Blue or Sumatran gourami (lat. Trichogaster trichopterus) is a beautiful and unpretentious aquarium fish. Gourami are one of the easiest fish to keep, they live for a long time and each species has its own characteristics.
Beautiful coloring, fins with which they feel the world and the habit of breathing oxygen, made the gourami quite popular and common fish.
Gourami are rather large fish and can reach 15 cm, but usually still smaller. Juveniles can be grown in an aquarium from 40 liters, but adults already need a larger volume.
Slightly aggressive males and other fish need shelter for females and less militant males. It is better to have a lot of plants and secluded places in the aquarium with Sumatran gourami.
Living in nature
Blue gourami or Sumatran lives in Southeast Asia. The range is quite wide and includes China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sumatra and other countries. In nature inhabits the lowlands flooded with water.
This is mainly stagnant or slow water - swamps, irrigation canals, rice fields, streams, even ditches. Prefers places without a current, but with abundant aquatic vegetation. During the rainy season, they migrate from rivers to spills, and in the dry season they return.
In nature, it feeds on insects and various plankton.
An interesting feature of almost all gourami is that they can hunt insects flying above the surface of the water, knocking them with a trickle of water released from their mouths.
Gurami looks out for prey, then quickly spits water into it, knocking down.
Blue gourami is a large, side-squeezed fish. The fins are large, rounded. Only the abdominal ones turned into thread-like processes, with the help of which the gourami palpates everything around him.
The fish belongs to the labyrinth, which means it knows how to breathe atmospheric oxygen, after which it regularly rises to the surface.
This mechanism has developed to compensate for poor oxygen dissolved water.
They can grow up to 15 cm, but usually less.
The average life expectancy of blue gourami is about 4 years.
Body color is blue or turquoise with two clearly visible black dots, one almost in the middle of the body, the other at the tail.
The gourami is a Sumatran omnivorous fish, in nature it feeds on insects, larvae, zooplankton. In the aquarium, it eats all kinds of feed - live, frozen, artificial.
The basis of nutrition can be made artificial feed - flakes, granules, etc. And additional food for blue gourami will be live or frozen food - bloodworms, corvette, tubule, artemia.
They eat everything, the only thing is that the gourami have a small mouth, and they cannot swallow large feeds.
Young fish can be grown in an aquarium of 40 liters, but adults need a larger volume, from 80 liters. Since gourams breathe atmospheric oxygen, it is important that the temperature difference between water and air in the room is as low as possible.
Gurams do not like the flow, and it is better to set the filter so that it is minimal. Aeration does not matter to them.
It is better to plant the aquarium densely with plants, since blue gourami can be pugnacious and places are needed where the fish can take refuge.
Water parameters can be very different, fish adapt well to various conditions. Optimal: water temperature 23-28 C, ph: 6.0-8.8, 5 - 35 dGH.
Juveniles are great for general aquariums, but in adults, the character can change. Males become aggressive and can fight with each other and other fish.
It is recommended to keep a couple, and for the female to create places where you can take refuge. Among the neighbors, it is better to choose fish that will be the same size in order to avoid conflicts.
Since gourami are good hunters, they are guaranteed to destroy all fry in the aquarium.
The male dorsal fin is longer and sharpened at the end, when the female is shorter and rounded.
The selected pair is intensely fed with live food until the female is ready for spawning and her abdomen is rounded.
Next, the couple is planted in a spawning ground, with a volume of 40 liters or more, with floating plants and thickets in which the female could take refuge.
The water level in the spawning ground should not be high, of the order of 15 cm, to facilitate the life of the fry, until it forms a labyrinth apparatus.
The temperature of the water in the aquarium is raised to 26 ° C, and the male begins to build a nest on the surface of the water from air bubbles and floating plants. As soon as the nest is ready, mating games begin, during which the male pursues the female, attracting her attention and driving her to the nest.
As soon as the female is ready, the male entwines her with his body and squeezes the eggs, while inseminating.
This is repeated several times, the female can sweep up to 800 eggs. The caviar is lighter than water and floats into the nest, the male returns the eggs that have fallen out.
Immediately after spawning, the female needs to be set aside, as the male can kill her. The male himself will guard the eggs and correct the nest until the fry appears.
As soon as the fry begins to swim out of the nest and the male needs to be removed, he can eat it.
The fry is fed with small feeds - infusoria, a microworm, until it grows up and begins to eat artemia nauplia.