories
misty - 2014-10-13
I HAVE 4 opaline gourami's in a 45 gallon bamboo tank the biggest one has all others herded on left side the big one chases the rest if they come toward center they all seem healthy eat great but what can I put with them awful big space for only 4 fish.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-10-13
    Hey Misty, sounds like a great tanks and yes, a little slim with inhabitants. See the Social Behaviors section above for some great compatible fish:)
Anonymous - 2014-03-23
I just got a new tank, I have about 9 fish in a 10 gallon. One of my Opaline gouramis was always playing in the mirror so I got another. The first day they were chasing each other around a lot. (Not in a violent way) and I believe it's a male that I already had and I just got a female. Everything seemed fine until yesterday, I checked the tank and there was a chunk of tail (or the biggest fin in the back I don't know what it's called lol) of the female and now she stays in the cave. I have a lot and the male tries to hug her but she swims away and is almost never at the surface anymore. Will she heal and what do you think is the cause of this?

Flora - 2011-06-28
A couple weeks ago, my family bought some fish. I'm not sure of all the breeds, but their are two gourami fish in there. I have a pearl gourami and there is also a Opaline gourami. I believe the Pearl is a male and I think the Opaline is as well. There is also a guppy in there as well and I'm slightly worried. From what I've read, smaller fish tend not to last with gouramis. Should I be worried for the guppy? Also, the Opaline gourami has some strange behaviour. Whenever we switch the light off in the tank, it goes crazy. It swims to the top incredibly fast and then zooms around for a while. It tends to circle around the thermometer, on the side of the tank, as well. It chases my pearl gourami around constantly. Is there anything wrong?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-28
    Since the Gouramis are omnivores and will grow up to at least 6 inches and will eat all kinds of live fresh food, I'd say it's a good chance the Gouramis will eat the little guys. Guppies are pretty small and I would think the Gourami would think it might make an excellent meal. I have no idea about switching the light off in the tank. It might just be a startled reaction that he needs to get used to. Are you switching the light off when the room is dark? You could try switching the light off when the room light is on and then switch the tank light off. I leave a nightlight on for my birds - I don't know if throwing a fish into darkness fast would startle them.
  • Alex Burleson - 2012-02-12
    If you notice your Guppy with nipped fins, or the Gouramis chasing him, remove the fish and place it into another aquarium. Fish are known to act like that when the lights in the aquarium are turned off. No one is entirely sure why, however it may be due to the fact that unlike the Sun, which doesn't simply turn off like a light switch, the aquarium lights do. In an attempt to solve this issue, I would dim the lights in the room the aquarium is located before bed time. Additionally, I would turn the aquarium lights off at a set time, every light, so that the fish can become biologically predisposed as to when the lights are going off. This, should minimize the behavior in the fish.
  • Daisy - 2013-08-06
    I had over 30 guppies with a gold gourami and an opaline gourami. They were fine and got along great. When they all died I bought more guppies and they were fine too.
fin - 2011-11-30
I have a female opaline gourami with a female blue gourami. It was smaller than the blue one but more aggressive, so it was the under dog of the tank. Now, my opaline defeated my blue gourami and took most of the territory. They still fight daily but my tank is big and there are plenty of hiding spots. The funny thing is that it won't attack my cherries and doesn't attack back when nipped by my mollies. It just tries to swim away. It does go for any new fish for a couple days though. Its still an awesome fish!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-30
    She just wants to be top dog and makes sure everyone knows it. Sounds fun.
Keith - 2011-11-20
My opaline's are in the midst of doing there spawning ritual 'again'. Is it possible to post ~ some photos on this site.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-21
    To post photos on Animal World UPLOAD PHOTO just go to this link and upload your photos. They would be interesting.
  • Keith - 2011-11-23
    Thanks for the info ~ I have posted a few photos.
ann - 2011-07-09
Today I had bought a opaline male and a blue female....but when I put them in my tank my female died...whereas my male is good. Could any one say what went wrong???????????????????????

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-09
    You placed the bag with the water and fish inside the tank and let it sit for a couple of hours before releasing the fish. Right? Someimtes a change in temperature - but rare and wouldn't think this was it. Just a precautionary thing to do. My guess is that somehow the female was sick or ill or just a coincidence. There is really no way to know but I would check the tanks temperature, PH etc just to be sure. I am sorry. It seems strange though. I'd ask the fish store.
  • leigh - 2011-11-08
    Did you check the water? If the water is fine the move may have stressed her out. How long was she in the tank before she died?
Dan - 2011-10-13
I have a 30 gallon hexagonal tank, and I purchased a rainbow shark, which I love. After a terrible turn with a trio of angelfish in the tank, I opted to go with a few opaline guorami (two to be exact). The shark just chills out in the monolith at the bottom, and the guarami chase each other around attempting dominance...while this is entertaining, I do fear that as these guys mature they will get increasingly aggressive. What can I add to the tank to offset the attention they focus on each other? because o the shape of the tank (I'm told), schooling fish will be a bad choice.

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  • Anonymous - 2011-10-13
    You probably got yourself two male gourami. If you can, take one back and either get a female or another fish entirely. This just happened with two of mine, and now I'm playing hospice nurse to the loser. Males will not share a space together, sorry! I know I inadvertently bought two males; it can happen since juveniles haven't really started to show their male or female characteristics.
santiago - 2011-07-28
I have a 20 gallon tank started 4 opaline gourami. One stay on 1 side of the tank the other 3 on the other side.They started to die slowly 1 by 1 no fins eyes missing. He's the only one left in the tank with a pletco.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-29
    Something is obviously big wrong. I don't know for sure what. I'd look over the article on Fish Disease and Treament from Animal World and see if you can spot the symptoms. I'd check your tank temperature water etc also. I'd just completely start over and do all new water or exchange all the water and treat it. Your tank is also too small for the fish you have in there. The gourami are going to be about 6 inches as adults and so four of them would need at least 24 gallons of water. One inch on adult size needs a gallon and you have to subtact gallons for gravel, plants and decorations. A 30 gallon tank would be best for 4 gourami - no pletco. It is hard to start but don't give up or get discouraged. It gets a whole lot better.
  • venkataraounnamatla - 2011-07-31
    This information is very good but latest information is better because now a days so many antibiotics are coming to market that information is also need please give the information. Thank you.
  • Clarice Brough - 2011-08-01
    Staying in one spot in an aquarium for these types of fish indicates they are stressed. Stress causes disease. Things that cause stress are poor water conditions, not enough space and/or inadequate hiding places, and aggravating or aggressive tankmates.

    Because it's a new tank, you may very well still be in the middle of the nitrification cycle. (I'm assuming you have a filter and good water movement.) It can take about 6-8 weeks to go thru the nitrification cycle. Once you're tank is cycled, you will have established bacteria in the tank that controls toxins, specifically ammonia and nitrite. Water changes can help the fish handle the toxins while the tank is cycling, because that will remove some of the ammonia and nitrite, but also slows the cycle time down a bit. But this just means it takes a litter longer... no biggie.

    Plecos are much hardier fish to cycle a tank with than Gouramis, but one you're tank is cycled (you can test for ammonia an nitrite) it will be established. Bacteria in the tank that controls these toxins.

    At that time you can slowly start to add additional fish, about 2-3 small ones at a time for a 20 gallon. I say slowly because if you add too many fish at once, you put a load on the biological cycle. Then the tank will spike in ammonia again, and you risk loosing fish. But the existing bacteria will also grow rapidly to handle this heavier ammonia and nitrite load, and get back in balance. Still it's best to go slowly.

    If you're tank is already established, then a very probable cause is a lack of adequate hiding places for your fish. Plants, artificial are fine, help create safe areas. Also, gouramis are notorious for picking out one of their mates and harrassing it... usually to death. This is another good reason for many hiding places... for escape.

    Antibiotics and other types of treatments are for when a disease is identified. If it's a new tank, I would first make sure the environment is right before looking for a disease problem.
zack - 2009-01-02
Yesterday (new years day 2009)I bought a rainbow shark, 2 tetra serpae and a gourami opaline. I already had a lonely guppy so I thought I would buy some. I put them all in a 10 gallon tank with plants and a ship. My rainbow shark loves the pirate ship, all he does is going in to the left side of it then comes out the other side. Anyways the petco people said, "these fish won't hurt your guppy." My guppy was a little scared at first then adventured down in to the bottom to the ship. not the smartist idea for him because I feed them. Then I saw he wasn't out, so I turned the light off. Then went to bed for 2 minutes, got up and looked at my guppy, because he was out. His whole back fin was all bit up and now this morning he is dead. I want to know what fish bit his tail. Is it the gourami fish?

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  • gary - 2010-03-07
    aww poor thing lol, most likely the gourami or the shark, both of these can be quite aggresive, especially for a tiny lone guppy,try a female pearl gourami or personally i think honey gouramis are best. I have also leant the hard way i used to just go by what they say at the pet shop, but trust me dont. they really have no idea what they are talking about, half the fish that they say are community fish are not. the best thing to do is research what fish you are going to get before you get them, i know it sounds long to do, but just go to the shop, note down a few fish that you like, come back and research them and find out the friendliest ones, then go buy them. personally id use a 20 gallon for a gourami of that size, most people dont give a shit about cheap little fish, but i do lol,anyway sorry this has been so long lol but hope it helped!
  • Anonymous - 2010-04-20
    My opaline did the same thing to my female betta. Then I moved my male in since she needed to be in the other tank, which the male was in, he bit him up too. The female died a couple of days after and so did my male. The opaline doesn't bother the false Siamese algae eater, zebra danio, or my harlequin rasbora. Whoever reads that these fish are compatible with betta fish should not take their chances. It is most likely the gourami in your case since they can be aggressive to colorful and/or long-finned fish such as guppies.
Courtney - 2009-12-21
I have a 150gallon aquarium. A great majority of what I have are gourami of all different types. I have opaline, 3 spot in blue and gold, moonlight, and snakeskin. I even have a couple blood red dwarfs, a giant dwarf, a honey and a sunset dwarf. All these guys share the tank with bala sharks, serpae tetras, and angels. Everybody gets along. The dwarfs have the hardest time, but even they no where to get outta the way from time to time. I'm glad that I havent had to deal with the territoriality. These guys are so beautiful!