Licorice Gourami (Parosphromenus deissneri) Fish Species Profile

Licorice Gourami is a unique, beautiful small labyrinth fish that is very shy and peaceful and should be kept with there own species or fish of similar size that shares a mild temperament. This species is quite rare and very hard to get hold of.

These fish have a black and silvery-grey striped body with black dorsal, anal, and caudal fins that display a series of electric blue oval-shaped markings along their lengths. These fins are also edged with a whiteish-blue colour. The pelvic fins are an opalescent blueish-green with a whiteish-blue filamentous tip, while the pectoral fins are transparent.

Scientific NameParosphromenus deissneri
Other NamesNone
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespanup to 10 years
Maximum Sizeup to 4 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature71 - 82 ℉ (21.7 - 27.8 ℃)
PH3.5 - 6.5
GH2 - 10

Origins of the Licorice Gourami

The Licorice Gourami is endemic to the Bangka Belitung province in Indonesia where it inhabits heavily vegetated, slow-flowing blackwaters in streams, creeks and forest peat swamps. These waters are tea colour due to the occupancy of humic acids and other chemicals releasing by decaying organic materials.


Licorice Gouramis must be fed with live foods such as tubifex, daphnia, blood worms, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. Frozen forms of daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp are also accepted sometimes, but they are not adequately nutritious so, the live ones are always more dependable.

Some individuals may take commercial dry fish foods, but most of the fish do not. The diet must be varied regularly to provide proper subsistence.

Sexing the Licorice Gourami

It is quite difficult to sex these fish on most occasions as both males and females are capable of rapidly changing colour depending on mood and become significantly darker when aggressive. However, males have more intense and vibrant colours than females, whereas females are slightly smaller and less colourful than males.

Breeding the Licorice Gourami

Licorice Gouramis are cave breeders. A separate breeding tank is required for this species. Adding Java moss or pipes can be helpful as they provide the best spawning spots and additional security to the fish.

The male fish will select a territory with a natural cave such as under stones or leaves and will attempt to attract females. They then construct a bubble nest inside of the cave where spawning takes place.

The male is responsible for the eggs and the offspring protecting and guarding them while the female, once done her part, will clear off and can sometimes eat the fry, Hence why it is better to remove the female just after the spawning.

The incubation period is around 24-36 hours. The fry will become mobile around 4-6 days later, and will then become free-swimming roughly 3-4 days after that.

The fry needs pristine water, so daily water changes are necessary to help the fry grow healthy. They can stay along with the parents if no other fish are present in the aquarium. The fry initially feeds on infusoria or equivalent and will start to accept micro worms or brine shrimp a few days later.

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Date Added: 9/23/2020 - Updated: 9/23/2020 10:52:14 PM