|Quick Stats: Licorice Gourami
Range: Malaysia, Singapore
Size: Up to 1½ inches
Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Well-planted tanks
Tank Conditions: 74-82°F; pH 5.6-7.2; dH 10
Minimum Tank Capacity: 20 gallons
Swimming Level: Bottom
Care Level: Difficult
Reproduction: Egg Layer - Cave Breeder
The Licorice Gourami is one of the smallest and most beautifully colored labyrinth fish. The male is much more brightly colored than the female, especially during courtship. The male has vertical stripes in black and silver with iridescent turquoise-blue and red in the fins and tail. The female is brownish with black edging the fins. Because it can breathe through its gills, it will rarely surface for air in the aquarium, unlike other labyrinth fish. The Licorice Gourami makes a great addition to the accomplished hobbyist's tank.
The Licorice Gourami requires a well-planted tank of at least 20 gallons or larger. It needs soft, slightly acidic water with good filtration. It is a peaceful, gentle fish, but does best in a species only tank. If this fish is housed in a community tank, it should not be bred. The other fish in the community tank should be peaceful and shy.
The Licorice Gourami is a cave breeder. After spawning, the male will take care of the nest and chase away the female. The larvae will hatch after 72 hours in water temperatures of 77°F, and will be free-swimming within 6 days. The fry will grow very slowly and should be fed infusoria and brine shrimp. They require very clean, pure water.
The Licorice Gourami is an omnivore and prefers both algae-based foods as well as meaty foods. An algae-based flake food, along with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp will provide this fish with the proper nutrition.
Ideal tank mates include: