Opaline Gourami belongs to the labyrinth family. Peaceful, calm, and interested fish with original colors are popular not only among beginners but also among aquarists with experience.
They live calmly in a typical aquarium with similar species of fish, are easy to maintain and breed, live long enough, and look great in any home reservoir.
Scientific Name: Trichopodus trichopterus
Common Name: Opaline gourami, marbled gourami
Tank size: 10 gallons (40L) and more
Temperature: 75–81 °F (24–27 °C)
Size: 6 inches (15 cm)
Opaline Gourami is not found in nature. This artificially bred aquarium form is the result of crossing spotted and blue gourami.
The appearance of the opaline gourami fish meets the following standards:
- The body is elongated, flattened laterally.
- The fins are pectoral transparent, large, and ventral are modified into long, thin mustaches, which are the organ of touch. The anal fin extends from the chest to the base of the tail.
- The respiratory organ is a complex labyrinth system that allows fish to breathe air.
- Marble color – dark spots of irregular shape and different sizes are scattered on a silver-gray background.
- Height – 10-15 cm, depending on the volume of the aquarium.
- Life expectancy is from 4 to 8 years.
The sex of the male and female Opaline Gourami is determined by the size (the females are smaller, with a more rounded body) and the shape of the dorsal fin.
In the male, it is long, pointed, reaches the base of the tail; in the female, it is short and round.
Character and Compatibility
All types of gourami are slow and non-conflict. Good neighbors for them would be:
- Yoyo Loach
- Cory Catfish
Relatively compatible with the following types:
- African and South American cichlids
- koi carps
- Oscar Fish
- Sumatran barbs
The labyrinths of another fry can be considered live food and dine with them.
Often there are intra-specific skirmishes between males, always ending safely. Therefore, it is recommended to keep a pair of gourami or one male and two females in one aquarium.
If there are more males, the aquarium should be densely be planted with plants so that the weaker ones have a place to hide.
Opaline Gourami Care and Maintenance
Maintenance and care of Opaline gouramis are not tricky. Unpretentious fish, tenacious and undemanding of food. Even a novice can keep them. Therefore, experienced aquarists recommend getting them for beginner fish farmers to start the first aquarium.
Size of the Aquarium For Gouramis
For a flock of 5-7 young individuals, a capacity of 50 liters is sufficient. For an adult couple, the aquarium should be at least 80 liters.
Gourami can jump out of the aquarium during games, so it is recommended to close it with a lid or glass that is not tight enough to allow the fish to breathe atmospheric air.
The distance between the lens and the surface of the water should be at least 8-10 cm so that the temperature of the air and water is the same so that the fish could not swallow cold air and get sick.
Water notices should be within the following limits :
- temperature – 23−28 degrees;
- acidity – 6-8.8;
- stiffness – 5−35.
Aeration and filtration – It is desirable to set the internal aquarium filter to the minimum mode; fish prefer stagnant water. For the easy maintenance of Opaline, Gourami aeration is optional, and it is enough to do a weekly water change of 20% of the volume of the aquarium.
Lighting – During the day, the fish lack the natural sunlight; in the evening, the aquarium is illuminated using fluorescent or LED lamp located above the pond.
Priming – In order for the fish to stand out clearly against the background of the aquarium, it is recommended to fill it with the soil of dark tones. Coarse river sand or beautiful pebbles are suitable, and granite chips can also be used.
Plants are planted in the background, and on the sides of the pond, the center is left free. Fish should have a place to swim. You can plant hornwort, Elodea, cryptocoryne, Wallisneria, echinoderms, fern.
Be sure to have floating plants – duckweed, Richie, pistia, or Salvinia, which will be convenient for males to build nests.
If there are floating plants, the aquarist needs to control so that the fish can calmly swim and swallow air. They cannot breathe oxygen dissolved in water.
The scenery can be very diverse – it’s crusts, shards, ceramic pots, models of castles, sunken ships, and just embankments of large stones.
Opaline Gourami Breeding
Fish become sexually mature at the age of 8 to 12 months. The spawning procedure is simple, but the couple will need a separate spawning with a volume of at least 30 liters, densely planted with plants, with a water temperature of 27 degrees. It should be filled to a height of not more than 15 cm.
It is recommended to cover the aquarium so as not to interfere with the fish spawning. Hiccups in the general aquarium are undesirable, other inhabitants or dad himself can eat caviar and fry if he considers that his offspring are in danger.
Therefore, for normal reproduction by Opaline Gourami, they are provided with separate content.
In order to induce spawners, they are seated and plentifully fed with live food – bloodworms or corvettes.
The female’s readiness for spawning is determined by the dark from the eggs, rounded abdomen. The couple is immediately transplanted into a pre-prepared spawning ground.
Papa gourami begins the construction of a nest of foam. Fry will develop in the bubbles of the foam, which dad will follow in the future.
When the development of the nest is over, the mating season will begin. The color of the male will become bright; he will look after the female, forcing her to the beginning of spawning.
When the female is ready, she herself will swim to the nest and will be located strictly under it. The male gently hugs her with his body, helping to spawn eggs, fertilizes them immediately, then gently collects them with his mouth and places him in the nest.
At one time, the female spawns up to 800 eggs, most of which die.
When the spawning ends, the female is laid out, dad, guarding the nest, can drive her to death. As soon as the fry emerges from the nest, the dad is also removed so that he does not harm them when he tries to return them back.
Fry is fed with micro worms and infusoria, as they grow, they are transferred to nematodes and artemia nauplii. It is firmly not recommended to feed with dry food; this leads to the mass death of the offspring.
During this period, aeration is essential, since the labyrinth in the babies has not yet developed, and they can suffocate. As the fry grow, they are sorted by size and planted; larger ones can eat their smaller and weaker counterparts.
Opaline Gourami Feeding
Gourami is omnivorous and can eat any food, the choice of which an important criterion is the size of its particles. The mouth of the fish is small, and they are not able to swallow large particles.
Gourami can offer such foods as:
They also give cucumber slices pre-scalded with boiling water (they are pricked on a fork and pressed to the bottom of the aquarium so that they do not float), lettuce, or dandelion leaves, breadcrumbs and oatmeal (you do not need to pour them over with boiling water).
They do not disdain gourami with hydra planaria, can feast on snails, and hunt mosquitoes. They look out for prey, then forcefully release a stream of water into it and quickly eat an insect that has fallen into the water.
Once a week, fish are arranged a fasting day, gouramis tend to overeat. But also they can calmly starve for up to two weeks, for example, if the owner went on vacation.
Opaline Gourami Disease and Prevention
Gourami is resistant to various diseases, but they can be their carriers and infect other inhabitants of the home reservoir. Therefore, newly acquired fish should be quarantined. Fish usually get sick:
- Lymphocytosis (colloquially semolina), a patient with gourami, looks as if showered with semolina.
- Aeromonosis – the fish become slow, refuse to feed. The abdomen swells and becomes bruised, and the scales rises and puffs.
- Pseudomonas – expressed by dark spots, which subsequently turn into ulcers.
In order for the pets to be healthy and active, it is enough to provide them with good nutrition and proper care.