Pearl gourami – breeding and rearing

The breeding of the Pearl gourami is somewhat more complex. A separate breeding aquarium is required and the very numerous young fish must be fed in any case.

Necessary conditions for breeding

Schaumnest Fadenfisch
© Moni Adler

The breeding of the Pearl gourami is only recommended in separate tanks. Up to 700 young fish can emerge from one brood. In order to better protect them from voracious adults and to optimize the supplementary feeding, a rearing aquarium of at least 100 cm length is necessary. Swimming plants such as the Sumatran fern, Riccia or Azolla are also absolutely necessary, because the Pearl gourami builds its foam nest in them.

In the breeding tank the water must be very soft, less than 4°GdH carbon and total water hardness are recommended. The water temperature should be around 30°C and the water level should not exceed 25 cm. If the water is too hard, peat filtration can help. The resulting dark water colouring does not disturb the fish, which of course also lives in muddy standing waters. To prevent the sensitive foam nest from falling apart, the ventilation should also be turned off.

  • Rearing aquarium at least 100 cm long
  • soft water
  • Floating plants absolutely necessary
  • Water temperature 30° C
  • Water level up to 25 cm

The courtship behavior

Outside the mating mood, Pearl gourami are not very sociable. The male guards his territory and usually does not tolerate females there. If it comes in breeding mood, it creates a foam nest. For this he uses a secretion from his mouth, in which air bubbles are trapped. If there is no female ready to mate, the Pearl gourami can be quite rough. Under certain circumstances the fish will start to hunt females intensively. If the advertising is successful, both fish meet directly under the foam nest and swim around each other in a circle. The heads are turned towards each other and again and again both fish nudge or nibble at each other laterally.

Spawning behaviour

After the mating ritual the female releases the eggs directly into the water. The male fertilizes them and collects them. With his mouth he carries them directly into the foam nest, which he guards strictly from now on. The egg development takes 1 to 1.5 days.

Breeding care and feeding

Immediately after hatching, the larvae first feed on the yolk sac. After a further 2 to 4 days tiny fry leave the nest. The brood is cared for exclusively by the male. He makes sure that the larvae do not fall out of the nest and reliably collects small fish again. Occasionally you can observe how the fish father collects grains of sand and spits into the nest. It is suspected that this is a kind of compensatory behaviour. If no larvae or small fish fall out of the nest, the Pearl gourami deals with this. Under the nest a real small sand mound can develop.

The juveniles should first be fed with rotifers, paramecia and similar infusoria. After two weeks Artemia nauplii are also suitable.

  • Male takes over care of the brood
  • Young animals swim out after 3 to 5 days
  • Additional feeding with infusoria necessary

Rearing of young fish

Even after swimming out, the male reliably looks after the young fish. This can lead to a somewhat exaggerated behaviour. The male may desperately try to collect the up to 700 young fish and carry them back to the nest. If this is the case, the male should also be removed from the rearing aquarium from this time on.

>> Read on: Pearl gourami – Posture and Portrait

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