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Labyrinth Fish / Belontiidae / Licorice Gourami

Licorice Gourami, Deissner's Licorice Gourami
Parosphromenus deissneri


Synonyms: Osphromenus deissneri
Physical description: 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/Length: To 1.5" (4 cm)
Similar species: Thread fin or Spike tail Licorice Gourami ( P. filamentosus), Nagy's Licorice Gourami (P. nagyi ), Pygmy Licorice Gourami ( P. parvulus)
Habitat: Slow-moving black water in marshes, ponds, and lakes in Southeast Asia; southern Malaysia
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 5.5-7 (6.4), 1-8°dH (4), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: 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.
Suggested companions: Other Parosphromenus , Pangio , Corydoras, Trichopsis, Loricarids.
FOOD: This species requires a varied diet of live foods. Live; Daphnia, Artemia, Cyclops, Drosophila, whiteworms, Tubifex ; flakes
Sexual differences: Females are larger and less colorful.
Breeding techniques: Use water with a pH from 6.2-6.8, a water hardness from 1-4°dH, and a temperature from 79-82°F (26-28°C). 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.
Breeding potential: 8. Breeding is difficult.
Remarks: 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.
Difficulty of care: 7. This sensitive species should be kept to a pair in a tank of their own.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com