Originally Posted by Natalya
I am starting Borneo swamp biotope for samurai gouramis, wonder if somebody could suggest native plants.. The tank is going to have soft acidic blackwater, little water movement. It is not going to be planted too densely, in fact rather sparsely, but some plants are appreciated..
Actually, you do want to have quite a bit of current as well as a pretty dense vegetation for this species!
The single most important feature for successfully keeping these fishes is water quality; and the plants, especially combined with ample water current, will greatly contribute to that goal! Sphaerichthys inhabit the edges of streams, usually with considerable water flow - you don't find them in stagnant waters unless they get accidentally trapped in a backwater.
These are social fish with strict hierarchies. They need lots of cover for which the plants come in handy as well as wood and leaves for creating additional hiding places. Make sure to also offer lots of hiding places at the surface (especially for mouthbrooding males).
High quality food is crucial for all chocolate gouramis, too: Make sure to have continuous living food supply of really high quality!
Sphaerichthys vaillanti are pretty much like cichlids and matching individuals bought as adults can be tricky: It's best to start with a decent group of young fish in a large tank and let them sort it out. Do keep an eye on the dominant female though - it tends to give other females as well as brooding males a hard time if there are too few group members and/or not enough space...
I have written a how-to on starting blackwater tanks here: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...er-crypts.html
This also works with quite bit of current - you just allow the plants more time for fully rooting the substrate; as in nature, you can use sand for any “channels” with strong current.
Also have a look at Hein’s report: https://crypts.home.xs4all.nl/Crypto.../Berge2014.pdf
He describes his experiences with a huge tank he build in his living room for chocolate gouramis and plants. [Scroll to the end for the English version if your German is not up to it…
(I have just added a few comments on his paper
in my thread, too.)