Originally from South Asia where their natural habitats are subjected to heavy rainy seasons followed by dry ones. As the dry season sets in, rivers withdraw leaving hundreds of ponds behind where different species of fish get caught every year. Under these conditions gouramis have developed a unique survival tool: armed with a special organ call labyrinth, they can breathe oxygen from the air and so live in such oxygen-poor waters. This ability allows them to survive for short periods of time under the most extreme environments: where there’s no water at all but just pools of wet mud as long as they can remain moist.
This breathing organ is so well developed that it comes at a price: many varieties have reduced their gill-breathing capacities and must breathe air to avoid drowning. I personally recommend leaving a small space between the hood and the water for ventilation, and also using air pumps to keep the water top surface aerated.
If anything dwarfs are ideal community fish for medium aquariums ranging from 25 to 40 gallon. These anabantoids display astonishing blue and orange-flame colors that can be enhanced by adding a dark substrate of fine gravel or sand to the bottom of your tank. Their metallic looking scales have an iridescent nature that rivals any marine fish.
When looking around is hard to find a candidate with so many qualities. Dwarf gouramis can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and are not demanding in terms of water conditions. They have beautiful colors and peaceful nature plus lots of personality and, more important, they have the right size for the home aquarium: 4 to 5 centimeters (1.5 to 2 inches) which allows having a good number of them: up to six (25 gallon) to twelve (40 gallon).
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