Few gourami keepers would argue against nominating these three-spot fellows to the star category of one of the toughest fish ever. Blue Gouramis can withstand almost any hard conditions imposed on the aquarium by neglectful owners. Ranging from sudden pH changes, high levels of ammonia to extreme temperatures, you name it, the Blue Gourami will stand alone while other fish have already departed to a much better place.
But wait, we are about to reveal a family secret … the blue gourami can be GOLD, by this we mean in color of course. Yep! the gold and the blue gouramis are in fact the same fish: Trichopodus trichopterus. Now that we have solved the mystery let’s move on.
How big can they grow? How long can they live? Our blue friends can reach up to 6” (15 cm) with females being slightly larger than males with an average lifespan of four years.
One remarkable feature about these fish apart from possessing a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe oxygen from the air, and the fact that they build bubble-nests when breeding are its two long hair-like fins. These pelvic fins have evolved into threadlike sensory organs for feeling, smelling and tasting!
Like science-fiction monsters in a B-movie, Gouramis will navigate the aquarium, exploring each inch using these long fins moving them in every imaginable direction, changing colors as their moods altered …
Finally if you are planning to house these trichopterus here are some tips:
1. Make sure your tank is heavily planted regardless of the size.
2. House only one male per tank. They are extremely territorial to say the least.
3. Do not mix them with dwarf gouramis, guppies, goldfish, angelfish or bettas. Good tankmates are Tetras, Rasboras, Loaches, Danios, Mollies, Platies, Swortails, Sharks, Corydoras, Barbs, Rainbowfish, Plecos, and Scavenger Catfish of similar size.
4. If you notice their spots are fading in color (they have two distinct spots, one in the center of the body, and a second at the beginning of the tail) check your tank setup. This is a sign of high stress, often times caused by poor water quality, or overcrowded conditions in the aquarium
5. Feed them two times a day.