Trichopodus trichopterus – Three Spot Gourami
Trichopodus trichopterus or Three Spot Gourami can reach a length of up to about 15 centimetres. This gourami is blue-grey, with a dark black dot in the middle of their flank and one at their caudal peduncle. The fins often have yellow/grey dots. This gourami also has two elongated pelvic fins (blades). The males are more brightly coloured than females. Females are more greyish in colour and have a somewhat thicker belly, during the mating season the female’s belly is soft yellow.
Trichogaster trichopterus is a hardy species that is very easy to keep and is therefore very suitable for beginners. Of course, it should be taken into account that this species belongs to the labyrinth fish. The temperature above the aquarium should not be too cold, so the use of a closed hood is recommended. This labyrinth allows them to breathe above water as well. This also allows them to survive in standing water without oxygen. If there is too great a difference between the water and air temperature, they can get sick!
That they can survive without oxygen in the water does not mean that no water needs to be changed. Like all other fish, they cannot tolerate heavily polluted water.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar.
In the wild, they can be found in shallow water and for example, flooded rice fields where they swim around between dense plants with very little to no current. In the aquarium, you must ensure that there is not too much current. The aquarium must also be provided with dense edge planting and some floating plants. With some dim light and a dark bottom, their colours come out best. Especially when the fish get a bit older, they usually find a quiet place under the floating plants where they can hang in the water.
The Three Spot Gourami requires an aquarium of at least 1 meter in length. Set up the aquarium with dense planting on the edges and floating plants, preferably also with a dark substrate. Provide as little flow as possible and sufficient hiding places. Gouramis cannot be kept together with barbs because they tend to bite fins.
Temperature: 22-30 Celsius
pH: 5.5 – 8.5
Trichopodus trichopterus is an omnivore, so they can be fed with mosquito larvae, Cyclops, artemia, tubifex, flakes, pellets, but also vegetable food such as blanched lettuce. It also means they eat small fish when given the chance. In any case, make sure there is enough variety in their diet.
The Three Spot Gourami is one of the strongest Labyrinth fish and can adapt well. Keep these fish as a couple or 1 male with several females, males can fight a lot. It is usually a peaceful calm fish towards other species. They swim in the middle and upper water layers.
The Trichopodus trichopterus seems so calm and graceful but they are excellent hunters. So do not combine them with very small species or very small fry. Their modified ventral fins are vulnerable to fin biters. A combination with, for example, Puntigrus tetrazona, is therefore not recommended.
Breeding Trichopodus trichopterus
Breeding Trichopodus trichopterus is not difficult in itself, but will hardly occur in a community tank. Probably the biggest challenge is to find a good couple. The males are more brightly coloured than females. The females have a somewhat rounded belly. The dorsal fin of the male tapers and is round in shape for the females.
For successful breeding, it is better to start a separate breeding aquarium with a capacity of about 40 litres. Maintain a water depth of about 12 to 15 centimetres and very little flow. Raising the temperature to 28 to 30 degrees Celsius puts the couple in the right mood. The male will then spend a lot of time building a foam nest. The eggs and fry are lighter than water and float in the foam. Floating plants or plants that touch the surface help to keep the foam nest in place.
After spawning, the female must be removed or she may be killed by the male. You can also remove the male after the eggs have hatched. The fry can be fed with for example Liquifry, micro worms, Paramecium and dust food.
There are various cultured forms of this fish for sale, e.g. the Marbled Gourami.
The Three Spot Gourami is known to eat Planaria. Planaria is a very small flat and almost transparent worm that you sometimes see moving very slowly on your aquarium glass. So if you have Planaria, this is your solution.
Coby – John de Lange
John de Lange