The charming licorice gouramis are ideal inhabitants of nano tanks. They can not compare with other fish and so they settle even in nature extreme habitats. The water there is very poor in nutrients, very soft and acidic. These dwarfs among the anabantoids become astoundingly old and can easily reach an age of 5 or more years. So they compensate the low number of eggs they produce per spawning – usually less than 20. These tiny fish should be kept in one-species tanks. They can be fed exclusively with live brine shrimp nauplii (Artemia).
Parosphromenus gunawani comes from the island of Sumatra from the province of Jambi. It is a Parosphromenus species of the bintan type and was scientifically described only in 2012; previously it was known to specialized labyrinthfish enthusiasts as Parosphromenus sp. Danau Rasau. The fish attain a length of about 3 cm. In all licorice gouramis the sexes can be distinguished even in fright coloration. Both males and females look like Betta-females in that mood, but the caudal fin of the females is completely hyaline whereas in the caudal fin of the males always a iridescent shine can be observed that reflects the courtship-coloration.
For our customers: the fish have code 441133 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Parosphromenus: means “stands beside Osphromenus”; Osphromenus is another genus of anabantid. bintan: after the island of Bintan, the type locality; gunawani: the species is named in honour of Gunawan ‘Thomas’ Kasim, who, together with Horst Linke and others, collected the type specimens of this taxon.
The magnificent licorice gouramis (Parosphromenus) are among the most threatened fish species on earth. This is due to the extensive destruction of the environment in their habitats. Most of the currently 20 scientifically described species have only been discovered in the last 40 years thanks to aquarium science, as the licorice gouramis differ mainly in colour. A determination of most species is hardly possible without the breeding colouration of the males.
An exception in this respect is the P. paludicola from the Malay peninsula, which was described as the second species of the genus in 1952. This species is anatomically and ecologically so clearly separated from other licorice gouramis that it could almost be placed in a subgenus of its own. In contrast to all other Parosphromenus species, which are adapted to extremely acid black water with pH values between 3.5 and 4.5, this species also occurs in almost neutral water. Due to its comparatively low requirements, the species P. paludicola is also recommended for beginners in Paro care and breeding.
At the moment we have very nice wild catches of this species from the surroundings of Narathiwat in Thailand in stock. The trade with wild catches of such species does not endanger the wild stocks, as scientific studies clearly show. If at all the trade has only a positive influence on the natural populations, because the endangered habitats of the animals are possibly protected, if a certain income of the local human population can be obtained from it; otherwise the swamps are drained and oil palm plantations are created, which leads to the complete extinction of the original fauna and flora there.
Wild catches also provide insights into the variance of such species, an important prerequisite for species conservation programmes. Among the animals we currently imported are a few with a spot on the flank, which is so far unknown to P. paludicola; we are documenting this phenomenon here for the first time.
For our customers: the animals have code 441139 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
The magnificent licorice guramis (Parosphromenus) have experienced a species explosion in recent years. Until 1979 only three species were known, today there are 20 scientifically described species and some more undescribed ones are already known in the hobby. Unfortunately, many are threatened with extinction because they live in peat swamps and these habitats are drained extensively in order to cultivate oil palms there. So there is a great risk that the recently discovered biodiversity will disappear again. The collecting for aquarium keeping has no influence whatsoever on the wild stocks.
Parosphromenus linkei comes from the Indonesian part of Borneo, from the province of Kalimantan Tengah. It belongs to the quite well recognizable species. Many specimens have one or more shiny green spots on their flanks, but there are also animals that lack this characteristic. The species becomes approximately 2-3 cm long. In the aquarium, fine live-food in form of Artemia-Nauplii, soft and acidic water, dim light and dead laves are the prerequisite for a successful care and breeding. There are, like all licorice guramis, cave-breeders, who can reach an astonishingly high age in the aquarium for so small fish. Already over 10 years old specimens became known, that still reproduced. In the nature, however, they usually only become one year old and do not experience a second brood-period.
For our customers: the animals have code 441077 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer