Many aquarists prefer gourami. This is a fairly popular fish, which is not very demanding on its conditions of detention. Gourami fish are not viviparous, that is, they lay eggs, and do not immediately give birth to offspring. But male gourami take care of the fry.
As you can see, there are interesting features during reproduction, so we will consider them in more detail.
Preparing fish for breeding
For breeding, usually select several males and several females, which are pre-seated for a week in separate banks and fed with live food. Males can be distinguished by a pointed dorsal fin; in females it is rounded. A female ready for spawning can be identified by a rounded tummy.
The selected female is transplanted into spawning - a separate aquarium of 20-30 liters, with water a couple of degrees warmer than usual, without soil, with algae, including floating ones, such as duckweed. After a while, a male is hooked to her, which soon changes color to a brighter one. For example, a pearl gourami will be full of orange throat and abdomen.
Mating and breeding
The male begins to chase the female, and in such a situation she should have a place to hide. After the race, the male begins to build a nest of air bubbles held together by his saliva and duckweed particles. Then he hugs his girlfriend, squeezing caviar out of her, and white eggs falling to the bottom, he immediately picks up and carries in the nest.
After spawning, the female gourami is usually cleaned back into the general aquarium, her mission is over. The male monitors the nest for some time and returns the falling eggs to the place. After a couple of days, fry appear, for which pure water is important, since they have not yet formed a respiratory organ labyrinth. So that the father does not eat his offspring, at this moment he is being resettled.
In nature, a female gourami tosses up to 1000 eggs, but only the largest and strongest fry that eat their fellow survive.
The fry grow quite quickly, but unevenly, and therefore it is necessary to ensure that babies of about the same size stay together, otherwise large ones will eat small ones. As a rule, fry are fed with nauplii of crustaceans; dry feeds give a less successful result.
Marble gourami in nature
In the nature of these fish you will not meet. This is a completely artificial form, which was bred by selection from spotted gourami (lat. Trichopodus trichopterus) and is found only in the aquarium. Marble gourami are absolutely the same in size and habits as their relatives, and differ only in color. The second name of the fish - Cosby - is from the name of the American breeder Cosby, who bred them.
Spotted gourami live in Asia. They can be found in countries such as Indonesia, Sumatra and Thailand. They can live in water-flooded lowlands, swamps, streams, irrigation canals, rice fields and even in ditches. The main thing is that the reservoir should be with standing or slow-flowing water and with abundant vegetation.
When the rainy season begins, these fish can migrate to the spill site, and at its end return. Their main food in the wild is zooplankton.
What does marble look like?
The body of the fish is elongated in length, and compressed from the sides. In shape it resembles an oval.
The fins are large and rounded (everything except the ventral). They look like a thin mustache and serve to touch.
The tail, as well as the dorsal and anal fins, are dark gray in yellow speck. Anal stretches to the tail and is sometimes edged in red. The fins located on the chest are transparent.
The color of the fish is dark blue or silver blue. The whole body is covered with spots of various shapes resembling a pattern on marble.
Gurami is a representative of the labyrinth fish family. This means that in oxygen-poor water, he is able to breathe atmospheric air and thus survive.
The maximum size of Cosby is 15 cm, but more often they do not grow more than 10-11 cm. They live from 4 to 8 years.
It is not difficult to distinguish a female from a male at the age of 6-8 months (it is then that puberty begins in these fish): she has a shorter, rounded fin on her back. In addition, the males are larger and slimmer than the female representatives.
The nature and compatibility of marble gourami
These are quite peaceful, leisurely and calm fish. They prefer to be in the upper and middle layers of water. Gourami are great for keeping in a common aquarium with fish similar in temperament and size.
Successful will be the neighborhood with minors, neons, parses, scalars, corridors, antistruses, apistograms.
And the marble ones are absolutely incompatible with aggressive cichlids, piranhas and other predators, as well as with cold-water goldfish.
But for fry and small fish, these labyrinths can themselves be dangerous, as they will easily be considered as food.
Skirmishes between the males may occur inside the species, but their outcome is always safe. To avoid this, you can keep a pair of fish or two females and one male. If there are more than one males, it is advisable to plant more plants and make shelters so that the weaker one can hide in them.
Gurami Marble: Contents
Can sizes. For young fish, an aquarium with a volume of 50 liters will be enough (for 5-7 fish), and for adults, at least 80 liters will be needed. If there is a lid or glass on top, then they should fit snugly, as the Gurami need air to breathe.
The optimum distance between the lid and the surface of the water is at least 5-8 cm. The difference between the water and air temperatures should not be large so that the fish, swallowing cold air, do not catch a cold.
Water parameters. Despite the good adaptability, it is better to adhere to optimal indicators for water: temperature in the range of 24-30 ° C, acidity - from 5.5 to 8.5 pH and hardness - from 3 to 35 ° dH.
Filter it is better to set to a minimum current, since strong fish are not liked. Aeration is optional. It is recommended to replace one fifth of the water weekly.
Too massive substitutions are best avoided, as these fish feel better in old water.
Lighting for gourami it doesn’t matter.
Priming dark is recommended, then the color of Gurami will be as bright and contrasting as possible, which means that the fish will appear in the most advantageous light. Fine pebbles, granite chips, coarse sand will do.
Plants it is better to plant densely in groups. Do not forget about the place for swimming. As a rule, it is left in the center, and the side and background are planted with cirrus leaves, Elodei, cryptocoryne, Wallisneria, hornwort, echinodorus, Thai fern. Floating should also be. They will be needed to build a nest, if spawning is planned in general. On the surface you can let duckweed, richia, pistach, salvia.
Decor. In addition to thickets, it’s nice to build several shelters from clay shards and snags.
How and what to feed Marble Gourami
These fish can eat almost any type of feed:
- living: artemia, bloodworm, tubule, corpetra,
- frozen, including shredded meat of sea fish, shrimp, mussels,
- dry: gammarus and cyclops in the form of flakes or granules,
- vegetable: pre-chopped and boiled over dandelion or lettuce leaves, oatmeal.
When choosing food, the main criterion is the size of its particles, since the mouth of the fish is small. Large, they can easily choke. Well, the diversity and balance has not been canceled. They calmly endure a hunger strike for 1-2 weeks.
Gourami also destroy parasites (such as hydra and planaria) that have fallen into the aquarium with feed. They would not mind eating snails.
Gurami Marble: Reproduction
Most of these fish begin breeding at the age of 8 months.
This procedure is not very complicated, but you will need a spacious spawning (at least 30-50 liters.) With an abundance of plants. The water temperature in it must be maintained at 26-27 ° C, and its height should be approximately 13-15 cm. Soil is optional. Hardness should be at 10 ° dH and acidity at 7.0 pH. The front glass is recommended to be covered. In a general aquarium, spawning is undesirable, as fry may not survive.
For 1-2 weeks, manufacturers are divided by gender, planted and practice plentiful feeding several times a day. You can give live bloodworms and corvette. It is possible to determine the female’s readiness for spawning by her belly full of caviar. Then the male is placed in a prepared spawning ground.
He begins to build a nest of foam and floating plants in the corner of the aquarium, fastening them with saliva. It will contain fry. When the nest is built (approximately within one and a half days), the female can be hooked to it, and after a short period of adaptation mating games will begin. The male will show off and straighten the fins, trying to show himself in the best possible way.
The finished female swims to the nest, settling under it, the male wraps her body around it and helps to lay eggs, as if squeezing it, and at the same time inseminates. There are approximately 700-800 eggs. The male collects them with his mouth and puts them in the middle of the nest. Despite the fact that there are a lot of eggs, most of the offspring, as a rule, die at this stage or at the age of fry.
After it is all over, the female is laid out so that the male does not kill her. And he remains to care for the nest and offspring. For a day and a half, he eats nothing, bearing his watch.
During the incubation of eggs over the nest, a dim light should burn at night. It is necessary in order to keep the male alert, otherwise he may fall asleep and not follow the eggs falling out of the nest.
The male is removed when the fry begin to swim out of the nest (after about 3 days) so that he does not eat them or damage them when trying to return them.
They begin to feed the fry with “live dust”, and with a microworm, as they grow, they translate into nauplii artemia and nematodes. Dry feeding increases their death. Leftover food should be removed immediately. Maintaining the purity of water and providing it with oxygen is very important, since the maze organ in Gurami does not immediately form. Fry should be sorted by size, as they grow unevenly and larger individuals tend to eat their small counterparts.
In the first couple of months after birth, the young have the formation of a labyrinth organ, so during this period it is very important to keep the water level in the aquarium quite low - up to 15 cm.
Marble Gourami Diseases
After buying the fish you need to quarantine for one week. They themselves are resistant to bacterial infections, but are often carriers and can infect other fish. During this period, they are recommended daily 15-minute baths with solutions of salt, antibiotic biomycin or oxytetracycline, a weak solution of brilliant green, methylene blue or rivanol. Between the baths they are kept in a separate container with clean water.
The main causative agents of the disease are viruses, bacteria, worms, ciliates and microscopic fungi. They breed in a sick fish, and then move to other inhabitants, causing pestilence. Deteriorating conditions of maintenance and feeding can provoke diseases.
Among the gourami, the following diseases are most common:
- Lymphocystosis Symptoms: open sores, grayish nodules and flat black growths surrounded by swelling. The fish looks like sprinkled with semolina.
- Pseudomoniasis Symptoms: dark spots turning into reddish ulcers. Often accompanied by a secondary infection with saprolegniosis.
- Aeromonosis. Infection occurs from food, most often in overpopulated domestic ponds among weakened individuals. Signs: raised scales, lack of mobility, refusal to eat, swollen abdomen with bruising.
- Ichthyophthyroidism. The causative agent is a parasitic infusoria that affects fish with weakened immunity. Very often, the disease affects the aquarium inhabitants in the demi-season, when the temperature in the aquarium can fluctuate sharply. Signs: lethargy of fish, small white rashes on the whole body of the fish.
To avoid these troubles, it is enough to ensure proper care and proper feeding. But in general these are very unpretentious, friendly, interesting and beautiful fish, which even a beginner can handle. And the ability to destroy aquarium parasites makes them doubly useful.
How to distinguish a female from a male
To choose fish for breeding, it is important to be able to distinguish different sexes from each other.
Sex can be determined by appearance:
- Boys are different in that they are larger and more active. Females are slightly smaller, their torso is dense, and the belly of sexually mature individuals becomes rounded.
- The female is also distinguished from the male by the type of dorsal fin. It is rounded in her shape, while in males it is pointed.
- There are differences in color: males are bright, females are more dull. Before spawning, pigmentation intensifies, and males become even more recognizable - this helps to determine the sex of gourami with high accuracy.
Gourami breeding at home occurs in a rather unusual way: the future father assumes the main role.
If you decide to breed fish of this species in your aquarium, then get one male and several females.
Their breeding requires the presence of algae on the surface of the water. During spawning by the gourami, the male makes a nest of caviar there, so the plants help him a lot in this.
And you can also breed fish not in the general aquarium, but with the help of spawning (a separate tank), where future parents are sent to. To accelerate the process, the water temperature should be slightly increased - about 25–28 degrees.
If you decide to choose a common aquarium for breeding, then its size should be large enough so that the fish can share the space. Be careful: males with gourami always defend their territory, entering into a confrontation with rivals of the same or close form.
Gourami have the ability to breathe oxygen, after which they sometimes swim to the surface of the aquarium. That is why for their maintenance it is important that the difference between the temperatures of water and air is small.
When the fish are ripe for reproduction, a nest of foam appears in the algae, which the male builds for the female. Until it is ready, it is better to keep the partner separately, otherwise the future father may behave aggressively towards her.
After the nest is built, the female is planted in the aquarium. It is important that she is ready for spawning - her abdomen should be thick with caviar.
The future father invites the partner to the nest, where she throws eggs, which he immediately fertilizes. At the same time, he carefully raises eggs that have fallen to the bottom of the eggs to the surface, returning them to the nest.
When the female finishes spawning, she should be transferred to another aquarium. The incubation period lasts up to two days (the time depends on the water temperature), during which the male zealously guards the nest, preventing it from collapsing, and the eggs - go to the bottom. Then young growth begins to appear, the nest is destroyed. After this father needs to be jailed.
How to feed fry
The fry for 3-4 days do not need food, eating the contents of the yolk sac. Then they will need external feeding. Food can be carried out 5-6 times a day, while servings should be small.
Gurami fry food can be as follows:
- Liquid food for fry.
- Hard-boiled egg yolk, mashed through cheesecloth.
In just a few weeks, the fish can be transplanted into a common aquarium, while adding protein-rich food to their diet - it will help the scales develop correctly and give brightness to the color.
Thus, to help your gourami multiply, you need to:
- In a spawning ground or in a general aquarium, set the water temperature to 25–28 degrees.
- Provide enough algae at the surface to create a nest.
- Plant a female with chubby barrels that is ripe for spawning.
- After spawning, plant the female and let the male take care of the nest.
- Then put the father away and arrange the right diet for the appeared fry.
Preparing starter feed for fry
You need to stock up on forage at this stage, since it is better to feed the fry with live food. Since the fry are small by gourami, they first eat the ciliates. So, take a jar, it’s better to get three liters, siphon the soil in your aquarium and pour this water into the jar - there are always ciliates in the old aquarium! Add there a few dead parts of plants, a teaspoon of milk, a piece of 1 per 1 cm of dry banana peel and put the jar in a bright place. At first, the water becomes cloudy, then it brightens and even the ciliates are visible even with the naked eye. It is convenient to select them using a hose from the compressor.
It’s better to take an aquarium with a volume of 30 liters as a spawning ground. There should be a shelter for the female, I personally use ceramic driftwood, floating plants - I usually use this gun, you can add several branches of the nasser or hornwort. We put a heater in the spawning ground - the temperature should be about 25 degrees. Water in spawning can be softened, it will serve as an incentive to spawn. Water should be poured into the spawning grounds at the rate of 50% of the water from the aquarium and 50% of the water of freshly standing water.
A couple of fish are planted for spawning. They do not feed fish in the spawning ground! The male builds a nest and usually the next day spawning begins, in the process the male “hugs” the female and “squeezes” the eggs from it, simultaneously fertilizing it. The gourami’s nest is large in diameter but not high, the chatso nest is sloppy built, they can spawn even in a strip of foam. The male is brightly colored, and the female, on the contrary, turns pale. Then the female hides, as the male begins to drive her away from the nest, because the female can eat caviar. After spawning, the female should be planted.
Female marble gourami
At this stage, you need to again prepare food for the fry, again preferably lively - nauplii artemia. You can buy Artemia eggs at a pet store or at Birdie. I usually take a two-liter bottle from cola, pour water on ¾, put one and a half teaspoons of ordinary salt and a teaspoon of brine shrimp eggs, put it down on the spray from the compressor and put it on the aquarium, the artemia comes out every other day, the sprayer is turned off for collection, the crustaceans accumulate at bottom, and they are sucked in with a hose from the compressor. It is better to put 2 bottles with a difference of 2 days, then you will always have nauplii for feeding.
Further, the male takes care of the nest - he eats dead eggs, sometimes renews the nest. It is not necessary to feed him at this time, water is also not necessary to be changed. After a day, the larvae begin to hatch. First, they hang in the nest, the male continues to care for them, after a day the yolk sac usually resolves and they begin to swim horizontally - at this moment the male must be dropped off and the compressor turned on. Then the first feeding is carried out - we feed with infusoria, if it is not there, then you can use feeds such as Sera micron, I do not recommend boiled egg yolk or boiled liver - they spoil the water very much. You need to feed so that there is always feed in the aquarium. Water does not need to be changed. Gradually, during the week you should reduce the temperature in the aquarium to room temperature. After 3-4 days, the baby begins to take Artemia nauplii, but we don’t stop feeding with the infusoria - the smaller fry still eat it. If there is no brine shrimp, you can also feed decapsulated brine shrimp and dry foods such as Sera micropan. After a week and a half, you can offer the fry frozen microplankton, later - cyclops, cut tubule. As soon as the fry begin to take artemia, you can gradually raise the water level, and later change the water. If you feed with dry food - daily, if alive - less often. When the fry reach a size of 1 cm, if you want to grow more fish, the juveniles must be sorted into different aquariums, otherwise larger fry will eat smaller ones. Then it is advisable to transfer the fish to the aquarium more so that they do not drag out.