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FAQs on Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives Reproduction

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish

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

Pregnant Gourami        1/21/15
I have a community tank with gouramis, angel fish, Corry cats, tiger barbs, Plecos, and arbores. My one gourami is pregnant.
<No, she's not. She's overfed, constipated, or she has Dropsy. While female Gouramis do swell up slightly just before releasing their eggs, the difference is subtle. If your female Gourami looks like she's swallowed a small ball, then something else is going on.>
We have live plants in the tank as well. Should I relocate the gourami or leave her? I do not see a bubble nest. She looks like she is about to pop.
<Do review feeding, constipation, and above all, Dropsy; use the search facility in WWM to find some relevant pages. Dropsy is very common when fish are stressed somehow, even by things like skipping water changes. So review aquarium size, filtration, maintenance as well. Cheers, Neale.>

Mixing gouramis  - 4/19/10
Honestly you guys have saved my a55 a few time, thank you very much for doing what you do. Now for the question. I have 5 Gouramis; female (1 blue, 1 Opaline, 2 pearl) male (1 moonlight)... Can the male moonlight
breed with any of these other Gouramis?
<No, different species don't seem to hybridise, at least I've never heard of them doing so. But the males of different species will often chase one another. So treat all the Trichogaster males as potential "rivals" and outnumber them with females.>
or do they have to be the same species....
<If you want to breed them, yes. But do be aware that "blue" and "golden" and "Opaline" Gouramis are all the same species, the Three-Spot Gourami, Trichogaster trichopterus. They're just different colours. Moonlight gouramis are a different species, Trichogaster microlepis, as are Pearl/Lace Gouramis, Trichogaster leeri.>
I may be trading one pearl for a male gold.
<Do be aware that Trichogaster trichopterus, in all its colour forms, is by far the most aggressive Trichogaster species Gourami. The other two species are much more easy-going.>
Is 2 males to 3 females and ok ratio?
<Depends on the size of the tank and how many surface (i.e., floating) plants and leaves there are.>
They are housed in a 40 gal tank filter by good Ol' Fluval.
<For this tank would go with a trio of Pearls or Moonlights rather than Three-Spot Gourami. If you must keep Three-Spot Gouramis, then don't keep just two males or the weaker one will be bullied endlessly. Much better to
keep one male plus two or as many females as you want.>
I really appreciate your help.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

What a great web site! In this case, Anabantoid culture for profit   3/13/10
This might be of interest to your amateur aquarists. I am a tropical fish farmer wannabe.
<A dream of many I'd warrant>
I have discovered the transition from amateur aquarist to tropical fish farmer is a big step.
<Oh yes! I'd like all to peruse my "Go Rin No Sho" (Musashi pastiche) re the five critical elements of business... Location, finance, personnel, set-up and stock... any one of which if deficient, you're done... Not many folk can claim/prove to be well-enough-versed in all these areas of endeavour to be/come proficient entrepreneurs. Oh, this is gone over and over on WWM's Aquatics Business Subweb>
I purchased a worn out tropical fish farm in florida and began this adventure last year. I was successful breeding pink kisser and gold Gouramis in tanks. However, once presented with thousands of fry in dozens of 10 gallon tanks
<!? Too small for Helostoma>
I dropped the ball. I was not successful transitioning the fry from 10 gallon tank to pond or vat and the few that made it to the vat did not do all that well. I finally got frustrated and threw all the breeder gold Gouramis in a pond where they successfully bred and produced young which I harvested in the fall and sold.
<Ah good>
Can't beat mother nature I guess. But all the tropical fish farmers I talk to tell me just throwing the fish in a pond is not the way to go.
<Of a certainty, no>
I have the facilities to grow the fry in vats from 175 gallons to 500 gallons. I also have 36 ponds to grow them in. The problem is I need help with what to do after hatching but before putting the fry in a vat or pond. Old time growers say "feed green water".
Others say newly hatched brine shrimp. I cannot say I had luck with either. I have breeder Gouramis ready for this year. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.
<Best by far for you to go work with folks in the trade who know what they're doing... And to spend some time pouring through pertinent literature... Yes, in this case, old hobby magazines and books... There are some real treasures to be unearthed t/here... Including tried and true methods of breeding and rearing these and MANY other commercially sale-able species. Bob Fenner> 

Pregnant Honey Gourami?  8/13/07 I think one of my honey Gouramis may be pregnant. I noticed this morning she (I am now assuming she's a she) is quite bulbous around the middle - about twice as wide as the other. And she is spending most of her time hiding in the cave, which is unusual for her. Is there any other condition that would cause this? I'm assuming she didn't go on an eating binge and double her girth over night as her mother has been known to do. So if she is preggers, what do I do? I don't know if my other Gourami is a male (didn't check under the hood), and there is no bubble nest that I can see. He wouldn't build it in the cave, would he? Would she even be producing eggs in the absence of a male? The surface of the water is pretty active between the aerator and the filter. There are lots of live plants, but not much at surface level (don't they build their nests on the surface?). What will happen if I leave her in there and there is no nest for her? Will she just lay the eggs anyway? And then of course, if there is no male, they won't hatch. Should I go to the trouble of setting up a breeder tank? But not knowing if my other is a male may make the whole effort futile. I'm a novice aquarist, and while I thought perhaps one day of breeding, I didn't think it would be this soon. Am I ready for that sort of responsibility? What about all the plans I had for the future? <somebody slap me!> Witnessing the miracle of life is intriguing, but, like every new parent, I don't want to screw up. BTW - what are we talking about as far as gestation? How long before she lays her eggs? Thanks! -Grandmom-to-be? <Greetings. Gouramis are egg-layers. They don't "get pregnant". While females can appear swollen when ready to lay eggs, in general they only come into "condition" (as this is called) when kept with a male, and almost always when pampered as well by being given a diet rich in live foods. Fish don't have a menstrual cycle, and the females only ovulate when conditions warrant it. This is why aquarists need to go through the conditioning process to get egg-laying species at least ready to breed. Sexing honey Gouramis outside of spawning is basically impossible. When spawning, the male develops a black breast area and is obviously different to the female. Now, honey Gouramis (Trichogaster chuna) are not the easiest fish to keep, and are prone to a variety of bacterial infections. They aren't so bad as dwarf Gouramis (Colisa lalia) but in anything other than very warm, very soft, and quite acidic water they come under the heading of "delicate". In other words, rather than being pregnant, it is entirely possible your fish is sick and the abdominal swelling is related to oedema or some other type of internal damage. The reason I mention this is that hiding away is a classic sign of bacterial infection in many fish. If she's off her food as well, then I'd be 100% sure about this diagnosis. Treating bacterial infections in (small) fishes is down to one simple rule: treat early if you want any hope of success. Once the damage is done, there's almost no hope of recovery. Depending on where you are, you will have a variety of anti-bacterial and/or antibiotic medications you can use. None are terribly effective unless the fish is treated at once. If the fish is still eating, you have hope; if the fish is off its food, don't expect much. With honey Gouramis, the critical thing is not to mix them in a community tank. They're not community fish; they are far too delicate and prone to diseases carried by hardier fish species. They need their own tank, maintained at about 26-28C, pH 6-6.5, and soft to moderately hard water. You can mix them with other small, peaceful fish that inhabit similar conditions, such as Rasboras or cardinal tetras, but don't mix them with any other kind of Gourami and certainly not with dwarf cichlids, nippy barbs, etc. Hope this helps, Neale>
Re: Pregnant Gourami?  8/13/07
Never mind. "Pregnant" fish + bulging eyes + pineconed scales = dropsy. Treated with Maracyn 2 and keeping our fins crossed. Thanks anyway! <Ah, you just beat me. Sent off a reply already, suggesting much the same thing! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Pregnant Gourami?  8/13/07
Sorry to be a pest, here, but I'm a tad upset when faced with the imminent(?) loss of my first fish. I understand dropsy is a symptom of an infection. What I want to know is how to prevent it from happening again. I don't think I have any problems with my water quality - nitrites 0; nitrates 20; ph 6.8. The temp is pretty consistent at about 78 degrees. My water is hard and my alkalinity low - could this be a problem? I do weekly water changes of about 25%. I have 2 honey Gouramis, 2 paradise Gouramis, 1 female beta, and 3 Chinese algae eaters (which will be going to a good home very soon as they're getting somewhat aggressive) in a 29 gallon, heavily planted tank. What can I do to prevent future problems with dropsy? Thanks so much! Your site has been a wonderful resource for this newbie! Stephanie <Hello Stephanie. There are two rules to avoiding sick fish. The first is to choose fishes suited to your tank and experience level. If you're a newbie, far better to choose a robust, reliable Gourami like banded Gourami (Colisa fasciata) or thick-lipped Gourami (Colisa labiosus) than to go with one of the terribly sickly dwarf Gourami varieties or the delicate honey Gourami. While the Gouramis I mention might not be as colourful as some of the others, they're still very nice fish, and can be relied upon to live for 5 to 7 years without much risk. The second rule is to quarantine new fish. Realistically, newbie aquarists almost never do this, and a lot of experienced hobbyists don't, either. But the bottom line is that if you can do this, life becomes simpler, because you can observe new fish and treat them quickly if required. Anyway, for the most part your livestock is not unreasonable. The Chinese algae eaters are, as you say, aggressive. I have no idea why they are traded at all, but there you go. The paradise Gouramis are, I assume, the Paradisefish Macropodus opercularis. These are very tough, though sometimes snappy animals. I'd not keep them with honey Gouramis, ever. They're actually subtropical fish, and their ideal tankmates would be fishes that like water a little cooler than normal, say, 22-24C. Peppered and bearded Corydoras, Danios, White Cloud Mountain minnows, golden barbs, rosy barbs, Variatus Platies, etc... that sort of thing. (Although not widely understood in the hobby, there is a middle ground between tropical and coldwater fish, subtropical fish; ironically, goldfish are subtropical fish and can actually work rather well with some of the fishes I just mentioned.) Female Bettas are fun little creatures, but I fear male Paradisefish will hammer them once the Paradisefish mature. This may all sound rather disillusioning, since it seems sometimes that tropical fish shops will sell anything to anyone, regardless of how easy or not said fish are to keep. But once you get the hang of things, choosing the "right" fish isn't that difficult. And once you have the right fish, disease stops being a problem. Fishes are basically hardy animals, and you can easily go years without having to treat them. Cheers, Neale>
Re: Pregnant Gourami?  8/13/07
Wow, thanks for the info and the quick reply. I didn't know that about honey Gouramis. And here I thought I was doing good by buying at a small, privately owned specialty aquarium store rather than a big pet store. But they never told me not to put this species in a community tank. <To be fair, not every aquarium shop is expert in every species. In many cases, they have a fair idea about what sells well and seems not to get complaints from customers. Often, the owner will be an expert in one particular field, the fish he or she keeps at home. If that field is, say, African cichlids, you can't expect great advice about South American catfish. That's why buying/borrowing books is so important. Even reading through one or two issues of a fishkeeping magazine can help, because it's like a booster shot of fishkeeping lore, and helps you understand at least some of the things you need to think about.> Should I consider setting up a separate tank and moving them? <The honey Gouramis and female Bettas would get along fine in a 10-20 gallon tank, with a sponge filter, heating, and lots of floating plants. That's all they'd need really. Keeping them together would certainly reduce the risk of trouble in the long term.> What tank mates would be suitable with my 2 paradise Gourami and female Betta? <Paradisefish can be kept with all sorts of robust, active fishes. Paradisefish are "semi-aggressive" and while lovely fish, you don't want to keep them with anything slow moving or delicate. On the other hand, you don't want to keep them with anything nippy, either (so no tiger barbs, black widow tetras, or pufferfish). I'd probably go with a Danio species for the top of the tank, and one of the subtropical Corydoras for the bottom. You can then add some more challenging species in due course.> I've already crossed the dwarf Gourami off my list (thanks for the heads up). I want to stick with labyrinth fish, and figured Gouramis are my best bet. Would most other Gourami varieties work? <Not really, no. The exceptions might be three-spot Gouramis (the males of which are pretty mean themselves) and the more robust Climbing Perch (Anabas and Ctenopoma spp.). There are also other species of Macropodus, including the lovely "black" Paradisefish Macropodus concolor. Be sure and look out for one of the several excellent labyrinth fish books. They are a fascinating group of fishes, and well worth exploring.> I'm still holding out hope for my sick girl, though I know the chances are slim. She also has what appears to be a very small bit of ich on her head (but nowhere else) which I treated this morning. <Well, fingers crossed.> Thanks again for all the help! -s <No probs. Neale>

Snake skin Gourami, repro.  - 02/15/07 Hello, I have had two snake skin Gouramis for about 5 months or so. When I bought them they were about the same size. One that seems to always pick on the other has gotten significantly larger then the other one. Recently, I have noticed that the smaller one looks like its got a bulge in its belly. <I see this> I examined the scales around the bulge, and none of them seem to be sticking out making the pine cone effect look that dropsy causes.  I also have noticed a few bubbles sitting underneath the live plants that have leaves floating on the top of the water. There isn't very many but they are there. Could my Gourami be pregnant? <Mmm... well... not pregnant, but gravid... carrying developing eggs, yes> Is there any way that I can look and be 100% positive that she is? <Umm... there may appear a definitive "white dot" at her vent when she is close to egg release...> Is the bubbles underneath the plant the bubble nest? <Perhaps the beginnings of such> If so, Do I need to put the two Gouramis in a different tank so that the eggs don't get sucked in the filter or eaten by other fish? <This would be advisable if you intend to try and breed them, rear the young...> I have attached a picture of the fish that I think is pregnant and a picture of the bubbles on the plant. <More to "all this"... You need to start studying, preparing NOW to grow sufficient food/s... for the young... And know much more re the set-up for the adults... I'd go to the local library, look for books on Gouramis, freshwater fish-breeding... there are quite a few. Bob Fenner>

Gourami update... no prev. corr.... Snakeskin spawning?    02/17/07 I ended up getting another 10 gallon tank and putting the other fish in it, leaving the Gouramis in the original tank. I got a few more plants to sit on the top of the water for the bubble nest and added a few more hiding spots for the female. I just have one question. How long is it going to take the male to make his bubble nest? <Maybe days... maybe weeks...> I have looked at my local library and haven't found anything about breeding Gouramis or breeding fish in general. <Wow... maybe a larger library...> How can I find out when the male is going to be making the nest so I can start growing my brine shrimp for the fry? <There will be time to culture Artemia given the process of the nest, spawning, the hatching out of fry... However not the needed culture of smaller organisms... e.g. infusoria... see WWM re. BobF>

Re: snake skin Gourami breeding   3/3/07 This is another update. Its been about a week or so, and all that has seemed to happen was that my male was constantly attacking my female Gourami (mainly nipping at the fins). <Typical behavior... but you will want to isolate (separate or remove) these two... if they're not going to spawn (was the female ready?) there can be considerable damage> She can't really do anything but hide, and even when she does, he comes to find her. It is now to the point that her fins are looking pretty bad. So, I have come to the conclusion that my male is not in the mood to breed. <Actually... he likely is... she's not ready... full of eggs...> I ended up removing her from the tank so that she can heal up from all the abuse. <Good> Also, the male never ended up building the bubblenest, he was too busy chasing the female. What should I do with these two? <In a word, "condition" them...> Should I continue trying to breed them, or give up and go get a less aggressive male? ~Josh <Are they large enough... I would keep them separately, feed them well... read about all Anabantoid breeding... on the Net, books (much is known), and start saving those one gallon pickle jars... learning culturing techniques for infusoria, micro-worms... Artemia... Bob Fenner>

Plans for livebearer fry in community tank; male dwarf Gourami bubble nest   12/19/06 Hi Crew, <Hello - Jorie here> Thank you for a very quick reply to the question I <I; please use proper capitalization, punctuation when writing in...I've edited this one, but would appreciate not having to do so next time!> had about my female guppy being pregnant and swimming funny.   <Don't think I answered that one, but I'll try to help with this one...> I have now done a lot of research into guppies and the other fish I have in my tank, <Excellent - that's how we all learn> another female has had fry today, <Yes, livebearers will do that when males and females are kept together in community tanks...> that's me <??> now got <have> 25 fry (very proud!! Although it is said to be easy to do, I'm still very proud) <Congratulations! The harder part is keeping them alive and healthy...> The only problem is, I did not plan to breed but this is life and I do not want to stop it from happening, I cannot have two fish tanks in my house, so I bought a breeding net to keep the fry in, I also need one for the female. <Well, if you cannot have any more tanks, then why are you trying to isolate the fry and mom, so that she can give birth to even more young? First off, female livebearers can store sperm for up to 6 mos. I am told, so even if you isolate her now, she'll like continue to give birth to new babies every 4-6 weeks.  You'll soon become overrun with fry! I understand you don't want to hurt the fry, but I imagine you'll not want to add to your "collection" if you have no ability to add more tanks; you'll very soon become overstocked. Second, I am not a fan of breeding nets at all, as it is my view they tend to unnecessarily stress the fish out.  If it is your intention to raise the fry, providing plenty of cover (in the form of plants, especially floating ones, and decoration) in a community tank will allow the fry plenty of places to hide from predators.  Also, it will allow the mom to hide while she's giving birth as well. As cute as they are, livebearer fry will ultimately run you out of house and home...I've invested in several new tanks just to accommodate my young mollies and platys.  If you aren't prepared to do this, best to allow nature to take its course and have larger fish in the community tank feed themselves on the fry.  It's nature, not murder...> Is there any other way to do this as the nets are blocking the rest of the tank. <Ditch the nets. Nothing good will come of them - as mentioned above, they'll likely stress out the fish.  Also, if you don't have room to keep/raise the fry, best to let nature take its course now while they are little...> I think some info over my tank would help: I have a 160 liter, well planted. I think just need to work on cover plant for the fry, <Java moss works well> gravel based with a large ship as deco. I have enclosed a picture; don't know if it is any use. <I always like to see pictures of peoples fish and tanks!> If you would like to use it feel free - this was at the start <For some reason, I wasn't able to "reply" as I normally do, to your e-mail, but rather I had to cut and paste the text into a new message.  I wasn't able to save the picture, unfortunately.  But I do appreciate you sending it along and I enjoyed seeing it!> Any way the main reason for writing was to thank u for taking the time out to answer me. <As I said before, I don't believe I answered your previous query, but on behalf of that crew member, you are welcome.> No doubt <doubt> I will have many more questions to ask you as like u <you> said every day is something new. <That is true, and we are here to help.  But, please do look through the wonderful articles available on www.wetwebmedia.com ; also, there's lots of other useful websites, books, etc. out there to be discovered...> I am currently reading up on Dwarf Gourami, as I think they were trying to breed. The male started to build a bubble nest but nothing came of it.   <Sometimes when male fish do this, they are simply showing the females they are ready to breed...no worries, no harm.  They'll breed if/when ready!  Also, these fish will likely keep your livebearer fry population in check...> I have searched my tank from top to bottom, and to be truthful I did not know at the time what the male was doing till I researched some. <The beauty of reading, research...> Once again thank you. <You're welcome.  Hopefully I've helped you with your livebearer fry question/"dilemma". Best regards, Jorie>

Snakeskin Gouramis Possibly Mating   10/11/06 Hi, Gouramis are not usually my thing, being mostly into cichlids and tetras, so I'm not sure of behavior. I fell for a couple of snakeskin Gourami, and picked what I guessed was a male and female. They have grown to about 4 inches and have coloured up dramatically in the last couple of weeks, complete with blue trailing edge to anal fin. One is very deep bodied with long pointed dorsal. The other is longer with a large rounded dorsal. They used to hang out together but now they are going at one another, flaring their fins, flexing their bodies and puckering their lips. They even grab unto each other's mouths. The fish that I assume to be male, with the pointed dorsal, is the most aggressive, but the other one just keeps provoking it and coming back for more. Is this normal breeding behavior? Do they just dislike each other? Or have I got two males? Do I leave them together or do I separate them? Should I have bought a bunch of them, like cichlids, and let them choose their own mates? There is no lack of space for them. They are in a densely planted 120 gallon tank with only a shoal of glass cats for company. Donna <The one with the pointed dorsal fin is a male. Males usually have redder ventral fins too. These fish actually get pretty large (8") and are just teenagers right now. They may eventually spawn. I think your female is maturing faster than the male and he isn't quite sure what to do right now. Eventually he will catch on and they will probably pair up. I would only separate them if things get too rough.-Chuck>

Gourami help  8/28/06 Hi Folks. One quick question please. Re: 100 gal. FW well maintained and established. Nitrates have been <10 for about a month now. Tank currently houses 10 blue Gourami about 3-4 in. long with 2 males and 8 females. <Nice> About 3 weeks ago I noticed the females getting plump abdomens. Thinking that they were constipated, like Gouramis have a tendency to do, <Mmm... might be developing eggs...> I treated tank with Epsom salts @ 1Tbl. per 10 gal. as read on WWM. The males look great, but females are still fat looking. Is there any way that I can tell if they are full of eggs or are bloated/constipated? <Mmm, yes... for one, that only the females are so affected... and secondly, as they become very egg-laden you will see a small "white dot" protrude from each females vent...> Should I re-treat with Epsom salts...about 9 days since last treatment? <I would not> The females are trying to make bubble nests, but the males are not interested. Any advice would be greatly helpful. Thanks once again...DR <Mmm, please see fishbase.org re the species (Trichogaster trichopterus) life history... likely elevating the water temperature will "trigger" a change in the males' behavior. Bob Fenner>

Opaline Gouramis spawned in community tank...  7/18/06 I hope all is well with you all!  I have a dilemma and need some advice.  My Opalines spawned in my 55 gallon community tank Thursday night.  The male is gingerly caring for the nest and the female is keeping the rest of the tank in place.  Though initially I was tickled when I saw what was happening, it has been a bittersweet 3 days so far.  Directly, and indirectly related to this spawning, I have lost 8 fish. <Yikes!> The male killed my last neon tetra and a boesemanni Rainbowfish on Friday while protecting the nest. <Unusual these fishes wouldn't stay out of the way...> And Chicago is having a hot snap right now and without adequate air conditioning the tank is up at 82 degrees. <This should be okay>   Last night 6 fish died.  2 boesemanni, 2 serpae tetras and 2 Glowlight tetras.  I had not done a w/c due to the nest yesterday, nitrates were at 40 <Yikes... high> this morning, not fatal in and of itself.  So, all I can assume at the moment is that the dissolved oxygen was low enough in the tank due to the high temps, missed w/c, and bubblers were off last night so there wasn't enough surface agitation happening to provide enough oxygen, and the fish have the added stress of the two Gouramis beating them up right now. <I think you are likely correct here> Okay so, yes, I am still the proud and excited human Mom, but I don't want them to do this again.  Do you have any suggestions of how I can discourage it? <Mmm, don't provide floating material... keep the water cool, provide lots of surface agitation... Really, the only assured way... remove all of one Trichogaster sex or all together> I am not sure why it happened this time.  The LFS thinks that they are going to keep it up now that they have had a successful spawning this time. If I can't discourage them, I will have to consider rehoming them, or rehoming the other fish I have left and just let the Gouramis spawn to their hearts content. <Sometimes> The tank is planted but has less than 1 wpg.  I have lots of floating plants which are very thick right now, <These encourage the spawning...> which may have helped things along.  I feed my fish pretty well, flakes and OSI Spirulina wafers one night, frozen bloodworms or mosquito larvae, brine shrimp or krill, and emerald delight the next.  Plus fresh veggies for the Bristlenose Plecs and yoyo loaches.  I have attached a picture of the "fry" from yesterday if you can call them that yet.  Not much change in them today. Thanks for any words of wisdom or encouragement you can give me. Take care, Mary. <... I'd get another few tanks... and raise the young to help pay for your hobby interest... Bob Fenner>
Re: Opaline Gouramis spawned in community tank...   7/17/06
Thanks Bob! You're the best!  LOL!  I'm definitely going to try to raise a few of the young, but unfortunately a few more tanks is out of the question... :)  Two bedroom apartment in the city, and the dining room is the fish room housing a 55 gallon, 29 gallon, 20 Long Newt tank, 2 5 gallon Betta tanks, and a 10 gallon QT that will have to do as a fry tank.  And once this unique and totally unexpected experience is over the floating plants are going!  And we'll see if that works! Take care, Mary. <Get rid of the couch! You don't need a sofa! Heeeee! What about the room behind the bathroom door? Just think how easy water changes would be! Bob Fenner>

Gourami sort-of inter-breeders?  - 5/18/2006 I am a big fan of Gourami's; bordering on obsessed.  Until recently, I haven't been too interested in breeding them, but lately, someone is building bubble nests.  If someone has the "hots" for someone else, I may as well let em do what bubble builders do best, and try to aid them in their conquests. My question is, will different color variations of Trichogasters breed ?? < Yes. They are all the same species so they will breed together.> Or is somebody just having fun blowing bubbles? < Single males that are well cared for may decided to build a nest with hopes that a ripe female may swim by and want to mate.> I haven't figured out which fish is making them yet. Here is what I have:  60 gallon, heavily planted tank.    I noticed the bubbles in the tops of some overgrown foxtails.  My fish stock is exclusively Gourami's, except for a Pleco and a Cory cat.  I have the following females: Blue, Opaline, snakeskin, platinum, sparkling (pygmy). I also have my fair share of males: Gold, Osphronemus (a small one), Sunset/Thicklip (labioso), moonlight, red paradise, albino paradise, lavender, pearl, croaking, and the following male dwarfs: honey, neon, turquoise, flame, and giant.  I'm not 100% on the gender of the Osphro, but based on its fins, I'm thinking it's a he.    The only female that may be harboring eggs appears to be the Platinum, but she is not "huge" yet. My water parameters are not prime for breeding, as my-well water is harder than steel, and I leave the pH a wee bit on the high side, (7.6); this is because CO2 at night causes it to drop a lot, and I figured it would be less stressful on the fish.   Nitrates seldom drop below 25. ammonia and nitrite are 0. I am not about to drop the water levels in my display tank, but can set up additional tanks if I notice any activities under/in the bubblenest, is it advisable to move a bubble nest and its guardians to a breeder tank after the fact? Thanks again in advance.  John M. < Don't bother moving the nest. Figure out if it fact you do have a pair forming and separate them to their own tank with the ideal water conditions required. You will soon become an expert in microcultures because most of the fry are very small and require special foods for newly hatched fish. This all depends on the species.-Chuck> Gourami question/Interbreeding    4/15/06 Is it possible for a Blue Gourami and a Dwarf Gourami to interbreed? <Very unlikely, Vicki.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Not possible. RMF>>

Breeding Gouramis   3/14/06 What kind of plants are needed to breed bubblenest building Gouramis? <Plastic or live floating plants are recommended. They should have fine leaves and be somewhat flexible. Some plants may grow up to the surface and form a mat. They prefer slow moving water and the surface should be a smooth as possible.-Chuck>

Paradise Fish Breeding  1/1/06 Hi I have four paradise Gourami's in my tank with  about 6 inches of water. In the corner of my tank I can see the male blowing a  bubble nest. My question is, this is the 3rd nest that has been built and I have  never seen any eggs. Could I have four males in my tank? Will a male make a nest  without a female fish in the tank? And if so how do I tell the difference  between male and female? Thanks. < You paradise fish may indeed be breeding. The male builds a bubble nest just as you have described. A ripe female is attracted to the male under the bubble nest. The female is then placed in an embrace in which the eggs are almost squeezed out of her and they float up to the nest. The female is then chased away leaving the male to guard the nest. The fry hatch in a few days depending on the water temp. Without live small food the young soon die. The male builds another nest and starts things all over again. Males are usually larger that the females and have longer fins. Males will build nests without any females present.-Chuck>

My Gouramis male/female?  11/17/05 Hi, <Morning!> I just reviewed FAQ . I did see my question, but don't quite understand.  Last year I got a 55 gallon fish tank for my birthday from my husband. In this tank I have 4 tiger barbs, 1 clown loach, 1 pink kissing Gouramis, albino catfish, and 2 sucker fish. My pink kissing Gouramis is about 7 years old very big fish has some blackish spotting on back near head. <Neat!> My question is , I just bought 3 more kissing Gouramis, 2 pink and 1 blue kissing Gouramis.  How can I tell if they are male are female? <The pinks can't be discerned externally, the other is detailed here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GouramiReproFAQs.htm>  My older Gouramis was chasing the 2 new Gouramis around about an 1 hour after I put them in the tank. <To be expected> I call the older Gourami Cow ( he was already named from previous owner). I seen on the FAQ about pink kiss. Gouramis females having spots and males not.  <Not a sexual difference> So my second question would be is my Cow a cow or a Bessie? If you could please answer both of my questions I would greatly appreciate it so much. Thank You, Katy, TX <Not a sexual difference as far as I'm aware. I would separate the larger, resident fish for a week or two to diminish aggression... Bob Fenner>

Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami Breeding 11/2/05 Hi Crew, <Hi, John!> I hope this finds you well. <Indeed it does. Hope you are well, too.> I have a question relating to the breeding behaviour of my neon (cobalt) blue dwarf Gourami. Let me start by giving you a few details on my planted community aquarium because you guys always seem to give good general advice. <Thanks!> Mine is a 50G tank with an eclectic mix at the moment: 2 guppies, 3 Platies, 2 bristle noses, 2 blue rams, 1 elephant nose, 15 cardinal tetras, 2 gold honey dwarf Gouramis, 2 female dwarf Gouramis, 2 cobalt blue neon dwarf Gouramis. Unfortunately I had to add the livebearers which brought me up to a real full stock situation because another 7G tank started to leak but they did fix an algae problem. <They're sure good for that.> The water runs at 28 degrees Celsius (I really love my blue rams so everyone else has to adjust), <This is a decent temperature for everyone listed - though the livebearers might fare better a bit cooler.> the PH is 6.0 <Might want to think about re-homing the livebearers when you can. Too low for 'em, ideally.> and the water has been treated with a bottled black water treatment (Trace elements found in natural peat water) to make it more 'Amazonian' for my rams and elephant nose. I have planted some very non-biotopic plants including Anubias, Elodea, Ambulia, hairgrasses, Java Moss, Riccia (covering a generous amount of driftwood). Most importantly, the fish seem to be happy and get along. One of the Platies has started delivering fry (I have to keep just one it's my first fish baby), I let the guppies eat most of them. <Mmmm, tasty!> Now the purpose of this email, one of my blue Gouramis has built himself a nest from Riccia (mainly from my previously and very carefully tied down patch) and bubbles. However'¦I don't know how he intends to fill his nest as he chases away the female Gouramis in the tank. The blue Gouramis (2.5 inches) are larger than the golds(1 inch) and females (1.5-2 inches & colourless). Does building a nest mean he will or has paired with one of the existing females or might he not accept them (he does swim around with the male a lot which worries me'¦not that there's anything wrong with that)? <Give him time; he's a new prospective daddy. Nature will sort this out. Uhh, also, you might want to look really closely and see if there are already eggs present. This would definitely cause him to be chasing everyone away.> I'd really like to have some baby blues around the place even if I only keep a few and trade the others. <Mm, probably most will be eaten, unless you do this in a separate, dedicated system.> I have to slip one more question in about the elephant nose. How do I coax 'her' (who knows what sex it is really) out more? The lighting is only 1W/gallon but dual CF and there is elodea coverage over a third of the surface. She loves her driftwood caves but I've read that they are a very interactive and smart fish. I'd love to have a way of luring 'her' out. <Can try with foods.... Start feeding mid-day or so for a while; once she gets used to this schedule, she may come out on her own prior to feeding time to start looking for food. This is a very nocturnal fish, though, so it may be a long time before she gets used to this - and she may even never do so. Have patience, and give her some time.> Thanks & Regards, -John <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami Breeding - II - 11/02/2005 Hi Sabrina, <Hi, John.> Thanks for the reply, you were right. All I had to do was wait one more day. My fiancé and I sat by the fish tank watching the Blue Gourami dance with the female, her nibble his tummy then wrap himself around the female and squeeze the eggs out. <Excellent!> The tetras are especially good at grabbing the eggs before him :(. <Yeah.... unless you do this in a dedicated tank, survival rate will be very low, or zero.> However, both males have finished nests now and hopefully both producing fry. I'll feed them infusoria culture even though I can't see them and hope that one or two make it to the point I can see them and put them in the floating hatchery. <Sounds great!> Regards, -John Mannix, Accenture, Sydney, Australia <All the best, -Sabrina, in a coffee shop with DSL, San Jose, CA> <<Mmmm.. wireless broadband, yum.>> <<<Actually, the coffee is tastier than the Cat-5.  -SCF>>>

Girthy Gourami 10/25/05 I purchased a female gold Gourami and I think she's pregnant! Not sure yet though. Anyways, if she is pregnant, what do I do? There is no bubble nest because she didn't mate with my Gourami. Should I try to get one of my male gold/blue Gourami to mate with her? If yes, how do I breed them, every article says something different. Please answer. Yours, Fish Lover =) <If you profess to be a fish lover, you should have knowledge, trust of your knowing of these animals... Your one fish may be "egg-bound", and placing a male with it might indeed result in spawning... but it is more likely "constipated"... from mis-feeding, poor water quality, internal complaint/disease... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm and the linked files above... Know thyself (and your aquatic friends), then love. Bob Fenner>  

Gourami Breeding, or not I have spent the last 3 hours looking through and searching you site for info on breeding golden Gouramis. I couldn't find squat. Anyway, I have a male and female set of Goldens in a 30gal tank that they have had to themselves for about 3 months. I have noticed in the last few days that the female has started fighting the male for food. Actually, fight is a strong word. She's racing him to the food. And she's gotten really round. On top of that, the male sits on the bottom of the tank unless it's time to eat. Then he seems to wait his turn for food. Is this normal behavior for golden Gouramis? Do I need to remove the babies once they are free swimming? I'm used to dealing with my many different kinds of cichlids and have never had my Gouramis breed. I need help! And advice. Thanks, Becca <Try here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anabantoids.htm  Don> 

LFS? Better Explain the Acronym! Why we Can't Breed Powder Blue Gouramis Thanks for the answer on Rams. What is the LFS? Also I do have another question. How do you know the sex differences in the powder blue dwarf Gourami? Hope to hear from you again! Karrie <LFS refers to local fish store. Powder Blue Dwarf Gouramis are a line bred fish. They are simply regular dwarf Gouramis with all the red bred out of them. I don't think they export females, but I am sure that they would breed with a normal silver colored female dwarf Gourami.-Chuck> 

Paradise Gourami I have a male and female paradise Gourami, I believe they have mated he has made a bubble nest and they have did the mating thing, I have seen what seems to be eggs come from the female after a very interesting mating courtship the male wraps himself around the female and flips her upside down then after a few seconds she floats away and he is curled up like a leaf at the top of the tank, after those kinds of interactions is when I have notice the small white eggs floating in the water. The male scoops them up and spits them into the bubble nest area.  <Yes... good description.> My question is how long before I should see babies.  <About four days near 80 F. To wiggling stage... need to cover the tank to avoid cold air drafts...> And is something wrong with my tank. I am afraid I have a fungus now growing in that tank brown clumps of some sort are starting to accumulate in the bottom and float to the top. I have read that it is hard to get the young to mature because of disease , is this a fungus or algae. Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Maybe an algae of some sort, perhaps an algae and other life forms... maybe just detritus... I would place a sponge type filter, or an open-top (leave the lid off) air-driven corner filter... to prevent the babies from being sucked in... And start studying... books, the Net re raising Gourami fry... have you looked into growing their food? I would... and start now... infusoria... Bob Fenner> Marty

Breeding Gouramis Hi dear Anthony How are you , I'm fine ,I am Nader Afshar from Iran, <yes, my friend... I remember you. It is good to hear that you are well> Thank you for your help my mollies babies are very good and send best regards to you, <thank you kindly> I have 4 yellow Gouramis 2f/2m, The female are pregnant ,how can I reproduce them? <not difficult but little bit tedious to do successfully> What is the situation for laying ? <they build a bubble nest at the surface of the water... some floating plants will help them build this nest> what eat babies in first 10 days? <that is partly what is difficult... they need very tiny live food: infusoria> please write me anything need for reproduce them, <the following is one of the many articles on the Internet for breeding these fishes: http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/breeding/Wilkinson_Labyrinth1.html>  Thank you very much, your friend Nader Afshar <best regards, Anthony>

Dwarf Gourami - Male or Female?  Pregnant? Hello, <Hi!> I'm an extremely concerned parent of a beautiful cinnamon dwarf Gourami that I do not know the gender of. The sign at the pet store said it was a male, and I have also read that females will appear silver in color. <Less red, at the least.  Males are far easier to find in our hobby.> Mine is fully cinnamon. <Heh, that's my favorite word for the day, now!> But yet it has a bloated belly. It has increased in size each day, which a normal parent would think it was pregnant, correct? <Actually, there can be other causes for this.  First and foremost, overeating, and also very likely, constipation.> (Should I put it on birth control?) ;) <He/she needs a stern talking to, at the least!  :) > I was hoping that it was female and pregnant because I wanted little grandchildren of my own. <Well, even if he is a she, and is full of eggs, he/she/it would still need a male to help release, then fertilize, the eggs of this bubblenesting fish.> Please help me. This is a serious issue. <It is, indeed.  Is he/she pooping?  If not, you're probably looking at constipation.  I would recommend reducing the amount that you feed him/her; fast him for a few days, and feed only foods high in roughage content, like thawed frozen pea (squeeze it out of the shell), adult brine shrimp, or daphnia, and when you do feed these, do so sparingly.  It would also help to add Epsom salt to the tank, at a rate of one tablespoon per ten gallons - this is usually the first thing to do in constipation cases, as it can be very serious indeed, and it will help relieve pressure on the fish, and help pass any blockage in the gut.  I would also recommend increasing the veggie matter in your little pal's diet once this has passed.  Blanched zucchini, cucumber, and spinach are just a few goodies to pass along to him.  Or her.> I've included a picture of my little SPECIAL BOY (or girl)!. Please get back to me on the gender please. <A good picture, but is there any way you can get one of him with his fins very spread?  It does look like a male, to me, for the coloration and the point of his dorsal fin.  If he is a she, and he/she is with egg, you should see a white "dot" in front of the anal fin indicating that she is full of eggs.> Thanks,  Amy and Belle Gourami :) <You bet!  Wishing you and Belle well,  -Sabrina

Gourami Bubble Nest Hi Bob, I've got a 6-week old 29 gallon tank that has cycled successfully with Bio-Spira. So far it's had only two inhabitants, a neon blue dwarf Gourami and a female Betta, who have been cohabitating nicely. Although Mr. Gourami likes to show her who's boss by turfing her around a bit, Miss Betta seems ok with it. Just today Gourami has built himself a bubble nest and is definitely acting hormonal!   <Yikes... well, they are closely related...> More aggressive, jumping out of the water, things like that. Here's my two questions: since Bettas and Gouramis are both labyrinth bubble-makers, is this going to confuse them?  <Apparently so> Any chance he might get more aggressive with her to get her to mate, after all she's the only girl in town, AND she sucks air!  Just want to make sure she'll be safe. <Me too... all should be fine though> Also, I'm assuming that while he's doing this and guarding his creation this is probably not the best time to add new fish....yes? I was planning this weekend to add some Cory cats and a couple more female Bettas?  Would this bother Mr. Boss-man while he's busy trying to procreate? Thanks for your advice.... Leslie <Actually... adding these other fishes my be a good idea... help diffuse, defuse Mr. G's amorous attentions... Bob Fenner>

My Gourami fish Hi the other day I purchased two flame Gouramis from my local pet store. Can you please answer the following questions for me?  How can I tell which one is a male or female? <Males are a bit larger, much more colorful, with unpaired fins that will be a bit longer, more pointed... they act a bit more aggressively than females... have the folks at the store where you shop show you these differences. Very often folks just get/have males with no females...> How can I get them two [sic] breed? <A bit involved, and best searched on the Net... under the terms "Gourami breeding"... elevated temperature, a covered system (to prevent drafts... damage to young labyrinth organs, conditioning of adult breeders, their separation, joining... preparation of foods for the fry...> What other Gouramis go good with them? <Other small Colisa, Trichogaster species> Which is the easiest Gourami to bred? <Mmm, likely Macropodus species, Paradisefishes.  Bob Fenner>

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