The Complete Guide To Keeping Sparkling Gourami Fish – The sparkling gourami, which we know has a scientific name as Trichopsis pumila, is one of the tiny fish and membered of the labyrinth fish.
These smallest freshwater fish are also known as pygmy gourami. These tropical fish originate from Southeast Asia. In their habitat, they are commonly found in rice fields, slow rivers, and ponds.
Trichopsis comes from the greek θρίξ (thriks), which meaning hair, and ὄψις (opsis), which meaning aspect, appearance. While the Pumila comes from Latin pumilus, which meaning dwarf.
The Complete Guide To Keeping Sparkling Gourami Fish
As we know, these small gouramis fish species are labyrinth fish that have labyrinth breathing organs. This organ allows these fish to take the oxygen straight from the air, so you will see them on the water surface to take a breathe frequently.
These gouramis species can live up to 5 years. Sometimes in an aquarium with good conditions, they can live longer than it. Same with their cousin (dwarf gourami and honey gourami), they are peaceful fish, easy to take care of, too, making them are ideal for beginners.
Pygmy gouramis can sometimes be found at local fish stores or online stores. Their prices depend on health and coloration, and a healthy 1-inch sparkling gourami normally sells for $2.
They tend to prefer spending time looking the hiding places and swimming through the aquarium plants. These fish are unique and can make chirping/croaking sounds when they are happy, or matting and sound can be heard outside the tank.
While they are not schooling fish, they can be kept peacefully in a small group in the aquarium. The males tend to compete with other males for territory and attention. We recommended keeping 1 male with 3 or 4 females in the same tank.
These tiny gouramis species grow to reach up to 4 cm (1.6 inches) in length. Their body bodies are thin, streamlined, and long. Ventral fins are the thickest point on their body, and their body lessens down to the caudal peduncle rather aggressively after that.
They have taller and thin dorsal fins and can angle back while these fish swim. While their anal fins are large enough compared to their body and cover the space between their caudal and ventral fins.
The sparkling gouramis have caudal fins shaped shell-like and also have a moderate surface area. The caudal fins height never exceeds the height of the fish at their tallest point.
Almost all of their fins are blue with some black dots and thick red stripes along the margin. Another part of their bodies is typically a mix of brown, blue, and light green color. Generally, they often have darker midline bands from the pectoral fins to the base of caudal fins. And above the bands, there are some randomly spaced dots, and below, it’s usually a solid lighter color.
Due to their tiny size, the sparkling gouramis need a 10-gallons or 15-gallons aquarium for a single fish. They can be kept in a single pair or community in the aquarium. If you want to keep more than one fish, add 10 extra gallons for each fish you have. This means 20-gallons or 25-gallons for 2 fish, 30 or 35-gallons aquarium for 3, and so on.
Using dark/black substrates is the right choice for these fish. It will enhance the visual sparkles on their bodies. You can add some rocks, driftwood, or caves to the aquarium. It’s not only about decorated your tank, but it will offer hiding space for the pygmy gouramis because they are shy fish.
Planting aquarium plants are important. Not only for decorations, but they can also produce oxygen which is more beneficial for them. Besides, small live organisms like planktons, worms, and others that live between the aquarium plants create an extra food source.
You can also add some floating plants like Salvinia natans to the tank, and it will create some shady areas which more preferable by them. It would be best if you kept the aquarium’s water temperatures around 22 – 28 °C, pH between 5.0 – 7.5, and hardness between 18 – 215 ppm.
The sparkling gouramis tend to prefer subdued lighting. It’s not a problem, still, give the aquatic plants proper lighting and provide the shady areas when grown. Or, you can use aquarium plants that can survive in these conditions. If you are using plastic tank plants, use tall plastic plants and ensure the aquarium has some hiding places for the fish. Keeping aquarium lighting on for between nine until ten hours will be enough.
Trichopsis Pumila prefers sluggish and poorly oxygenated water environments. The Strong water flow should be avoided, so use the low-powered filter machines. They also can be survived in the aquarium without a powerful aeration system.
They commonly eat some small invertebrates, zooplankton, or tiny insects that live or fall into the water in their wild habitat. However, in the aquariums, they will gladly accept dried foods such as flakes and fish pellets. To enhance their colors and healthy, you should feed them live or frozen food like artemia, bloodworms, or shrimp meats.
As we know, if the sparkling gouramis are peaceful fish. So, you can keep it with another peaceful fish of a small size too. Below is a list of the compatibility tank mates for them:
- Dwarf gourami
- Honey Gourami
- Tetras Species
- Siamese Algae Eaters
- Small rasboras
They can also live together with aquarium snails and shrimps peacefully, such as Amano shrimp, apple snail, ghost shrimp, and nerite snail. Remember, do not keep them with larger fish or aggressive fish together. They will be intimidated or viewing your poor fish as a snack.
The Trichopsis Pumila is a bubble-nester. They can stimulate to breed by increasing water temperature, 3 – 5 degrees Fahrenheit. And also reducing the water level by about 6 inches (15 cm). Before breeding starts, the parents should be fed live foods.
The spawning starts when the male builds the bubble nest, it’s usually placed under the aquarium plants. Once construct the nest is completed, the spawning will begin. The male will wrap the female, and at the same time, she will lay her eggs, and he will fertilize them.
Both of them will collect the eggs and put them into the nest. This process can repeat many times during the spawn. After the spawn is complete, the female must be removed from the aquarium. The male will guard the eggs until they hatched.
When the fry is a hatch and can swim freely, the male should be removed at this point. The fry can be feed with infusoria for the first few days until they grow large enough to accept brine shrimps or micro worms.