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FAQs on the Blue, Three-Spot, Gold/en, Opaline, Even Albino! Gouramis, Yes, The Same Species, Trichogaster trichopterus,  Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish

Related FAQs: & FAQs on: Trichogaster trichopterus 1, Trichogaster trichopterus 2, T. trichopterus ID, T. trichopterus Behavior, T. trichopterus Compatibility, T. trichopterus Selection, T. trichopterus Systems, T. trichopterus Disease, T. trichopterus Reproduction, Gouramis 1, Gouramis 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,


Trichopodus leerii food     1/9/20
Hello Crew, hope things are status quo in your neck(s) of the woods! Question—any suggestions for a (preferably low maintenance) daily food supplement to give my Trichopodus leerii in addition to flakes?
<A good quality pellet, maybe frozen/defrosted crustacean...>
My last Trichopodus loved your NLS Float suggestion but this guy spits them out, yet my cherry barbs devour them. Package says “regular size” 1-1.5mm pellets—could these be too big for him?
<Unusual... maybe>
NLS does not seem to sell a smaller, floating food, and he is too slow to grab sinking food from other inhabitants. I have Hikari micro pellets but they are smaller than flakes! Any ideas, or maybe his “begging” is an act of dramatics? Thank you! —Matt from NJ
<I'd go with what I do... the frozen/defrosted food in addition daily (better in the AM, use the dry in the PMs). I use (a lot) of San Francisco Bay Brand brine shrimp; though Hikari's line are also excellent. Bob Fenner>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/10/20

Thank you for the suggestion, I’ll give it a shot.
<Glad Bob's suggestion of use. I find Gouramis tend to have "small mouths" and consume smaller foods than you think, preferring even tiny live foods like Daphnia and Artemia nauplii over chunky foods.>
Could his habit of staying up at the surface be a symptom of anything else?
<It is largely what they do; they are associated with floating vegetation in the wild, and rarely stray away from such.>
My water quality has 0 ammonia and nitrites, and my filter media is fresh. I have a steady air stone firing plenty of air through the tank and my filter is keeping the surface moving. The tank is a 15-gal column with 2 synodontis nigriventris and three cherry barbs, along with the pearl.
<S. nigriventris can be a 'fin nibbler' at times, but I think the real challenge here is the tank. 15 gallons is too small, and it's unlikely such big fish are going to feel comfortable in this tank, especially when it's a tall design. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food   1/11/20

Thank you both. Yes, I have regretted purchasing this tank since the day I opened up the box... it’s a water quality nightmare... but I’ve managed to keep it going for almost 5 years so it’s a personal challenge at this point! I had a rock solid trichogaster trichopterus for 4 years in there and my cherries and these cats are years old (corys, as expected, grew sick of swimming to the top)... so I think I’ve done relatively ok. I’ve always shied away from the live foods out of both convenience (honestly) and fear of water quality issues. Maybe it’s time to “dive” in. You and Bob have inspired me. I will search WWM for some rookie tips on live foods.
<Understand your disappointment with the tank. Frozen foods can substitute for live foods in many cases, so well worth trying these out. Certainly Gouramis aren't too fussed about live vs. frozen foods. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20

Thank you! This gourami is not going to make it...
<Oh dear.>
I’m on the third and final dose of Kanaplex after many water changes and removing the carbon from the filter—I hate medicating my tank but I thought it was necessary here—and now he’s showing fin rot, lost posture, and rocking back and forth. If I lose him, and after I let the tank sit stable for a while, do you think a smaller gourami would work in my setup, such as a T. chuna?
<In a tank this size and shape, I'd be thinking perhaps of a 'bed' of floating vegetation at the top, and then something smaller, like Sparkling Gouramis or Croaking Gouramis. Both associate with floating plants, and being farmed but not selectively bred, they're pretty robust. Sensitive to cold air, like all labyrinth fish, but the Sparkling Gouramis are tiny fish, and would be fine in a columnar tank. They have lovely colours! Floating Indian Fern would be an ideal plant to use, being adaptable and forming thick beds several inches deep, if doing well. Do see BobF's piece on this excellent species, here:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus leerii food    1/12/20

Great ideas all around, thanks so much!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Trichopodus trichopterus changed eating habits?         6/6/19
Hi crew! Question—my three spot Gourami has enjoyed several years munching on a combo of flakes and NLS Float pellets. Suddenly, she spits out the pellets but still eats the flakes. She even “tries” to grab the pellets and “misses” them. The flakes were never enough for her so the pellets were doing the trick. Is it possible that she simply can’t digest the pellets anymore? She is about 4 years old (in my tank) and 3.5 inches long, if that helps. Thanks for all you do! —Matt
<It's more likely the flakes are 'off' or she just doesn't like them. She's not old at 4 years. Flakes and pellets have a shelf life of about a month, and much beyond that there is a risk of them oxidising and becoming rancid, especially in warm or damp conditions. Even if not actually nutritionally bad, it can lose the flavours that attracts the fish to eat it. It can be worth storing large tubs of flake in a cold, dry environment, and decanting out small portions to last a month or so into a smaller, separate container. If all else fails, starve the fish for a few days, and then offer something new, even human food like chopped up white fish or shrimp. If the fish happily consume that, but still ignore the flake, then the flake is probably bad and not worth keeping. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus trichopterus changed eating habits?     6/6/19
Thanks for your reply and for your help!
I had no idea that the dry foods have such a short shelf life... wow.
<As I say, does depend on ambient temperature and humidity. But if your fish aren't eating flake that they liked before, and you can rule out disease or water quality issues, then it's worth considering if the food is stale. Certainly if the fish are scarfing down other foods, but ignoring the flake they ate before, it might have gone off.>
So much for expiration dates. The pellets are brand new, however... is it possible that they are too big?
<Can be, or too hard. The larger pellets meant for big cichlids can be impossible for smaller fish to handle.>
The last batch were fine and I bought the same brand/type. Perhaps the Gourami is just “over them”. Any ideas for another surface floating food that could fill her up? Sinking foods are lost to my two ravenous nigriventris :)
<Trichopodus are omnivores, so will nibble on softened plant foods, such as blanched lettuce leaves, cooked peas, sushi Nori, and so forth. So feel free to offer these if your fish seem peckish and you don't want to overdo the protein input and resulting water quality issues. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Trichopodus trichopterus changed eating habits?        6/8/19

I’ll give it a shot. Many thanks!
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Gourami "begging" for food     3/5/16
Hello WWM crew, thanks for your hard work and for bailing me out of my ammonia problem a few weeks back! I have a 15-gal Column (regretfully) setup for a little under a year with an opaline gourami and a gold
3-spot--both female--three male and two female cherry barbs, and two julii corys. Everyone seems active, happy, and stable, ammonia and nitrites are 0, bio-filtering with an Aquaclear 20, 25% water change bi-weekly with a drop of Prime per new gallon before I add. I feed them flakes every evening with a freeze-dried bloodworm treat (instead) one night a week, and I drop a shrimp pellet in a few times a week after dark for the corys.
After a few minutes of feeding flakes in waves so none drop and everyone eats, my opaline stays at the top and seems to "beg" for more food for several minutes at a time.
<Mmm; your observation may be accurate. Flakes don't have much nourishment; weight>
I'm not sure but I don't believe she is gasping for more air--she looks very healthy otherwise, flowing fins unfolded and no signs of disease, bullying, nipped fins, or stress that I can see--but I obviously could be wrong. When in doubt, I always underfeed, as your writers suggest.
Should I try something else or be concerned? I'm a little weary of frozen foods because of the delicate chemistry of my water... and because I've never tried using them :) Thank you!
<I'd try adding some more substantive floating pelleted food. New Life Spectrum (small pellets) is a fave. Though the pic of your Opaline doesn't show as skinny. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gourami "begging" for food     3/5/16

Thanks for the quick reply and for the idea, I will definitely look into it. Enjoy your weekend, sir!
<Thank you Matt. You as well. BobF>

Dwarf Gourami Possible Fungus - Opaline Starving?    9/16/12
My name is Jesse I have a 40 gallon tank with one male and female Dwarf, one Opaline, one Pearl, ten Neon Tetras, one Bristlenose Pleco, and one baby Swordtail (parents both died).  Tank is Cycled water quality Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Ph Varies 7.5 -8.0 temp 76f and its slightly hard .  
<Sounds within the tolerances of the species being kept, so should work.>
My Opaline I believe has not recovered from the stress of a larger Opaline who beat him up to the point of almost death, the bully went back to the store unfortunately the place I got him wouldn't take him back so I had to drive an hour and a half to a place that would.
<Ah yes, males of this species (and in fact all the Three-Spot Gouramis, Trichopodus trichopterus) can be aggressive.>
The one Opaline still sits around only moving from shelf in tank to breath air at surface, eating a bite here and there every other day and it's been two weeks.  The plan was with him to nurse him back to health and re-home him because I don't want an fish notorious for aggression, my fault for not reading up on them before purchase.  Any suggestions for him would be great.
<Time. So long as he's eating, he's probably okay. There's nothing you can add to speed his recover, but do check water quality is good (seems to be) and ensure there's a good variety of food. If he doesn't like one thing, try something else. Make sure other fish aren't harassing or nipping him.>
My male Dwarf has a patch on his what you may call a chin that almost looks like a feather.  He also constantly rubs his head up and down the side of the glass vigorously.  His appetite is great and vary energetic. I've read on your site a lot and it sounds like a possible fungus.  I would just like a little more info for proper treatment. 
<If it's fluffy, often what people describe as "cotton wool", then that's Fungus; various treatments, with Methylene Blue being the mildest and safest, provided the fungal infection hasn't gone too far.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dwarf Gourami Possible Fungus - Opaline Starving?      9/23/12

Thanks for the quick response the other day. It was unexpected for a Sunday evening and in great timing. I work on the road a lot and pay the neighbors kid to feed and watch the tank while away.
<Ah, well, unless you're gone more than a week, there's usually no need to feed tropical fish. But if you trust these kids to at least do no harm, then sure…>
The Opaline has proceeded to make a great comeback in the last week another week and he may be ready to go. Ill keep him unless he becomes (overly) aggressive.
The Dwarf has stopped rubbing against the wall but still has the spot (cotton wool) however still appears healthy and strong. Should I continue treatment?
<Always complete a course of medication as instructed by the manufacturer. If symptoms remain after medication, then do a 50% water change, and start a second round of the medication the next day.>
Off the subject of the original email.  I kept tropical fish for 10 years than went on a 10 year break. I've had my new tank for about 6 months and have got the itch all over again.
<Have fun!>
This time with a little more knowledge and patience.  I love the swordtails and would like to try another pair.
<Would not keep any Xiphophorus species in "pairs"… males are aggressive, prone to pestering females. But by all means get a trio (one male, two or more females). Swordtails are nice fish, though the males are aggressive, and do bear in mind they prefer (do best in) water that is hard, neutral to basic, and somewhat cool (22-25 C/72-77 F) and fast-flowing. They are, after all, fish that came originally from streams rather than ponds or sluggish rivers.>
Do you think with my current tank and stock it would be to much? I'm thinking it might be boarder line.
<Can be good community fish, and perfectly suitable for lightly to moderately stocked 40 gallon tanks with decent filtration (turnover at least 6 times the volume of the tank per hour) and the right water chemistry, temperature.>
However I've been scoping out the 100 plus tanks since I have so much room in my new place.
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Dwarf Gourami Possible Fungus - Opaline Starving? – 09/24/12

I do trust the neighbor kids care have a hard time sending him home when I'm home. I am usually gone for a week or two at a time. Since I live far north, lake superior and temp swings are the way of life it I think is necessary unless I want to come home to a ice tank. I have two heaters rated for 55+ gal working together during the fall months until full winter heating season begins. Then I turn the house furnace on.
<I see.>
As far as flow I am over filtered. I have a magnum canister filter (running foam outside of 1lb of carbon which I shut off during medication) which is restricted from to much flow, and a penguin hang on filter rated for 55 with just mechanical filtration.
Either way ill probably just wait tell I get a larger tank to get a proper home for swordtails and the gourms. Along with the seemingly indestructible group of neons.
<Good going! Neons aren't the easiest fish to keep, but that you have success with them perhaps says something about your ambient water chemistry. Maybe choose fish from similar environments, Corydoras for example, and keep those.>
Again thanks for the advise.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Gourami stopped eating HELP!!! I have a 30 gal tank. Perfect water except cloudy- I put cloud reducer in last night. Opaline stopped eating this morning & not eating since. Shares tank w/ gold Gourami, dwarf Gourami, 2 swordtails, 3 Cory cats, 2 Danios,& 1 Plecostomus. Have had all for over 2 months w/no prob.s till today. Usually feed them trop flakes & algae wafers, but gave them whole brine shrimp gel pack as a treat for the 1st time yesterday. Everyone ate heartily! Went back to flakes & wafers today w/no probs. All ate except the Opaline Gourami. Gold picks on him time-to-time, but otherwise peaceful tank. Has been up in corner for a few days, but ate when fed- till today. All tank mates look great w/no visible signs of illness or disease. Possible parasite? I'm baffled, PLEASE help! Michelle in N.C. <Very likely the feeding bout is due to the addition to the clarifying agent. I would not worry unless this fish is not eating a week from now. Bob Fenner>

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