Honey gourami

The honey gourami (Colisa chuna or Trichopodus chuna) originally comes from the northeast of India and Bangladesh. There, it is found in the calm banks and floodplains of the major rivers such as the Ganges, Bramaputra and Jamuna. It belongs to the gouramis and is sometimes also called “gold gourami”.

What distinguishes the Honey Gourami?

Zikamoi, Colisa chuna, CC BY-SA 2.5

The Honey Gourami brings colour into the aquarium. It owes its name to its often golden yellow colouring. There are shades of lemon yellow, orange and red. The little fish is actually able to change colour. Depending on whether it is defending its territory, mating or raising its young, it changes colours. A special feature of the honey gouramis is that the males alone take care of the brood. Honey gouramis are easy to keep if they have enough space. They live at least in pairs and can be socialized with some other small fish species.

  • Freshwater fish
  • changes colour
  • relatively easy to hold

The appearance of the honey gourami

The play of colours ranges from lemon yellow and orange to the multi-coloured splendour of the males during courtship and brood care. In this colour dress the males show themselves with a dark line from the head to the anal fin and the rest of the body in wonderful shades from yellow to red. Typical for the Honey Gourami and other species of the Colisa genus is the thread-like extended second ventral fin ray. The fish are between 4 and 5 cm large, roundish and rather compactly built.

Housing conditions

Although the honey gourami is small, it has a rather large space requirement. The males form and defend their territories. Other representatives of the dwarf gourami and Colisa species can also be regarded as competitors. It belongs to the labyrinth fish and rises to the water surface to take a breath. The temperature just above the water surface should be about the same as the water temperature or even slightly higher. The honey gourami can be socialized with other small fish species such as the ear-grid loricariid or cockatoo cichlids.

  • Keeping at least in pairs
  • in small aquaria only one male
  • in company with other small fish

Gender differences

The males of the genus are more colourful and varied. Females mostly show only a yellow to pale orange colour and a light underside. The males are also slightly larger and have a pointed dorsal fin, while that of the females is rounded.

Water values for the honey gourami

As an Asian freshwater fish, the honey gourami prefers soft and warm water. Small fluctuations in temperature and water quality are usually well tolerated. If you want to breed, you have to increase the temperature up to 30 °C.

  • Water temperature: 23-27 °C
  • pH value: 6.0-7.0
  • Total hardness: 3-15°dGH

Feed and nutrition

Honey gouramis prefer live food like Artemia or perhaps Mosquito larvae. Conventional flake food is suitable for the sufficient supply of all essential nutrients. Frozen food can also be given.

The ideal aquarium for the honey gourami

Aquariums from 60 cm edge length are perfect. If you want to keep several males, you should plan a territory of 30 x 30 cm per male. As a substrate is suitable approx. 3 to 5 cm high fine gravel. The honey gourami also needs good hiding places. Especially tall, feathered or herbaceous water plants are suitable for this purpose. If you wish, you can add decorative elements made of wood or roots to the aquarium. The honey gourami needs floating plants to lay its eggs. As it can be very jumpy and shy, the tank should be placed with one side facing the wall or darkened on one side.

  • from 60 cm edge length
  • rich planting and hiding places
  • darken quiet location and rear side

>> Read on: Honey gourami – Breeding and rearing

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