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FAQs on Colisa fasciata, the Giant Gourami

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives,

Related FAQs: Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

Sick Gourami    8/4/12
Hello, I have noticed that for the past week my Male Dwarf Gourami
<Not sure this is Colisa lalia at all; body shape looks "wrong" somehow; are you sure it isn't Colisa fasciata?>
has been looking dull in color and seems smaller in size.
He has been for the past 3 days or so, just staying in the corner at the top of the tank by the heater (The temp in the tank is 77).
<Kick the heater up a couple degrees if you can (though your mix of fish won't be happy about this, long term). Gouramis are very much "hothouse flowers" that enjoy the warmth. Take the heat up to, say, 28 C/82 F, and see what happens. If the fish perks up, then there's your problem.>
Also, he seems to still get excited by food, but when he swims up to it he doesn't really eat it, and then goes back over to the corner.
<A common problem. Can be it's bored with what you're offering. Try more variety, especially live brine shrimps and daphnia that act as a pretty good laxative too, clearing out the gut and making bloated fish feel more frisky.>
A little about my Tank; I have a 36 gallon bow front tank with 9 Glow Fish Danios, 3 Rainbowfish, 6 Neon Tetras, and 2 Male Gouramis (Which I realize now it may not be the best idea to have 2 males.)
<For sure.>
Oh yeah and a Pleco.
<Who is/will soon be WAY too big for this aquarium.>
No one else is acting or looking strange. I have had the Gourami's for 3 months together. At first they would fight and get territorial, however, after about a week and setting up the tank a little differently they seemed to be living together fine.
<Can happen.>
I have attached a picture, besides the dullness his stomach seems a little bloated and his back fins seems a little frayed.
<Could be "failure to thrive" -- a combination of stress (from the other male); monotonous/wrong diet; too cold water…>
I took the picture with my iPhone so it may not be the best quality.
<Indeed! Can't really see much of anything.>
I hope you can give me some insight or advice.
Thank you,
<Most welcome, Neale.>

pearl gourami picking on banded Gouramis – 05/13/12
i am having a problem with my four banded gouramis (Colisa fasciata). when my pearl gourami started picking on them, i thought it was just some sort of territorial issue. but then when the gouramis started getting split fins and skin torn off, i went out and set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank.
<I see.>
then the day when the 10 gallon tank was finally done cycling, i saw a huge chunk taken out of one of the male banded gouramis tail. it was like a  rectangle-shaped piece that had been removed. so i promptly moved the banded gouramis to the 10 gallon tank. they all went straight down to the bottom. then the next day when i checked, the male gourami with the split tail was dead. the other male's colors were completely gone, just light silver. I was worried if this was a sign that this gourami might also die.
<Fish can recover from these sorts of injuries. Isolate (which you are doing anyway, it seems) and medicate for Finrot and Fungus.>
if i move the banded gouramis back to the large tank after they heal all their wounds, I'm worried that the pearl gourami will pick on them again.
is it ok to keep banded gouramis permanently in a 10 gallon aquarium?
<Not ideal, but do-able, and for sure better than keeping them with a psychotic Lace Gourami.>
any help is greatly appreciated.
<It's very rare for Lace/Pearl Gouramis to be aggressive, but it does happen. I do think this is something relatively new, perhaps because of inbreeding; in past decades this species was very trustworthy and an excellent community tank resident. With this said, males of any/all Gourami species have the potential to turn nasty, especially if the tank isn't big enough. I wouldn't keep more than one male of any Trichogaster or Colisa species in less than 30 gallons. Cheers, Neale.> 

Juvenile Colisa fasciata colouration and sexing   11/6/11
Hi crew.
Hope all's well. Thanks for a fantastic service.
I've trolled WWM via links and the search tool, plus the rest of the web, but can't find an answer to my query(s) - hope you don't mind my writing!!
<Is why we're here>
I picked up 4 banded gouramis (Colisa fasciata) yesterday and apparently got 2 males and 2 females. They're now in quarantine, preparing to be put into a 55 gallon community tank. I went for these after extensive research on WWM ruled out, among others, the seemingly cursed Colisa lalia.
To my questions:
1) They're juveniles I think, being around 4cm head-to-tail-base (caudal peduncle??),
<Yes... the standard length of fisheries biology/biologists>
but their colours are really washed out (see photos, which actually make them look better than they do in real light in the tank).
<Mmm, they're really just young... Will colour up w/ growth, age>
Should they colour up (if I treat them well!) as they grow to adulthood?
How long approximately until this point is reached (colours and adult size)?
<Ah yes... at another 2-3 cm. in SL and perhaps 4-6 months>
2) Also, I had a hard time sexing them when I bought them - they were even more washed out at the store (bare tank floor, mix of 50+ banded and three-spot gouramis in the dealer's tank). As a result, I tried to look for pointed vs. rounded dorsal and anal fin tips as per many sources (including WWM and Jorg Vierk's (spelling?) book on Anabantoids. Problem is, all the fin tips looked kinda similar. I believe this point of differentiation between the sexes also becomes more obvious with age.
<This is so>
For example, is the third photo attached possibly/probably/definitely a female? Or based on my photos, might I have four immature males waiting for their colours and pointed fin-tips to develop?
<Can't tell definitively (at this size), but this appears to me to be a female>
For reasons of behaviour and colouration of males, I really want an even split between the sexes. The dealer said we can go back and forth with individuals until we get it right.
<Ahh, a good dealer>
Your help would most appreciated with the above queries. Thanks so much for an informative, rigourous, useful and valuable resource.
<And you, Bob Fenner>

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