Gouramis are always a beautiful addition to the aquarium and chocolate gouramis are no exception. This tropical freshwater fish is quite shy and gentle. As one can already guess by their name, their bodies are mostly chocolate brown in color with vertical stripes in yellow and white. They are generally found in sluggish water bodies including swamps, ponds and lakes. They are slow-moving fish and usually get along with other similar fishes. They prefer living in areas with large vegetation. Due to their shy behavior, they can also be seen hiding behind plants and other things present around them.
Similar to other gouramis, chocolate gouramis prefer to live in schools. They should preferably be kept in a group of 4 to 6 at least. However, each should be given sufficient space to live. This would avoid any unnecessary fight. Gouramis are usually perfect for novice fish-keepers. However, some amount of prior knowledge is essential as these fish can be sensitive to a few things. If they don't get proper care, it may even result in their death. Well, this is not a red signal! This article will provide sufficient information one needs for taking care of a pet chocolate gourami.
Distinctive Features of Chocolate Gourami
|Up to 8 years
|Dark brown or chocolate brown
|Minimum 20 gallons
|Low to moderate
|Peaceful, small, and compatible fish
|Labyrinth organ for breathing air
|Its unique coloration and peaceful behavior
|Peaceful and shy
|Not recommended for young children
|Largely sedentary, spends time near the water surface
|Can be kept in small groups or pairs
Chocolate gouramis are small in size and not very demanding. Like many other gouramis, they have a flat and oval-shaped body accompanied by a small head and pointed mouth. Although usually shy, they can sometimes be mischievous as well. Nonetheless, they are a fascinating species to be kept as a pet. Here’s a list indicating some of the basic characteristics of the chocolate gouramis.
Apart from the basic features, here are some other traits that are specific to chocolate gouramis and would help the owners to know their pet fish better.
- Chocolate gouramis have a special labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric oxygen. This allows them to survive in low-oxygenated water as well. They often come up to the surface of the water to take in regular air.
- Like most gouramis, chocolate gouramis are territorial in nature. Even though they should be kept in groups, each one should have enough space so that they don't have any territorial issues.
- Chocolate gouramis are usually very peaceful towards each other and towards other similar species. However, two male gouramis should always be avoided keeping together. They tend to be aggressive with each other and end up fighting.
- Male gouramis are larger in size than their female counterparts. Also, the dorsal fins in the males are larger and more pointed. Females are relatively calmer in behavior.
How to Take Care of a Pet Chocolate Gourami?
Taking care of a pet chocolate gourami is not a very difficult task. However, there are several important things one needs to know in advance which is going to be covered in the upcoming sections. If the owners can provide these gouramis with appropriate food and shelter, nothing extra would be required.
How to Setup a Tank for a Pet Chocolate Gourami?
Chocolate gouramis require large aquariums as they prefer to live in schools. The minimum size of the tank should not be any less than 30 gallons. Larger is always more preferable though. Apart from this, the water temperature in the tank should always be between 77 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit while the pH level should be around 4 to 6. They don't need much decoration but there should be enough vegetation for them to hide whenever they wish. It is also suggested to add floating plants to the tank.
The lighting should not be very bright as they are shy in nature. Also, they naturally live in relatively darker areas and would prefer the same. The water currents shouldn't be too strong either. It's better to keep the tank similar to their natural habitat as much as possible. The water should be changed regularly to maintain hygienic living conditions. However, only 10% (or less) of water must be changed at once. Chocolate gouramis may find it difficult if the water chemistry changes all of a sudden.
What to Feed a Pet Chocolate Gourami?
Chocolate gouramis are omnivores and accept almost all kinds of food. However, just because they accept everything doesn't mean they don't have any specific dietary needs. If the gourami has to be kept healthy, a well-balanced diet is essential. They need a good amount of protein in their meals. One may include daphnia, brine shrimp, algae-based flakes or mosquito larvae in their food. Meaty food should be added as well.
Maintaining a variety in the meals would be helpful to provide them with all desired nutrients. There are a few other things to remember while feeding the pet gourami. Like other gouramis, chocolate gouramis too have a small mouth. Considering the same, the food should always be served in small quantities. Another notable fact is that chocolate gouramis prefer the upper and middle portions of the tank. So, the owner should always opt for food that takes time to sink to the bottom.
What are the Health Concerns for Pet Chocolate Gourami?
Chocolate gouramis need a good lifestyle and habitat to stay healthy. For this, the owners need to keep a few things in mind. For instance, chocolate gouramis are sensitive to water changes. That's why sudden changes in water chemistry should be avoided or it can have a bad impact on them. Also, hygiene is of utmost importance because they are quite vulnerable to parasitic and bacterial infections. Besides this, there are a few diseases that are common among all the gouramis and a few that are common among all the fish in general. Some of these include:
- Fungal diseases
- Fin rot
- Fish flukes
- Costia infection
Most of these health problems can be prevented in advance if the gouramis are provided with proper care. However, giving them all the resources is not enough! One needs to keep an eye on the pet fish and monitor them. If there are any warning signs or symptoms, they should be immediately taken care of. While early diagnosis and treatment can help in easy recovery, delayed actions can result in the death of the fish.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Chocolate Gourami
Some of the generally asked questions about Chocolate Gourami are answered below:
Are chocolate gouramis hard to keep?
They are not necessarily hard to keep but they do need some amount of care. Proper knowledge is essential before bringing chocolate gouramis to your home.
How many chocolate gouramis should be kept together?
It is advised to keep at least 4 to 6 gouramis together. However, they are territorial and each one should get enough space. Also, try not to keep two male gouramis in close vicinity ever.
How big does chocolate gourami get?
Chocolate gouramis are small in size and can grow up to 2.5 inches in length.
What kind of fish is chocolate gourami?
Chocolate gouramis are generally shy and gentle in nature.
Are gouramis sensitive to water changes?
Though they survive even in low-oxygenated areas, gouramis are quite sensitive to water changes.