What you should know about these fish

No licorice gourami is longer than 5 cm, most hardly reach 4 cm in length. The largest species are P. quin­decim (see photo right) and P. deiss­neri , also P. linkei, P. palu­di­cola or the unde­scribed form of P. spec. Danau Rasau can some­times reach almost 5 cm in length.

They are quiet fishes, which have only small ter­ri­to­ries in which a male focuses on a small cave made of leaves, wood or even an empty shell, which he occu­pies and defends. These caves can be located at some depth (up to two meters) or near the sur­face. You can get an idea of​their small size, when you know that, for exam­ple, in the aquar­ium black plas­tic film can­is­ters will be accepted. Into these, the male tries to lure a female. In the imme­di­ate vicin­ity of the cave, he courts her with spec­tac­u­lar fin dis­plays and even­tu­ally spawns in the cave. Both part­ners col­lect the falling eggs and try to attach them to the cave ceil­ing where the male usu­ally has col­lected few or no air bub­bles. If the nest is com­plete, the female leaves the cave and defends the sur­round­ing area.
P. spec. affin. rubrimontis (Mimbon 2008)(photo C.Hinz)

The males of most species are much more colour­ful than the females. Their unpaired fins often dis­play dis­tinc­tive blue-​green iri­des­cent light strips that col­lect light and reflect it in the dark of the of the tea-​colored water of jun­gle streams. Many species are sim­i­lar and only dif­fer by small fea­tures, oth­ers have larger, struc­tural dif­fer­ences. The females, how­ever, are very dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish in most cases. Since we must assume that spe­ci­a­tion is still an ongo­ing process in many forms, we must take care to ensure the ani­mals do not mix. Com­mu­nity aquar­i­ums are advis­able only for clearly struc­turally dif­fer­ent species. In gen­eral, the fishes shall be kept in pairs or species aquarium.

But it’s not just about keep­ing. In the mass hobby most fish are actu­ally kept only, in other words, con­sumed. When fish die, they will be bought and replaced. For rare, threat­ened fish like Parosphromenus this mind­set is a lux­ury that we can not afford. A Parosphromenus friend has his fish not only to keep them, but to con­serve them. Since their spec­tac­u­lar courtship and parental care is dis­played only in suit­ably equipped aquar­ium, the friends of this fish always aim to breed them. In struc­turally rich, estab­lished tanks this process takes place almost with­out our help: often a small amount of young fishes will be raised by the parents.


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