The pearl gourami is an amazingly beautiful fish. Known to aquarists around the world since 1933. Soviet aquarists recognized this fish around 1949, since then this fish is an invariable inhabitant of our aquariums. Describe in words pearl placer, which is studded with the body of this fish is not possible. But having seen it once, you will definitely want to buy this beauty for your living corner. Despite the fact that the species is difficult to keep, its representatives will long remain the favorite of thousands of aquarists, both amateurs and professionals.
Latin: Trichogaster leerii
Habitat.: Widespread in India, occurs in the Malay Archipelago, Indonesia – Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand. Prefers shallow, densely overgrown water bodies.
Pearl gourami description
The body has an elongated oval shape strongly compressed from the sides. The body length reaches eleven centimeters. The color of the body is light silver with violet tint. The entire body is studded with white dots with a pearly cast, reminiscent of pearls. Due to what the fish got its name. The back is colored olive. The lower part of the gill covers, the chest, the front part of the abdomen have a reddish tint. In the middle of the body stretches a black irregular stripe consisting of individual dots.
The anal fin is long and extends from the anal opening to the base of the caudal fin. Caudal fin forked. Dorsal simple simple elongated, in boys longer, has a pointed end. Pectoral fins are almost transparent. Pelvic modified, are whiskers – a kind of tactile organ, which fish groping various objects. All fins are studded with pearl spots, as well as the body of the fish.
The mouth of the fish is small relative to its size. This makes it necessary to feed small food. Prefer clean shallow bodies of water with clear standing or slow-flowing water. Like dense thickets of plants. Very fearful, prefers to hide among thickets of plants at the first danger. Life expectancy under good conditions from five to seven years. Individuals who have reached 8-10 months of age become sexually mature.
The female pearl gourami is smaller in size. As well as less pronounced intensity of coloration. Also the male has a longer, pointed dorsal fin. It is easiest to distinguish the male from the female, when the spawning period comes, then the male puts on his mating attire. “Pearls” on his body literally burning, and the chest along with the abdomen are colored bright red.
During transportation, you should not forget that labyrinth fish cannot live without air for a long time. Oxygen dissolved in water is not enough for it. The container intended for transportation should be filled with water no more than half. During long transportation, it is necessary to periodically ventilate the above-water volume. Or establish continuous ventilation. Do not close the container tightly for a long time.
Pearl gourami aquarium maintenance
For species aquarium it is desirable to equip a tank of 40 – 60 liters. This volume is sufficient for keeping 6-7 individuals. It is better to keep small harems – one male two three females. The aquarium should be equipped with a loose-fitting lid or glass. The space under which should be well ventilated. Since the fish constantly need fresh atmospheric air. Glass or cover will prevent the entry into the above-water space of cold air swallowed which fish can get sick. The recommended distance to the lid centimeters five to eight. Lighting likes bright. It does not matter natural or artificial. Coloration in bright light is greatly benefited.
As a soil it is better to use coarse river sand of medium siltation. It is better to pour the sand in a layer of about five centimeters, so that any plants feel well.
Trichogaster leerii is a shy creature, it needs dense thickets of plants among which it can hide, and once hidden feel safe. Underwater plantations should alternate with open space for swimming. Of the plants can be used pistolistnik, vallisneria, elodea. On the surface it is desirable to have plants like cassava. But it should not be allowed that the entire surface was covered with plants. Fish labyrinth fish, it needs atmospheric oxygen! Plants floating on the surface of the water is better to collect in small floating islands. They can be kept in islands with the help of floating contours.
The species is very heat-loving. The optimum holding temperature is 24 – 27°C. At lower temperatures, it is prone to colds. Therefore, the container, which is intended for the content of this wonderful fish, must necessarily be equipped with a heater with a thermostat. Gourami pearl content of salts withstands up to 20 °dH. Likes slightly acidic water pH-6. But feels good at a neutral reaction pH – 7.
Pearl gourami Compatibility
Compatibility can be a problem. It’s not about the character of the fish. Our character is just very peaceful.
Therefore, it can offend even representatives of species that are two to three times smaller. And find a fish that would remain indifferent to his mustache so similar to the tastiest juicy worm is even more difficult. It is better to arrange a species aquarium, but if there is no such opportunity, you need to pick up neighbors among peaceful species. It is necessary to constantly monitor, if they are interested in modified pelvic fins of our Nitenosets, it is better to drop them off.
It is better to feed live food. But it also eats dry food. The main thing is that the feed should be small.
Because of its anatomical features trichogaster can not consume large food. The best delicacies for him small moths, cut trubichnik. Between spawning, you can treat small crustaceans. However, it should not be accustomed to such food.
Pearl gourami breeding
In general, Trichogaster leerii breeding is the same as other trichogasters and spawners in general. But there are some peculiarities. At elevated temperatures in a common aquarium, they can start spawning right there. The entire litter is likely to be subsequently eaten by neighbors and the producers themselves. But such spawning is still a positive side, namely, the female will avoid the formation of cysts, which preserves her ability to reproduce.
To obtain a normal litter, its preservation for spawning should certainly be prepared. In gourami pearl breeding is best provoked in late spring or early summer, when feed will be easily available. Especially small – infusoria, live sifted dust.
Training of producers
A week to two weeks before the proposed breeding males are separated from females. During the pre-spawning period, they are abundantly fed live feed – moths, trubichnik. Crustaceans (live daphnia) before spawning should not be fed. The habit of chasing after the pudgy little thing can end up eating eggs, and then fry.
Preparing the spawning ground
For spawning is suitable aquarium for 20 – 40 liters. The bottom is desirable sandy, on which it is desirable to arrange several cozy shelters in which the female could hide from overly persistent courtship of his beau. These shelters can be built from large stones or from the shards, not used pottery pots. The spawning ground should be densely planted with plants, among which the female can also find shelter, if necessary.
There should be a bunch of riccia floating on the surface. The future daddy uses it to build the nest. The slightest stress factor can drive the daddy to frenzy in a burst of which he is able to destroy the nest together with the offspring. Therefore, it is obligatory to have a heater with a thermostat. That would prevent temperature fluctuations. All sight glasses, near which sharp movements are possible, are closed from the outside with paper. Water should have a hardness of 4 to 8 °dH. The total hardness can be lowered by adding one-third part distilled water. The water should be clean, freshly tempered. pH – 7.
Pearl gourami Spawning stimulation
Spawning is stimulated by increasing water temperature to 28 ° C. In the spawning tank prepared in this way, first settle the male, and a few hours later planted to him his girlfriend. Set the thermostat heater at 28 – 30 ° C. Finding himself in the middle of such a “gouramyeh paradise”, the male acquires a bright mating color and in this parade form is taken for the construction of a nest of air bubbles using plates of richchia. Construction lasts about a day. Sometimes becoming a long construction, can stretch to three days. The lady does not take part in the construction, she controls the process from afar.
After the nest is ready, the cavalier invites the female under the nest, where the spawning begins. It lasts about two hours. During this time the female hatches up to two hundred eggs, which the father, having fertilized with his milk, places between the bubbles of the nest.
After that, the care of the offspring falls on the father. If the mother is allowed, she can help him, but if the father shows aggression towards her, it is better to carefully fish her out and drop her off.
The care of the fry falls to the aquarist
The incubation period lasts 24 – 48 hours. And after two to three days, the fry will swim and spread throughout the aquarium. Daddy must be urgently removed. Starving (during spawning male almost nothing to eat), starting to get nervous because of the ungrateful behavior of children, he can lose the paternal instinct. Nothing good will come out of this.
After you drop off the male, the water level should be lowered to 10 centimeters. Maintain it this way should be about three weeks, until the fry will form a maze. If there are a lot of fry it is desirable to establish low-flow aeration. The first three to five days fry should be given infusoria or the smallest living dust. The next week they can be transferred to larger feeds. Temperature can be lowered only after a month and a half. Under good conditions, abundant feeding fry grow quickly, but not evenly. Be sure to sort them by size.
Trichogaster leerii is a rather fastidious fish. But its magnificent coloration and majestic appearance make it very attractive to many amateurs and professionals. It is difficult to pick up her neighbors. It is very heat-loving, not many species will withstand such a constant heat. Those who can exist at such temperatures can begin to oppress the peaceful trichogaster, chasing his pelvic fins – whiskers.
Gourami pearl female is not characterized by special fertility. Nevertheless, this species is about a hundred years contained aquarists around the world, not going to give up their positions. Its magnificent coloration, as well as interesting behavior will please not once and you, if you decide to have this wonderful fish and make efforts to create optimal conditions for her.