Gouramies are great community tank fish. I've kept all of the more commonly available species over the years I have been keeping fish. My first breeding project was the blue gourami Trichogaster trichopterus While I have spawned others I've never really put much effort into it as I've mainly kept them as display fish. Of the less common gouramies I've only had experience with the croaking gouramies. Croaking gouramies of the genus Trichopsis are charming small to medium sized fish with interesting habits. I've bred both the pygmy gourami Trichopsis pumilus and the croaking gourami Trichopsis vittatus over several generations. Both spawned willingly and the fry were not difficult to raise.
The blue gourami
This can become a big fish of almost 15 cm and needs a good size tank. They come in five colour varieties: three-spot, blue, Cosby, platinum and gold. The gold form is especially attractive.
These fish are not difficult to breed. You will need an adult pair and a big tank. Adult females will look like small soccer balls with tails. Their abdomens will be huge. To spawn these fish set up a 90 cm tank (3 foot) and set the temperature to no less than 27°C. Introduce the male first and the female a day or two later.
The pair will embrace like Bettas and thousands of eggs will eventually be laid. The male will gather the eggs up into a bubble nest that he will construct ad hoc. Remove the female after spawning. The male try to position the nest as close to the heater as possible. Having floating plants in the tank is a must.
The eggs will hatch out after 24 hours and fry will be free swimming 4 to 5 days later. They will need to be fed on infusoria. A trick is to add several drops of Liquifry to the spawning tank a day or two after spawning. When the fry are free swimming the tank will be full of food for them. After a week or two the fry can take baby brine shrimp and grow rapidly. They are not very sensitive to disease as long as good house keeping is performed.
Sort the fry to size as they grow as the larger fry will eat the smaller fry.
The pygmy gourami
These are small fish of only 3 to 4 cm. In spite of their small size these are feisty fish that can tough it out with full grown angelfish. The eat anything and are not picky about water quality.
For spawning you will need only a 30 cm tank with the temperature set at 27°C. The pair will embrace as with Bettas and some 20 to 100 eggs will be laid. Both the male and female will gather up the eggs and spit them into the nest that can be positioned anywhere in the tank under a suitable support.
After a few days the fry are free swimming and will be searching for infusoria to eat. After a day or two they will be ready to take baby brine shrimp. The fry grow fast and can be spawning in 3 months.
Males can be told apart from the females by the orange/yellow chest of the females; and if held up to the light a yellow triangle (the ovary) can be seen through the fish.
The croaking gourami
Croaking gouramies reach 7 to 10 cm and look very nice. They have large flowing fins and a nasty temper. A pair will coexist peacefully but any fish of the same gender will be attacked and murderred.
A tank of no less than 45 cm will be needed for breeding. The breeding ritual follows as above with a maximum of 200 eggs being laid. The fry are free swimming some 3--4 days after spawning and are large enough to take baby brine shrimp. Growth is rapid and the fish sex out after only 3 months.
Males have longer flowing fins with more colour and the ovaries can be seen through the female fish if held up to the light.