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Gourami

Discussion in 'Gouramis and Anabantoids' started by Doggfather, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Doggfather

    Doggfather Al Bundy
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    This was origionally going to be an pinned topic on keeping and breeding members of the genus Colisa but i've decided to extend this article to cover the keeping and breeding of popular gourami as well as some of the less popular and more uncommon fish. Enjoy reading :)

    The genus Colisa is made up of the four of the most popular gourami species avaliable today, the Honey Gourami (Colisa chuna), Banded Gourami (Colisa fasciata), Thick-Lipped Gourami (Colisa labiosa) and finally the Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia). None of these four fish exceed 10 cm's (4") and all require similar care, water conditions and display generally the same breeding behaviour.

    Gouramis belong to the family Anbantidae. Other fish which are part of this family include the genus Betta, Belonita, Helostoma, Macropodus, Trichogaster and Trichopsis. All share a unique characteristic, they all posses a secondary breathing organ called the 'labyrinth' which allow these fish to breath oxygen from the waters surface. This is a great advantage because the fish can survive in waters with little disolved oxygen, this is one reason these fish prosper in dirtier waters.. The Labyrinth is made up of small, thin plates called lamellae which are found in the gill cavities. Gouramis are found in only two places, Asia and Africa with the majority of the fish coming from the Asian region.


    Temperature

    The optimal temperature for the genus colisa is 22 - 28 degrees Celsius (72 - 78 F) which means you will need to invest in a heater. The Wattage of the heater depends on the size of your tank, tank sizes will be discussed further below.

    Tank Size

    The absolute minimum tank size needed to house these fish is a 10 gallon (U.S) for the Dwarf Gourami and the Honey Gourami or a minimum of 20 gallons (U.S) for the Banded and Thick-Lipped Gourami. These tank sizes ensure the fish has an adequate amount of space to swim when fully grown.

    Dwarf Gourami, Colisa Lalia

    [​IMG]

    The Dwarf Gourami is undoubtedly the most popular member of the genus. It is a brilliantly coloured fish and available almost anywhere in the world for a reasonable price. All fish keepers should attempt to keep this fish. It is found in India and Boreo but almost no wild caught fish are found on the market today due to extensive breeding in Asia where colour morphs have been formed including "Neon Blue" and "Flame Red". The Dwarf Gourami was first introduced to the hobby in 1911 in West Germany and was discovered in 1878.

    Sexing is extremely simple. Males are colourful and posses a pointed dorsal fin, whereas the females have almost no colour and appear to be brown/grey.

    These fish do best in a community aquarium, heavily planted, with peaceful tank mates. They do not combine well with over active tank mates due to their peaceful nature. Gentle water circulation is recommended since these fish don't fare well in turbulent waters. The hardness of the water should be between 4-10 dGH and the ph should slightly acidic but the fish can survive in water with a ph of 6.0 - 7.5 .The overall quality of the water should also be good so regular water changes are a must. Dwarf Gourami do best if they are kept in pairs (One male, One Female).

    Breeding these fish presents a challenge as the fry are tiny and the parents become territorial. Before spawning the male will create a sturdy bubble nest anchored among floating plants (which are a must have) and tall plants which reach the surface of the water. You can trigger spawning by lowering the water level to 20 cm's (8") and by providing some small water changes using cool water. Once the male begins creating his bubble nest do not change the water or it will break apart. When creating his bubble nest the male will claim a large amount of territory and will become aggressive to any fish that enter his territory, including the female so spawning is best achieved in a sperate tank. When the nest is completed the male will try attracting the female by showing off his colours and extending his fins. When the female has agreed to spawn he will lead her to his nest and embrace her in an 'S' shape under it. When all the eggs have been put into the nest the male will become aggressive towards the female so it is best to remove her. Be extremely careful not to ruin the bubble nest when you net her out!

    The eggs will begin falling out of the nest so don't be surprised to see the male darting after them, placing them in his mouth, then spitting them back into the safety of his nest. Up to 600 eggs may be in the nest. After 24 hours the eggs will hatch and the fry will begin to consume their yolk sacs. After another 24 - 48 hours the fry will have consumed their yolk sacs and be swimming around the breeding tank. It is best to remove the male at this time or he may start eating his young.

    The fry are extremely small and will only accept tiny foods. They do best on a diet of Infusoria or microworms but start feeding them brine nauplii as soon as the fry are large enough to accept them. Ground up fish flakes may also be accepted but it is not recommended you feed it since the uneaten food will rot in the water. The water temperature must be 26 - 28 degrees for best growth. Cover Glass is also essential since the fry will develop their labyrinth organ and need warm air above the tank. If the air is too cold they may develop pneumonia and die.

    As the fry grow older and larger it would be a good idea to start giving them a variety of foods such as bloodworm (Frozen + Live), Daphnia (Live) and start introducing flakes/dried food into their diet. Frequent water changes are essential to ensure no food rots a pollutes the water.

    Additional information:
    http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=35308

    Honey Gourami, Colisa chuna

    [​IMG]

    Another popular fish belonging to the genus. Honey Gourami are found in North-east India and Bangladesh. They are harder to keep than the dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia) because they are susceptible to Oodinium if the water quality is poor.

    It is possible to sex these fish when they're spawning. The male will take on an intense red colour and have a touch of blue on the throat and some black on the front of it's anal fin whereas the female will be a dull brown colour.

    Honey Gourami swim toward the top/middle of tank and require warm temperatures like the dwarf Gourami. They should never be kept in anything below 10 gallons as they occupy a large territory in the tank and need room to swim. Again, the water should be slightly acidic and soft. A heavily planted tank is recommended with ample floating plants.

    Breeding should be carried out like the Dwarf Gourami above but it's important to note that Honey Gouramis are more territorial and aggressive then Dwarfs so breeding should be carried out in a sperate tank.

    Additional information:
    http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=34959

    Thick-Lipped Gourami

    The Thick-Lipped Gourami, Colisa labiosa, is one of the less popular members of the genus. It is often mixed up with the Banded Gourami, Colisa fasciata, due to similar body marking and size. The Thick-Lipped Gourami grows to 8 cm's (4"). They are natrually found in Burma and were first introduced to the hobby in 1904. These fish should not be kept in a tank smaller than 20 U.S gallons. Soft, acidic water is a

    These fish can be readily sexed. The male has much brighter colours and a steeply pointed dorsal fin.

    Breeding is best in a sperate aquarium.

    Banded Gourami

    Thr Banded-Gourami, Colisa fasciata, is one of the less popular members of the genus. As stated above, it is often called a Thick-Lipped Gourami due to similar size, markings and body shape. In the wild, i can be found in South - East asia, as far west as India.

    Breeding is similar to other members of this genus.

    Additional information such as feeding and sexing can be found at:
    http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=34962

    Pearl Gourami

    The Pearl Gourami, Trichogaster leeri, has become a very popular fish due to it's facinating colours, body shape and temperament. It originates in the rivers of Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. Growing to a managable size of 12cm (4") these lovley gourami can be kept in any aquarium larger than 20 gallons us. Tank this size and over ensures the fishes growth is not stunted and it has enough room to swim about comforatably when it reaches it's adult size.

    Sexing this fish is quite simple and straighforward. The male posseses extended dorsal and anal fins and has a red throat/breast. The female has a smaller dorsal fin and little or no red on the throat/breast.

    Water conditions are easy to maintain, a GH of 5 - 30 degrees and a pH of 6.5 - 7.5 are ideal. As always, regular water changes are a must and this fish must not be kept with larger, more active and aggresive fish such as cichlids or it will shy away.

    This fish breeds in the typical gourami fashion, outlined above.

    Feeding is quite simple, live foods such as bloodworms are relished. As are vegetable based and regular flake/pellet foods.

    Three - Spot Gourami

    The hardiest of all gourami, trichogaster trichopterus, originates in the temperate water of South Eastern asia and the Indo - Australian Archipelago. This fish can practically live in an water, although extremes of Ph and hardness are to be avoided.

    Sexing is straighforward, the make has a pointed dorsal fin and the females dorsal is rounded. Breeds in typical gourami fashion, outlined above.

    Today, many colour morphs of this fish exist due to extensive breeding in both the home aquarium and commercial fish farms of the world. It is a peaceful fish, but no more than one male should be kept in the same tank in order to avoid fighting. It prefers the top and middle layers of the aquarium and a water temperature of between 22 - 28C and 72 - 82F. The fish reaches a total length of 10 cm's (4") and need a tank larger than 20 gallon.

    Kissing Gourami



    [​IMG]




    Thank you to Ryan for the photos of the Dwarf and Honey gouramis
    Soon to add Kissing Gourami, Chocolate Gourami, more information on some species/genus and lots more. If anybody has pictures of any type of gourami, and would like to contribute to the topic, please PM me the url and i will add you picture into the appropriate section of the article, along with a credit for your participation

    Stay tuned
     
  2. Opcn

    Opcn Big fish

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    Great post very informative!
     
  3. Inchworm

    Inchworm Li'l Ole Fish Lady

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    Hi Doggfather :)

    Your article is coming along really well. :nod: Keep up the good work. :thumbs:
     
  4. ryan

    ryan Spinning around

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    Looks great so far mate. :)
     
  5. Doggfather

    Doggfather Al Bundy
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    Sorry i havn't updated in a while but somebody at school kicked my laptop bag' "by accident" and the screen cracked, so i havn't had much access to a computer latley, as soon as it gets fixed, i'll update it :)
     
  6. the skunk

    the skunk Member

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    be looking forward to it :D
     
  7. Angry_Platy

    Angry_Platy Sleepy Chook

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    Very well done DF...lots of good info
     
  8. canarsie11

    canarsie11 Member

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    Great info :D
     
  9. Doggfather

    Doggfather Al Bundy
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    Sorry that i havn't been adding to this for a while but i'v had exams, from tomorrow i'll be free to add to this, so check back through-out the week :nod:

    I'll try add info on the more popular gourami so this can be as helpful as possible :D
     
  10. -*-MicHAeL-*-

    -*-MicHAeL-*- Member

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    i want some Gouramis
     
  11. The-Wolf

    The-Wolf Ex-LFS manager/ keeper of over 30 danio species

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    we have opaline gouramis at work, any info on them?
     
  12. Annastasia

    Annastasia s&b&tt
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    Wolfie - Since Opalines are just color morphs of the Three-Spot Gourami, I imagine the information would be the same as that fish.

    Here is the Profile on them from this site, though.
     
  13. The-Wolf

    The-Wolf Ex-LFS manager/ keeper of over 30 danio species

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    :eek: they are; I didn't know that.
    I'm betting other people wouldn't too,
    so maybe dogg can add a note about it
    under the appropriate info above.

    Thank you Anna :thumbs:
     
  14. Ethos

    Ethos Member

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    He has not returned.....Has he forgotten about us gouramis-goers?
     
  15. metfan581

    metfan581 Member

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    what about kissing gouramis?
     

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