Honey Gourami (Trichogaster Chuna) belongs to the labyrinth fish family. Honey Gouramis are found In the densely overgrown standing waters of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
Scientific Name: Trichogaster chuna
Care Level: Beginner
Color Form: Silvery gray for females; honey-orange and black for males
Lifespan: 4-8 Years
Size: 3 Inches
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Tank Set-Up: Lots of vegetation and hiding spaces with low current
Compatibility: Same species or Peaceful small fish
The main feature of this group of fish is the presence of a special organ – the labyrinth, which allows honey gourami to capture and use atmospheric air for breathing.
The pectoral fins of this fish in the course of evolution turned into long, thin strings that are used as a sense of touch. Thanks to these devices, honey gouramis are able to survive even in muddy, shallow ponds with poor oxygen.
Initially, the fish was attributed to the genus Colisa, although now some scientists attribute it to the genus Trichogaster. Very often honey gourami is confused with the golden form of Opaline gourami also known as golden gourami.
Aquarium forms of honey gourami have a much more saturated body color than their natural counterparts. A large number of color variations are based on red and gold shades. The average size of the fish in the aquarium is 5 cm, the females are slightly larger than the males.
The body of the gourami honey is slightly flattened from the sides, the dorsal and ventral fins are pointed (in males) or have rounded ends (in females).
The pectoral fins are filiform. The mouth is small, elongated. A characteristic light brown stripe runs along the entire body from the eyes to the tail.
Care and Maintenance
You can keep honey gourami alone, in pairs, or in small groups. For a couple of fish, You will need an aquarium with a volume of 40 liters or more. It is necessary to install a filter in it, but not to create a strong current.
Aeration for honey gourami is not necessary, but it may be necessary for other tank mates and for the proper functioning of the nitrogen cycle.
It is important not to allow a strong drop in temperature above the surface of the water, because by swallowing a portion of cold air, honey gourami can damage the labyrinth organ.
It is better to choose the soil in dark shades, with it the gourami will look much brighter. Honey Gourami prefers dim lighting.
The most important parameter of water is temperature, it is desirable that it be in the range of 24-28°C. Low to medium hardness water (4-15 ° dH) with a water reaction close to neutral (pH = 6.0-7.5) is suitable for Honey Gouramis. You need to change 25% of the water every week to keep your gourami healthy and happy.
It is recommended to keep a large number of living plants in the aquarium. It is better to give preference to broadleaf plants, which throw leaves on the surface of the water (for example, nymphaea). Honey gourami builds a nest for spawning under the leaves of such plants.
Honey Gourami Tank Mates
The Honey gourami is one of the most peaceful fish. It coexists well with most species of calm, non-aggressive species like Harlequin Rasbora, Neon Tetra, Ember Tetra, Zebrafish, Pygmy Corydoras, Oto Catfish, Cherry Shrimp, etc.
Due to the timid nature of the gourami, it is not necessary to select active fish as neighbors, this can lead to the fact that the gourami will not get food or they will be bitten by fins.
Avoid keeping Honey Gourami with Oscar Fish, Pacus, Silver Dollar, Big Catfish, etc.
It is also not recommended to keep honey gourami with Dwarf Gourami, because of the great similarity, males of the latter can take gourami for representatives of their species and begin to attack.
Feeding Honey Gourami
The basis of the diet of honey gourami in nature is a variety of insects, larvae, and small planktonic organisms that live in the water column or fall to the surface.
There is also a more advanced way to get food: honey gouramis are quite successfully able to bring down flying insects with a stream of water.
In the aquarium, honey gourami eats any type of food – dry, frozen, and live. Food must be safe, nutritious, and well digested.
Honey gourami usually stays in the upper and middle layers of water in the aquarium, so they need food that floats on the surface and gradually drops down. Also, it should not be very large, because the mouth of the fish is small.
A good choice for gourami will be complete feeds with natural coloring enhancers like Tetra Rubin and TetraPro Color.
Tetra Rubin is a full-fledged classic food in the form of flakes or granules with natural color enhancers that supports the brightness and completeness of the color of all types of red, orange, and yellow decorative fish.
The effect of the feed is noticeable from the second week.
TetraPro Color is a modern, innovative food in the form of chips, prepared using a gentle low-temperature technology, which allows maintaining the increased nutritional value and stability of vitamins.
The chips contain a special color concentrate to enhance the natural color of the fish. Due to the high digestibility of feed, water pollution from fish waste is reduced.
It is necessary to feed honey gourami several times a day in small portions, which will be eaten by fish in a few minutes.
Breeding honey gourami is not very different from breeding with other species of gourami.
Both pair spawning and group spawning are possible, but in the first case, the probability of obtaining offspring is higher. The capacity of 40-50 liters aquarium with a water level of 15-20 cm is suitable as a spawning aquarium.
Unlike other species, the male gourami does not use plant particles when constructing the nest. To increase its strength, he tries to arrange a place for eggs under the wide leaves of floating plants. A nymphaeum is very well suited for this purpose.
A few weeks before spawning, the selected pair is actively fed with high-protein feed and then placed in a spawning aquarium, where the water temperature is raised to 27-29°C. Here the male builds a large nest and invites the female to him.
At one time, the female swallows about 20 eggs, which the male immediately lays in the nest. In total, for spawning, the number of eggs reaches 200 pieces.
After the female lays all the eggs, it is recommended to remove it: despite the fact that the males with honey gourami are quite loyal to their females, the latter can distract the “fathers” from caring for the nest.
Honey Gourami FRY
The first fry appears in 24-36 hours. At this point, the male must be removed from the aquarium. Gourami fry pass on independent feeding after 3 days.
The first food is ciliates, and after two weeks – nauplii artemia. The fish grow very unevenly, so you need to regularly sort the gourami in size, otherwise only the fastest and most active ones will remain in the aquarium.
Young honey gourami does not have a bright color, only two bands stretch along the whole body: gold and dark. Maximum coloration occurs at the age of six months.
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