SPARKLING GOURAMI - Trichopsis pumila

Trichopsis pumila.jpg
"Trichopsis pumila" by Zikamoi - Photo: Wikipedia (C)
Sparkling Gourami (T. pumila)
Growing to approximately 1 1/2 inches in length, the sparkling, or pygmy, gourami (T. pumila) is the smallest member of the genus. Males are slightly larger than females. T. pumila is a living jewel with numerous iridescent blue spots along the upper body and in the unpaired fins. The unpaired fins can be edged with a red or whitish band. The body pattern consists of a horizontal mid-body bar that runs from the snout through the eye to the base of the caudal fin. This bar is broken in some specimens and can even be formed of a series of slashes. Males generally have more colour in the fins and longer dorsal fins.

T. pumila is broadly distributed throughout Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Peninsular Malaysia, and the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, with most aquarium specimens originating in Thailand. It is found primarily in slow-moving or stagnant water, almost invariably under the cover of floating plants or among marginal plants. In many cases, the water in these habitats is extremely poor in dissolved oxygen as well as mineral content. Peat bogs are a common home to this species. The pH can be as low as 3.0.

In the aquarium, the sparkling gourami is highly adaptable and will do well at pH levels in excess of 8.0, which is truly surprising for a fish that inhabits blackwater in the wild.

Spawning is more likely when the pH is below 7.0 and the temperature is 80° to 82°. The male builds a very small bubblenest among floating vegetation and then entices a ripe female to spawn below the nest in the typical anabantoid spawning embrace. After depositing the eggs in the nest, the male guards them and the resulting fry until they reach the free-swimming stage. Fry are exceptionally tiny and must be fed infusorians as a first food. It may take 10 to 14 days before they are large enough to feed on newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii or microworms. Despite being the smallest member of the genus, T. pumila produces the highest sound pressure when making the croaking sounds.

Three-Stripe Gourami (T. schalleri)
T. schalleri is named in honour of renowned collector Dietrich Schaller, who has introduced a number of anabantoids and other species to the aquarium hobby. This species is commonly known as the three stripe or lace-fin gourami, owing either to the three dark horizontal stripes visible on the body or the extensive pattern of blue spots and red edges on the unpaired fins.

T. schalleri is very similar in appearance to T. pumila but grows larger. There has long been some doubt about whether these two were, in fact, separate species, but recent work indicates strongly that they are in fact different species. Among other things, the sounds they produce are different and are consistent within each species. Despite its smaller size, T. pumila produces louder tones than any other species in the genus.

T. schalleri grows up to 2 1/2 inches in length. Males have slightly longer fins and can sport an extension from the lanceolate caudal fin and extensions from the anal fin. This species is found in the Mekong drainage and can be found in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, with almost all aquarium specimens being collected in Thailand.

Typical of the genus, T. schalleri is found primarily in swampy or marshy areas as well as rice paddies. Spawning and rearing the fry is the same as for T. vittata.

Add a Trichopsis to Your Aquarium
The next time you're looking for a colourful fish to be the centrepiece of a small planted aquarium or just want to keep a fish you can hear for a change, consider one of the croaking members of the genus Trichopsis. These little jewels will reward your selection with colour, interesting behaviour, and a bit more noise than you typically expect from your aquatic charges. To find out more, you can check out Sparkling Gourami.

    by Jon Cole 
    Hi, I'm a traveller, fishes fanatic, reader and teacher. I hope to share my fishes experiences with you through my articles. If you like my articles, do share with your friends. I thank you for that first.
    ArticleSource: GoArticles

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