Banded Gourami (Trichogaster fasciata)
Banded Gouramis are a shy, peaceful species that make an excellent addition to most peaceful community aquariums; however, they can be aggressive when spawning, although males will usually only squabble amongst themselves or fish that are similarly coloured. These fish are best maintained in pairs; however, if you have a large enough aquarium, a small group of five or six will be ok also.
Banded Gouramis will get along fine with Barbs, Danios, Rasboras, Loaches and Catfish. In a large aquarium, you can house these Gouramis with other Gourami species; however, they have been known to hybridize with Thick Lipped Gouramis. Banded Gouramis are very timid; they scare easily and take some time to adapt to conditions in the aquarium; therefore, you should choose their tank mates carefully.
Banded Gouramis do best in a quiet, dimly lit, heavily planted aquarium with plenty of floating plants for shade. In addition, you should provide a sandy substrate or fine dark gravel alongside some driftwood branches and roots to give these fish plenty of places to hide.
Banded Gouramis do not appreciate bright lighting or strong currents, so only provide them with enough light for the plants to grow and keep the water movement to a minimum. These Gouramis prefer slightly acidic water but are tolerant to a wide range of water conditions.
Male Banded Gouramis have an orange body colour with iridescent blue stripes. In addition, their caudal fin has blue spots at the base and bright red spots towards the end. The anal fin is iridescent blue and has red edges at the end of the spines, and adult males develop pointed anal and dorsal fins. You will find several colour variations of this fish, depending on their geographical location. Females have the same basic colour patterns as males but, like the Dwarf Gourami, are a more pale greyish colour. Females also have more rounded fins compared to the pointed fins of males.
Tank Mates for the Banded Gourami
10 ideal tank mate ideas for the Banded Gourami include:
|Scientific Name||Trichogaster fasciata|
|Other Names||Striped Gourami|
|Origins||Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 15|
|72 - 82℉|
22.2 - 27.8℃
Photos of the Banded Gourami
Banded Gouramis are endemic to Pakistan, Assam, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar in Northern India. They inhabit slow-moving to sluggish waters in ponds, ditches, lakes and large rivers covered with heavy vegetation.
In several parts of India and Pakistan, Banded Gouramis are aquacultured in rice paddies and used for food as a secondary means of income for local farmers.
What to feed the Banded Gourami
Banded Gouramis will do well with almost any type of food, but it is recommended to feed your Gouramis a varied diet to ensure they get all of the nutrition they need and keep them happy.
High-quality dried food such as tropical flakes, granules or pellet food should be the staple of their diet, supplementing this with fresh vegetables and algae wafers as well as live, frozen and freeze-dried food such as bloodworm, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and daphnia.
How to sex the Banded Gourami
It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between male and female Banded Gouramis. Males are far more colourful than females and develop pointed anal and dorsal fins as they mature and are usually slightly larger than females. In contrast, females are duller, are somewhat smaller than males and have rounded fins rather than pointed.
How to breed the Banded Gourami
Breeding the Banded Gourami is not very difficult, but the behaviour of males can be somewhat unpredictable.
It is best to provide a separate breeding tank and keep the water level low. Normal water parameters are sufficient, but you should raise the temperature slightly. Add a small soft sponge filter or some peat filters along with some fine-leaved plants such as Hornwort or Milfoil, as well as some floating plants such as Ricca to feel comfortable.
Sometimes, during courtship and after building a nest, males will think that females are opponents and bully them. Therefore, plants are essential for females to have a place to retreat.
A male and one or more females will need to be conditioned well with small helpings of frozen and live foods several times a day. When the females are well-fed, they should start filling out with eggs, appearing very round. Transfer one or more females into the breeding tank several days before the male, preferably in the dark, and continue to feed them conditioning foods. Then add the male.
This species of Gourami are bubble nest builders. In an aquarium, you will see a group of bubbles on the top of the water. Once the nest has been constructed, males will usually start wooing in the afternoon or evening. He will raise his dorsal fin and start swimming around a female, trying to attract her to his nest.
If the female is willing, she will start circling with the male. To lay eggs, she will touch the male with her mouth on the back or tail. The male then embraces the female, eventually turning her back to back, and the female will release about five dozen clean eggs.
Once the female lays her eggs, the male will immediately fertilize them. Eggs are much lighter than water and will float to the top. The male will collect any eggs that are not in the nest with his mouth and place them in his bubble nest.
The pair will then spawn again until anything from 300 to 800 eggs are produced. If there are also other females in the tank, the male may breed with all of them.
Once spawning is complete, you should remove the females from the tank; otherwise, the male will become intolerant and possibly attack them. However, he will continue to manage and guard the eggs until they hatch.
The fry will hatch within 12-24 hours and continue developing within the bubble nest's protection. After three days, they will be free swimming and leave the nest; at this point, you then need to remove the male, or he will consume the fry.
Banded Gourami fry is tiny and should be fed infusoria or liquid fry food for the first week or two. After this, the babies will then be large enough to accept baby brine shrimp, microworm and crushed flake food.
Make sure you keep the tank very well covered throughout the initial stages; this way, the labyrinth organ will develop properly.