Dwarf gourami

Aquarium fish: Dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
Size: 7.5 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius) – freshwater aquarium fish from the gourami family, also known as dwarf gurami.


The species comes from Asia. Dwarf gourds live in calm waters in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult males are about 7.5 cm long, slightly smaller females 6 cm. Males are slightly slender and more colored than the silver-gray females.

They are also characterized by larger anal and dorsal fins. There are several color varieties in trade, e.g. blue – neon, red – ruby. Their body is very flattened to the sides. They are equipped with an auxiliary respiratory organ – a labyrinth, which enables them to breathe atmospheric air.

Relatively mild, males in too small an aquarium may show aggression towards their co-inhabitants.

Nutrition and feeding

Rods in nature feed on small invertebrates, algae. Most of their food is eaten in the aquarium. We can feed them with dry foods, regularly giving frozen or live foods, eg Ochotka.


A 54-liter aquarium, densely planted with vegetation, with plenty of hiding places and darkened places, is enough for a pair of Rods.

The female must have shelter from the aggressive male during the mating season. By placing dry leaves, branches and tree limbs in the tank, we will reflect a more natural character of the fish environment. There should also be floating plants among which fish build nests. In skimpy arrangements, Dwarf Rods will be shy and stressed, hiding from our sight. In nature, they live in soft water and in aquariums they can stay in medium-hard water.

The water current should not be too strong. Dwarf rods are not particularly suitable for a social aquarium. They can be kept with many species of fish, but it will not always be appropriate company for them. They are territorial and shy at the same time, so in smaller aquariums they should form the basis of the stocking. Males, especially during the spawning period, tend to be very aggressive towards other gourami-like and colorful species, e.g.

guppies. Kept with larger and more vigorous fish, they will be shy and scared. Rods will fit well with small shoal of cyprinids such as Razbor Hengel , some barbs, cuirass , otos , smaller rainbow or dwarf baits . Dwarf shrimps, eg Red Cherry, can also be a companion in a densely overgrown reservoir. In larger reservoirs, the territorialism is naturally less apparent and other gouramis or even peaceful cichlids may be considered.

Keeping more dwarf rods is not advisable. They usually come in pairs and it will be your best choice.


They are fish that build a foamy nest among plants. Breeding is not too difficult, but male behavior is sometimes unpredictable. For reproduction, we will need a separate aquarium about 45-60 cm long.

There is no need for a substrate, but the use of peat may be helpful. What is required, however, are clumps of fine-leaved plants and floating plants, e.g. a recess. A small sponge filter is sufficient for filtration. It is recommended to lower the water level to about 15-20 cm and increase the temperature to 27-28 ° C.

The tank must be covered, because the fry need access to warm, humid atmospheric air, which they draw from the water surface. Failure to meet this condition has a negative impact on the development of the labyrinth in young Rodents. Some growers find it beneficial to add Ketapeng leaves to the water. Before the planned breeding season, the fish should be fed copiously with live or frozen food. When the female is clearly fuller in the belly area, we move her to the breeding tank and continue feeding.

After a few days, preferably in the evening, we add the male to it. If all goes to plan, the male will soon start building the nest. The structures on the surface of the water begin with a layer of bubbles, which he strengthens with tiny pieces of plants. This behavioral process is of great interest to the observer. During this time, the male will chase away the female, which is why additional vegetation is so important.

After construction, the behavior of the fish is radically different. The male ceases to be aggressive towards his potential partner. The female begins to play a dominant role, maneuvers the male under the nest, poking him with her mouth, and even caresses the area of ​​his abdomen with her sensory outgrowths (threadlike, transformed pelvic fins). Spawning takes place under the nest in a typically vertical position. The male embraces the female’s body, positioning himself under her and arches her body in a U-shape.

By maneuvering her pectoral fins, she rotates with the female so that the female lies belly up under the nest. The male begins to squeeze the female and the dandelion ejaculates and several dozen eggs are released, which rise towards the nest. The male scrupulously collects the falling eggs in its mouth and carries it to the nest, chasing the female away at the same time. Only when the spawn is in the nest does the male attract the female to the next spawning act. The entire process is repeated several times.

The female Rodnik can produce up to 700 eggs in total. After spawning is finished, the male takes over the responsibility for the nest, guards and looks after the spawn. She does not tolerate the female, which is best caught for her own good. Hatching depends on temperature, but typically occurs within 36 hours, which is easily seen by the collapsing nest. We should see hundreds of fry with a magnifying glass.

Most males can stay with their offspring for the first few days until their food pouch is used up. For the first week we feed the fry with dust or gel food. Then we give micro nematodes or Artemia. Over time, we will need additional tanks due to the different growth rates.


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