Lunar gourami (Latin Trichogaster microlepis) – another fish popular with aquarists, imported to Russia in 1981. The natural habitat of the lunar gurus are ponds and streams in southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia).
The lunar gourami has a high and oblong body, which seems to be oblate on either side. A characteristic feature of the lunar gourami is a concave forehead. The body of the fish is covered with small silvery scales, which are sometimes cast in blue.
It is because of its color that this species got its name. Dorsal fin looks more rounded and smaller than other species.
The rest of the fins are painted in a grayish tint. Lunar gourami is a rather large fish, it grows up to 20 centimeters in the wild.
However, in an aquarium, its size is slightly smaller – 12-15 centimeters. Like other gourami, the lunar belongs to the order of the labyrinth, that is, breathe and atmospheric air. Males are more slender and larger than females, they have pointed dorsal fins.
During spawning, the male’s abdomen turns orange-red.
photo: Lunar gourami
- Lunar gourami belongs to the genus Trichogaster, it is one of the largest representatives of its kind;
- Gourami are non-conflict and peace-loving fish, albeit rather shy: they spend the lion’s share of time hiding behind the leaves of plants;
- These fish like to eat plants and young algae, so the vegetation in the aquarium should be abundant;
- Lunar gourami is a representative of the Trichogaster clan, translated from Latin, it means “nitepuziki”, “gaster” is “belly”, and “trichos” can be translated as “thread”.
These are quite large inhabitants of the aquarium, and therefore the volume of the reservoir must be appropriate. For a pair of fish, it is desirable to allocate a 40-50-liter aquarium, a hundred-meter vessel is suitable for keeping 6 persons.
Be sure to cover the aquarium with a lid or glass, then it will not get cold room air, to which the fish are very sensitive. It is advisable to choose a large soil, of a dark shade – on its background fish will look advantageous, you can put a few curtains and pebbles on the bottom.
Plants are planted so that they form small islands in which these fish will find shelter. This may be echinodorus, Vallisneria helical, peristristum, duckweed, Riccia, Pistia.
These are thermophilic representatives of the animal world, so the water in the aquarium should not fall below 22-24 degrees, the water can be hard – fish withstand fluctuations of 8-20 dH, but the acid-base balance should be neutral – to pH 7. Fish do not need in bright light, so that the fluorescent lamp fits perfectly – it will stimulate the growth of plants. Aeration can be low current, there should be a sufficient distance between the lid of the aquarium and the surface of the water so that the fish can take a sip of oxygen. The filter is quite simple mechanical – in their homeland goura live in muddy stagnant ponds.
You can keep gourami with other representatives of this species, a few small cherry barbs or lalius. Feed dry, chopped live and plant food, scalded with boiling water.