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Licorice gourami (Parosphromenus deissneri)

8648 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  budak
Does anyone here have any experience with the husbandy of this fish?
I am thinking about getting about half a dozen for my 20g long. I hear
a lot of people saying they're delicate and difficult, but few people with
actual personal experiences.

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I have never kept them. The LFS carries them and I know people who have kept them. They require very soft acidic water with low TDS. Also they are very sensitive to temperature change.

I did find this article on breeding them
Apologies for the delayed response Carlos. :oops:

I used to keep a reverse trio of Parosphromenus deissneri 'Red' in a heavily planted 29G for almost a year. One day after a major aquascape change, they all died. :evil:

During that year, they bred for me twice. The first time, they built a bubble nest underneath several intercrossing blades of S. subulata. The second time, they didn't even build a bubble nest. The eggs were simply deposited underneath an Anubias leaf in a secluded corner. I was not able to raise any fry (I wasn't trying) -- the other fish (or the parents) probably ate them all.

The dGH of my tap water is 1, but I raise it to ~3-4 with CaCO3. pH is ~6.5-6.7. I think stability is more important than a specific pH or softness. After all, I was able to keep and breed Sphaerichthys osphromenoides (chocolate gourami) under the same conditions. I should note that none of the chocolate gourami fry survived to adulthood either.

The licorice gourami's movement is similar to the chocolate gourami: shy and slow, so take that into consideration when choosing companion fish. In other words, they are poor community fish. However, unlike the chocolate gourami, the licorice gourami (1) is not aggressive, (2) readily accepts dry/frozen/live foods, and (3) is not prone to as many diseases.
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The GH/KH out of my tap water is about 12 and 9 respectively. These levels may be a little too high for this fish, right?

I plan to keep them with pretty peaceful tank mates: tube-mouthed pencilfish, cherry red shrimp, crystal red shrimp, amano shrimp, green neon tetras, and yellow phantom tetras.

Carlos, I do not know if those parameters are too high for the fish. Although expensive, I would test it out with a single fish and add more as necessary. The reason I say this is because IME, they are less sensitive than the chocolate gouramis, who supposedly only live in soft and EXTREMELY acidic conditions. And yet I am able to successfully keep these chocolates and even got them to breed (though the females just spit the eggs out so not a single one hatch AFAIK) in 3-4 dGH & 6.5-6.7 pH water.

However, to be honest, I would caution against your original intention of keeping 6 of these licorice gouramis in a 20G. Despite their small size, they are better suited for larger tanks as conditions are more stable and thus hopefully aid in your success at keeping these fish. Just make sure they get enough to eat, considering the other tank mates you're planning on keeping them with.
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I didn't want to make a new topic so I guess I'll just bring this topic back. I know there slow, and are best kept in a species tank. But how good would they be in high-tech tank? I mean they do require dark substrate, plants that provide shade, and lots of driftwood...but would they thrive in a high-tech tank provided the right water conditions? How well would they fare with Chocolates?
I have one in my 20G long tank that is planted mostly with Crypts and a small stack of rocks. He is very shy and hangs out in the back of the tank in the area of the rocks; I have never seen him eat. The substrate is Flourite with no driftwood. His tank mates are: Corys, SAE, shrimp, endlers, guppy, molly. My Ph stays around 6.5-7.0, KH 4-5, temp 76 degrees.
They do best in species tanks or with tiny fishes like Boraras maculatus, which are found together with them in the wild. Live food is best, although they should find enough microflora in a well-planted tank.

This site and this have a good pictorial overview of the genus.
I have kept these fish at a ph of 6.8, KH of 7, and GH 3-5. However I have yet to see them spawn.

Robert. (bobo31)
Trenac, I read your posts at plantedtank...but why don't you house them any more. That may be the reason he is hiding.

Thanks for the replies everyone, but would they be ok with Chocolates in the same tank?
Mine are very shy as well. I have three of them. I hardly ever see them. I actually forgot I had them until I saw this post. The last time I remember seeing them was about 2 weeks ago. They hide very well among my plants. :cry: I don't think I have ever seen mine eat either.

They are now in water that has a ph of 6.2, KH 2, GH 3-4, temp of 26C and still remain shy.

Robert. (bobo31)
Raul, I do have one and tonight I saw it come to the front of the tank for the first time; cute little booger. Like Robert, I also forget I have one when I don't see it for weeks on end.
Thanks, I've read they require hiding spots so they must love to do it out of security. But what I really want to know is: Would they be ok with Chocolates in the same tank?
Chocs are ideal tankmates (and they are found together in nature as well!).... choc are more open water fishes, while the paros are benthic and cryptic, so they rarely clash and besides, have no reason to.... pgymy gouramis (T. pumilus) are also good tankmates (and natural cohabitaters).
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