Can Platies and Gouramis Live Together?
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Fish mixing is common in the aquarium world because that’s how you create a stable, diverse, and thriving community setup.
Unfortunately, mixing various fish types always leads to behavioral clashes, as different species have different requirements and temperaments.
So, you must choose your fish carefully to ensure they’re compatible from as many angles as possible.
Today, we will discuss such a case and assess the compatibility between platies and gouramis. Are these viable tankmates, or should you keep looking?
Do Platies and Gouramis Get Along?
If you know anything about gouramis, you know that this question has no easy answer. The situation is pretty clear with platies since these are docile and friendly 3-inch fish that will adapt to any community setup.
They like to live in stable groups of at least 6 individuals, as the company of their own gives them extra confidence and a sense of security.
The situation is slightly different with gouramis for 2 reasons: size and temperament. Gouramis comprise more than 90 different types based on size, color, pattern, and other physical characteristics.
Some types, like the dwarf gourami, only grow up to 3.5-4 inches and are peaceful and trustworthy tankmates. Others, like the gold gourami, grow up to 6 inches and display more aggressive and territorial behavior.
And then you have the giant gourami that can reach 20 inches and above, which already makes it incompatible with any 3-inch fish.
So, to learn whether platies can get along with gouramis, you must first decide on the exact types of gouramis to consider.
Dwarf gouramis will have no problems cohabiting with a group of platies, but gold or kissing gouramis or any gourami above 6 inches might.
Types of Gouramis You Can Keep with Platies
Fortunately, you have a variety of gouramis that could make for decent tankmates for your platies.
Some of them include:
- Sparkling gourami (1.5-2 inches)
- Honey gourami (3 inches)
- Dwarf gourami (3-3.5 inches)
- Samurai gourami (2 inches)
- Pearl gourami (5 inches)
Many others could qualify as compatible, and it shouldn’t take too long to choose a fitting type. Just remember that the ideal gourami for your platy tank is close in size and temperament.
If the gourami is too large, it might attack and eat your fish, even if the gourami is peaceful otherwise. It’s just that the fish’s instincts take over, forcing it to see any smaller fish as prey.
The gourami should also be generally peaceful and docile since some gourami types are more aggressive than others.
Keeping Gouramis and Platies in the Same Tank
If you’ve decided on the types of fish to mix, you must now set up their environment. There are several requirements to consider in this sense:
– Tank Size
Platies are small, energetic, and sociable fish that need to live in groups to remain healthy and happy long-term.
Fortunately, they don’t need too much space. A 10-20-gallon setup is enough for a group of 6-8 platies. Just keep in mind that the fish needs both open swimming areas and hiding spots.
You can ornate the tank with various live plants, rocks, and some aquatic decorations. Don’t clog the environment because platies like to swim, so they require more open spaces to keep them active.
The situation gets trickier with the addition of gouramis into the mix. These fish vary wildly in terms of size and environmental requirements. If small types of gouramis are fine with 20 gallons of water, larger types demand 150-200+ gallons, depending on their size and temperament.
However, since you will go for smaller types, consider a 30-gallon+ for a gourami/platy community setup.
This should be enough for both species, provided you don’t overcrowd them. Have 6-7 platies at most and 3-4 small gouramis. And most importantly, don’t keep more than one male of each species.
Both platy and gourami males are more territorial and aggressive than females, especially during the mating season.
– Water Requirements
Fortunately, gouramis and platies share similar water requirements. Platies demand water temperatures around 70-77 F, while gouramis need 70-82 F.
So, keeping the water temperature in the mid-70s should satisfy both groups. Other than that, everything stays pretty much the same for both species.
Go for whichever substrate you like because platies and gouramis are mid-to-top dwellers anyway. I recommend a darker sandy substrate since it will boost the fish’s coloring better than any other substrate type.
An important note here – consider the tank’s layout carefully. Conversely, platies are extremely energetic and tend to jump out of the tank when rattled or stressed.
So, you need to consider a tank lid to prevent that. It’s not uncommon for people to notice some of their platies missing from time to time.
On the other hand, gouramis are labyrinth fish, just like bettas. So, they breathe atmospheric air, which is why you will see them going to the water surface for their occasional gulps of air.
The idea is to avoid lush floating plants that could restrict the fish’s access to the water surface.
Finally, try to recreate the fish’s natural environment, mixing open swimming spaces with live plants and various rocks and decorations.
These will help fish feel more secure and comfortable in their environment, ultimately promoting harmony and stability.
– Diet & Feeding
Fortunately, the 2 species also share a lot of similarities in this department. Both are omnivorous fish and consume various foods such as plant matter, small crustaceans, live foods, pellets, green veggies, and algae.
They’re also similar in terms of feeding frequency, as both require 2-3 meals per day, depending on their numbers and size.
That being said, gouramis may need an extra meal per day since the fish is generally slightly larger and has a greater appetite. So, feed your gouramis 2-3 times per day and platies 1-2 times.
When it comes to providing your fish with a healthy and stable eating routine, consider the following:
- Diversity is a must – It’s easy to fall into the trap of one-food meals. People simply become complacent and only feed their fish one type of food out of comfort. This can cause the fish to experience nutritional deficiencies over time. Feed your fish a varied diet and rotate the foods throughout the day and week for proper nutrient intake.
- Avoid overfeeding – Platies and gouramis eat fast, especially when they’re very hungry. Don’t get yourself fooled by their increased appetite, and feed them more than they need to eat. They will not only develop digestive problems but also produce a lot of residues that will alter the water’s chemistry for the worse. Only feed your fish what they can devour in 2 minutes. If they seem like they could use more food, add another meal per day instead of increasing the quantity of food per meal.
- Watch for food-related fights – All animals fight over reproduction rights, food, and territory, and fish are no different. Even if platies and gouramis are generally peaceful, they may get into scuffles in case of food scarcity. To prevent food-related aggression, spread the food over the entire water surface and make sure all fish have their fill.
When it comes to preparing your fish’s food, I recommend a mixed approach. Have a good supply of pellets and flakes, sure, but also consider some homemade meals as well.
You can easily create a nutritious frozen paste with multiple ingredients based on your and your fish’s preferences.
Mix brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, zucchini, kale, spirulina, spinach, etc., boil them, blend them into a homogenous paste, and freeze them for later use.
You can also use vitamin supplements if your fish display specific nutritional deficiencies. Speak to your vet about that.
Do Gouramis Eat Baby Platies?
You bet they do. Platy fry are extremely small and pretty much defenseless against larger fish. They will rely on their environment to hide from their attackers and improve their chances of survival, but that’s not a failproof method.
If you want to save as many platy fry as possible, consider investing in a nursing tank.
You can house your platy fry there until they are old enough for gouramis to no longer hunt them down.
Platies and gouramis are both peaceful and hardy species that thrive in community setups.
Just be careful which gourami types you choose for your platy tank. Some types are incompatible due to their size and fiery temperament.