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Maximum size : 4 cm

Licorice Gourami - Parosphromenus deissneri : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Licorice Gourami (Parosphromenus deissneri) is a captivating, small labyrinth fish that is extremely peaceful and shy, best suited to be kept with its own species or other similar-sized fish with a mild temperament. This rare species is a coveted addition to any aquarium, but it is crucial to ensure that the tank is biologically mature before adding them. To create a suitable environment for Licorice Gouramis, it is recommended to provide them with plenty of hiding places among tangles of bogwood, rocky caves, and dense vegetation, including floating plants that can help diffuse light. Using a dark-colored substrate and background will help enhance their coloration and confidence. Efficient filtration is crucial, and the water movement should be gentle. For best results, Licorice Gouramis should be kept in pairs or small groups, with small, peaceful tankmates that thrive under soft, acidic conditions. Excellent companions may include shoals of small Cyprinids such as Boraras, Dwarf Barbs, Kuhli Loaches, and Micro Rasboras. Using aquarium peat as a filter medium can help replicate the natural water conditions and promote the well-being of this species. The addition of leaf litter to the aquarium will also aid in creating a more natural environment for this species. Water quality should be closely monitored since Licorice Gouramis cannot tolerate elevated nitrates or swings in water chemistry. Small partial water changes should be carried out frequently to maintain optimal water conditions. In addition to their black and silvery-grey stripes, Licorice Gouramis have electric blue oval-shaped markings along their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. Their fins are also edged with a whiteish-blue color, and their pelvic fins are opalescent blueish-green with a whiteish-blue filamentous tip. The pectoral fins are transparent, adding to the allure of this captivating species.

Licorice Gourami Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sex of Licorice Gouramis can be challenging as both male and female have the ability to change their color rapidly based on their mood. However, males typically exhibit more vibrant and intense colors than females. In contrast, females are usually smaller and less colorful compared to males. It is worth noting that both sexes may become significantly darker when they are feeling aggressive.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameParosphromenus deissneri
Year Described1859
Other NamesNone
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH3.5 - 6.5
GH2 - 10
71 - 82
21.7 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Licorice Gourami is native to the Bangka Belitung province in Indonesia, where it can be found inhabiting the heavily vegetated, slow-flowing blackwaters of streams, creeks, and forest peat swamps. One of the most remarkable features of the Licorice Gourami's natural habitat is the tea colour of the water. This unique colouration is caused by the presence of humic acids and other chemicals released by decaying organic materials, creating a mesmerizing and captivating sight that has enchanted fish enthusiasts around the world. Join us as we explore the incredible beauty and diversity of the Licorice Gourami, from its origins in the lush and vibrant lands of the Bangka Belitung province to the unique characteristics of its natural habitat. Discover the secrets of this remarkable species and witness firsthand its adaptability and resilience in the challenging environments of slow-flowing blackwaters. The Licorice Gourami is a true wonder of the natural world and a must-see for any fish enthusiast.

How to breed the Licorice Gourami

Licorice Gouramis are cave-spawning fish, which require a separate breeding tank with the addition of Java moss or pipes for optimal breeding conditions. Male fish usually select a territory with a natural cave, like under stones or leaves, to construct a bubble nest inside where the spawning takes place, attracting female fish for breeding. The male is responsible for guarding and protecting the eggs and offspring, while the female typically departs after spawning, as she may consume the fry. Therefore, it is advisable to remove the female after spawning is complete. The incubation period of the eggs is approximately 24-36 hours, and the fry will become mobile in about 4-6 days, followed by becoming free-swimming 3-4 days later. To ensure optimal growth and development, it is crucial to maintain pristine water quality, requiring daily water changes for the fry. The fry can remain with the parents in the absence of other fish in the aquarium. The fry's initial diet comprises of infusoria or equivalent, and they will start accepting micro worms or brine shrimp after a few days.

Diet & feeding

Licorice Gouramis have specific dietary requirements to ensure their optimal health. Although some individuals may accept commercial dry fish foods, live foods are a must in their diet. These include tubifex, daphnia, bloodworm, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae. Frozen forms of these foods may be accepted by some, but live foods are more nutritious and dependable. It is recommended to provide a varied diet regularly to ensure proper subsistence. As these fish have delicate digestive systems, feeding them with a diverse range of live foods can promote a healthy gut and overall wellbeing.

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