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Another Fish?

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Hey there,

I have a tank that is approximately 20L (measurements are around 400x230x200mm). It currently houses a male dwarf gourami, and I just keep thinking that another fish is needed in the tank (just one doesn't look right). Would it be possible to have a female gourami in there as well?

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Do you have a filter in the tank,

or any aeration?

What has that got to do with any of it?

You can obviously keep more fish in a filtered tank. You cannot keep certain fish in a non-aerated tank. It was a perfectly sensible question.

Certain species of gourami can be quite aggressive. I will leave to someone else familiar with the behaviours of this species to comment further.

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To be honest, that is quite a small tank for a single dwarf gourami so I'd be hesitant to add another.

The filtration is part of waste management, which is important because fish live, eat and poo in the same water. If you don't manage the waste effectively, that can lead to all sorts of problems. Different types of filter manage waste differently, and will allow you to keep more or less fish. A less effective filter or no filter reduces the amount of fish you can safely keep, whereas a more effective filter can increase your fishkeeping capacity.

The thing that makes filters effective isn't really removing the chunks of waste (although that is good) but growing some bacteria that can consume the waste product in the water and make it harmless. Fish produce a waste product called ammonia which can have an effect like nappy rash, but all over the fish and on its gills. The bacteria that eat ammonia make a waste product called nitrite which can have an effect like carbon monoxide poisoning that can essentially suffocate the fish. The bacteria that eat nitrite make a waste product called nitrate which is reasonably safe. :fun: That is what filters do, they process waste into less harmful substances.

You don't want to put in more fish than your tank and filter can handle because then the waste products will build up and damage your fish.

What types of fish do you like?

What make/model is your filter?

Do you have a photo of the tank?

Is the tank heated and does it have a light?

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I know what filters do and how they work. I didn't think it was a relevant question because I wouldn't be keeping it without a filter anyway. The filter also aerates the tank.

The only species of fish I'm really interested in keeping are oscars, bettas and dwarf gouramis.

The filter is an Aqua One 101F, but I may get a smaller/weaker one, as it causes a fairly strong current in the tank. No, I don't have any photos of the tank.

Yes, the tank is heated. However, no, it doesn't have a light. I keep it near my lamp (making it nice and bright), and the plants are replaced regularly.

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Ok, well you had not indicated that was the case and I am not too flash with guessing, so I err on the side of caution. It is better that I explain it and you do know than not explaining it and finding out later that you don't, agreed? :fun:

Given your fish preferences, I don't think it is appropriate for you to add any other fish to the tank. I would not add a second labyrinth fish to that size tank. It isn't enough space for anything with need for territories, and the filter is quite hefty and will throw anything longfinned or flat-bodied around the place. Oscars are not going to fit.

HOWEVER if you are going to add more fish anyway (again I'm only erring on the side of caution) choose a pair or trio of something small. Perhaps small rasboras, danios or tetras could work. If you are not attached to the gourami, consider exchanging it for sparkling gouramies, female betta splendens or maybe even something like badis.

For the filter strength issues, I'd suggest adding some plants like java fern, anubias or blue stricta. Additionally, point the outlet of the filter towards the side glass to reduce the whirlpool effect (I have the same filter, this seems to help). The wide leaves of the plants and the changed water direction should reduce the water movement to a comfortable level. You could even find some flattish upright rocks to slow the water further if it is still causing issues. The plants are expensive in comparison to stem plants but they are all low light so should grow slowly under a lamp. If it has a standard fitting, I'd suggest a screw-in fluro daylight globe as these grow less algae and are better for plant growth than tungsten globes.

Hope that is useful to you.

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