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Sphaerichthys osphromenoides (Chocolate Gourami)

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A delicate fish which requires optimum water conditions to survive. A fish for the more experienced aquarist.

Not a frequent import, but they do turn up from time to time in shops.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A timid fish that should be kept with peaceful tankmates. The tank should be well planted and not too brightly lit. These fish require soft and acidic water conditions if they are to thrive and breed in an aquarium. They need to be fed with live food, but can be conditioned to take frozen food and possibly flake food.
Sexing is not too difficult. The male has a yellow edge to the caudal and anal fins.
Breeding these fish is not easy. They require acidic and very soft water conditions. If you have the available space, buy a group of youngsters and wait until a pair forms when you can remove the other fish. Drop the water level in the tank so that the surface is around 16cm from the bottom. These fish like warm temperatures and it can help to raise this to around 28-29C. If the fish are in condition and decide to spawn the female will drop her eggs onto the base of the tank where the male will then fertilise them. They are mouthbrooders and the male will carry the eggs for two to three weeks and then release them. Feed the fry on the usual fry foods and ensure that you maintain optimum water conditions in the growing on tank.

Family Group: Anabantoids
Distribution Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra
Temperature 25-28C
Size Around 5cm
Water Parameters Soft and acidic conditions are required
Water PH 5.5-6.5

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