PRICE GUIDE: 5cm $12-$15
- Popular for its beautiful red and blue colouration is the humble Dwarf Gourami. Of all the Dwarf Gourami varieties, this is the original that is found in the wild. A Dwarf Gourami’s body is oval-shaped, the anal and dorsal fins begin in the front part of the body and almost extend to the fan-shaped caudal fin. They feature touch-sensitive cells on their extended thread-like pelvic fins. Females are smaller and a dull silver colour.
Common Name(s) : Dwarf Gourami
Family : Osphronemidae
Species : Trichogaster lalius (formerly known as Colisa lalia)
Origin : Asia – Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
PH : 6.5 – 7.5
Hardness : Soft to Moderately Hard
Temperature : 24 – 28°C / 75–82°F
Maximum Size : 7cm / 2.7″
Lifespan : 4-5 years
Aggression Level : Low-Medium (3/10)
Recommended Tank Size : 30 Litres +
Strata : Middle – Top
TANK SET UP
Dwarf Gourami’s natural habitat is slow moving streams or lakes that are heavily vegetated. It is very beneficial for these fish to replicate the tank environment in a similar manner.
Plenty of bunch plants like Wisteria or Blue Stricta should be planted, some driftwood plants will add to the effect while rocks or ornaments will finish off the display with a nice look.
SUITABLE TANK MATES
- Tropical Fish
- Dwarf Cichlids
Omnivores, in the aquarium they will take a wide range of foods including flake, pellets, vegetables, bloodworm or brine shrimp.
SEXING AND BREEDING
Sexing is easy with Dwarf Gourami’s. Put simply males are larger and coloured, females are smaller and silverish. In an aquarium shop it is rare to see a female, but they are available to be ordered upon request.
Breeding Dwarf Gourami’s is certainly achievable. In the tank you intend to breed in add and condition a female for a couple of weeks with brine shrimp or bloodworm.
The temperature of the breeding tank should be around 26-27°C (79-81°F) with PH around neutral.
When you think the female looks ready add a male to the tank.
Turn off the filter or slow it down to minimum flow (if it allows it.) This way the flow will not disturb the bubble nest. Add some floating plants.
It is quite humorous and entertaining watching the normally lazy male Dwarf Gourami suddenly come to life and get busy and build his bubble nest .
Instantly he visits the top of the aquarium and will start suck in air from the surface then move under the nest and blow bubbles. When a layer of bubbles has been made he will proceed to collect bits of stem and leaves and stick them into his nest of bubbles. This strengthens the structure.
Once he is satisfied he trundles off back to the female and tries to capture her attention by swimming around the female with flared fins, attempting to draw her to the nest where he will continue his courting display.
If she accepts the invitation she will follow him to below the nest and commonly the fish will swim head to tail in a circle in a courting routine.
When she is ready to spawn she touches the male on either the back or the tail with her mouth. Upon this signal the male will embrace the female, turning her first on her side and finally on her back before the female will release approximately 60-80 clear eggs.
The eggs are immediately fertilized by the male. Most of the eggs will float up into the bubblenest. Eggs that stray are collected by the male and placed in the nest. They will spawn again several more times releasing a total of 600 or so eggs.
When the spawning has finished remove the female as she will proceed to eat the eggs – which will infuriate the male. Be careful not to disturb the nest full of eggs. He will kill her if she is left in there.
After 24 hours the eggs begin to hatch and you might notice some tiny little wrigglers. After the third day the wrigglers will look to move away from the nest and this is the time that the male should be removed as he will possibly eat the young.
Raise the young on baby brine shrimp until they are big enough to accept crushed up flake food (perhaps 2-3 weeks.)