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Labyrinth Fish / Belontiidae / Moonlight Gourami

Moonlight Gourami, Moonbeam Gourami
Trichogaster microlepis


Synonyms: Osphromenus microlepis, Trichopodus microlepis, Trichopsis microlepis, Trichopus microlepis
Physical description: 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/Length: To 6" (15 cm)
Similar species: None, except for juvenile H. temminckii
Habitat: Inhabits shallow, still and slow-moving ponds and lakes having much vegetation in Southeast Asia; Thailand and Cambodia
S: All
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), 2-25 dH (7), 77-86°F (25-30°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful community fish that can be skittish, especially if no proper hiding places are provided
Suggested companions: Trichogaster, Colisa, Botia, Corydoras, Barbs, Angelfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; flakes; pellets; chopped spinach and lettuce
Sexual differences: The pelvic fins of the male are orange to red, while those of the female are yellow.
Breeding techniques: 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)
Breeding potential: 8. Breeding is difficult.
Remarks: This species is consumed in Southeast Asia.
Difficulty of care: 4. This species is more sensitive than T. leeri, although it is suitable for a community tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com