Only from few breeding forms is so well known, when they originated, as with Colisa lalia “Flame Red”. At the same time the fish decorated the covers of all aquaristic journals worldwide in the early 1980s, so sensational were they found. The animals were bred in the Lim Choa Kang area of Singapore, a rural area at the time, where five farms were primarily involved in breeding dwarf gourami. According to a scientific study in 1985, 8,000 to 9,000 kg of dwarf gourami of the Red, Neon, Gold and Wild breeding forms were produced there annually, which at that time corresponded to a wholesale value of between US$800,000 and US$1,000,000. In comparison, the most expensive food fish that can be produced in such breeding ponds fetched just 1% of this amount at wholesale.
In 1985, the Red Dwarf Gourami was still the most expensive farmed species, costing 4-5 times as much as the “common” Colisa lalia. Nowadays this has all been put into perspective and all dwarf gourami cost similar. Every now and then we have XXL specimens of the “Flame Red” from Singapore in our stock. They are beautiful fish even after 40 years. By the way, in the breeding ponds in Singapore, these fish take just 5 months from egg to show size. Their overall natural life expectancy is 1-2 years. They are the orchids among the ornamental fishes, which will probably still find enthusiastic lovers in another 40 years.
For our customers: the animals have code 411705 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer