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Maximum size : 20 cm

Snakeskin Gourami - Trichopodus pectoralis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Snakeskin Gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis) is a fascinating species of fish that boasts a unique and charming appearance. Despite not being as colourful as other tropical fish, its subtle beauty is truly captivating. This peaceful and hardy fish is an excellent addition to a community tank that includes other gouramies or medium-sized peaceful fish. However, its slow growth rate means it may grow quite large, so care should be taken to avoid mixing it with tiny fish. Snakeskin Gouramis will thrive in an aquarium that provides an ample amount of plant cover and a gentle flow. It is recommended to choose robust or quickly growing plants as this species appreciates green food in their diet. It is essential to leave a small gap between the water surface and the coverslides as these Gouramis possess a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air. Proper water flow, lighting, and temperature conditions should also be maintained for the optimal growth and health of the fish. The Snakeskin Gourami's elongated and compressed body is complemented by small dorsal fins and long thread-like pelvic fins. Juvenile Snakeskin Gouramis display intense zig-zag lines from the base of their tails to their eyes. These fish have olive backs and greenish-grey flanks with a silvery sheen. Their underparts are white, and a distinct black band extends from their nose, through the eye, and to the caudal peduncle. Faint oblique stripes may appear on the rear portion of their bodies. The fins of these fish are greyish-green, and their iris may have an amber hue under optimal water conditions.

Snakeskin Gourami Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Snakeskin Gouramis (Trichopodus pectoralis) exhibit distinct sexual dimorphism that allows them to be identified relatively easily. Males possess pointed dorsal fins, and their pelvic fins are orange to red, while their overall body shape is slimmer. On the other hand, females are relatively plumper and have a much duller appearance than their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameTrichopodus pectoralis
Year Described1910
Other NamesNone
OriginsThailand Vietnam Cambodia Laos
Max Size20 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespan3- 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 8.5
GH2 - 30
72 - 86
22.2 - 30

Natural habitat

The Snakeskin Gourami can be found throughout the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins of Thailand, Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in Southeast Asia, as well as in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, New Caledonia, and Sri Lanka. The Snakeskin Gourami is known for its remarkable adaptability and resilience, inhabiting shallow ponds, swamps, and rice paddies where the water is slow-flowing, sometimes still and sluggish, and covered in dense vegetation. They are also known to occur in flooded forests in the lower Mekong, gradually returning to rivers once floodwaters subside, demonstrating their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments. Join us as we explore the lush and vibrant lands of Southeast Asia and discover the incredible beauty and diversity of the Snakeskin Gourami. From their unique habitats to their remarkable adaptability and resilience, the Snakeskin Gourami is a true marvel of the natural world and a must-see for any fish enthusiast. Whether observed in the wild or kept as a prized aquarium species, the Snakeskin Gourami is sure to capture your heart and imagination.

How to breed the Snakeskin Gourami

To breed Snakeskin Gouramis, a separate breeding tank should be set up with shallow water and plenty of floating plants. The filtration system needs to be gentle, and air-powered filters are recommended. Prior to breeding, the fish should be conditioned with live or frozen food. During spawning, the male will guide the eggs under the nest, and this process may be repeated several times, resulting in the production of up to 5000 eggs. The male will continue to protect the eggs until they hatch, at which point he will tend to the fry until they become free-swimming 12-14 days later. After hatching, the fry will be very sensitive to fluctuations in water temperature, and special care is required for the first few months. They should be fed infusoria during the first week, followed by artemia, microworms, and nauplii as they grow larger. It is important to remove the male from the tank before he consumes the fry, and the water quality should be maintained consistently to avoid any potential health issues.

Diet & feeding

The Snakeskin Gourami has a diverse diet consisting of live, fresh, and flake foods. To maintain optimal health, it is recommended to feed them twice a day with high-quality flake or pellet food as a staple diet. These Gouramis are known to consume a significant amount of green foods in their natural habitat. Therefore, they require regular offerings of spirulina, algae wafers, and blanched lettuce to maintain a balanced diet. Additionally, bloodworms, brine shrimp, white worms, or other appropriate substitutes may be provided as a supplement. It is worth noting that Snakeskin Gouramis do not prey on snails and fry.

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