Honey gourami

Aquarium fish: Honey gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
Size: 4.5 – 5.5 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Honey gourami (Trichogaster chuna ) – small, interestingly colored aquarium fish from the gurami family.

Occurrence

Asia. The species is found in the Ganges River in northern India, as well as in its estuaries and backwaters in Bangladesh, and in the Brahmaputra River in the states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunchal Pradesh. They live in slowly flowing and standing waters with dense vegetation, e.g. ponds, ditches or flooded farmlands.

Many of these habitats are subject to seasonal fluctuations (water quantity, turbidity, chemistry) from June to October.

Characteristics and disposition

Under good conditions, they can grow up to 7 cm in length. Typically males for gouramis are more colorful than females. The body is orange in color, the dorsal and anal fins are edged in yellow. Especially during the breeding season, the colors are saturated, the orange color is more intense, and the lower part of the head and abdomen as well as the sharp rays of the anal fin turn black.

Males also have slightly elongated fins, pointed dorsal fin rays, and longer anal fin rays. The less attractive females have a slightly brown body, along which a wide brown band (less visible in males) runs from the eye to the base of the tail. There are also decorative forms obtained by artificial selection, e.g. red, sunset / robin red, gold. The latter may be confused with a similar red variety of the Dwarf Rod ( Colisa lalia ) .

Equipped with an additional breathing organ known as the labyrinth, which enables them to breathe atmospheric air. Although they are not herd fish, they seem to need interaction with members of their species and exhibit more interesting behavior when kept in large numbers. In the aquarium, it is recommended to keep a harem or a group of 4-6 fish, with a predominance of females. Noticeable hierarchies form in the group and the dominant individual often chases away rivals at feeding time or from their favorite place. They are most often found in the upper parts of the water.

Nutrition and feeding

A predator , it hunts insects and small invertebrates in its natural environment. He eagerly accepts dry food in the aquarium, but you should also regularly give live food, e.g. micro crickets, fruit flies, frozen e.g. daphnia, artemia, bloodworm.

Aquarium

For a harem of tricolor rods, 54 l aquarium is enough, not too brightly lit, densely planted with plants, including floating ones.

For decoration, you can use sea wood, roots or stones. Dry leaves of e.g. beech, oak or ketapang will not only provide the fish with additional shelter, but will also be an excellent source of food for the fry – they are a very good habitat for microorganisms. In nature, they live in slow-flowing or stagnant waters, therefore the water filtration should not be too strong. It is recommended to cover the aquarium, the cover will ensure a safe temperature of the air taken from above the water surface, and also prevent jumping out of the aquarium.

They can be kept in a social aquarium, but mates should be chosen carefully. They should not be kept with fish that are too mobile, territorial and aggressive. A good company will be calm, bottom-lined cuirasses, thorns, and some carp-shaped fish.

Breeding

Tricolor rods are fish that temporarily pair up and build nests of bubbles near the surface of the water. Breeders breed them in pairs as well as in larger groups.

Regardless of your choice, your aquarium should have plenty of floating or stem plants that reach the waterline. A small sponge filter with the water flow control set to the minimum is sufficient for filtration. This way, it will not destroy a meticulously built nest, nor will it draw in fry. The fry need access to warm, moist air from above the water table, therefore the spawning tank must be tightly covered. Otherwise, the maze may not develop properly.

Before the planned spawning, the fish should be fed with live or frozen food more often. The female, ready for spawning, will have a clearly larger belly, full of eggs, and the male will take on beautiful, intense colors. Unlike related species, they do not use debris or parts of plants to build a nest, and usually build a nest under a wide leaf or in the corner of the aquarium. The nest is built by a male. When the building is ready, it starts to encourage the female by presenting its charms.

The lured female moves towards the male and you can see the fish touching each other with their modified pelvic fins. After a long courtship under the nest, the act takes place in a hug typical of gourami. The male hugs the female and the eggs and milk are released at the same time. During one act, the female lays about 20 eggs. The male collects the eggs in his mouth and carries them to the nest.

The whole process is repeated until all eggs of about 300 are released. After spawning, the male chases the female away and looks after the nest – it is best to separate her at this point. Hatching takes place after about 24-36 hours. The male can also be caught during this time. After another 24-48 hours the larvae begin to swim on their own.

Initially, they should be fed with the smallest amount of powdered or liquid food. After a week, they will be large enough to accept brine shrimp larvae or microneedles. Fry, especially initially sensitive to changes in water chemistry and temperature, so be careful when changing.

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