The honey gourami or honey thread fish comes from South Asia and has established itself as a popular ornamental fish. The desirable conditions of aquarium keeping, nutrition, and your offspring can be achieved with little effort – an attractive prerequisite for both experts and newcomers to the aquarium hobby.
Typical characteristics and classification of honey gourami
The fish’s scientific name is “Trichogaster chuna,” a special species of the genus “Trichogaster.” The golden honey gourami, also called honey thread fish, is one of the western labyrinth fish: In addition to their gills, these have an additional organ to absorb oxygen.
With a maximum size of about 5 cm, it is the smallest fish of this suborder. Labyrinth fish belong to the order of the “Anabantiformes,” which also includes snakehead fish and some perch-like, called Perciformes.
The gourami represents one of a total of nine species of labyrinth fish that belong to the subfamily of the gourami. Those fish have on the one hand a separate organ for oxygen breathing and on the other hand specific pelvic rays: Since these rays activate the honey gourami’s senses of taste and touch, the underwater creatures can orientate themselves more easily, seek food faster and communicate better with one another.
The fin animal is a freshwater fish that originally comes from northeast India. Its distribution there is assigned to the states of Bangladesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam. However, in its country of origin, it is used as a table fish, not as an ornamental fish, although it is significantly inferior to other food fish in its size.
Its fins’ arrangement is also typical of the honey gourami: it has more spiked rays in its dorsal and anal fin.
External characteristics of the goldfish
An essential feature of the honey gourami is its distinctive color. It bears the appropriate name because of its honey-colored body. The females’ basic color is generally much less intense; on the other hand, they tower above their sexual partners in terms of their size.
- The feminine coloring can even acquire beige and green shades.
- Both males and females have a brown stripe along with their bodies.
- This begins at the base of your head and extends to the tail fin.
- The intensity of the brown tone depends on the mood of the fish.
If the male wants to defend his territory or protect his brood, his spine rays and the upper part of the dorsal fin are colored light yellow. Before mating, the dark blue or even black underside of the males is also noticeably dark. Its basic color also changes: the orange tone, reminiscent of honey, has brown or red nuances.
Changed color scheme
Another mood can change the male’s color: If he feels unsafe, for example, in the dealer’s aquarium, the colors become weaker.
In general, the honey gourami can be classified into three cultivated forms in a neutral mood: In addition to the golden honey gourami, there is the second cultivated form, “Fire,” in which the fins also have red nuances but are in combination with a beige body. The third shape, appropriately named “Fire Red,” has a completely red body.
Proper honey gourami feed
Both dry, live, and frozen food are suitable for feeding honey gourami – they are omnivores. You can also vary with a plant-based diet. Flake food is the basic form of the diet.
This is obtained in the consistency of flakes or granules as standard food for ornamental fish. The live food is also commercially available and consists, for example, of small larvae, fleas, or worms. Frozen food is the term used to describe deep-frozen smaller creatures mixed with a vegetable component. It is also fortified with vitamins and minerals.
You should always pay attention to the quality of the respective feed type. Feeding times should also be taken into account. Regularity is strongly recommended in order to avoid possible overheating of the honey threadfish. In the worst case, this leads to illness.
Honey gourami: keeping and breeding
Setting up the aquarium: Numerous plants within the aquarium are essential. Floating plants, in particular, should be available to enable the fish to retreat within their habitat.
Floating plants include swimming fern, the so-called frog bite, and numerous Salvinia species. In particular, the females need this shelter to protect themselves from the peculiarities of the males – depending on the mating season, they can tend to be more aggressive.
The fish also need dense plants in order to build so-called foam nests for the purpose of reproduction. These nests can grow up to 25 cm. The swimming plants required are located inside the aquarium in the direction of the water surface. On the ground, you should ensure that there are stones and roots. The tank’s lighting must also be adjusted: the ornamental fish feels more comfortable in less bright light.
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Water standard within the aquarium
The honey threadfish must not be kept alone, but rather in a constellation of couples. A couple needs at least an aquarium volume of 60 liters, a pH value of 6 – 7.5, and a water hardness of 5-15 ° d Gh, which is classified as medium-hard.
- At best, you expand the size of the aquarium to hold several pairs, as the honey gourami prefers life in a school.
- If you keep several pairs of two in the aquarium, the other pairs should consist of two females’ constellation.
- Since the males become more aggressive in less habitat and thus smaller territory, no more than two specimens of their sex should be included in the aquarium.
- The gourami is quite compatible with other species, but these should be smaller or the same size.
- Under no circumstances should one choose other gourmets as a company.
Also note: There are fish species that attack the pelvic fins, such as the tiger barb – so these should not be selected under any circumstances. Other, more peaceful barbel species, angelfish or the harlequin, as an example of a particularly peaceful fish species, are ideal for socialization.
Honey gourami breeding
The natural mating season of the honey gourami is limited from August to October. The waters that the wild fish inhabit then reach temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees. The effort of private breeding is trivial, provided that you buy a second, approximately 20 cm large tank for mating.
The water standards must also be adjusted in this basin. In the second tank, the male can form the foam nest in which the female stores her spawn. The larvae usually hatch after a little more than 24 hours. To protect them, the original pair should be removed from the tank as soon as the young fish are swimming freely. This happens after two to three days.
Recognize males and females
The key to differentiation is the color of the honey gourami, as the honey-colored radiance of the females is significantly weaker. The male particularly stands out during the courtship season.
On the other hand, the females are larger, both in terms of length and body volume. Especially since the females have a colored stripe along with their bodies. Men only wear this when they are stressed.
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Age and life expectancy
On average, the fish can live up to four years. In order to increase life expectancy, one should pay particular attention to the water temperature by always following the recommended guidelines.
Incorrect or often fluctuating temperatures can lead to illnesses as this affects the metabolism of the fish. Regular feeding time is also necessary in order to avoid fish overeating.
In addition, the pH value in the aquarium should remain as stable as possible, as fluctuations lead to the fish feeling stressed. This can also cause illness and reduce life expectancy.
Buy honey threadfish – where and what should you watch out for?
The honey gourami does not require any unusual purchase: It can be obtained in online markets as well as in popular animal and pet shops in the aquarium sector.
You can buy them for less than five euros. You can also easily buy your tank or aquarium, including accessories and food, in the same markets.