Moonlight Gourami Is Amazing Silvery Labyrinth Fish – Trichopodus microlepis, commonly called “Moonlight Gourami,” is another silvery beautiful gouramis fish type. These fish are also known as “Moonbeam Gourami,” are attractive species and have become popular aquarium fish among hobbyists.
They are members of the Osphronemidae family and native to Indochina (Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam) and some populations found in the floodplains of the Mekong rivers.
These fish usually inhabit still and slowly moving waters with dense vegetation like swamps, lakes, bogs, and lowland ponds in their habitat. The moonlight gourami tends to spend most of their time swimming around heavy vegetation areas.
In Southeast Asia, T. microlepis farmed as food and became some local snacks. These days, most of them are intended for aquarium trades, the mass-produced majority in Eastern Europe and the Far East. Generally, for a single healthy adult, moonlight gourami is priced starting at $8.
Moonlight Gourami Is Amazing Silvery Labyrinth Fish
Moonlight Gourami Appearance
These freshwater gourami fish have compressed and long bodies. They have a concave curve that distinguishes them from other gourami species. Their ventral fins are longer and needle-like, which is sensitive to touch.
The males’ pelvic and dorsal fins usually develop red or orange, while the females’ are yellow or colorless. The females’ dorsal fins are mostly shorter and rounder than the male.
The moonlight gourami has small scales with silvery color and becoming attractive greenish iridescence when they grow mature. Their anal fins, which stretch along the length of their belly, have nice pastel green color. Another interesting feature of these tropical fish species is orange or red eyes which are quite striking.
They can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) when fully mature. The average lifespan is 4 years and may become longer in the well-kept aquarium.
Moonlight Gourami Behavior And Temperaments
Like most labyrinth fish species, the moonbeam gourami fish have a special organ that allows them to take air directly. These labyrinth organs support them to survive in the very low oxygens environment.
So, don’t be surprised if you see the moonlight gourami always reach up the water surface many times. Besides, they tend to swim in the middle and upper levels of the aquarium.
Generally, they are quiet, peaceful, and timid gourami fish species. But, the male sometimes becomes territorial and aggressive with another male in the tank with not enough space. Recommended keeping one male and one female in the same aquarium. Putting 1 male and 2 females is wrong because the female not chosen will be attacked by the couple.
Moonlight Gourami Housing, Aquarium Setup, And Care
These fish can be housed in solo, pair, group, and community. The minimum tank they needed is a 20-gallon tank for a single fish and 30 gallons for pair and more than it to keep in group or community.
There are no limitations for choosing the substrate type or color. You can use sand or gravel form. We recommended using flourite black sand, and it can pop up its pretty silvery color in the aquarium.
Planting plenty of aquarium plants like their natural habitat can boost their health and happiness levels. You can start with the easiest aquatic stem plants or moss plants, or whatever you like. Adding some floating plants can offer more shady areas and breeding media for them.
Keep the water conditions and water flowing at a low level with a high-quality, gentle filtration system because they dislike the strong movement and may destroy their bubble nest.
The moonlight gourami grows well under the dim lighting system. The airstone is unnecessary because they can survive without it. If you want to keep them, you should follow the rules below:
- Water Temperature: 25-30°C (77-86°F)
- pH Level: 6.0-7.5
- Water Hardness: 2-25 dH
Moonlight Gourami Tankmates
Tankmates for Trichopodus microlepis should behave similarly characteristics with them. Other similar-sized gourami types such as dwarf gourami and kissing gourami may be good solutions. Other species like corydoras, peaceful pleco species, and angelfish can also keep together.
Avoid the larger, aggressive, and territorial species; it can intimidate the moonbeam gourami. The smaller fish should not be included too. It can be bullying by them or become a snack.
The clown barbs and other fin-nipping species must be avoided too. The long ventral fins of T. microlepis look very tempting by them.
Moonlight Gourami Feeding
In the wild, these gourami fish types are omnivorous and may hunt some small invertebrates, insects, larvae, and zooplankton also accepts algae. In the aquarium, they do not picky fish and eat dried food such as algae-based flakes or pellets.
However, the recommended food is still live or frozen food including, bloodworm, artemia, frozen meat shrimps, and other similar food types. It can enhance their beautiful coloration and increased their health level.
Moonlight Gourami Breeding
Like most other gourami fish types, these fish actually bubble nesters. Before breeding, they should be fed with live foods to stimulate them to spawn.
Prepare a separate breeding tank to prevent the other fish from predating the eggs and fry. The water should be very soft and decreased to a depth of about 6 inches.
Keep pH level slightly acidic and increased the water temperature to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Use dark gravel and provide the aquarium stem plants and more floating aquatic plants as media for their nest.
Once the building bubble nest is complete, the male will begin to spawning by courting the female. When females respond to it, the spawning session begins.
During the spawning, the male will wrap himself to the female body. At this moment, the female will release her eggs, and then it fertilized by the male. Male will collect the eggs then blow them up into the nest. Females Trichopodus microlepis can produce up to 2000 eggs during spawning.
When the spawning is over, the female may move to a separate tank. The male will guard the nest until the eggs are hatching. The incubation process is normally in 2 – 3 days. After the fry is born, the male still guards them until the babies can be free-swimming. On this point, you should remove the male to prevent him eat their babies.
The free-swimming fry must be fed with infusoria until they can accept the larger food such as brine shrimps.