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Banded Gourami Care & Breeding Profile

Banded Gourami (Colisa fasciataBanded Gourami or sometimes known as Striped Gourami (Scientific name: Colisa fasciata) is an interesting species of the highly diversified Colisa genus. The fish is a native of Asia continent whereby its presence is mostly concentrated around the rice field located in east India and Bangladesh. This type of gourami is quite colorful with the male fish is often seen displaying full bright mix of blue plus green coloration while the female is generally grayish and dull.

Just like Pearl Gourami, Banded Gourami can also grow up to 12 cm in length and the fish will not display full coloration until it reaches a certain size and maturity age of about six to eight months. Other than the color display, male species can also be differentiated from the female by observing the dorsal fin whereby it is supposed to be long and pointed towards the end.

Caring for your pet is quite simple because they do not have specific requirements in terms of dietary needs or water quality. As far as I know, as long as they are well fed with nutritious live foods (worms with occasional brine shrimps and krill) and water is maintained crystal clear at all times, they will hardly develop any complication that requires your immediate attention. In order to ensure that the fish attains full growing size, large aquarium setup measuring at least 30 gallons is definitely a must-have. Overall, the tank can be barren but I do not suggest using this setup and instead, a heavily planted tank will be more suitable for the fish. In fact, having live aquarium plants such as Hygrophila difformis should well-complement your banded gourami to provide a good living environment. However, choice of decoration such as bog-wood is not necessary but putting it in will not cause any harm as well. Overall, the species is a timid non-aggressive type and among compatible community tank mates are neon tetra.

When it comes to control of water parameters, temperature of between 23 to 25degC should be considered ideal for your pet fish and I would avoid making sudden large water change at any time in order not to upset the delicate tank balance. For breeding banded gourami, the selected tank size should be at least 50 gallons and above and the water temperature should be controlled higher than normal increased to within 28 to 30degC range. In order to encourage the fish to spawn, floating aquatic plants such as Pistia stratiotes can be introduced to the tank and you can also increase the proportion of live foods given to the fish. Because of this, the water cleanliness now becomes an issue and thus be prepared to invest in a high quality power filter and other water test kits so that your fish stays healthy.

Other types of Colisa: Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami

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Introduction Pearl Gourami Care & Breeding

pearl gourami trichogaster leeriPearl Gourami (scientific name: Trichogaster leeri) or sometimes known as Mosaic Gourami is one of the most beautiful and popular freshwater tropical fish with its striking mix of coloration. An adult pearl gourami only reaches maximum length of up to 12 cm and the male can be easily distinguish from the female with its red color appearance seen only on the gills and belly area with some extending up to the ventral fins.

Other than the indication mentioned earlier, the male species of the pearl gourami fish also has a pointy dorsal fin while for the females, they only have the fin which appears to be rounded at the tip. This characteristic can only be observed when the fish reach the maturity age of seven to eight months and this poses a challenge to the pearl gourami breeder who has the intention to breed for the next batch because the person has to ensure there are sufficient fish in a group so that there’s less likely chance to end up either all male or all female.

The aquarium setup to house your pearl gourami should be heavily planted with live aquarium plants and generally those type with large leaves cluster are preferred (examples are Hygrophila stricta and Hydrocotyle leucocephala). This is important because tight spots will provide shelter for the fish to feel secure especially when the fish is still new to the aquarium environment. In terms of community behavior, pearl gourami is generally grouped into the type of peaceful fish and therefore should not be mixed with other large aggressive species especially oscar and cichlids (unless it is the small sized dwarf species such as the Apistogramma). Overall tank temperature is best kept at 25degC with slightly soft and acidic value between pH 6.6 to 6.8.

Breeding your pet gourami

In order to successfully breed pearl gourami, you should get at least 50 gallons or larger aquarium tank so that the adult pair has more space to spawn and you also avoid running out of space for the young. Normally to induce the fish to breed, there are several things which you can do but the most effective method is to mix in a quarter full of rainwater to make up your aquarium tank level. Another thing you should watch out is to maintain water pH close to neutral level and because you will need fast results, I would suggest getting a pH test kit to help you to provide an accurate reading. For the temperature, it is recommended that the level should be raised about 2-3 degC higher than normal temperature and maintain this throughout the breeding period. Get an aquarium heater to facilitate the task.

Since pearl gourami is a bubble nest builder (labyrinth) similar like betta Siamese fighting fish, it is better to leave some aquatic floating plants on the surface of the water such as Ceratopteris pteridoides. This provides a place for the mating pair to sought refuge and establish its nest. During this critical period, one should look into maintaining high standard of water cleanliness at all time so that this will lower the chances for the fish to contact aquarium disease which can be devastating.

Related species of fish: kissing gourami and how to breed gourami fish

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Determine Male Female Neon Tetra Breeding

group of neon tetra fishSo far based on my knowledge and experience, there is no accurate method to determine whether your Neon Tetra (Neon fish) is male or female. The only reliable observation you can actually use is by judging from the top blue color stripe on the fish itself whereby for the female, the stripe appears to be much broader. Other than that, another surefire method to confirm whether this is true is when the fish has already reached maturity age of 6 months and the female Neon tetra’s body will appear to be thicker compared to the male fish.

Breeding your pet can sometimes be tricky and in order to increase the chance for them to spawn and obtain next generation of fry, basically there are few things which you can follow. First, ensure that your aquarium environment is suitable meaning that there are lots of live aquarium plants to enrich and improve water quality to crystal clear condition. With dense vegetation this also serves as a good place for your fish to lay eggs and for the fry to hide from predators. If your aquarium is infested with small population of aquarium snails, I would suggest you get rid of them because the snails will easily search out all the eggs and make a good meal out of it. This goes the same as well with all the catfish family like pleco and corydoras catfish.

Second, you should ensure that there are at least 10 – 20 of these little fish living in a group and the more they shoal and mix together, the higher chances to have them ended up mating. There is also another way suggested by some aquarist in which they find that dimming the aquarium lighting way below normal level will help to stimulate spawning, however I don’t really find this to contribute or make any difference to increase chance for them to mate and breed.

Normally, in a single successful spawn, a female neon fish can release more than a hundred eggs and it is not common to see low mortality rate due to cannibalism. The size of a young fry is so tiny that sometimes you may even find losing a few when changing water and therefore extreme care must be exercised so that you don’t ended up accidentally sucking out and removing them. If possible, provided you have extra tanks, you should move out all the adult fish once you start seeing little fish fry appearing. To feed them, you can consider using some cheap aquarium food supplies like microworms and powdered flakes once they start searching for foods.

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List of Guest Posts submitted by our readers:

  1. Mark Edgar (California) on Golden and Dwarf Pencilfish
  2. Larry Stewart on Aquarium Sharks
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Colorful Tropical Pet Killifish

Tropical Pet KillifishMost of the time selecting the right pet fish can be difficult because one of the main criteria for the perfect fish is about looking for the most colorful and easy-to-care for species. Most tropical varieties do not fit into this requirement because some were not that colorful while others have dull appearances. However, one specific fish that fits into this group is Killifish which is considered one of the most colorful pets suitable for every hobbyist including kids. (Related: best pet fish for kids)

Killifish can be grouped under community fish species that can coexist and live with other aquarium tank mates without showing extreme aggression. They also do not grow up to very large size with most common length reaching only about two inches. The fish is made up of different taxonomic family of related species found living among brackish water spread across different continents. So far, existence of Killifish was reported not just in South America and Africa but also Europe as well. With their diverse population, each individual fish can adopt different appearances with some having bright and wonderful colors in red, blue, green and yellow.

As mentioned earlier, Killifish is also highly sought after because of their hardy nature. Since most of them exist in streams or ponds with low oxygen content, it is within their natural survival instinct that allows them to tolerate and withstand extreme water condition. They are not picky when it comes to foods and one of their favorite in the menu list includes insects, worms and mosquito larvae. They will also readily accept dried fish flakes although I do not recommend giving them this type of food for long term period.

Breeding Killifish in confinement should be easy because if you have dense aquarium live plants in your tank, soon enough you will find small little fry popping out from the corners. To avoid predation and higher survival rate, you should remove the parents and other fish from the tank. However, this does not always pose a problem because the fry can be fast swimmers and will often seek out safe shelter to avoid getting eaten. Their favorite foods during this critical period is mostly dependent on algae grown on plant surface and tank bottom.

Seeing Killifish sold in pet stores can be rare because not all establishments offer them up for sale. Depending on stock and supply, you might be in luck if there's any newly arrived shipment coming in. I would suggest getting the type of Killifish especially those from Africa because of their full range of coloration.

Other types of pet fish:
Banded Gourami
Pearl Gourami
Neon Tetra Fish

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Dwarf Cichlids Requirements in Community Setup

female orange apistogramma cacatuoidesDwarf Cichlids such as the Apistogramma is often selected as automatic choice to create dwarf community fish tank. This tropical fish species actually belongs to the rivers located in South America and nowadays they are considered one of the favorites among cichlids fish hobbyist. A full-grown mating pair usually measures only about 10 to 18 inches in length, with the male slightly larger compared to the females. Aquarium hobbyist intending to keep the fish will often make simple mistake of getting a smaller sized aquarium such as a 30-gallon setup but swimming area is not the main issue here as the cichlids will often get territorial during mating season.

The best tank environment for the fish should have plenty of caves, bogwood and live aquarium plants to fulfill their requirements. With their small size, it is best to avoid keeping them with other predatory cichlids such as oscars which may devour and make a good meal out of your Apistogramma. Usually having “dither fish” can be advantageous in the sense that having them around helps to get your dwarf cichlids getting acquainted to the new tank much easier. Certain seasoned fish breeders even recommend keeping Pyrrhulina brevis or better known as short-lined Pyrrhulina or either small sized corydoras catfish around as they make perfect tank mates for your dwarf cichlids.

Aquarium water for your dwarf cichlids fish should be soft and slightly acidic in the region of 6.5 to 6.7. During breeding season, you can even consider lowering the acidity of the water to around 6.0 to stimulate the spawning. If you have difficulty adjusting the pH to the right level, consider getting an accurate pH test kit to make your tasks easier. Usually observation during this period is very important because the male can turn aggressive towards the female. Wild female Apistogrammas in rivers will have open areas to swim and escape from the male in case she rejects the male approaches but in a confined fish tank, she will have nowhere to hide. This makes them vulnerable to attack and watch for any injury sustained in the commotion because open wounds often lead to development of sores and fish disease.

Nowadays, different species of the Apistogrammas such as the A. cacatuoides and A. harem is sought after in the aquarium trade. All these fishes are substrate brooders and they make excellent community pets that are hardy and less demanding. I would definitely recommend this fish for beginners to aquarium fish hobby.

Related pet topics that you might be interested:
List of 5 most beautiful fish in the world
Different breeds of Gourami Fish
Peaceful Betta imbellis
Paradise fish

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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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