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Parosphromenus linkei (Licorice Gourami)

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Parosphromenus linkei, commonly known as Licorrice Gourami, originate from Borneo. Generally you will see that most of them have one or more shiny green spots on their flanks. These little beauties grow to a maximum length of 3cm and are best kept in soft and acidic water.

The Parosphromenus linkei are best kept in pairs in a 60L aquarium, so of course in order to keep several pairs a larger aquarium will be required. They are generally peaceful with each other, but fit is best to keep the aquarium in a way that helps them to arrange smaller territories.

This species enjoysfeeding on very small aquatic invertebratesmsuch as Artemia nauplii, Daphnia, Moina, mosquito larvae, micro worm, etc.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

To keep the Licorice Gourami most happy, equip the aquarium with plants, half coconuts, stones and bogwood to create lots of little hiding spaces. Floating plants (like Ceratopteris spp.) will help to create a more natural, darker environment. A bottom of peat, oak/beech leaves and a dimmed lighting will be much appreciated and enjoyed by these stunning little fish.

Driftwood roots and branches can be used and placed such a way that a few shady spots are formed, and clay plant pots, lengths of piping or even plastic camera-film containers can be included to provide further shelter and potential spawning sites. These can provide a valuable secondary food source for fry and the tannins and other chemicals released by the decaying leaves are also considered beneficial for fishes from blackwater environments.

Add aquatic plant which would thrive under the conditions required for this fish are: Microsorum, Taxiphyllum or Cryptocoryne spp.

Filtration should be kept at a medium level, with an air-powered sponge filter or similar adequate. The latter must include small weekly water changes of 5-10 % aquarium volume with irregular or larger changes not recommended.

Dim lighting is definitely highly recommended if you're planning on breeding them and be sure to provide them with dead leaves, too. Incubation period is normally 24-36 hours with the fry mobile 4/5 days later. They initially swim without direction and the male will collect and return them to the ‘nest’ but after 3-5 additional days are fully free-swimming and leave the cave at which point parental care ceases.

They may require Paramecium, rotifers or similar as a first food but are quickly able to accept Artemia nauplii and suchlike.

If the aquarium is well-structured they can usually be raised alongside their parents, but in more basic set-up it is best to move them to a different tank. Similar to other licorice gourami, these fish are cave-breeders and can reach a golden age of 10 years in home aquaria if properly cared for.

Family Group: Anabantoids
Distribution Borneo
Temperature 22-28C
Size 3CM
Water Parameters Soft and acidic
Water PH 3-6.5
Diet Special Needs
Sociability Peaceful
Schooling Fish No
Water Chemistry less than pH 7 - acidic
Care Level Easy

Useful sources of information:

To find out more about labyrinth fish the best resource available is the excellent book by Aqualog called All Labyrinths.The book covers all members of the anabantoid family with over 650 colour photographs. To buy a copy of this book click here