Breeding honey gouramis

Breeding honey gouramis

male and female honey gourami
male and female honey gourami

Equipment needed

  • 24 inch aquarium with tight fitting lid
  • 100w heater – stat
  • floating plants
  • lots of plants
  • 2 x sponge filters with air pump
  • bare bottom – no gravel
  • air line hose

Honey Gouramis description and general care

The honey gourami is a hardy species and quite small about 5cm maximum. They make an ideal beginners fish and are one of the easiest species to breed. They make good community fish though they may be shy at first due to their small size.
Because of the small size and slow growth rate of the fry, the fry are difficult to raise.

male red honey gourami
male red honey gourami

The males are generally more colourful than the females although his colours are variable. The male is a yellowy tan colour which becomes honey coloured when in breeding mood. He also sports a long dark band of colour to his underneath from his face tapering off into his anal fin and his dorsal fin has a yellow fringe to it. The female is a silvery colour with a single mid-height dark band from her eye to her tail. The males come in different colour morphs such as golden and red.

Keep in neutral and still waters. Ph of 7 and medium hardness. Aquarium temperature should be quite warm at 76F. It is an anabantid so must take gulps of air from the surface to aid breathing. So, keep the aquarium well covered with minimal removal of the lid.

An interesting fact is they can actually shoot blobs of water at insects above the water line. They don’t shoot very far, nor are they that accurate unlike the archer fish. But they can catch the occasional insect and eat it.

The honey gourami eats just about everything. They eat live food, plant matter and they eat dried foods. They relish high protein micro pellets. They can be conditioned to breed on just high protein micro pellets but it is more effective to add some live food too.

Preparation for breeding

Place a pair of honey gouramis in the breeding tank. Over several days raise the temperature to 82F. Make sure the water is about 6 inches deep. Feed with live foods or high protein micro pellets. Feed several times a day. They can get quite greedy but the more they eat the quicker they will start to breed. Be very careful not to allow any food to rot in the aquarium. Removal should be quite easy if you use a bare bottom tank.

Honey gourami breeding behaviour

male honey gourami guarding nest
male honey gourami guarding nest

The male will start to display the most magnificent golden honey colour. He will start to blow bubbles in a corner or stuck to some plant. This continues until a bubble nest is formed. Meanwhile the female should become noticeably plumper around her abdomen.
The male will then try to entice the female by displaying his blue/black under throat. He will head out to her display then head back to the nest and wait. She may follow him or he may try again. If the nest is small or not to the female’s liking then she won’t spawn. The male may try making the nest bigger or build a new nest.

Eventually when the female is happy she will head to the male under the nest. They will turn round each other with the female butting the side of the male as they turn round. Eventually after a couple of practice turns, the male will embrace the female tightly and turn her so that she is upside down. She will release eggs which he fertilises as they are released. They are both stunned from spawning for a few seconds and they drift down and the eggs drift down too. When the male recovers he may chase the female away. The male quickly snaps up the eggs as they are falling. Then he will put them into the nest.

The breeding procedure repeats many times until the female is exhausted of eggs. When the male recognises this he quickly chases her away from the nest. She will hide and the male will return to the nest. He then stays on guard duty with his nose close by and pointed towards the nest. He blows more bubbles and repairs the nest as needed. Remove the female then.

Raising honey gourami fry

The eggs hatch after 24-36 hours and will become free swimming after another day or two depending on temperature. Remove the male too at this point.

Do 10% daily water changes with an air line hose taking care not to allow cold air into the aquarium.
Feed the fry with infusoria for the first week. Keep the tank tightly closed to keep a warm and humid atmosphere above the water surface. This is absolutely crucial for the fry. The fry stay near the surface for the first week or so. Drip feed the infusoria by siphoning from a jar into the aquarium through an air line hose. Feed five times a day.

After a week start introducing brine shrimp and see if they start eating it. The fry will grow slowly and are prone to illnesses if the water becomes polluted. When they start eating brine shrimp their growth will increase slightly.

After 6 weeks to 2 months start feeding crushed dried food.

You can also try your hand at Breeding dwarf gouramis


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