Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis vittata) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Sparkling Gourami is a peaceful, calm little fish, ideal for small planted tanks. These are delicate fish, however, and even though it is easy to keep, the water parameters need to be watched closely, and plenty of hiding spots is ideal as they can be quite shy.
These fish have a unique labyrinth breathing organ that allows them to take in oxygen straight from the air, instead of getting oxygen in the surrounding water like other fish.
The Sparkling Gourami glistens with green, red and blue tones and can produce an evident croaking noise using a specialised pectoral mechanism. In the correct light, its eyes appear bright blue, and its arrowhead-shaped body and caudal fins reflect a rainbow of colours as it swims.
|Scientific Name||Trichopsis vittata|
|Other Names||Pygmy Gourami, Dwarf Croaking Gouramies|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||4 - 5 years|
|Temperature||77 - 83 ℉ (25 - 28.3 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 19|
Natural Habitat of the Sparkling Gourami
These Gouramis are scattered throughout the lower Mekong River basin in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well as in watersheds across central and southern Thailand in Southeast Asia.
You will find the Sparkling Gourami in all types of still to slow-moving, predominantly lowland habitats, including swamp forest, peat swamps, swamp forests, roadside ditches, floodplains, river tributaries, irrigation canals, and paddy fields. They also display a definite preference for sluggish to still environments with dense growths of riparian or aquatic vegetation.
Other Gouramis of interest
Sparkling Gouramis will usually accept dried products such as granules, flakes or pellets once they are recognised as edible. Still, they should be offered plenty of small live or frozen foods such as artemia, daphnia, Artemia or chironomid larvae to guarantee the development of optimal condition and colour.
Breeding the Sparkling Gourami
A separate breeding tank will be required unless the fish are already being maintained alone. It should have a tight-fitting cover as the fry will need access to a layer of warm, humid air to allow the development of the labyrinth organ.
The couple does not need to be separated before spawning. The male will build the nest in a canister or tube, amongst fine-leaved surface vegetation or under a thick plant leaf.
He will not usually tolerate the female in the vicinity until it is complete.
Spawning usually occurs underneath the nest in a warm embrace with the male wrapping himself around the female. At the point of climax, a few eggs and milt are released in a batch. The male will then collect and transport them to the nest. This period is then repeated until the female has run out of eggs.
Once spawning is complete, the adults can usually be left where they are, even though the female is no longer actively involved with the male who takes sole responsibility for tending to and guarding the nest.
The eggs will then hatch approximately 24-48 hours later where they will remain in the nest for a further 2-3 days until the yolk sac is fully absorbed. The male will then continue to collect and return any fry that fall.
Once the fry becomes free swimming, the male will also lose interest, but the adults do not usually consume their offspring.
They require infusoria-grade food for the first few days, after which they can accept motile foods such as artemia, microworm and nauplii.
Water changes should be small and regular rather than large and irregular.