Snakeskin gourami

Aquarium fish: Snakeskin gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis)
Size: 17 – 20 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-30 ° C
Aquarium volume: 132 l

Snakeskin gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis ) – freshwater fish of the gourami family. A fish rarely found in Polish aquariums.


Asia. The species comes from the areas of Thailand and Cambodia, where it lives in the basins of the Mekong and Chao Phraya rivers, as well as rice fields, shallow ponds and swamps. It is also found in the flooded forests of the lower Mekong and gradually moves back into rivers as the flood subsides.

It can also be found in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and New Caledonia where it was introduced by man.

Characteristics and disposition

In nature, the snake gourami grows up to 25 cm in length, in an aquarium it usually does not exceed 17 cm. The fish have an olive back and green-gray or silvery sides. The fins are grayish green. There are specimens with a black color.

The fish has a dark, irregular stripe along its body that extends from the eye to the caudal fin. There are also vertical stripes slightly darker than the rest of the body. Like other maze fish, it can breathe air directly and also absorb oxygen from the water through its gills. Males can be recognized by their sharply pointed dorsal and anal fins and a slimmer silhouette. Females are usually rounder and have an oval-tipped dorsal fin.

As a rule it is a fish with a calm disposition, but it is not always the case. Some individuals may be aggressive and others may be completely peaceful. As with other guramis, males are territorial and often compete with each other. They can be especially aggressive during spawning.

Nutrition and feeding

Gouramis are not picky fish, they can be fed with a dry mixture supplemented with live, frozen and plant foods.

In the wild, aquatic insects and larvae make up a large part of the diet.


The minimum aquarium capacity for adult fish is 112 l. The aquarium should be densely overgrown with plants with a not too strong forced water current. Several floating plants, required for reproduction, should float on the water surface. They must have access to an open surface of water to take oxygen from above its surface.

They can be kept in the company of other labyrinths, with bots, razors or scalars. As a rule, all fish that do not have a tendency to bite their fins are suitable for companionship.


Breeding these fish is fairly easy. The fish will start spawning when they are about 12 cm long. The tank should be flooded to a height of 20 cm.

The water current should be gentle with lots of plants floating on the water surface. There should be 2-3 females per male. During the spawning season, the fish should be fed with high-quality live foods. When the female is full of eggs, the male starts building a foamy nest using vegetation floating on the surface and small parts of plants. The male then flexes in front of the female and a multiple act occurs at the nest, in which the female lays up to 5,000 eggs.

Males of this species, even during the spawning period, are not very aggressive, which is not common among other labyrinthians, so there is no need to separate the fish. Parents don’t eat eggs. The young hatch after 20-30 hours and start swimming after 4-5 days. At this point, parents should be separated from the fry. In the first week, we give the fry food in gel, then small live food such as larvae, artemia, daphnia.

We should observe the fry and separate the larger fish from the smaller ones, as cannibalism can occur among them. author of the description: Mateusz Świątek


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