Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami
|Scientific Name||Trichogaster lalius|
|Minimum Water Size||10+ gallons (37.85+ liters)|
|Ease Of Care||Moderate|
|Average Lifespan||4 years|
|Approximate Adult Size||3.5 inches (8.89 centimeters)|
|Water Parameters||72-86 degrees Fahrenheit (22.22-30 degrees Celsius), 4-10 KH, 6.0-7.5 pH|
|Native Region||Southern Asia|
The dwarf gourami gets it's name from the fact that it is a smaller version of another species of gourami. In appearance they are more plump when looking head-on, and shorter in length when compared to gouramis. These fish have a very vibrant personality as they will inspect anything that is add, changed, or removed from their territory. Sadly, having multiple (or any species of fish that is within the anabantids grouping) fish will make the fish be highly aggressive with the other and fight till one of them normally dies from stress or damage. Although some have reported of owning multiple dwarf gouramis within a single tank, these tanks are normally 40+ gallons (151.4+ liters) with lots of hiding spots so that each dwarf gourami can make a claim on it's area. Due to the river's flow these fish have developed a very remarkable organ (called the labyrinth organ) to allow for them to breathe either through their gills if enough water current is present, or breathe directly from the surface of the water. All anabantids (bettas, gouramis, and paradise fish) will require access to a fresh supply of air as they are still required to get a small gulp of air every few minutes in order to keep their labyrinth organ working properly.
Dwarf gouramis have very thin pieces of muscle that is attached to their bodies (one on each side) which appear as antennas, however are actually feelers. These feelers allow for the dwarf gourami to sense water current, feel other fish or objects, and also let them see how much space is around them. Most of the dwarf gouramis that are found within aquarium stores will be male, as the female dwarf gouramis have a dull silver to blue body with very faint yellow stripes along their body. Due to various demand for these vibrant fish, various breeders sadly made all dwarf gourami's genes weaker allowing for an iridovirus, commonly called Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus after them, which will slowly kill the fish. Due to the odd nature of this iridovirus, it is hard to tell if a dwarf gourami has it until months later when the fish starts to show the various signs. Sadly there is no current cure to this iridovirus even though there have been various reports of medicines (or solutions) that have removed it. One of the various positive sidse to the various breeding of dwarf gouramis is the fact that their coloration is very vibrant, and covers the whole fish from fin to head.
The dwarf gourami can be breed somewhat moderately, although you must have separate containers as leaving the female and male together for a period of time will create an aggressive environment (even right after they have spawned). The male dwarf gourami will first build a bubblenest at the top of the water's surface in a calm section (bubbles that will stay there for up to a week without popping, and may include plant leaves) in order to place the eggs once the female releases them. He then will wrap his whole body and fins around the female while they start to sink towards the bottom. Doing so, the female will release eggs into the water column with the male also now releasing his own sperm into the water. Once the couple has made it almost half way down, they will separate while the male collects the eggs (he will either eat them temporarily or take each one and place it into the bubblenest right away) and then continue to repeat this until the female no longer cares for the male. Once this occurs, it is recommend to remove the female right away as the male will care for the bubblenest until the fry start to hatch within 24 hours. When it gets close to the hatching hours, we suggest that you remove the male dwarf gourami so that he cannot eat any of the fry swimming fry.
Dwarf gouramis will gladly accept any form of flake, pellet, frozen and or freeze dried food, live foods, and also any wafers if present. In order to see the best coloration of any dwarf gourami, it is suggest that you give them a varied diet which is based around feeding them a plant based food (mostly what flakes are made of), and then slightly a meaty food such as pellets or live foods.