Tag Archives: Trichopsis

Trichopsis pumila

7. August 2020

The Pygmy gourami, Trichopsis pumila, is one of the prettiest labyrinth fish. With a maximum length of 4 cm (usually it stays one centimeter smaller) it is a real dwarf fish. The species occurs in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Although the species is an obligatory air breather, so would drown if you block its way to the water surface (which of course nobody would do), the Pygmy gourami lives more bottom-oriented. Often you can see the animals searching the ground for potential food in a 45° angle with their head down. 

Also the foam nest is usually not built at the water surface but near the ground. The male likes to erect the usually walnut-sized foam structure on the underside of an aquatic plant, e.g. a Cryptocoryne.

The colouring varies enormously from one individual to another. A horzitontal band is always present, it can appear more or less as a dark stripe or be formed by a row of dots. The dots in turn can be round or oval. Above these central band there is a second band, usually formed by dots. The dots are brown-red, the scales are shiny emerald-green depending on the angle of the incoming light.

Unfortunately the sexes are very difficult to distinguish. The best way to do this is with the “see-through method”. In the back light the visceral sac of the males appears rounded at the rear end, that of the females appears triangular because of the ovaries rising to the back. Males can also be eavesdropped, because in T. pumila only the males can growl. With the other Trichopsis species the females, however, give strong answers.

For our customers: the animals have code 470803 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Trichopsis vittata

12. June 2020

The Croaking Gourami (Trichopsis vittata) is perhaps the most common small fish in South East Asia. It grows to 4 – 6.5 cm long. It can be found almost everywhere, except in strongly flowing waters and in the mountains. Freshly caught, the Croaking Gourami is usually very attractively coloured and shimmers in different shades of blue-green, red and violet, but this quickly fades away in the aquarium. Most likely this is due to the fact that in nature the fish usually live in very turbid water where the underwater visibility is only a few centimetres. In this “dirty broth” (the cloudiness usually comes from clay and is hygienically harmless) the fish need strong colours to be able to communicate with conspecifics. In crystal-clear aquarium water, however, the fish feel naked and defenceless and therefore switch the colouring to camouflage mode. Only during reproduction do the magnificent colours reappear.

Croaking Gourami are called that because they can produce easily audible creaking sounds. These sounds are produced when the fish strokes a bone over tendons that run across the air-filled swim bladder. Croaking Gouramis play the guitar, so to speak. The croak itself is powerplaying. The fish croak and the one who croaks the loudest wins. When mating, the males also show by croaking that they are very strong and great. But also the females croak in this species and are very emancipated.

Everywhere the Croaking Gouramis look a bit different. Probably it’s not just one species, but a lot of species that just look very similar to each other. But because there are so many of them, no one has ever dared to split them.

Our Croaking Gouramis come from Thailand and there from the Ratchaburi area. You should not mate them with Croaking Gouramis from other collecting sites, but always breed them pure, otherwise there is the danger of unintentionally breeding bastards that lose their reproductive ability after a few generations.

For our customers: the animals have code 471003 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Trichopsis schalleri

23. July 2017

Schaller´s Croaking Gourami is sadly only very occassionally available in the trade. The very pretty fish originates from central Thailand; it attains a length of about 4 cm. So it becomes larger than the Croaking Dwarf Gourami (Trichopsis pumila, 2,5-3 cm), but stays smaller than the common Croaking Gourami (T. vittata, up to 6 cm).

T. schalleri are very undemanding fish that are ideal inhabitants for community tanks with small, peaceful fish from Southeastern Asia, like Rasboras. In contrast to many other labyrinth fishes the males prefer to build the bubble nest under broad leaves, in caves or so instead on the water surface.

For our customers: the fish have code 470903 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.