When keeping labyrinth fish, it is very important to have a cover on the aquarium. First of all, it will protect jumping individuals from accidental death. But another important task of the lid is to maintain a special “microclimate” between it and the water surface. The fact is that gourami fish need to periodically float to the surface for the next “breath” of fresh air. If the air temperature differs significantly from the water temperature, the fish can catch inflammation and quickly die.
Gourami is a group of unpretentious labyrinth fish, which are appreciated by aquarists not only for their endurance but also for their large enough size in many species, despite which the fish remain calm and peaceful.
Gourami is the owner of a special respiratory organ – a labyrinth, which allows them to use atmospheric air for breathing. Currently, a large number of gourami species are known, which differ significantly in size: both giants and dwarfs are found in this group. Therefore, the volume of the aquarium is selected depending on the maximum size of the fish. For example, small representatives (dwarf gourami) will need an aquarium of 20 liters per pair, larger individuals – 80-100 liters.
Gourami is usually kept in pairs or groups. It is better if there are several females per male, this will reduce aggression within the group.
The best decorations will be live plants, stones, and driftwood. The latter will also be useful, releasing humic substances into the water, which have a positive effect on the well-being of fish.
Gourami is hardy fish but prefers clean aquarium water. It is imperative to install a filter, but the flow should be minimal because, in nature, fish live mainly in stagnant bodies of water. Gourami does not need a compressor, but aeration is needed for the nitrogen cycle to work properly even at night when the plants are not photosynthesizing. To maintain a comfortable water temperature, you need a thermostat.
The fish keep mainly in the upper and middle layers of the water. The maintenance includes standard procedures: water change and soil cleaning, glass cleaning, and rinsing of the filter sponges.
The range of water parameters in which gourami can live is quite wide, but the most optimal are:
- Temperature: 25-27 ° С;
- Acidity: 6.0 – 6.8;
- Hardness: up to 10.
It is especially necessary to monitor the temperature, gourami does not tolerate cold water well. Once a week, a water change is required up to 20% of the volume of the aquarium. Tap water used for water changes can be hazardous to fish. Be sure to add Tetra AquaSafe to it when replacing (5 ml per 10 liters). It will remove chlorine and heavy metals from the water, as well as add useful vitamins and protective colloids.
Gourami does not belong to lovers of bright light, so it is better to dim it, for example, with the help of floating plants.
Any soil is suitable for the content – from sand to pebble. It is better to choose dark shades that emphasize the color of the fish.
Live plants are a must in a gopuram aquarium. They are usually planted in groups, not forgetting to leave a place for swimming. Any popular plant species will do – Cryptocoryne, Elodea, Vallisneria, Anubias. Gourami fish, if necessary, can hide in the thickets. Floating plants – riccia, pistia – will naturally dim the light, and can also be an excellent substrate for males to build nests. It should be noted that there should also be free areas on the surface of the water so that the fish can take a “breath” of air.
For healthy growth and proper development, gourami in-home aquariums are best-fed quality dry food. It is advisable to exclude live and frozen food from the diet, due to its inferiority and potential danger of infecting.
Gourami is picky about food, but fish have a small mouth, so the size of the food should be appropriate. Good choices are:
- TetraPro Energy – chips for all types of ornamental fish, made according to a special gentle production technology, which allows you to keep even more vitamins and nutrients in the raw material. The center of the chips contains an energy concentrate to increase the activity of the fish. High digestibility of components helps to reduce water pollution.
- TetraMin Granules is a versatile food for tropical fish in the form of small granules. Slowly sinking to the bottom, it is perfectly eaten by gourami living in the middle layers of the aquarium.
- TetraMin is a basic flake food for all tropical fish. It is made from more than 40 types of raw materials and is perfect for the daily nutrition of fish.
It is necessary to feed the gourami fish several times a day with such an amount of food that can be completely eaten by the fish in a few minutes. It is worth noting that a 5-10-day hunger strike for gourami passes without any consequences. In such cases, they actively hunt planarian or bottom snails if present in the aquarium.
Gourami, despite the rather large size of some species, is quite a peaceful fish. They are very common in community aquariums. Fights can take place between relatives or similar species. To minimize aggression, keep your fish in a large aquarium with plenty of covers.
The gouramis are suitable for neighbors: small characin (neons, minors, rasbora), apistograms, scalars, peaceful catfish (ancistrus and corridors).
Keeping with large carnivorous, as well as overly active fish, for example, Sumatran barbs, should be excluded. The latter easily bite off the fins and sensitive antennae of the gourami. Themselves as large gourami can easily feast on fry or shrimp.
The average lifespan of most gourami species in an aquarium is 5-7 years.