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LABYRINTH FISH

By Rhett Butler

BELONTIIDAE FAMILY
The Belontiidae or Gourami Family inhabits Asia, Southeast Asia, and India. This family includes fish of the genera Betta, Colisa, Macropodus, Sphaerichthys, and Trichogaste r. Some species of this family are recommended as fish for the beginning aquariast.


Peaceful Betta
[Pictures]
Betta imbellis
SYN: Formerly known as B. splendens
PD: An elongated, laterally compressed fish with a rounded caudal fin and an upturned mouth. The coloring is highly variable, although fins are not nearly as elongate as those of B. splendens. The edge of the anal fin is fairly straight, and not flowing. Females have duller colors.
SIZE: To 2" (5 cm)
SS: Other Betta species
HAB: Southeast Asia; Malaysia
S: middle, top
TANK: A bowl/tank of 8" (20 cm) with a capacity of 1 /2 gallons (1.9 L) is sufficient. Do not keep this fish in bowls smaller than 1 /2 gallons (1.9 L). The water should be kept clean.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 3-25dH (8), 72-79F (22-26C)
SB: Males are aggressive towards one another, but injuries rarely occur in fights. Thus it is possible to keep more than one male in a roomy tank. This species is peaceful towards other fish. Do not combine with aggressive or fin-nipping fish.
SC: Tetras, Danios, Corydoras, Colisa species, Trichopsis, Loricarids, Loaches.
FOOD: Flakes; live; Tubifex, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp
SEX: Males are more colorful and have more elaborate fins.
B: Follow suggestions for B. splendens.
BP: 6. Breeding is not difficult.
R: This species has a temperament more peaceful than that of other Bettas, hence its common name.
DC: 3. A hardy species that is sensitive to drastic changes in water conditions.

Siamese Fighting Fish [Pictures]
Betta splendens
SYN: Betta pugnax, B. trifasciata
PD: The Siamese Fighting Fish is an elongated, laterally compressed fish with an upturned mouth. The fins may be long and flowing, or cropped. Color varies, as do the fins.
SIZE: To 2.8" (7 cm)
SS: Other Betta species
HAB: Southeast Asia; inhabits shallow, marshy regions in Thailand, Malaysia
S: top
TANK: A tank of 8" (25 cm) with a capacity of with a capacity of 1/2 gallons (1.9 L) is adequate. Do not keep this fish in bowls smaller than 1/2 gallons (1.9 L). Cover the top as this species tends to jump.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 2-25dH, 73-86F (23-30C)
SB: Males are well-known for their highly pugnacious behavior towards one another. If males are combined, fighting, and possibly death will occur. Males may also be belligerent towards females at spawning times, so it is recommended to keep several females with one male. In a community tank, Siamese Fighting Fish are easily picked on by fin-nipping and aggressive species.
SC: Colisa species, Corydoras, Trichopsis, small schooling fish, Pangio, Loricarids
FOOD: Flakes; live; Tubifex, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp
SEX: Males are more colorful and have more elaborate fins.
B: Use a shallow spawning tank with no water current, plants, and retreats for females. The male constructs a bubble nest at the water's surface. After each pairing, the male pushes and spits the eggs up to the bubble nest. In all, 400-500 eggs are laid. Remove the female after spawning. The male cares for the eggs and should be removed after 24-36 hours, when the eggs hatch. The fry look like little hairs at the water's surface. Start feeding with micro foods and egg yolk. Later the fry can be fed with powdered dry foods.
BP: 6. Breeding is fairly easy is a well-maintained species tank lacking water current.
R: Literally hundreds of color and fin variations are available. In parts of Southeast Asia, male fish are bet upon in fights with other males
DC: 2. A hardy, well-known species that is best kept singly in a species tank.

Banded Gourami [Pictures]
Colisa fasciata
SYN: Colisa bejeus, C. ponticeriana, C. vulgaris, Polyacanthus fasciatus, Trichogaster fasciatus, Trichopodus bejeus, T. colisa, T. cotra
PD: C. fasciata has an elongated, oval-shaped, laterally compressed body. The caudal fin is fan-shaped and the ventral fins are long and slender-almost thread-like. The back is olive to bright orange, while the belly is dull turquoise-orange. The flanks are orange, marked with several slender, transverse, turquoise stripes. The ventral fins are orange to red, while the anal fin is is bluish with a red edging. The caudal fin is orange, and the dorsal fin is both turquoise and orange. The iris of the eye may be orange. Females are less colorful, with a white-silver belly region.
SIZE: To 4" (10 cm)
SS: This species closely resembles C. labiosa, and is somewhat similar to the stocky-bodied C. lalia .
HAB: India; Bengal; Myanmar (Burma); possibly Thailand
S: middle, top
TANK: A tank measuring 24" (61 cm) with a capacity of 10-20 gallons (38-75 L) is sufficient. Use a dark substrate and place plants along the edges of the tank. Leave an open swimming area. Like most Gouramis, C. fasciata prefers shallow tanks.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (7.0), 4-15dH (8), 70-82F (21-28C)
SB: A species suitable for a community tank except at spawning times when fish become territorial. This fish may be timid during acclimation.
SC: Other Colisa species, Corydoras , barbs, Loaches, Trichogaster, Angelfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Flakes; pellets; chopped vegetables; live; Tubifex, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp
SEX: Males have a darker body color and have more pointed dorsal fins.
B: Use a separate breeding tank for the pair having a temperature from 79-84F (26-29C), a pH from 6.3-6.7, and a water hardness from 2-6dH. The tank should be shallow and not have any water current. The male constructs a bubble nest, that can measure up to 5" (13 cm) in diameter. Spawning behavior is similar to that of other Labyrinth fish, with the male embracing the female, which is followed by intense shaking.
The eggs, numbering from 500-1000, float to the surface and are corralled by the male in the bubble nest. The female should be removed following the spawning as the male aggressively guards the nest. Remove the male after the eggs hatch about 24 hours later. The fry resemble small hairs near the surface of the water. Begin feeding with roftiers and infusoria. After a week or two, the young can be fed with powdered dry foods and Brine Shrimp nauplii.
BP: 6. Breeding requires a separate tank, but is not especially difficult.
R: This species can be crossed with C. labiosa.
DC: 2. This hardy species is recommended for the beginning aquariast.

Thick-lipped Gourami [Pictures]
Colisa labiosa
SYN: Trichogaster labiosus
PD: This species has an elongated, ovule-shaped body with lateral compression. The caudal fin is fan-shaped and the ventral fins are long and slender-almost thread-like. The body color varies, but the back is usually dark orange-brown, while the belly is dark turquoise. The flanks are orange-brown with alternating transverse, turquoise stripes. The ventral fins are orange to red, while the anal fin is is bluish with a white to orange edging. The caudal fin is dull orange, and the dorsal fin is also dull orange. The iris of the eye may be orange. Females are less colorful, with a white-silver belly region
SIZE: To 4" (10 cm)
SS: Colisa fasciata
HAB: India; Southeast Asia; Myanmar (Burma)
S: middle, top
TANK: A tank measuring 24" (61 cm) with a capacity of 10-20 gallons (38-75 L) is sufficient. Follow suggestions for C. fasciata .
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), 4-12dH (8), 72-82F (22-28C)
SB: A species suitable for a community tank except at spawning times when fish become territorial. This fish may be timid during acclimation.
SC: Other Colisa species, Corydoras , barbs, Trichogaster , Loaches, Loricarids
FOOD: Flakes; pellets; chopped vegetables; live; Tubifex, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp
SEX: Males are more colorful and have more pointed dorsal fins.
B: As for C. fasciata, although C. labiosa constructs an even larger bubble nest.
BP: 5. This fish is easily bred with mature fish in a tank of their own.
R: A gold strain exists.
DC: 2. C. labiosa is a hardy species recommended for beginning aquariasts.

Dwarf Gourami [Pictures]
Colisa lalia
SYN: Colisa cotra, C. unicolor, Trichogaster lalius, T. unicolor, Trichopodus lalius, Trichopsis lalius
PD: The body is oval-shaped with strong lateral compression. The anal And dorsal fins begin in the frontal part of the body, and extend nearly to the fan-shaped caudal fin. The ventral fins are long and filamentous. Males are generally orange-red with numerous transverse strips which are light blue in color. The back is orange and the belly is silver-turquoise. The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are orange with patterns of light blue markings. The ventral fins are also orange. Females are duller in color.
SIZE: To 2.2" (5.5 cm)
SS: The Dwarf Gourami may resemble C. fasciata and C. labiosa, although it is rarely confused with these species.
HAB: Inhabits vegetation choked floodplains of Bengal and Assam (of India) and Myanmar (Burma).
S: middle, top
TANK: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (38 L) is recommended. The substrate should be dark to bring out the colors of this pretty fish. Plant the corners and sides of the tank heavily and allow open swimming areas in the middle. A few floating plants are recommended to provide areas of shade.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), 2-18 dH (6), 73-82F (23-28C)
SB: This timid species is peaceful towards other species. An excellent community fish for those tanks housing other peaceful fish. This species can be kept in pairs or in groups. At spawning times, males defend a large territory.
SC: Tetras, other Colisa species, danios, Corydoras
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, Tubifex, insects, crustaceans; flakes; occasionally algae; pellets; tablets
SEX: Males are more colorful than the silvery females.
B: The male constructs a bubble nest of bubbles and plant debris in a shallow tank. The water should be soft to medium hard (2-6 dH) and slightly acidic (pH 6.2-6.9).
Each act of spawning (embracement) results in 50-200 eggs, until 400-600 eggs are laid. The male spits the eggs into the nest. Remove the female at this point. The male will care for the brood, although he should be removed when the eggs hatch 24 hours later. Start feeding the fry with infusoria and roftiers, then with Artemia nauplii. The fry must be frequently sorted according to size or else cannibalism will occur.
BP: 6. Breeding is not difficult.
R: This is among the most popular of all Labyrinth Fish. Through selective breeding numerous color variations have been produced. Included among these are the Neon Dwarf Gourami, the Sunset Gourami, and the Fire Gourami.
DC: 3. This hardy species is somewhat sensitive to poor water conditions, thus frequent partial water changes are recommended.

Honey Dwarf Gourami [Pictures]
Colisa sota
SYN: Colisa chuna, Trichogaster chuna, T. sota, Trichopodus chuna
PD: A laterally compressed fish with long-oval shaped body. This species is similar in fin shape to C. lalia , although coloration of these two species is entirely different. Males and females are pale orange at most times. The fins match the body color. At spawning times, the male develops a dark orange color, and his head, throat, and front part of the anal fin become dark green to black. The rear parts of the anal and dorsal fins is also dark orange, as is the caudal fin. The ventral fins of the male may become black.
SIZE: To 1.7" (4.5 cm)
SS: None
HAB: Northeastern India; Assam; Bangladesh
S: middle, top
TANK: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a volume of 10 gallons (38 L) is suggested. Follow recommendations for C. lalia .
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), dH 4-15 (8), 72-82F (22-28C)
SB: A peaceful and timid species that can be combined with other peaceful species. Males become aggressive when defending their brood at spawning times.
SC: Colisa , Trichopsis, Corydoras , Danios, Loaches, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, Tubifex, insects, crustaceans; flakes; occasionally algae; pellets; tablets
SEX: At spawning times, males become dark orange with a black head, throat, and belly. Females at that time are brownish orange.
B: Follow suggestions for C. lalia.
BP: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult.
R: Under unsatisfactory conditions, this fish may be colorless besides being susceptible to velvet disease.
DC: 5. This species requires frequent partial water changes, and tends to susceptible to disease.

Paradise Fish, Paradise Gourami [Pictures]
Macropodus opercularis
SYN: Labrus opercularis, Macropodus concolor, M. filamentosus, M. venustus, Polyacanthus opercularis
PD: An elongated fish with long fins. The coloration varies, although generally the male has a turquoise-gray to green-brown head and back. The body color is dull turquoise with numerous vertical orange stripes. The gill cover and caudal peduncle are also marked with orange. The caudal fin has an orange and turquoise marbling, while the other fins are light blue. Females are much duller in color.
SIZE: To 4" (10 cm)
SS: None
HAB: In standing and slow-moving water in shallow areas of marshes, canals, ponds, and rice patties. Asia; China, Korea, Taiwan, Southern Vietnam, Okinawa (Japan)
S: middle, top
TANK: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L) is adequate for smaller fish. Full grown specimen need a larger tank with a minimum size of 24" (60 cm) or 20 gallons (75 L). Provide retreats for the female. The tank should be well-vegetated. Fish prefer large tank with lots of open swimming area. A partial cover of floating plants is beneficial to aide in bubble nest building. The Paradise Fish is an well-known jumper, so the tank should be well-covered.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), dH 4-30 (12), 59-79F (15-26C).
SB: Young fish make excellent community fish, but adult males often cause problems. If two males are confined together in a small tank (Under 30" or 30 gallons), they will fight almost as aggressively as male Betta splendens. Females may be attacked by males, even during non-spawning times. If attacks become to brutal on the female, remove her. Better results occur when several females are kept with one female. Best kept in a species tank.
SC: Trichogaster, Corydoras, Botia, Angelfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Algae; flakes; live; worms, crustaceans, insects, insect larvae. A favorite meal of the Paradise fish is planeria.
SEX: The male is more colorful with longer fins.
B: Breeding is fairly easy. Take a strong, established pair and place them in a tank alone. Initiate spawning by lowering the water level and increasing the temperature to 75-84F (24-29C). After an active courtship, the eggs float to the surface where the male collects them and spits them into the bubble nest. The bubble nest is usually built beneath a large leaf. The female should be removed at that point. The eggs, numbering as many as 1000, are guarded aggressively by the male. They hatch in 24-28 hours and are free-swimming after 3-5 days. The male should be removed. Start feeding with powdered dry foods and infusoria, and later with Artemia.
BP: 5. Breeding the Paradise Fish is fairly easy.
R: The Paradise Fish was among the first introductions to the aquarium. It was the second tropical fish-behind the goldfish-to be imported into France (1869). There are two readily available color morphs; the black and albino variants.
DC: 4. Young Paradise Fish are excellent community fish that are hardy and easy to care for. However, adult males are a different story. They are often aggressive and pugnacious.

Licorice Gourami, Deissner's Licorice Gourami [Pictures]
Parosphromenus deissneri
SYN: Osphromenus deissneri
PD: An elongated, moderately compressed species with a colorful, fan-shaped caudal fin. The dorsal and anal fins each have long bases. The body is dark brown with two yellowish lateral stripes running from the the snout to the caudal fin. Occasionally these stripes are reddish. The pelvic fins are bright blue as is the front part of the anal fin. The rear part of this fin is red, while the edging is light blue. The caudal fin is dark brown with a red semi-circular stripe. This fin is also edged in blue-white. The dorsal fin is brown with a stripe. This stripe begins as blue but becomes red near its rear. This fin also has a white-blue edging.
SIZE: To 1.5" (4 cm)
SS: Thread fin or Spike tail Licorice Gourami ( P. filamentosus), Nagy's Licorice Gourami (P. nagyi ), Pygmy Licorice Gourami ( P. parvulus)
HAB: Slow-moving black water in marshes, ponds, and lakes in Southeast Asia; southern Malaysia
S: bottom, middle
TANK: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (38 L) is sufficient. The tank should be dimly lit with a cover of floating plants. The substrate should be dark, and the tank should be heavily planted. Provide at least one hiding place for each fish. The filtration system should create little or no current. Shallow tanks having peat filtration are preferred.
WATER: pH 5.5-7 (6.4), 1-8dH (4), 75-81F (24-27C)
SB: A timid and peaceful species that should be kept in pairs. This species does best in a species tank, although it can be combined with other small, clam fish.
SC: Other Parosphromenus , Pangio , Corydoras, Trichopsis, Loricarids.
FOOD: This species requires a varied diet of live foods. Live; Daphnia, Artemia, Cyclops, Drosophila, whiteworms, Tubifex ; flakes
SEX: Females are larger and less colorful.
B: Use water with a pH from 6.2-6.8, a water hardness from 1-4dH, and a temperature from 79-82F (26-28C). The pair should be fed a varied diet. A bubble nest is built by the pair in a cave. After an active courtship, the relatively large eggs are attached to the ceiling of the cave. Each pairing produces 7-15 eggs until 40-100 are laid after two hours. The male then chases off the female and assumes brood care. The eggs hatch after three days, but the fry remain in the nest for 3-4 more days. The fry should be removed, and transferred to a rearing tank. The fry are sensitive to water pollutants, and should be raised with newly hatch Artemia nauplii. The young grow slowly.
BP: 8. Breeding is difficult.
R: Like other Licorice Gouramis, P. deissneri rarely surfaces for air at the water surface. This species requires favorable water conditions in order to display its stunning coloration. Thus, in dealers' tanks, its colors are rarely present.
DC: 7. This sensitive species should be kept to a pair in a tank of their own.

Chocolate Gourami [Pictures]
Sphaerichthys osphromenoides
SYN: Osphromenus malayanus, O. notatus
PD: A short-bodied labyrinth fish which has a laterally compressed body. It has an oval-shaped body with a pointed head and a small mouth. The dorsal and anal fins are long and extend from the midsection of the body, nearly to the caudal fin. The main body coloration is chocolate brown with variations to reddish brown. Irregular white to yellow stripes run vertically along the body. The fins are brown with a yellow ridge along the edges.
SIZE: To 2.5" (6.4 cm)
SS: Resembles juvenile O. goramy.
HAB: Shore areas of small, still and slow-moving black water with heavy vegetation in Southeast Asia; western Borneo, Malaysia, and Sumatra.
S: All
TANK: A tank measuring 28" (71 cm) with a capacity of 20 to 25 gallons (76-95 L). The tank should be heavily planted with a cover of floating plants. Provide hiding places among wood, rocks,and roots. The substrate should be dark and the lighting should be dim. Use a filtration system that creates only slight circulation. Leave some open swimming areas. This species does best in peat filtered water.
WATER: pH 4.5-6.5 (6.2), 1-7dH (3), 79-88F (26-31C)
SB: A peaceful, timid fish that are best kept in a pair in a species tank. Although, if combined with other fish, keep with other small, calm, nonaggressive species.
SC: Preferably none, although Corydoras, Trichopsis, Pangio, tetras, Loricarids.
FOOD: Flakes; live; Brine Shrimp, mosquito larvae, fruit flies.
SEX: The male has a yellow or white border along the edge of the anal fin.
B: Very difficult. This fish was originally thought to be a livebearer, but is now known to be a mouthbrooder. Sometimes an addition of a small amount of seawater may help initiate spawning. The pair spawns near the bottom. The male mouthbroods the 20-40 fry for 14-20 days. The young should be transferred to a rearing tank. They are delicate and very slow-growing. Often the fry die from infections and changes in water condition. Start feeding with small live foods.
BP: 9. Breeding is very difficult and unusual.
R: A demanding species, recommended only for expert aquariasts. Water must be changed often, and a good water conditioner must be used. The Chocolate Gourami is the most difficult Labyrinth fish to care for. It is extremely delicate and is susceptible to parasites, fungus, bacteria, and disease. The Chocolate Gourami is a short-lived fish. A sub-species, S phaerichthys osphromenoides selatanensis has been identified. It has more stripes and a darker body color.
DC: 8. A highly sensitive species.

Pearl Gourami, Lace Gourami, Mosaic Gourami, Leeri Gourami, Platinum Gourami [Pictures]
Trichogaster leerii
SYN: Osphromenus leeri, Trichopodus leeri
PD: An elongated, oval shaped fish with lateral compression. The ventral fins are filamentous and the anal fin is runs from just beyond the ventral fins nearly to the fan-shaped caudal fin. The dorsal fin is shorter than that of the previously mentioned Colisa species and runs from the mid-back to caudal peduncle. The back of a male is olive brown, while the flanks are brown to brownish red. The flanks are littered with numerous, over-laying dots that are pearl to iridescent violet in color. A black lateral stripe extends from the lips to the caudal peduncle, although in some specimen, this stripe is inconspicuous. The throat and belly are bright orange red to red in color. The fins have the same pattern as the flanks, save for the ventral fins which are orange-red in color. Females are blander, although they also have the pearl pattern over-laying their flanks.
SIZE: To 5" (13 cm)
SS: None
HAB: Shallow shore areas with heavy vegetation in still to slow-moving rivers, ponds, and lakes in Southeast Asia; Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Thailand
S: All
TANK: A 24" (61 cm) or 10-20 gallon (38-76 L) tank is adequate for a single pair. At least a 20 gallon (76 L) is recommended for more. Arrange the tank in dark colors with a cover of floating plants. The tank should be well-planted along the edges, and an open swimming area should be left in the center. Provide a retreat for each fish. Like all Labyrinth fish, the Pearl Gourami prefers shallow tanks.
WATER: pH 5.5-8 (7.0), 2-30 dH (8), 75-86F (24-30C)
SB: The Pearl Gourami will be harassed, stop eating, and loose color if combined with aggressive species (cichlids). Otherwise an excellent community fish. Males may harass females during the spawning season. If this occurs, separate the pair because the male may injure or kill the female. Males are territorial towards one another.
SC: Danios, Trichogaster, Corydoras, Botia, Angelfish, Barbs, Loricarids, Livebearers that can tolerate neutral water conditions.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; flakes; pellets; chopped spinach and lettuce
SEX: The males are more colorful and have pointed dorsal fins.
B: The water level should be reduced 4-6" (10-15 cm) and no water current should be present. Condition the pair with insect larvae, Artemia, and Daphnia. The male builds a large bubble nest (occasionally over 10" in diameter) at the water's surface in floating plants. After an active courtship, 200-300 clear eggs are laid. Spawning may continue for extended periods-even weeks. These float up to the bubble nest, and are corralled by the male. They are guarded by the male. At this time, all other fish should be removed, including the female. The eggs hatch after 20-30 hours. The fry remain in the nest for 4-5 days. Start feeding with paramecia, roftiers, and infusoria. The male can be removed after the fry are free-swimming. The fry are slow-growing.
BP: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult due to the difficulty in finding a suitable pair. Once a pair is found, spawning comes fairly easily. Like other Gouramis, the Pearl Gourami possesses taste cells at the tips of the ventral fins.
R: The Pearl Gourami regularly lives over 8 years.
DC: 2. A hardy fish suitable for a beginner.

Moonlight Gourami, Moonbeam Gourami [Pictures]
Trichogaster microlepis
SYN: Osphromenus microlepis, Trichopodus microlepis, Trichopsis microlepis, Trichopus microlepis
PD: A moderately elongated, laterally compressed fish. The long, filamentous ventral fins are characteristic to this species, as these are far longer than any other Gouramis. The back is olive-white with a green iridescence, and the flanks are white, marked with a silver iridescence. The fins are green-gray in color, while the ventral fins are yellow to red. The iris of healthy adult specimen is red.
SIZE: To 6" (15 cm)
SS: None, except for juvenile H. temminckii
HAB: Inhabits shallow, still and slow-moving ponds and lakes having much vegetation in Southeast Asia; Thailand and Cambodia
S: All
TANK: A tank measuring 28" (71 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 gallons (76-95 L) is sufficient for non-adult specimen. Adult specimen require a tank measuring at least 32" (81 cm). Follow recommendations for T. leeri.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), 2-25 dH (7), 77-86F (25-30C)
SB: A peaceful community fish that can be skittish, especially if no proper hiding places are provided
SC: Trichogaster, Colisa, Botia, Corydoras, Barbs, Angelfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; flakes; pellets; chopped spinach and lettuce
SEX: The pelvic fins of the male are orange to red, while those of the female are yellow.
B: As for T. leeri. The fry are very sensitive to changing water conditions and often thereafter. Good filtration is necessary. It is recommended not to change water until the fry are over 1/2" (13 mm)
BP: 8. Breeding is difficult.
R: This species is consumed in Southeast Asia.
DC: 4. This species is more sensitive than T. leeri, although it is suitable for a community tank.

Snakeskin Gourami [Pictures]
Trichogaster pectoralis
SYN: Trichopodus pectoralis
PD: An elongated, moderately compressed fish with a small dorsal fin. The anal fin nearly the length of the body and the pelvic fins are long and thread-like. The back is olive and the flanks are greenish gray with a silver iridescence. An obvious black band extends from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal peduncle. The underparts are white. The rear part of the body may be marked with faint transverse stripes. The fins are also gray-green, and the iris of the eye may be amber under favorable water conditions.
SIZE: To 12" (30 cm), although not usually more than 6" (15 cm) in captivity.
SS: None
HAB: Rice patties, shallow ponds, and swamps in Southeast Asia; Cambodia, Thailand, and Southern Vietnam.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: A 24" (61 cm) or 10-20 gallon (38-76 L) tank is sufficient for fish to 4" (10 cm) in length. Larger specimen should be kept in a 32" (81 cm) or 30 gallon (114 L) tank. As for set-up, follow suggestions for T. leeri.
WATER: pH 5.8-8.5 (6.8), 2-30 dH (7), 72-86F (22-30C)
SB: A peaceful fish that can be kept in a community tank. Males are relatively nonaggressive even at spawning times.
SC: Barbs, Danios, Tetras, Corydoras, Angelfish, Loaches, Gouramis, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; flakes; pellets; chopped spinach and lettuce
SEX: The dorsal fins of male fish are pointed and the pelvic fins are orange to red.
B: Follow suggestions for T. leeri.
BP: 6. Breeding is not difficult.
R: This fish is not as frequently imported as other gouramis. This species is eaten in its native lands.
DC: 2. A hardy, peaceful species recommended for the beginner's community tank.

Three-spot Gourami [Pictures]
Trichogaster trichopterus
SYN: Labrus trichopterus, Osphromenus trichopterus, O. saigonensis, Trichopodus cantoris, T. siamensis, T. trichopterus
PD: An elongated, moderately compressed species with a small dorsal fin and a long anal fin. The original coloration-as may selectively produced morphs are available today-is fairly bland. The back is brown and the flanks are lighter brown with a greenish iridescence. The flanks are marked with faint transverse stripes, and two obvious spots mark the body, one at the caudal peduncle, and the other at the mid-section. The third "spot" from which this gourami gained its name is the eye. The fins are generally gray-brown, save for the anal fin which has orange spots and an orange edge, The iris of the eye may be red. As previously mentioned, several variants are available.
SIZE: To 6" (15 cm)
SS: None
HAB: Sunny, well-planted areas in muddy and clear rivers, lakes, ponds, and drainage canals in Southeast Asia; Bali, Borneo, Myanmar (Burma), Java, Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand, and Vietnam.
S: All
TANK: A 20" (60 cm) or 10 gallon (38 L) tank is sufficient for fish up to 3.5" (9 cm) in length. Fish larger than this require larger tanks. Follow suggestions for T. leeri.
WATER: pH 5.7-8.5 (7.0), 3-35 dH (10), 75-86C (24-30C)
SB: A peaceful fish ideal for a community tank. Do not combine with aggressive fish, like cichlids. Occasionally a male may attack a female during spawning season. If this occurs, remove one of the fish.
SC: Trichogaster, Colisa, Danios, Barbs, Corydoras, Angelfish, Loaches, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, hydra; flakes; pellets; chopped spinach and lettuce
SEX: The dorsal fin is pointed in the male and the female is smaller, but plumper.
B: The tank water level should be lowered 4-6" (10-15 cm). The tank should have no circulation. Provide several females for the male, as he will drive off unreceptive mates. The male builds a bubble nest at the surface out of plants. Spawning takes place just below this nest. 500-1200 eggs are laid in the bubble nest where the male guards them. At this point, the female should be removed. The fry hatch after 20-30 hours, and are free-swimming after 4-5 days. The fry should be sorted out by size or else larger ones will cannibalize the smaller fry. Start feeding with small live foods.
BP: 5. This prolific species is easily bred when a suitable pair is found.
R: There are many different color And pattern variants; although the most common are the blue, opaline or cosby, marbled, silver, and the golden. These variants are seen much more often than the original stain. This gourami is one of the hardiest of all aquarium fish. The blue form is now considered a sub-species (Trichogaster trichopterus sumatranus ).
DC: 2. A hardy species recommended for the beginning aquariast.

Dwarf Croaking Gourami, Green Croaking Gourami, Pygmy Gourami, Pygmy Purring Gourami [Pictures]
Trichopsis pumila
SYN: Ctenops pumilus
PD: An elongated, laterally compressed fish with a pointed caudal fin. The back is beige, as are the lower parts. A brown transverse stripe extends from the snout to the caudal fin. Above this is a white stripe, and above that markings is a broken brown band. The flanks also have a green iridescence. The outer parts of the iris of the eye is orange, while the inner iris may be blue. The fins are colorful, being light blue in color with red spots. The fins are edged with red and blue.
SIZE: To 1.5" (4 cm)
SS: Other Trichopsis species.
HAB: Inhabits small vegetation choked ponds, canals, and puddles in Southeast Asia; Sumatra, Thailand, Vietnam
S: middle
TANK: A tank measuring 16" (41 cm) with a capacity of 5 gallons (19 L) is sufficient for a pair. The tank should be heavily planted And include a cover of floating plants. Provide hiding places among rocks and wood, and use a dark substrate.
WATER: pH 5.5-7 (6.6), 2-10 dH (6), 77-82 (25-28C)
SB: A timid, peaceful species that can be combined with other small, calm fish. Males are aggressive in defending their territory at spawning times.
SC: Tetras, Corydoras, Colisa, Trichopsis, Pangio, Loricarids
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, Drosophila, crustaceans, Tubifex; flakes
SEX: Males have a more elongated dorsal fin.
B: The male builds a bubble nest under a large leaf. This nest is small and inconspicuous. During spawning, when the fish embrace, croaking noises can be heard. Each embrace produces a small number of eggs. This procedure lasts until 70-180 eggs are produced. These are guarded by the male. Remove the female at this point. The eggs hatch after 44-48 hours. The fry remain in the nest for two additional eggs. Start feeding with infusoria and roftiers.
BP: 7. Breeding is fairly difficult.
R: This species is sensitive to changes in pH, so water changes should be frequent and partial.
DC: 5. This peaceful species is a bit too sensitive to be recommended for the beginning aquariast.

Croaking Gourami [Pictures]
Trichopsis vittatus
SYN: Ctenops vittatus, Osphromenus vittatus, O. striatus, Trichopsis striata, T. vittata, Trichopus striatus
PD: An elongated, laterally compressed fish with pointed anal, dorsal, and caudal fins. The back is dark beige, while the flanks are light beige to off-white. The flanks are marked with three transverse stripes that are brown to red in color. These run from the snout, parallel to one another, to the caudal fin. A spot, blue or black in color, is located near the gill cover. The rear half of the body may have a green iridescence. The fins range from blue-green to violet in color with overlaying red stripes and spots. These fins have a blue and red edging. The iris of the eye is blue.
SIZE: To 2.7" (7 cm)
SS: Other Trichopsis species.
HAB: Inhabits small ponds, canals, creeks, and lakes in Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
S: middle
TANK: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (38 L) is sufficient for a pair. Follow suggestions for T. pumilus.
WATER: pH 6.3-7.5 (6.9), 2-14 dH (8), 73-82 (23-28C)
SB: A timid, peaceful species that can be combined with other small, calm fish. Males are occasionally aggressive in defending their territory at spawning times.
SC: Tetras, Corydoras , peaceful Barbs, small gouramis, Loaches, Loricarids
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, Drosophila, crustaceans, Tubifex; flakes
SEX: Males have a longer anal fin.
B: Similar to T. pumila, although this species requires a water temperature from 84-88F (29-31C), a water hardness from 1-4dH, and a low water level of 3-6" (8-15 cm). Up to 240 eggs are laid and deposited in the bubble nest.
BP: 8. Breeding is difficult.
R: This species also emits croaking noises at times of excitement, especially during spawning acts.
DC: 4. This species is relatively sensitive.

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