The identity of Colisa labiosa, a gourami from Burma, is unclear; there is some evidence that the species so named in the hobby is actually not identical with C. labiosa in the sense of the first describer (Day, 1877), but it is much more likely that it is a scientifically not yet named species. But be that as it is: the “Aquarium Labiosa” is the ideal gourami for every well-kept and densely planted community aquarium: it is extremely colorful, calm, peaceful and not very susceptible to diseases.
From the “Aquarium-labiosa”, there is a stripless bred sport, with altogether the blue color portions are missing and which comes along therefore in a splendid yellow-orange. The sometimes used variety name “peach” is well chosen, because as with this fruit, the coloration is not evenly distributed over the whole body, but as with the wild form, different parts of the body have different intensity.
The males can be recognized by the pointedly extended dorsal fin (rounded at the end in the female). With approximately 6 cm of maximum-size, the „Aquarium-labiosa” of both color-forms (therefore wild type and orange) are fully grown. They are typical bubble nest builders with father-family, like all other gouramis of the genus also. In respect of feeding the animals are not very demanding, but you should consider that Colisa have a narrow throat and therefore cannot take up very large food chunks. They prefer to slurp finely grated dry food from the water surface.
Sexually mature males of the “Aquarium labiosa” have, just like the “real” Colisa labiosa, thickened lips – the species name “labiosa” means “lipped” and alludes to this anatomical peculiarity.
For our customers: the fish have code 411443 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Actually, nobody knows exactly what Colisa fasciata is; because the specimen on which the first description is based was lost in the turmoil of the French Revolution and where it is supposed to come from (Tranquebar in the south of India) there are no gourami at all. That’s why everything that isn’t Colisa lalia, C. chuna or C. labiosa is currently called simply C. fasciata.
The beautiful wild catches, which we have just received from Bengal again, are characterized by their particularly narrow stripes. This special form normally grows to about 4-5 cm, very rarely to 6-7 cm, so its size is comparable to the breeding forms of the dwarf gourami (C. lalia).
The peaceful, sometimes somewhat shy animals should be cared for in well planted aquariums with other peaceful fish. They are most beautiful at 26-32°C, but one should consider that the water temperature in the natural habitats can drop to 16°C depending on the season. While these animals barely live one year in nature, they often reach 4-5 times of that lifespan in an aquarium.
For our customers: the animals have code 411203 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
The Spotted Gourami, Trichogaster trichopterus, is one of most widespread species of fish in Southeast Asia. Its range starts in the west at the burmese/thai border, it contents the Sunda islands and reaches in the East to China. Additionally the species has been introduced almost worldwide as a food fish in tropical climates.
Crossing of different natural populations leads very fast to cultivated forms. This effect is well known from other ornamental fish also, like Guppy or Angelfish. In these species the initially plan free crossing of specimens led to many cultivated forms, too.
The golden cultivated form of the Spotted Gourami is known for a long time already. It is part of the daily stock in any pet shop worldwide. But currently the breeders have tried to produce a better quality in this fish and this resulted in what we call „Golden Red Eye“, a sport that has brillant colours and a ruby-red eye.
For our customers: the animals have code 470022 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Until the end of the 20th century it was believed that the giant gouramies would be represented only by one single species. But then a number of additional species was recognized, among them Osphronemus exodon from the Mekong river. Juveniles look very much alike common giant gouramies (O. goramy), only educated people note the higher number of stripes on the flanks and the somewhat different shaped caudal spot. But adult animals cannot be taken for mistake: they have teeth on their lips! It is unknown what these teeth are good for.
Juvenile giant gouramis of all species are pretty aggressive against each other. Only after the puberty – at a size of 15-20 cm – this aggressiveness becomes less. In very large tanks one can try nevertheless to keep a number of juveniles together, but even under these conditions some fin damage will be rather normal. Who does not like this is recommended to keep juveniles singulary until they have a size of about 20 cm and then accompany them with conspecifics in a very large tank. Adult giant goramies are quite peaceful against their own kind. Other fish, by the way, are usually ignored by giant gouramies in all live stages. O. exodon becomes about 60 cm long.
Osphronemus exodon is a real rarity; after quite a lomg time we were able now to import again some juvenile, 5-6 cm long specimens.
For our customers: the animals have code 440793 on our stocklist. Please note the we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer