Although most gouramis are easy to care in a freshwater aquarium, the Chocolate Gourami is sensitive to its surroundings and not recommended for the beginner aquarist.
The Latin name for the Chocolate Gourami is Sphaerichthys Osphromenoides and it belongs to the Belontiidae family. It is native to Malacca, Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra.
A brownish-green colored fish with yellow stripes running vertically along its body. They are a smaller species of gourami and grow to a length of two inches.
A gourami is called labyrinth fish, which means it can breathe through its gills but also has a special organ that allows it to breathe directly from the air. This fish habitually goes to the surface of the water to take a breath.
Most gouramis are bubble nest builders, but the Chocolate Gourami is a mouthbrooder where the female incubates the eggs in her mouth.
The Chocolate Gourami is very prone to diseases and parasites so good water quality is a must. Because of its sensitive nature, this fish is considered a challenge for even the most advanced hobbyist.
The recommended aquarium size should be 27 gallons or larger. The water must be well-filtered with very strict attention to water conditions. A 20% water change every other week is a must for the good health of the Chocolate Gourami.
- The water should have a PH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5
- Water Hardness with a DH of 2.0 to 4.0
- The ideal aquarium water temperature should be 68 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Chocolate Gourami does well in a heavily planted aquarium with a few pieces of driftwood for added shelter. Well-placed rocks can also be used. Peat can be added to the aquarium in order to duplicate its habitat. This fish is a mid-level to bottom-level swimmer but also needs access to the surface of the water so it can breathe with its special organ.
The aquarium should contain floating plants if bubble nest species of gouramis are in the tank. They use the floating plants as part of their nest and for shade from the aquarium lights.
The Chocolate Gourami prefers to eat live or frozen food such as brine shrimp, white worms, and bloodworms. Flake or pellet food can be used as a supplement. Vegetables should be added to its diet. A lettuce leaf or a slice of zucchini is ideal because it doesn’t foul the aquarium water.
This fish is well-suited for a community aquarium. It gets along with guppies, swordtails, mollies, tetras, and barbs of every size. It should not be put in a tank with any type of aggressive fish but can be kept with other gouramis without any problem.