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BuchholziKnife13

Sensitive Anabantid Opinion (Licorice Gourami in Particular)

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Hi Guys,

(I Think this is the right place for a thread like this... ) I have taken a brief hiatus from diverse fish-keeping/breeding, however, I have finally regained the time (and courage) :) to start looking into the diverse world of generally non-generic fish species! I have become enamoured with the more difficult to keep anabantids/Labyrinths. Therefore, I am interested in setting up a relatively small tank that will eventually house licorice gourami (Parosphromenus deissneri).

Here are my current plans for stocking/ biotic/abiotic/ chemical qualities of the set-up, and I was wanting the opinion from some seasoned aquarists who have dealt with similar situations (who will honestly tell me the good/bad and ugly :) ).

Firstly, I plan to use a tank that will measure 60CM Long, 30CM wide and 40CM deep. This increased depth allows for mechanical currents from filtration to be stymied, allowing the Paro's to happily patrol the lower strata without excessive turbulence. (Though minimally, light would also dissipate more). pH would remain around 6, give/take 2 decimals. In terms of filtration, I understand many aquarists have used air-driven-sponge-based filtration, however due to the volume of the tank, which (including gravel etc.) could be up to 65L, I feel the use of a small Aqua one/clear hang on back filter would provide enough movement for decent solid collection, without disrupting the swimming patterns of the smaller fish. Filter media would obviously include a sponge but I plan to use matrix as a secondary medium. I understand that peat is often used in these set ups for softening and acidifying the water, however- I plan to not use this simply for aesthetic reasons (please correct me if you disagree) as I would like there to be a slight degree of clarity in the water :). To substitute this, I plan to add a few Indian almond leaves to release the tannins/humic acids, which as I am aware, release them at a far slower rate. This will be complemented by Driftwood, which also provides a visual centrepiece for the tank.

Heating is no worry. Gravel will be fine, but not quite sand. Lighting will be an old standard fluorescent tube I have had for yonks- the bulb is hence not that bright but eminates enough to light the tank without the excessive brightness of a new bulb (If you feel this is barbaric- I can consider other options :) ). Water is softened by methods mentioned as above.

The fun part; Livestock!

In terms of plants- I intend on using Java Fern attached to the driftwood, Val as a backdrop with surface cover and maaayyybeee java moss- simply for extra security- but I know it can invade EVERYTHING- so I am cautious. Fish- This links back to the original focus of thread. In order to provide some movement in the mid-regions of the tank I plan on getting a shoal of roughly 7-11 pygmy rasboras (dependent on price and availability). From my research, I have found that the Sparkling Gourami- Trichopsis pumila - is a moderate-difficulty anabantid to keep and is modestly priced. I hence will add a few of these fish first to ensure they are happy and healthy to ensure that any future moves are successful. I will also gain more experience with "difficult anabantids". I need your opinion on this one- I was thinking on getting a few kuhli loaches to scavenge and turn-over the substrate- however will they harm the tiny gouramis? As you can appreciate, there is not a great deal of information on this subject. Then, and only then, if all systems are ready (and stable) and I am confident in keeping Pumila, will I introduce a trio of Licorice Gourami (hopefully 1 male, 2 females). In terms of food apart from frozen alternatives- I can provide live baby brine shrimp- but is the live food necessary? I have read in a few books that frozen foods can be used as an alternative but maybe I shouldn't risk it...?

With this set-up I would intend to delve even further into sensitive anabantids- such as Chocolate Gouramis (Sphaericthys).

Sorry for this looong rambly post- but I have gained an interest in labyrinth fish after breeding Betta splendens- and like to plan out my battle strategies, so I don't receive battle scars (if you get my drift :P).

Thank you so much for your opinion. So. What do you think? Is my set-up plan O.K for Diffiult-to-keep Anabantids? Am I crazy for attempting to keep Paros? Should I scrap the other species and just go for the Paros in a species only?

Thanks for your time,

BK13

Edited by BuchholziKnife13
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IF your aim is to keep Licorice Gouramies in a perfect enviroment...for them

Then you should consider this

They come from black water swamps.......very soft acid water....which is low in oxygen

Critical to set up in my opinion

90% rainwater or RO water

Peat or better still..... Ketapang leaves...in the tank

Don't worry about filtration.....or water movement....air driven sponge filter is plenty

Consider plants that only have roots in water....lucky bamboo

Soft water / acid set-ups for wild bettas,licorice and chocolates are totally different to common aquarium thinking

Most fail because the water isn't soft or acid enough.....best result are tanks where water is so acid plants won't grow

Bacterial filtration in these tanks is totally different....bacteria that work in standard tanks can't live in this water

Enjoy!

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Thank you very much for your help- Yes, I was dancing around the idea of mechanical filtration but you are right- I better go with simple, air-driven filtration.

When you mention Ketapang leaves--- are they synonymous with Indian Almond Leaves? I have read that they are one of the key "anti-bacterial" components

for black water set-ups. So, in your opinion... Would my aforementioned tank-mate "wish list" be acceptable...? I would like to include some Trichopsis Pumila,

that is, if that is a wise stocking decision. Or is it crucial to just keep Paros in a species-only environment? Rain water seems like a good idea... however,

I live in a semi-urban environment... and the only RW tank I have access to is made of metal :/ so perhaps buying a cuppla litres of RO water from a LFS is the best idea...

Once again I thank you very much for your reply, I am intrigued by black water set-ups- S American and SE Asian alike, and I felt sensitive anabantids test your limits

before starting to delve into Apistogrammas, Mikrogeophagus, Nannostomus and whatnot. Also, I love anabantids and they are certainly interesting fish- perhaps,

if I'm lucky, they might breed! (Getting ahead of myself :) ) Though I know this another more in-depth topic...

Thanks for your help, any further opinion is appreciated!

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To be quite honest, I am not sure about their availability 63off... I have seen them (and hence, where I became truly interested in them) at a large general franchise pet store

about a year ago. Therefore, I can only assume that if a large chain store like that can get them in, they musn't be too hard to source from LFS... :/ But once

(and if) I set up this project I will certainly check availability...

Thanks for responding!

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No problem. To be honest I took one look at them on Google and immediately wanted them. When I replace my recently deceased tank I have been thinking of stocking it with gouramis but these look a little out of my expertise. Will probably stick with some opalines as I love their look. Need to work out some tank mates for them so I guess I'm in that same sort of planning stage as you are. Thinking of some Galaxy Rasboras now that I've seen some, gorgeous little guys.

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Fish chicks has some samurai as well as chocolates, they are stunning, I didn't notice any licorice gourami. I brought a couple of pairs of the samurai on Wednesday, they have settled in and are colouring up nicely, even for juveniles. My tank is a 4' sitting on 6.2,2kh, I am using 2 x hang on the back aqua one 30's with peat pellets, IAL's and have a reasonable amount of light on the tank 2x54watt t5's. Fish consist of 4 samurai's, 20 odd rasbora helengi, 5 female wild betta, 12 golden pencil fish and 10 peppermint catfish fry. The tank is heavily planted with crypts, java and mosses, lots of bogwood. All going well, and funds allowing I would like to add another 6 of the Samurai in the next few weeks. Good luck on your tank, and your hunt for the licorice. I think Petcity had some sitting in a tank on the service desk near the fighter wall?

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Thanks guys for your responses. I have often wanted to visit FishChick- as I have heard very good reports about her/the shop. (Its just finding the time to go to Annerley). If you don't mind me asking, Kerrie- I don't

know an awful lot about samurai gouramis (that would be a future venture) but are they quite expensive for what they are and their requirements? I do not know an awful lot about the prices of these anabantids and

know only that I have seen Sparkling gouramis for roughly $5 and Licorices for $15+ (I think). Do you find that there is competitiveness between each of the gouramis/bettas (for food) as well as between the gouramis/ Neon

Harlequin Rasbora? Inter/Intra-species aggressiveness? If I was setting up such a tank I would like to make it a sensitive community, however I realise it may not be that simple...

Thanks again for all of your help! I'm appreciative of your opinions! :)

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Fish chicks has some samurai as well as chocolates, they are stunning, I didn't notice any licorice gourami. I brought a couple of pairs of the samurai on Wednesday, they have settled in and are colouring up nicely, even for juveniles. My tank is a 4' sitting on 6.2,2kh, I am using 2 x hang on the back aqua one 30's with peat pellets, IAL's and have a reasonable amount of light on the tank 2x54watt t5's. Fish consist of 4 samurai's, 20 odd rasbora helengi, 5 female wild betta, 12 golden pencil fish and 10 peppermint catfish fry. The tank is heavily planted with crypts, java and mosses, lots of bogwood. All going well, and funds allowing I would like to add another 6 of the Samurai in the next few weeks. Good luck on your tank, and your hunt for the licorice. I think Petcity had some sitting in a tank on the service desk near the fighter wall?

Where are the pics!!!!!! I love chocolate gourami and other small gourami (anything other than dwarf gourami actually!!!

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There doesn't seem t be any interspecies aggression, just got to make sure that the gouramis get there share of the worms, this is proving to be easy, feed the others down one end then drop the worms for the samurai down the other. Everyone is in there own part of the tank, the rasboras like to shoal and swim around the mid parts the gourami like to hang around in the crypts and around the bogwood, the bettas are the only ones around the gouramis and seem to leave them alone. As for price Fishchicks have the chocolates priced at 3 for $25 or 9.95 each, and for the samurai they are 4 for $60 or $15 each.

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(Whoops Accidentally Pressed Enter)

Thanks again Kerrie! Wow! They are reasonably priced for relatively exotic fish! I'll have to try and get down there at some stage,

before fully setting up the tank etc- to get a feel for what's available and what decor/media/food she offers for sale.

Thanks for all your help guys-- once I get going (if I do) I'll have to set up a tank journal-

Any further help/ opinions would be appreciated!

Edited by BuchholziKnife13
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Well- for some reason my edit didn't edit my above post :/

However...

Thanks again Kerrie! Wow! They are reasonably priced fish! I'll have to try and get

to Fishchick before I begin setting up- to get a feel for what livestock is available

and what decor/ media/ food she offers etc. To be honest, I was thinking of setting up

a community similar to yours (with fish in OP)- however a much smaller stocking ratio

for obvious reasons. It would be great (and I'll see as I go) to incorporate bettas etc- but

I have to be realistic with a ~ 65L tank with low O2/mineral content.

(P.S. Welcome to QLDAF! :))

Thanks for all of your help! Any further opinion/ critique of my plan is greatly appreciated!

BK13

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Thanks for the welcome, and glad I could throw a few ideas your way. Fishchicks is well worth the visit, she has a lot of great 'stuff' including rarer plants and great assortment of bogwod and stone. This is my 1st tank back in the swing of things after 2 1/2 years of just having my betta on the desk with me in a all in one 20l tank. It has been so exciting this last month getting this tank up and running again, and of course spending way too much money in the process. I brought this tank 3 years ago and it was fitted out with rainbows and blue eyes then I lost interest due to work, kids and the death of my greatest hobby partner (my husband), it feels right now to bring it back to life, in a peaceful setting. This was the tank back in early 2010. ?action=view&current=DSC00017.jpg

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I'm sorry to hear that, Kerrie. Yes I have taken a slight break from diverse fishkeeping due to other commitments, but that has made me all the more eager to

get back into it- and more diverse than ever! Any pics would be great. I've looked more into the samurai gourami and feel that perhaps they are less demanding

than Paros- perhaps this might be a new set-up focus, however I do love the Parosphromenus genus. Either way I'll likely follow the same set-up as my

original plan, with some changes people have mentioned.

Thanks again, any further comment/opinion/constructive criticism from anyone is appreciated!

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TFH had a article on licorice a while back, saw the mag in an aquarium today, they sure are beautiful fish. Have you looked at this addition? may be worth a look for some suggestions, didn't look to closely cause if I picked it up I would have brought it lol.

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Thanks for your help DeBree, I have heard that they are either extremely aggressive, or extremely reserved. What do you think I could do to combat this? provide

more pieces of wood or caves to break territories? Or only have a pair--- or omit them completely? I was just going to get some to bring action and colour, as well as

provide me with an introduction to sensitive gouramis, before delving into the really hard types...

Any help is appreciated :) !

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