It is one of the most common fish in aquariums, so it is important to know what is its proper care and characteristics.
Gurami fish is one of the most common when a person begins to train in the art of aquarium hobby. It is a very exotic fish and does not need great care for its maintenance and breeding if we want to have a large aquarium full of fish of all sizes, colors and shapes at home. But like any other pet, you need to know its qualities and all those characteristics that make it special and that will help you keep it healthy and happy for as long as possible.
The gurami fish is a fish betta relative of Asian origin and has many varieties depending mainly on the color of its scales and the shape of its fins, which makes it especially characteristic. Gurami is a fish of variable size between 6 centimeters (dwarf gurami) and 30 centimeters in its largest varieties. The most popular are blue gurami, pearl and molasses. But the most characteristic remarkable of this animal is the shape of its body, oval and somewhat flattened on the sides. They have two long wire-shaped fins that run the entire length of their body in the upper and lower part, which makes them very visually attractive.
The gurami fish is an omnivorous animal so you won't have to worry about having it as a pet because it eats everything. They love live food, so it will be a real pleasure if you supply it daily, but if it is not possible you can also get used to eating prepared food that you can find in stores specialized in this type of pet. Even so it is advisable to provide some delicacy from time to time, so that it is happier and has much more movement and fertility at the time of reproduction.
It is also advisable to introduce large natural plants inside the aquarium, so that in addition to hiding and being more comfortable in their habitat, they can feed on them and the microorganisms that live inside, which will together make a perfect diet for gurami fish and so that our pet grows strong and lives longer with you.
How should the aquarium be?
When it comes to having an aquarium at home we must leave aside those small fish tanks without a lid, typical of films where the fish have no space, nor plants or cover where they can regulate temperature, light and pH of the water. If you really want to have a fish as a pet or go into the world of aquarium hobby, you must get a large and well equipped aquarium, at least 55-100 liters of water and have a suitable place in your home where you can place it, near the natural light of a window, but far enough from drafts, since although they will not directly affect the animal, they can cause alterations .
Everything will depend on the amount of copies you want to have. If you are only going to have a gurami fish, a 55-liter fish tank will suffice, where the animal can have plants and other items to entertain and hide whenever it wants. If your intention is to have a gurami couple and have young in the future, get better with a fish tank of at least 100 liters.
The water temperature of the fish tank should be on average between 23 and 27ºC, which may vary during the breeding season, rising to 28ºC. The pH of the water must be neutral and between 6.0 and 8.5 depending on the size and variety of the animal. The filtration of the fish tank should not be excessive but enough for there to be some movement, without causing stress on your pet.
Reproduction and health of gurami
If you have a pair of gurami fish and you want their breeding, you should keep in mind that you need another separate aquarium to carry out the reproduction. This second aquarium should have less light than the main one and much more vegetation so that the female is as comfortable and relaxed as possible. The male will create some nests made with saliva bubble where the breeding will take place with the release of eggs by the female, which the male will fertilize through a feeling of 'hug'.
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After all these characteristics it should be known that the gurami fish is not an animal that needs great needs as a pet, it is enough to have a good aquarium where it is as close as possible to its habitat. It is only necessary a good diet that includes some live food such as larvae or worms, and a fish tank full of algae and other plants that can feed while playing and hiding. With good health and good food, the life expectancy of gurami fish is an average of 4 years in captivity, where you can enjoy the beauty of this beautiful animal.
Water requirements of the Gourami
Many guramis are in the soft and acidic water In nature, however, most aquarium species sold today are commercially raised in water that has a pH and alkalinity higher than their native environments, so they are very adaptable.
He pH should be between 6.8 and 7.8, alkalinity between 3 ° and 8 ° dkH (50 ppm to 140 ppm), and the Water temperature should remain between 24 ° and 27 ° C. Maintain good filtration and change 10% to 25% of the water at least once or twice a month using an aquarium siphoner.
Housing requirements for Gouramis
An aquarium of 120 liters or more is recommended for most species. The guramis kissers they become quite large and will need a tank of 200 liters or more when they are full size. The dwarf guramis They can be kept in such small tanks of 40 liters. Most gouramis are oriented towards the surface, so having tall or floating plants on top helps them feel at home. They will be less stressed and show their best colors in a well decorated aquarium. Keep a safe lid on the aquarium to prevent them from jumping.
What do gouramis eat?
Most guramis fish are omnivorous. Kissing gouramis are more herbivorous and should be fed with spirulina flakes and seaweed rounds. Frozen and live foods can also be provided as treats or to help induce spawning. For best results, rotate your diet daily and feed only what you can consume in less than 2 minutes, once or twice a day.
Gurami fish reproduction
Gouramis can breed in captivity depending on many factors, but more effort is required to raise the offspring to adulthood. Most of the guramis sold in stores are bubble nest builders. After building a suitable nest on the surface, the male courts the female and begins the spawning ritual. When the eggs are laid, the male retrieves them and deposits them in the nest, which he keeps until they hatch. Males may become aggressive towards females after spawning in an effort to prevent the eggs from being eaten and females may need to be removed.
Below is a video of Bioacuatix which explains step by step how to reproduce the Gurami fish:
Types of Guramis
There are many different types of guramis, which come in different sizes and colors. But most of them have a body with a similar shape, and they have the labyrinthine organ (which allows them to take oxygen from the air).
Some species are small, such as dwarf guramis, and others can grow up to 70 cm, such as giant gurami.
In this article we share some of the most beautiful fish of these families and how to care for them.
The blue Guramis are possibly the best known of the Gourami family. They are easy to care for and can be kept with other fish of similar size. The blue Guramis do not tolerate others of their own species well. This is particularly true in the case of males, and it is recommended that only one machose be kept in a tank. There are several morphs, some with different patterns and colors.
- Scientific name: Trichogaster trichopterus
- Also met> Gurami Chocolate
Chocolate Guramis are one of the most difficult to maintain Gourami species. They are more sensitive to water conditions than other species, and are quite shy, so they are not suitable for staying with more bustling or aggressive fish. Chocolate Gouramis can also be hard to find, but they are raised by experienced fish keepers.
- Scientific name: Sphaerichthys osphormeno> Dwarf Gurami
One of the smallest species of the Gourami family, this species is ideal for community aquariums of small fish. They are also suitable for keeping in mini aquariums. There are several color forms of this species, from powder blue to bright red.
- Scientific name: Colisa lalia
- Also met> Gurami kisser
The kissing Gurami is quite popular due to its unique behavior of pretending to kiss each other. In reality, they are exercising their territorial rights. This species can be disputed with others, and care must be taken when placing them in a community tank. Generally, they do better with medium to large sized fish. Green and pink variations of this species are available.
- Scientific Name: Helostoma temminckii
- Also met> Gurami moonlight
The moonlight Gurami is named for its silver appearance. They are one of the largest species of Gouramis, and also one of the most shy. Moonlight Gouramis prefers a well-planted tank that offers many hiding spaces. This species is tolerant to water conditions.
- Scientific name: Trichogaster microlepis
- Also met> Gurami Pearl
The Gurami Pearl are possibly the easiest to care for the Gourami family. They are highly adaptable and work well with a wide range of water conditions, as well as with tank mates.
- Scientific Name: Trichogaster leeri
- Also known> Gouramis Behavior / Compatibility
The male guramis they have a tendency to be aggressive with each other, so they should normally be maintained individually. Female guramis are generally well tolerated.
The mixing of different species or varieties of gouramis color should only be done in larger and nicely decorated tanks. Remember that blue guramis, three dots, opaline, gold and lavender are the same fish, they have been raised for different colors!
The gouramis move slowly and it is better to keep them with fish of similar size that are not clamps or very active. Larger tetras, bearers of non-fantasy guppies, peaceful beards, most danios and angelfish can be good options. Always consult an aquarium expert before buying any new fish for your aquarium.
How does the gurami fish reproduce?
The male creates a layer of bubbles on the surface of the water, which will be where the fertilized eggs will be deposited. These are falling to the bottom, but the male picks them up and places them in that layer of bubbles. There they remain for about 3 days. When they start to leave, it is advisable to separate the male so that he does not devour the small fry. In the beginning the fry will feed on the basis of his yolk sac and later on from the food provided to them.
Sexual dimorphism or sexual difference:
Males have very long dorsal and anal fins, almost reaching the tail. When they are ready for reproduction, the front part of the belly becomes bright orange.
Females have much shorter dorsal and anal fins. When they are ready for reproduction they have a bulging belly, because of the eggs they keep inside.
The male has bright colors and with certain orange and red tones, while the female is more neutral.
Care of this species
- The gourami is a shy, lonely and peaceful fish, which coexists well with other calm species and does not usually give problems. But even so, it is advisable not to join two male gouramis in the same aquarium, since they are rivals among themselves and could fight. Next to this, the only moment where they can be shown a little more aggressive is when they are raising their fry. They are very territorial parents and will protect their young with nails and teeth (or fins and mustaches, in this case)
- The care of this fish is very simple. It is omnivore, so it can be given all kinds of food and is not very demanding with water conditions.
- The only whim the gurami asks for is to have a surface plant to build his famous bubble nest and increase his family.
- In order for gourami to reproduce in the aquarium, certain conditions must be assured. It is recommended to have an aquarium for reproduction in addition to the community, so that they can be calm and form their nest of bubbles, to celebrate the courtship and so that other fish do not eat the eggs or the fry.В This breeding aquarium must have the pH, temperature and hardness conditions recommended for adults. It must have filtration without causing strong currents on the surface so that it does not destroy the nest of bubbles.
Live parents should be given live food one week before moving them to the breeding aquarium so that they are in optimal conditions for spawning. First the female is passed to the breeding tank and after a few hours or a day of adaptation is passed to the male. Afterwards, the male is expected to chase the female incessantly and make the courtship. This procession includes the construction of the nest of bubbles on the surface of the water, for which you can use bits of plants. When the female spawns he fertilizes the eggs and blows them in the nest bubbles. The laying is more or less 1000 eggs.
At this time it is better to remove the female because the male gourami become very protective of their nest. The eggs hatch in 24 to 30 hours. The male retrieves each fish and blows it again in a bubble. This is a stressful process for the animal, so the male must be removed after two days to prevent him from eating the young.
On the fourth day of birth, the little gourami already absorbed the yolk sac and can be seen in the middle region of the water looking for food. They should be provided with small food such as rotors or paramecium, approximately seven days later they can be given offspring of artemia. During all this time care must be taken that the filters do not suck the little ones to death by putting a sponge that prevents it, a good water quality must be maintained, making partial water changes since it is being added a lot food that can contaminate it.
Between the sixth and eighth week the little fish develop the labyrinth, which is the organ with which they will breathe the rest of their lives, this is an important stage and attention must be taken so that there is no difference between the temperature of the water and that of the air that is between the water and the lid.
Compatibility with other fish
It is a shy fish, but who likes to have its space and tranquility, therefore, the gouramis are not suitable for living with any kind of fish.
It is not advisable to gather several males and females, since we will fight over the territory, the space for all males should be calculated.
Some species that are compatible with gurami:
- Swords or Xiphophorus
- Other small and calm fish
Some species that are NOT compatible with gurami:
- Other gouramis
- Fish with large fins
- Fish with veiled fins
- Large or aggressive fish
- Very striking goldfish
Overview of the Gurami Honey fish
The Gurami Honey fish, trichogaster chuna, was first described by Hamilton and Buchanan in 1822, where they actually confused males and females with two different species. Males were known as Trichopodus chuna and females as Trichopodus sota. Now they all sit under the name of Trichogaster.
Trichogaster comes from ancient Greek, ‘thriks’ which means ‘hair’ and ‘gaster’ which means ‘stomach’, which describes its long and narrow ventral fins. The fishes Available for the aquarium trade are all commercially produced. It is very unlikely to find a wild specimen in their tanks.
In recent years there have been a series of selectively bred ornamental strains to improve coloration between Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia) and Honey Gourami. These two species have often been confused since they seem similar.
Typical behavior of Gurami Honey fish
This species is ideal for aquarists without experience due to its peaceful nature and resistance. Although they are classified as bentopelagic fish (which means they will swim from the sediment to the surface), they prefer the middle and surface areas of the tank.
They are a shy and shy specimen, and it may take a while to feel comfortable in your tank. Only once they are relaxed, the male will begin to show their typical coloration.
Although they are not outgoing, they do enjoy some company of their own class (from 4 to 6 people). It is likely that some kind of hierarchy is established within a group, with the dominant individual chasing away the other fish during mealtime and the males becoming aggressive towards the females.
Be sure to provide dense vegetation to hide spaces to avoid bullying. Their eating behavior is also very peculiar. This behavior is also observed in archer fish (Toxotes spp) Together with the Trichopodus and Trichogaster species.
Catch their prey by throwing water at them. They are placed diagonally to the surface of the water to observe the dam. Then, it will spray water to the dam, so it will fall into the water, where the fish eat it quickly.
Interestingly, this species has a labyrinthine organ that allows fish to adopt peculiar behaviors. For example, it allows you to breathe in slightly oxygenated waters.
Physical appearance of Gurami Honey fish
They are often confused with dwarf Gourami as they have similarities in their shape and size. By buying and selecting these fish, knowing their Latin scientific names (mentioned above) can help distinguish between different varieties.
Honey Gurami's body is narrower with smaller dorsal and anal fins. The ventral fins are narrow and threaded. Like most fish, males and females are of different colors.
Initially, all show a coloration of silver gray to light yellow with a horizontal strip of light brown in the middle of the body that extends from behind the eye to the caudal peduncle.
While females retain this color for life, males will develop a honey yellow or bright reddish orange color. The ventral side of the fish (face, throat and belly) will turn dark blue / black, while the main body will show a more orange honey color.
Honey Gurami is the smallest size fish in the genus Trichogaster, which generally reaches 1.5 ″ for males and 2 ″ for females. On rare occasions they have been recorded as growing up to 3 ″.
Remember not to confuse this fish with the dwarf gurami, although the word "dwarf" is sometimes included in its name, it is closely related but they are not the same species.
Dwarf guramis usually come in red and blue colors, honey's eyes are generally closer to their mouth than dwarf species too. Nor should you confuse this species with the pearl gurami, since they tend to be larger (they grow up to 4 inches) and are more oranges.
Habitat and tank conditions
They are native to the fresh waters of South Asia. It can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds, ditches and, occasionally, in flooded fields of India and Bangladesh. These areas are dense in vegetation with little mineralized waters and slow movement.
Replicating a good natural habitat is important for the welfare of the fish. It is easier to keep fish stress levels down and promote full color development if natural conditions are met.
The beds of rivers and lakes in this area have a sandy substrate with occasional rocks and other debris. However, guramis tend to swim in the middle or upper part of the water column, which makes vegetation the most important thing to consider. This species uses the densely planted environment for both a hiding place and for food.
This fish is spread in low altitude areas, often affected by high seasonal variation due to monsoons between June and October.
Honey Gurami is a small, resistant fish. They prefer warm waters and can tolerate small changes in water chemistry. Its labyrinthine organ is quite sensitive to temperature changes.
Therefore, it is better to keep the tank in a room with a temperature similar to that of the tank water. If you cannot do this, you can use a heater to keep the water temperature constant.
It prefers slow, acidic and hard moving waters, with water parameters established in:
- Resistance: 4-15 dGH.
- pH: 6.0-7.5
- Lighting: Moderate
- Temperature: 71-82 ° F
They are shy and like to feel safe inside the tank. Try to provide many spaces to hide when installing the tank with thick vegetation and floating plants.
Try to leave some surface areas uncovered so that the fish can breathe air. They will often try to reach the surface to breathe.
It is very important to have regular water changes with at least 25% of the tank waters changed weekly. A good filtration system and regular water changes will prevent the accumulation of toxins.
Tank companions for Honey Gurami fish
Honey Gurami is a shy and peaceful fish. Therefore, choosing the right tank mates is very important for the well-being of your Gurami. For example, other active and aggressive fish, such as cichlids, should be avoided as they will intimidate the Gurami and compete for food.
Fish that should be avoided include the Oscars, the silver dollars, the pacus and the big catfish. The ideal tank mates are other peaceful fish such as cyprinids (Harlequin Rasbora and Danios), and the smallest species of Pethia and Puntius.
Peaceful beards could also get along, but avoid fins such as Barbe Tiger and Clown.
Other good tank mates could be smaller loaches, such as the Coolie Loach and its relatives, the smaller catfish, such as Corydoras and Otocinclus, and the smaller rainbow fish.
Honey gurami are very easy to maintain fish that can be kept together, in pairs or in groups. They are not a school species, however, they enjoy each other's company and will show up better in groups of 4-6 individuals. Generally, a formed couple will swim together.
Snails are also good tank mates, but avoid having shrimp with them since they can be eaten. Always keep in mind that weaker people can be harassed, therefore provide many places to hide.
Gurami Honey fish feed
Honey Gurami is an omnivore in nature, which feeds on everything it can find, from small invertebrates and insects to the zooplankton. Occasionally, they will also graze in the vegetation and surrounding plants.
Keep this in mind when choosing the type of plants for your aquarium, you need a tough species!
This fish is not picky about food. In the aquarium they will love fresh or flaked food. Try to maintain a good balanced diet with flakes or pellets as your main diet and then add live foods such as blood worms or brine shrimp.
Vegetable tablets are also a good way to vary your diet. Be sure to add vegetables and meat sources to give them a good variety. You must feed them once or twice a day, and only give them enough food to finish in 2-3 minutes after placing it in the tank.
Care of the Gurami Honey fish
Although these are quite resistant fish, weekly water changes of at least 25% are recommended to avoid tissue damage. In general, fish diseases are not a problem, as long as you keep an aquarium in good condition.
However, they are prone to Velvet disease if they are kept in a poorly maintained tank. This is a parasite, Oodinium pilularis, that lives in the gills, skin and mouth of the fish, forming a golden or brown powder on the fins and body.
Other diseases that can occur with poor water quality are bacterial infections, constipation and a hole in the head. Ich disease or White Spot disease has been recognized as one of the most common infections caused by the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, due to poor water conditions and improper tank configuration.
No one wants to see their fish develop head hole disease or hexamithiasis. This is caused by parasitic protozoa known as Hexamite, which affect both freshwater fish and marine fish.
Maintaining a good water quality and a balanced diet is the key to preventing any type of disease outbreak in your aquarium. When selecting a new addition to your tank, always keep in mind that any new substrate is a potential risk of disease introduction.
Lately, many commercially raised guramis in the Far East have exhibited health problems in relation to stained samples treated with hormones and virus carriers. Therefore, quarantine is recommended before adding fish or substrate to a well established community.
Breeding of Gurami Honey fish
Breeding is quite simple if you can provide the right conditions. They are bubble nest builders, nest under a leaf if available. Couples will form a temporary bond.
We suggest using a 10-20 gallon breeding tank. Keep the water at approximately 6-8 inches tall with the temperature between 79-84 ° F, pH 7.0 and 8 ° dGH. Also try adding a soft air filtration like a sponge filter.
Including a lot of vegetation helps. The leaves help keep the nest stable, as it tends to break if it is built on the surface of the bare water. Remember to keep the air over hot and humid water to avoid damaging the labyrinth organ.
Once well fed, the females will begin to fill with eggs. The male will build the nest of bubbles, and once it is built, it will show its courtship colors swimming towards a female and showing its blue-black. Then he will swim back to the nest to encourage her to follow her. Repeat these exhibition and swimming courtship rituals until the nest is reached and they begin to spawn.
The female releases about 20 eggs per seed and the male will fertilize them immediately. The male collects the eggs in his mouth and puts them in the nest of bubbles. The same pair will continue to reproduce again until around 300 eggs are fertilized.
Here, again, spitting water is useful. The male holds the eggs in place by spitting water droplets on the nest, forcing them down, where they can be reorganized again in the nest.
After spawning, the female should be removed as the male tends to become aggressive away. Therefore, the eggs and the nest are protected and cared for by the males.
The eggs hatch after 24-36 hours depending on the water temperature. All adults should be removed at this stage. The fry will take 3 days to leave the nest and swim freely. Liquid or infusory foods can be given to those who swim freely until they grow long enough to eat brine shrimp.
Is the Gurami Honey fish a good option for the aquarium?
The Gurami Honey fish is a colorful and peaceful addition to your aquarium. This species is ideal for inexperienced managers, as they can withstand many typical beginner mistakes.
They prefer tanks with dense vegetation and lots of hiding places where they can feel safe and protected. Honey Gurami adopts peculiar behaviors in nature while spawning and feeding, such as bubble nesting and the water it spits when it catches a prey.
Gourami Fish Characteristics
Gourami is a relatively resistant species of freshwater aquarium fish and therefore, It is suitable for most intermediate aquarists. There are approximately 90 recognized gourami species, most of which are raised in aquariums. They have a square, thin, compressed body and are characterized by having two long pelvic fins in the form of thread. They breathe through a special device called a labyrinth, just like the Betta. There are several morphologies between different species, some with different patterns and colors.
Blue Gourami fish
Gourami Fish Feeding
These fish They are omnivorous, but as a staple food they favor the consumption of animal matter over the vegetable, although they prefer algae as the vegetable part in their diet. In captivity, they accept flawlessly processed food without problems, but if you can also introduce live foods (worms, insect larvae, etc.), it would be a very good option, since because they develop healthier and improves their condition for reproduction.
2 - Gourami Pearl
The body of this is quite compressed on the sides and tiene una coloración parda amarillenta, en las hembras puede tornarse plateada en el vientre y la garganta. Además, tiene una línea negra que atraviesa el hocico desde la base de la aleta caudal. En cautiverio, puede llegar a medir 10 o 11 centímetros.
3 – Gourami Gigante
Tiene diferentes colores algunos de ellos pueden ser amarillo, dorado, plateado, pálido . Tiene a lo largo de su cuerpo una franja vertical de color azul pálido. Es más grande que la mayoría de los gouramis, llega a medir aproximadamente 70 centímetros. Cuando crece es muy voraz, puede llegar a comerse a todos los peces pequeños.
4 – Gourami Miel
Es un pez muy bonito, la hembra es de color gris plata a un marrón luminoso claro y tiene una línea oscura desde el opérculo hasta la cola. En cambio, los machos son de color dorado a miel oscuro y la cabeza, vientre y garganta es de color negro. Puede medir aproximadamente 5 centímetros de longitud.
5 – Gourami Enano
Tiene un color azul brillante con rayas naranja brillante o rojo oscuro y es muy tranquilo. Los machos pueden llegar a crecer hasta 3 pulgadas y las hembras casi 2,4 pulgadas. Si se mantiene en un acuario demasiado pequeño puede convertirse en una especie territorial.
6 – Gourami Besucón
Recibe este nombre porque tiene la costumbre de juntar sus bocas como si fuera un beso. Su cuerpo es alargado, sus costados son aplastados y sus aletas tienen tonalidades verdes o amarillentas y en la aleta caudal tiene una raya vertical oscura.
Reproducción del Pez Gourami
Al criar peces gourami, es importante utilizar un acuario separado destinado especialmente para este propósito. El acuario debe estar poco iluminado y bien plantado. Al desovar, el macho construye nidos hechos de saliva cubierta de burbujas. El macho a menudo incorpora trozos de materia vegetal a estos nidos y a veces pueden cubrir casi un cuarto de la superficie del acuario.
El desove del gourami ocurre en un característico «abrazo» donde el macho se envuelve alrededor de la hembra, fertilizando sus huevos a medida que ella los libera. Una vez que se produce el desove, el macho se ocupa de los huevos y de los alevines. Es aconsejable retirar a la hembra del acuario de cría en este momento.
Peculiaridad respiratoria del Pez Gourami
Cada una de las diferentes especies de los peces Gurami tiene características únicas, no obstante, podemos nombrar una de las peculiaridades que tienen todos estos peces en común. Son considerados peces laberinticos, lo cual quiere decir que tienen un pulmón que le permite aspirar aire y usar el oxígeno de la atmósfera. Este tipo de fisionomía es indispensable para ellos, ya que habitan en zonas poco profundas y que les resultan pobres en oxígeno.