Breeding sparkling gouramis

Breeding sparkling gouramis or pygmy (croaking) gourami

two male sparkling gouramis posturing
two male sparkling gouramis posturing

Equipment required

  • 18 inch tank light and tight fitting lid
  • 50w heater stat
  • floating plants
  • 2 sponge filters powered by air pump
  • plants around the aquarium
  • air line hose or narrow guage hose
  • driftwood around the aquarium

General care and description of sparkling gouramis

Sparkling gouramis are a small gourami with sparkling scales. A bluish sheen covers the body and the eyes are blue. They have a dark horizontal band from nose to tail and a second fainter horizontal line further up. The fins have a reddish tinge to them. The males are more colourful than the females when in breeding condition. They normally grow up to 1.5 inches. They have a typical but elongated gourami shape, a bit like a female betta.

Sparkling gouramis are a good community fish with species of a similar size. They are quite hardy and will eat flake or micropellets. But they do require some live food to be at their best. They move about in a glide and pause motion like most gouramis. The males are territorial but can be kept together in a bigger aquarium with hiding places. They have a deserved reputation of attacking and eating shrimps, even adult shrimps. So feeding them on feeder ship is good; just don’t try keeping them with ornamental cherry shrimp.

Sparkling gouramis do not like a water flow. So you should direct the outflow from any filters into bushy plants. The water should be around 7ph or slightly less with medium hardness, but they are not fussy. Keep the temperature around 78F. They prefer lots of hiding places and a subdued tank. This can be achieved with a low watt bulb or with floating plants. Only then will you see their best colours. They do croak when frightened or fighting, but it is more like a clicking noise than croaking.

There are two species similar to the sparkling gourami. The croaking gourami and the three stripe gourami. All three species croak and are all trichopsis. While the croaking gourami is larger, the three stripe especially is very similar to the pygmy gourami but has less colours. Trichopsis pumila is the correct species.

Close up of male sparkling gourami embracing female
Close up of male sparkling gourami embracing female

Preparation for breeding sparkling gourami

Feed well with live foods. Move the male to the breeding tank. Add an established sponge filter to his aquarium. Include floating plants in the breeding tank but makes sure there is no gravel, ie bare bottom. Lower the water to 5 inches. Raise the temperature to 82F. When the male has built a bubble nest (which is usually small and incorporates plant material) and you see a ripe plump female, place the female with the male in the breeding tank. Watch the pair. And hopefully you will see them mating. If the male overly attacks the female and she goes into hiding then remove her and try again a few days later.

Breeding sparkling gouramis

egg laid after sparkling gourami spawn
egg laid after sparkling gourami spawn

The female will approach the male. They will try to maneuvre into position and they will embrace. The male will wrap his body around the female’s and turn her upside down. This takes place a little away from the nest. At this point the female lays a few eggs which the male fertilises. The eggs are large and white. They are quickly taken in the mouth by the male and are promptly put in the nest while the female drifts down. After a minute or two this process repeats. This process repeats until all the females eggs have been laid.

Raising the sparkling gourami fry

It is better to leave the male with the nest and immediately remove the female when spawning is over. The male will guard and tend to the nest until the eggs hatch. He will continue to put the hatchling fry back into the nest until they become free swimming. At this point promptly remove the male as well. Have a tight lid and try to preserve the moist and warm air above the aquarium.
Feed the fry with infusoria for at least a week. Try a drip feed method down an airline hose through a small hole in the lid. Do water changes using the air line hose to avoid disturbing the warm air above the water surface. Change about 5% every day. After 10 days depending on the growth of the fry, start feeding brineshrimp and microworms.

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