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Sparkling Gourami advice

Discussion in 'Gouramis and Anabantoids' started by KrystaK, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. KrystaK

    KrystaK Member

    Jul 24, 2011
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    I am a relative stranger to Gourami; I have had a few Pearl Gourami in the past but they are my only adventure into the land of Gourami. I have a 20 gal long tank and I am interested in keeping some Sparkling Gourami hopefully. (Aquaclear 20 filter, fully cycled, current stock is 5 Panda Cory, 5 female Platy's, 3 Mystery snails and some Cherry shrimp). I have a few questions I was hoping someone with experience with this species could answer.

    I have read around the internet that this species of Gourami is rather shy, is this true? How territorial are they compared to other Gourami species?
    Do they prey on shrimp if given the opportunity?
    Has anyone kept them with Platy's? Were there any issues with comparability?
    I understand they are a beginner-ish fish, but how hardy are they? (Because I know Dwarf Gourami can be rather sensitive due to inbreeding.)

    Any other pointers and experience with this species would also be much-ly appreciated! (Or if you think a different species might do alright in my set up I am open to suggestions there as well :p)

  2. Byron

    Byron Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    I have had this species (Trichopsis pumila) a few times, and spawned them (or more accurately, they spawned of their own volition).

    They are soft water fish, so knowing your GH and pH is the first thing. They do not make good companions with platies because the latter are livebearers requiring moderately hard (or harder) water. The GH must be below 20 dGH, and the pH on the acidic side (below 7.0); in its habitat it is frequently found in water having no hardness and a pH of 3-4. Provided with water on the soft side, and preferably slightly acidic (another opposite to all livebearers), they are fairly hardy fish. Water temperature 25-28C/77-82F.

    The pygmy sparkling gourami does best in a small group, six or more, in a spacious well-planted aquarium with very minimal water movement and subdued lighting; stable water parameters are essential, and the fish should only be introduced to a well-established aquarium. Floating plants are mandatory, both to shade the light and to provide feeding and spawning sites; Ceratopteris cornuta (Water Sprite) is ideal, or Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria) allowed to grow along the surface works too. Your 20g long is perfect for a small group, without the platies though.

    This species is sometimes confused with its cousin, the Croaking Gourami, Trichopsis vittata. Both species make "croaking" sounds, like a rapid series of clicks, when excited and during courtship, and these can easily be heard outside the aquarium. In a 1992 study, Friedrich Ladich et.al. determined that this sound is important not only in breeding displays but also in antagonistic displays of males to establish dominance. The "croak" is a series of double pulses generated by rapid beating of the pectoral fins. Another study by Ladich in 1998 established that the sounds vary according to the individual fish and the sound frequency had a role in determining the outcome of the encounter between rival fish.

    Like all other gouramis, males are often aggressive toward members of their own species but in a spacious well-planted aquarium no damage is likely to occur; this species is much calmer than its larger gourami relatives.

    I've kept this species with several rasbora, those in Trigonostigma (especially T. hengeli and T. espei), or the dwarfs in Boraras. Smaller characins like some of the tetras also work. Cories are fine. The sparkling pygmy gourami tends to remain in the upper half or upper third of the tank; it doesn't like surface fish like hatchetfish.

    Like most tropical fish, crustaceans form a part of their natural diet, so shrimp that are small enough to be eaten likely will, though this gourami does remain off the substrate.

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  3. hobby5

    hobby5 Member

    Oct 1, 2013
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    I have read reliable reports that they attack and kill shrimps, so I would not try that. It's a beautiful and interesting little fish though and they are on my wish list too :)

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