Labyrinth fish pearl gourami has amazing beauty. It has an elongated body, compressed from the sides, about 11 cm long, light silver in color with a purple tint and a scattering of numerous pearl spots. In the middle along the entire body to the tail there is a dark strip. The lower part of the abdomen has a reddish tint.
Pearl Gourami – Contents
In nature, the fish lives in ponds with slow-flowing water and dense thickets. Therefore, the labyrinth gourami, when kept in an aquarium, needs a clean environment, sunlight and abundant vegetation. It can breathe atmospheric air, is unpretentious, adapts well to different conditions, and is suitable for beginners. Individuals live for a long time – about eight years.
The volume of the aquarium for gourami
This type of fish is recommended to be kept in aquariums with a volume of at least 40 liters for 2-3 individuals, 60 liters is enough for 6-7. It is better to populate them with small harems – for one male – two or three females. The pearl gourami is able to breathe atmospheric air with the help of a gill labyrinth, which can cause illness due to the capture of cold air by the fish. Therefore, the maintenance of gourami in an aquarium provides for the indispensable presence of a lid. It should not close tightly so that the space is well ventilated. The optimal distance to the lid is 5 cm.
How to equip an aquarium for gourami?
Pearl gourami aquarium fish need a pond with dense greenery, free swimming areas, the presence of grottoes and snags as shelter and places to rest and sleep. It is better to plant more plants in the aquarium, gouramis will be happy to hide in them. You can use variegated, vallisneria, elodea, it is desirable to place duckweed in the form of floating “islands” on the surface. It is imperative to leave a place where the individual can emerge up to breathe oxygen.
Light aeration for pearl fish will be useful. The type of lighting does not matter – artificial or natural. But mother-of-pearl coloring in a bright environment looks more advantageous. As a soil, it is advisable to use fine river sand with a low silt layer of 5 cm – it is convenient to plant plants in it. The color of the fish looks great against the dark background of the bottom. Filtration is desirable, but it is important that a strong current is not created in the vessel – gouramis love calm water. Individuals swim in its middle or upper layer.
Temperature for gourami in an aquarium
Pearl gourami are heat-loving fish, their maintenance requires maintaining the water temperature at 24-27 ° C. In cooler conditions, they are prone to colds. Therefore, a vessel for keeping pearl gourami should be equipped with a heater with a thermostat. The optimal water parameters are hardness up to 16 °, slightly acidic with a pH level of 6-7.
Pearl gourami – compatibility with other fish
The shimmering pearl gourami is a peaceful and slightly shy fish, but it can be offended by other more aggressive inhabitants of the aquarium, even smaller ones. She herself does not enter into conflict – she prefers to hide in the bushes. These fish have thread-like ventral fins with which they feel everything around them. Additional difficulties arise because of these “long antennae”, which are encroaching on almost all the inhabitants of the aquarium. Gourami are also not too brisk during feeding, it is important to ensure that they get food.
It is better for them to choose more phlegmatic peaceful fish as neighbors. Who do gourami get along with in an aquarium:
In view of the commitment to clean water, pearl gourami, when cared for and kept in an aquarium, needs its weekly replacement of 30%. This is required for the healthy development of the fish. Gourami are picky eaters and omnivores. Due to the fact that individuals have a small mouth, they cannot eat large food. The basis of the diet can be taken artificial flakes or granules.
The best delicacy for them will be live food – small bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, coretra, chopped tubifex, small crustaceans are given between spawning. Fish also eat dry, frozen compositions, the main thing is that they are medium-sized. Adults will be able to survive without feeding for 5-8 days, if left without food for a longer period, they will die.
Baby gourami care
Gourami fry with yolk sacs hatch in the spawning ground, due to which they feed on the first 2-3 days. Then they need special food – live food for young animals: rotifers, ciliates, microworms, boiled egg yolk, rubbed through cheesecloth. After 7-8 days, Artemia nauplii can be given. You can feed 5-6 times a day in small portions. On dry food, young animals may die.
For the first three weeks, the water level in the spawning area is maintained at 10 cm, the temperature is 29 ° C, aeration should be low-current so that the fish are not sucked into the device. After that, the labyrinth apparatus will already form in the young, and they will begin to rise to the surface to take a sip of oxygen. After a few weeks, the fry can be settled with all the fish. Young gourami in the general aquarium must be fed protein-rich food so that the scales develop properly and acquire an attractive color.
Pearl gourami – breeding
To obtain a normal offspring in pearl gourami, reproduction is planned for late spring or early summer, when small food is available – ciliates, live dust. For spawning, a separate aquarium of 20-40 liters is prepared with a water level of 20-30 cm without soil. It should be softer than in the main vessel – up to 7 °, with a pH level of 7.0. From plants, a bunch of Riccia is placed in it, a container is placed in a darkened, calm place. Eight-month-old individuals are chosen for breeding, a week before spawning, females are separated from males and fed with live food, preferably bloodworms.
Pearl gourami – how to distinguish a female from a male?
Separating males and females is easy, they differ in appearance. Pearl gourami – how to determine the gender:
- the male is much larger than the female, has a brighter color, an elongated anal and pointed dorsal fin;
- the female has a more modest size and faded color, the fin on the back is rounded, the body is fuller;
- it is easy to determine the sex during spawning – the chest and abdomen of the male are painted in a bright orange hue.
Spawning pearl gourami
The female, ready for spawning, noticeably gains weight. Then the couple is planted in a spawning ground, the water temperature is gradually increased to 28-30 ° C by replacing it with a warmer one. The male immediately proceeds to build a nest among floating plants from foam, which he fastens with saliva. When it is ready (it takes 1-3 days to build a house), mating games begin. The male takes care of the female, invites her to the nest, squeezes out the eggs. The grains float to the surface, the fish catches them and places them in the foam. For one spawning, the female lays up to 2000 eggs, after which she can be planted.
The male takes care of the offspring – guards, corrects the nest until the fry swim. After the young start to leave the house, the father is also put away so that he does not start eating them, and they are fattening the young fish. They grow quickly, but unevenly. Fry should be sorted by size so that large ones do not eat small ones. Gourami spawning in a common aquarium often ends with adults eating the young. But such a process is still useful for the female – this way she is freed from eggs and does not get sick with cysts, while maintaining the ability to reproduce.
Diseases of pearl gourami
The handsome pearl gourami, whose conditions of detention meet all the requirements, does not get sick much, is considered a hardy fish, but sometimes it can fall ill. The causative agents of diseases are microscopic fungi, viruses, bacteria, ciliates, worms. The most common diseases:
- Lymphocytosis. Wounds, grayish nodules or flat black growths appear on the body of the fish. The affected areas swell, the individual looks like sprinkled with flour. To preserve the most valuable fish, each lymphocyst is cauterized with red-hot rods with a cross section of 2 mm. Vegetation is destroyed, soil, inventory are disinfected by boiling for 30 minutes.
- Pseudomonosis. Gourami develop dark spots that turn into purple sores through which other infections can enter the body. For treatment, a quarantine aquarium is used, to which a solution of potassium permanganate is added at the rate of 0.5 grams per 10 liters of water. Keep the fish in the solution for 15 minutes. You can add bilizzin-5 to a common vessel at 500,000 IU per 100 liters, repeat the procedure at least 6 times a day.
- Aeromonosis. It gets to the fish with food, at the initial stage the scales of individuals rise up, they stop eating, lie on the ground, the abdomen swells and becomes covered with red smudges. The disease is contagious and intractable, the fish must be removed for at least 10 days, the aquarium must be completely disinfected. At the initial stage, gourami can be cured by adding 200-250 mg of sulfamonometoxin or 30-50 mg of erythrocycline per 1 liter of water to a container. The fish, which has an extensive raising of scales and dropsy, is destroyed – it cannot be treated.