Chocolate Gourami

Probably not as edible as a chocolate bar, this great freshwater fish picture by KooshKing is an excellent example of the Chocolate Gourami. An omnivore, the Chocolate Gourami is searching for the next taste of brine shrimp, bloodworms, or tubifex worms.

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The Chocolate Gourami, unlike some of his fellow Gouramis, takes a little more care to keep happy. Keeping the water quality clear of ammonia, nitrite, and other deadly enemies is important for the health of your fish. Cloudy fish tank water just won't cut it with the Chocolate Gourami. This colorful fish is a little more vulnerable to bacteria and parasites that attack the skin. Still, this Gourami is a peaceful fish that would do well in the right fish tank with an experienced fishkeeper . Some things to consider about the Chocolate Gourami:

  • Minimum tank size: 30 gallons
  • Adults can reach about 2 1/2"
  • Tank conditions most suitable include 75-85°F, pH 6.0-7.0
  • Best kept in pairs with a well planted tank: Java fern or Vallisneria spiralis are two choices that provide cover

The Chocolate Gourami is also a mouthbrooder. A mouthbrooder will hold their offspring in the mouth for extended periods of time. In the case of the Chocolate Gourami, the female may hold eggs in her mouth for two weeks without eating. Breeding is a very delicate process with this fish. Water quality and diet are important.

A rewarding fish to watch and care for, the Chocolate Gourami would do well with other peaceful fish such as Guppies, Danios, or Minnows

Flame Dwarf Gourami

A great shot by Chaos Kitten, this Flame Dwarf Gourami swims through driftwood and aquatic plants on it's quest for tropical fish food. A color variation of the Dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia, the Flame Dwarf Gourami will grow to about two inches long.

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Probably best kept in pairs, this non-aggressive, peaceful fish is usually found minding it's own business. I've kept a pair of Flame Dwarf Gourami in my freshwater aquarium. They were usually the last to eat and let the fish food drop to the bottom of the tank before eating. You don't need a huge aquarium to hold this fish. The Dwarf Gourami is one of the best fish for a smaller sized aquarium 10 gallons or larger. Vibrant colors and gentle attitude make it an easy fish to keep. A few other things to consider regarding the Dwarf Gourami include:

  • Water temperature between 73-82 F degrees
  • Creates a bubblenest for breeding
  • A mid-level fish dweller
  • The dorsal fin of the male Flame Dwarf Gourami is pointed, while the female's fin is rounded.

The Flame Dwarf Gourami enjoys a well planted fish tank. Floating plants are especially appreciated. My tank had tiger barbs and a few other semi aggressive fish. The Flame Gourami was definitely the shy one and would avoid the others.

A bubble nest builder, you can breed this fish by taking the level of water in the aquarium down to around 7 inches. Turn the heater up to between 83-86 F, and spawning should occur. After spawning, the female Dwarf Gourami should be removed. The eggs are watched over by the male. After the fry are free swimming, remove the male, or the fry may become his lunch. A tropical fish food specifically for small fry should be fed.

An enjoyable and vibrant fish for the community fish tank, the Flame Dwarf Gourami would add a nice shade of color to any aquarium. What's your experience with this fish?