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LABYRINTH FISH

By Rhett Butler


HELOSTOMATIDAE FAMILY
The Helostomatidae or Kissing Gourami Family consists of the genus Helostoma . The fish of this family are similarto other Gouramis except that they lack the threadlike pelvic fins that other Gouramis posses. The fish of this family inhabit partsof Southeast Asia.


Kissing Gourami
[
Helostoma temmincki
SYN : Helostomarudolfi, H. servus
PD :An elongated, oval shaped fish with unusually large lips. The head is pointed and the body islaterally compressed. Two color variations exist. One, is olive green with a greenish iridescence. The other is pinkish white with a whitishiridescence. Both color types have colorless fins, with only the rays retaining the body color. The rest of the eye is yellow.
SIZE : To 12" (30 cm), although larger in nature
SS : None
HAB : Muddy, still, vegetation choked lakes, ponds, and rice patties in Southeast Asia;Borneo, Java, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Thailand.
S : All
TANK : A 28" (70 cm) or 20-25 gallon (76-95 L) tank is sufficient for fish to 5"(13 cm). Larger fish require larger tanks. The tank should have a cover of floating plants. Use plastic or tough-leaved plants,as this gourami has a tendency to eat most live plants. Allow algae growth in the back of the tank and provide rocks and woodas retreats.
WATER : pH 6-8 (7.0), 5-30 dH (10), 72-86°F (22-30°C)
SB : Best combined with other medium to large labyrinth fish. Occasionally this species may be aggressivetowards smaller fish. If hungry, it may suck at the scales of large, slow-moving fish.
SC : Barbs, larger Danios, tetras, Corydoras , Botia , Livebearers, Angelfish, Loricarids
FOOD : Live; insects, insect larvae, worms, crustaceans; flakes; pellets; tablets; vegetables;plant matter
SEX : The female is fatter during the spawning season
B : Use soft water. At dusk, the pair spawns aggressively with a great deal of splashing. Over1000 eggs float to the surface and attach to floating plants. The fry hatch in 50 hours. The young first feed on infusoria androftiers in the water. Later they should be provided with egg yolk and Artemia nauplii. They grow quickly and are free-swimmingafter 3-5 days. The young are generally ignored by the parents, but as a precaution they should be removed.
BP : 8. This prolific species is difficult to breed.
R : The Kissing Gourami's name comes from the way that it occasionally fights with othersKissing Gouramis. The males press their mouths together when they fight over territory. Some fish keepersreport that this behavior also occurs during courtship procedure, although this is generally accepted as false. Thisfish is eaten in its native lands. For instance, one is able to find the Kissing Gourami in local marketsin Borneo. When food is scarce, these fish filter plankton through their gills for food. The Kissing Gourami is sexually matureat 3-4 years old. There are two widely available color morphs; one that is green to silver, and the otherpink in color. The pink variation was once thought to be a separate species ( H. rudolfi ).
DC : 4. The Kissing Gourami is a fine fish to be kept in a community tank with small to large companions. Although,occasionally older specimen may cause problems.