How to take care of Gourami fish | Feeding | Breeding | Tank Selection

Caring for Gourami Fish

Gourami fish is one of the most common freshwater species that owners often want to keep. Many aquarium hobbyists begin with gourami fish because it does not need great care for its maintenance and breeding. There are many varieties that mainly depend on the color of its scales and the shape of its fins, which makes it particularly characteristic. 

Gourami is a fish that varies in size between 6 centimeters (dwarf gourami) and 30 centimeters in its largest varieties. The most popular are blue gourami, pearls and molasses. But the most notable feature of this animal is the shape of its body, oval and slightly flattened on the sides. They have two long wire-shaped fins that run the full length of their body at the top and bottom, which makes them very visually appealing.

Feeding of Gourami

The gourami 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 treat if you provide it daily, but if not possible you can also get used to eating prepared foods that you can find in stores that specialize in this type of pet. Even so, it is advisable to provide a little gentleness from time to time, so that they are happier and have much more movement and fertility at breeding time.

Feeding Gourami fish

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 together will make a diet perfect for gourami fish and so that our pet grows strong and lives longer with you.

What should the aquarium for gourami fish be like?

When it comes to having an aquarium at home, we must leave aside those small aquariums without a lid, typical of films where the fish have no space, no plants or cover where they can regulate the temperature, light and PH of the water. If you really want to have a fish as a pet, you need to get a large and well equipped aquarium. It should be able to store at least 55-100 liters of water and have a suitable place in your home where you can place it, close to a window that provides natural light.

Everything will depend on the amount of copies you want to have. If you only have one gourami fish, a 55-liter aquarium will suffice, where the animal can have plants and other items to entertain and hide whenever he wants. If your intention is to have a pair of gourami and have young ones in the future, improve with an aquarium of at least 100 liters.

Taking care of gourami fish

The water temperature of the fish tank should be on average between 23 and 27 ÂșC, which can vary during the breeding season, rising to 28 °C. The PH of the water should be neutral and intermediate 6.0 and 8.5 depending on the size and of the variety of the animal. Filtration of the fish tank should not be excessive but sufficient to allow for some movement, without causing stress to your pet.

Gouramis are relatively undemanding and therefore adapt well to most community aquariums. Choose non-aggressive tank mates of similar size. Since males can be quite territorial, it is wise not to keep more than one male gourami in the same tank, unless the space is large enough for each to claim their own territory.

Gourami reproduction and health

If you have a couple of gourami fish and want to keep them, keep in mind that you need another separate aquarium for breeding. This second aquarium should have less light than the main one and a lot more vegetation so that the female is as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Move the selected female to the breeding tank before her, to give her the chance to acclimate and locate various hiding places. After a few hours or a day or so, you can move the male to the tank. Watch them for a while to make sure the female has places to hide at times. This will be necessary for the spawning process.

Breeding Gourami

If the male harasses the female to the point of scraping her hips or preventing her from finding some isolation, some experts recommend adding a second female to the tank to distract the male.

It may take several days for the fish to reproduce, an act you may see if you are watching closely. Meanwhile, if your species is the one building a bubble nest, the male may do so right now, building it among floating plants or on the bottom of floating objects. Sometimes it might do it in the corner of the tank.

After the female lays eggs, which number in the hundreds or even thousands, the male will carry the eggs individually to the bubble nest. If the species is not a bubble nest builder, the eggs will remain randomly distributed around the tank.

The female should be removed very soon after laying eggs, as she may start eating the eggs. The male should be left in the breeding tank, as it is his duty to take care of the nest and fry until they can swim freely. Once that happens, he can be removed from the tank.

It should be known that the gourami fish is not an animal that has great needs as a pet, it is enough to have a good aquarium where it is as close as possible to its habitat. Only a good diet is needed that includes some live foods such as larvae or worms and an aquarium full of algae and other plants that they can feed on while playing and hiding. With good health and good food, the life expectancy of gourami fish is on average 4 years in captivity, where you can enjoy the beauty of this beautiful animal.

Tank setup for gourami

The breeding tank

All Gourami fish are egg layers and they build bubble nests to spawn and raise their young ones. The water level in the breeding tank should be low: six inches is abundant. The lighting should be dimmed and the water temperature should be slowly increased for several days before spawning. The movement of the water must be kept to a minimum so that the bubble nest is not disturbed. In all other ways, the tank should be set up exactly like a standard tank. Also, place some floating plants or other floating objects in the tank. 

Most Gourami species build bubble nests that will adhere to these floating plants or objects. Some experts use styrofoam coffee cup pieces as the floating platforms in the breeding tank. Monitor your tank conditions closely, such as temperature and PH, both before and after breeding.

Also, make sure the tank has a lid. While adult fish do not require it, young fry, after hatching, will be very sensitive to changes in temperature.

Gourami fish types | Moonlight gourami

Selection of male and female gourami

Obviously, it is important to have a male and a female while breeding. If you don't already know the sex of your fish, take a closer look at them. Females usually have more rounded dorsal and anal fins (those that run along the spine and along the bottom), while males have more pointed fins. Females often swell when carrying eggs. It is important to choose a male who looks healthy and a female who is healthy and clearly bears eggs.

Caring for the fry

After the tiny little Gourami fry are swimming freely on their own, it will take a few weeks for them to grow large enough to transfer to a larger tank. Initially, the fry will eat the egg yolks, but as soon as they are free to swim, it will be necessary to start providing the nutrients.

Start by feeding specialized foods that are small enough for the fry to consume. Options include liquid fish food, rotifers, or infusoria, all of which are available at aquarium stores. Feed him often, six times a day or more. Once the fish are larger, after 4-7 days, start feeding them shrimp.

baby gourami

Make sure you keep the water clean. Just like you would in a normal tank, do partial water changes, but be careful not to pick up the fry when doing this. After a few weeks, you can move the young gourami fish to a larger tank. This cue for this is when they appear to be able to eat standard fish food.

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