Gourami are popular freshwater aquarium fish, and many gourami species are easily bred in captivity.Many gourami keep their eggs in the father’s mouth, while others scatter them to the water, or even make their own nest from bubbles.
Step 1: You should identify your gourami species.
Gourami refers to an entire family of fish.Many of the gourami species can be bred in the same conditions, but this doesn’t apply to every species.If you don’t remember the name of your gouramis, ask an experienced fish breeder or Biologist to examine them.The guide is accurate for dwarf, pearl, kissing, blue, and honey gouramis.It is possible that kissing gouramis are more difficult to breed than the others.The process of caring for and breeding true gouramis is not covered in this article.The chocolate gourami cares for the eggs in a parent’s mouth.If you don’t know the species of gouramis, you can still use the guide, but you may have a lower success rate.
Step 2: Live or frozen gouramis can be fed.
Adult fish get their nutrition from animal food such as blood worms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp.You can buy it from an aquarium store.This food can be added to the dry food diet several times a week.Gathering this type of food on your own increases the risk of passing diseases to your fish, and is not recommended without the advice of a local expert.
Step 3: The fish will change in size and color.
Gouramis swell or change color on their underside as they produce eggs.If their diet improves, male gouramis may become more brightly colored.Try to find one male and one female that have no defects.It might be easier to see the change in size from above.
Step 4: Do you know the sex of the adult fish?
You may already know which gouramis are female and which are male if the females have noticeably changed shape as they laid eggs.Some are easy to identify due to differences in color.In some gourami species, females have a more rounded dorsal and anal fin, while the males have more pointed one.It is difficult to identify kissing gourami.If two of the gourami are kissing, they likely belong to the same sex.Try not to give your fish food for three or four days.Egg bearing females are likely to not slim down during this time.
Step 5: The tank should be of the appropriate size.
For most gourami pairs, choose a tank that can hold up to 80 liters of water.It is not suitable for all species because of the small size and shallow water level.Kissing gourami can only be found in a large tank with a depth of at least 60 cm.It is possible to breed pearl gourami in a tank with this water depth, but the tank should be at least 31 inches long.Gourami can be bred in this tank size, but a larger one will work as well.Stress and injury to the female may be mitigated by a larger tank.Larger tanks may be required for species that grow more than 10 inches (25 cm) long.The kissing gourami is the exception to the rule.
Step 6: Add plants with gravel.
Add a thin layer of gravel at the bottom.If the male becomes aggressive, use this to anchor several plants, large enough for the female to hide behind.The open area should be left as well.Adding upturned clay pots and other aquarium additions can create hiding spots.If you put rocks in the tank, make sure you buy them from an aquarium store as rocks gathered in lakes and rivers can change the water’s pH.
Step 7: There are floating plants or objects.
The pearl gourami creates a “bubble nest” for the eggs on the underside of a floating plant.You can use actual floating plants or cut a Styrofoam cup in half and float it on the water.For species that do not build bubble nest, such as kissing gourami, you may wish to float a piece of lettuce, which will provide nutrition for the newly hatched fry.Gouramis need to take oxygen from the air and the water at the same time, so don’t cover more than 1/3 of the surface.
Step 8: There is a cover on the aquarium.
Attach a lid to the aquarium to protect it from cold drafts.Make sure there is air between the lid and the water level, and that there are holes in it to allow the passage of air.Young fry are vulnerable to air temperature changes and could die if the air becomes too cold.
Step 9: A sponge filter can be used.
Eggs and young fry can be destroyed by the current in a breeding tank if a filter or air stone is used.Unless the water is completely still, adults may not be willing to lay eggs.
Step 10: If necessary, adjust the temperature, pH and nitrites.
Before any fish are introduced, use an aquarium test kit to monitor the tank water for several days.Prepare the tank with a “fishless cycle” to keep toxic nitrites and nitrates out of the water.Prepare the tank by heating it to around 77–83oF (25–28oC) and adjusting the pH to between 6.6 and 7.5.Adding soft water, such as reverse osmosis, and raising it by adding crushed limestone, coral, or other carbonate materials will lower the pH.Do not transfer fish between tanks.After the breeding fish have been introduced, gradually increase the temperature of the tank.All the gourami species mentioned at the beginning of the guide are suitable for the temperature and pH ranges given here.If you have identified your gourami species, you may be able to search online for a broader range of acceptable conditions.
Step 11: The female should be introduced to the breeding tank first.
The female gourami should be moved to the breeding tank first.The female fish have time to find hiding spots and acclimatize to the tank.
Step 12: Introduce the male.
Introduce the male to the tank after at least an hour.Make sure the female has enough hiding places to stay alone for part of the day by watching the fish’s behavior.The male may bruise the female while chasing her.Adding a second female to divide the male’s attention if the female sustains more serious injuries would be a good idea.
Step 13: You should wait for the fish to mate.
It could be several days before the gourami pair mates.The exact nature of the ritual varies by species, but it typically takes several hours.If you want to catch the fish in the act, you should look for the following signs.There is a nest on the underside of a floating object.The two fish are touching and wriggling against each other.They will roll onto its back in some species.The male can pick up the eggs in his mouth and move them to the bubble nest.The eggs are usually strewn around into the water.
Step 14: Know when it’s time to get rid of the parents.
The adult female gourami may eat the eggs if she is moved back to the original tank.If the male builds a bubble nest, he will care for the young until the fry are free-swimming and he should be removed as well.If kissing gourami does not build a nest, the parents should be removed immediately after spawning.While he is caring for the eggs, the male may not eat much.To avoid making the water dirty, pay attention to his eating habits and reduce the amount of food.
Step 15: After hatching, let the fry eat the egg yolk.
Fry can hatch within the first 24 hours for some species.The fry stay attached to their place of hatching for two or three days, as they consume the yolk of their egg sac.After eating their own eggs, the fry will become free swimming and need to be fed according to the instructions below.
Step 16: Feed the fry specialized food.
The newly hatched fry are too small to eat a lot of food.Liquid fish food, rotifers, infusoria, and hard boiled egg yolk can be found at an aquarium store.You should try to feed them at least six times a day.Infusoria can be grown at home if you keep a small piece of lettuce or potato in a jar of water.After a few days, the water should be clear and can be fed to the fry in small amounts.
Step 17: Once the fry are larger, use baby brine shrimp.
fry that are too small to eat larger food for seven or eight days after hatching are Dwarf gourami.After about four days, larger species may be able to eat baby brine shrimp.Feed the baby brine shrimp to the fry once they reach this stage.
Step 18: The water should be clean.
Continue to collect material from the bottom of the tank, and conduct partial water changes as you would in a normal tank.Give the bucket of water that has been removed some time to settle so you can find and transfer the fry back into the tank.
Step 19: Before your fry grow too large, make a plan.
Gourami typically produce hundreds or thousands of eggs, and while it’s unlikely that all of them will survive, you will often end up with more fry than you can fit in your tank.Pick a person who will buy your fry, decide how many you will keep, and consider killing fish with obvious physical defects.
Step 20: After a few weeks, move the gourami to a bigger tank.
Remaining fry can be fed on an ordinary diet if they have reached several weeks of age.