My Endangered Cares Fish - Licorice Gourami

Brizburk

Recently I acquired 8 Parosphromenus Filamentosus, or Spiketail Licorice Gourami.

Licorice Gourami are a tiny fish that mature to roughly one inch in size. There are about 20 different types and I have two types. The first is the Filamentosus or Spiketail. The second is an unknown type.

I got my Spiketials from a woman in my local aquarium club. She was looking to downsize and I was looking for my first CARES fish.

The unknowns I found at one of my LFS. They saw these fish on the list and brought them in. No more information about them, just Licorice Gourami.

Caresforfish.org is the website to visit if you’re interested in endangered species. It’s a global resource for fish that are at risk of or already extinct in the wild.

Parosphromenus-project.org lists all types of Licorice Gourami and where they are from as well as keeping and breeding information on each type.

The Licorice Gourami is not a great beginner fish. They are quite delicate and require very precise water quality. The need a pH of 4 or less for the healthiest fish as well as breeding. They are a warm water fish that do best with little water flow and lots of tannins, they really thrive in darker water. They love alder cones and almond leaves and other decaying debris. Due to the low pH bacteria do not thrive as readily and it is thought this prevents bacteria from killing the eggs. Licorice Gourami are cave breeders. The male will build a bubble nest in the cave and place the eggs in the bubbles much in the way a betta does.

Feeding the Licorice Gourami - wild caught fish will most likely only eat live foods. I’ve had limited success feeding my spiketails frozen brine shrimp and my unknowns had even less success with frozen. I keep several worm cultures. Grindal worms are amazing! I now have enough worm cultures to feed all three of my tanks and I’ll tell you my chillI rasboras think they’re in seventh heaven when they get live, and my Cory cats love hunting worms too! I also have scuds in my Gourami tanks. The scuds when full grown are too big for the gourami to eat and are often too fast to catch. The smaller scuds are easier to eat but just as difficult for the fish to eat. Mainly I feed grindal worms. I didn’t have luck with my black worm culture, sadly I think I killed them all. I’ll try again. Blood worms are another favorite of the Gourami, but those are a delicacy as I’m not able to offer them all the time.

As most species of fish go, different types can breed creating a hybrid. In the wild this hybridization is a natural change and fairly uncommon. In the aquarium it is unwelcome and discouraged with any fish listed on the CARES website. The purpose of breeding an endangered species is to preserve the species and hybridization does the opposite. As such, my Spiketails live in a 20 gallon tank as the only inhabitants and my unknowns live in a 10 gallon as the only inhabitants. I plan on breeding my spiketails but not my unknowns until I can have them properly identified. If it turns out they are already a hybrid, I will not breed them.

Ive created a blog for these fish which I have limited time to spend on so my entries are not as frequent as I’d like. The blog is written in fish story style and can be found at projectspiketail.wordpress.com and is an ongoing work in progress.
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These photos were of the fish when I first got them and had not added enough tannins to create that tea look. Currently my unknowns are in a very dark tank and their colors are so bold they are almost identifiable however I’m still working on bringing their pH down to 4. They are so fragile that a sudden drop in pH could prove to be fatal.

When hunting both the spiketail and unknown males show a bright blue filament around all fins, they almost glow with neon blue. One of these days I’ll manage to get sufficient video to share. They are fast little fish and often just look like blurs in video and photos.
 

CheshireKat

I've heard of licorice gourami. Wow, they like really acid water.

... I didn't even see the fish at first. I was staring at the photo wondering if I'm blind for a minute before realizing I'd already looked at it. Really blended in.

I'd love to breed and raise endangered fish.
 

Brizburk

I've heard of licorice gourami. Wow, they like really acid water.

... I didn't even see the fish at first. I was staring at the photo wondering if I'm blind for a minute before realizing I'd already looked at it. Really blended in.

I'd love to breed and raise endangered fish.
Haha they do blend in, I do roll call daily and usually spend 30 min or so finding them all... Some days I don't and I worry about the ones I didn't see.

Check out caresforfish.org you'll find a fish that's perfect for you!! You don't have to dedicate a tank, just space in your tank. Not all endangered fish are so difficult to care for. You'd be surprised at the fish on the list, some are more common in the hobby than others.
 

chromedome52

The one comment I would make is that I think you need more surface cover. Mine preferred to live just below the leaves of thick growing Water Sprite, nearer the surface. Bottom plants would have to be low light in such a tank, but the darker environment is more comfortable for these tiny fish. I'd also hatch live bbs, more appropriate size for their mouth.

Thought I had a photo of my male sitting under a bubble nest in a coconut shell, but couldn't find it. Probably still on a slide that I haven't scanned in.
 

Brizburk

The one comment I would make is that I think you need more surface cover. Mine preferred to live just below the leaves of thick growing Water Sprite, nearer the surface. Bottom plants would have to be low light in such a tank, but the darker environment is more comfortable for these tiny fish. I'd also hatch live bbs, more appropriate size for their mouth.

Thought I had a photo of my male sitting under a bubble nest in a coconut shell, but couldn't find it. Probably still on a slide that I haven't scanned in.
The 10 gallon ha a lot of floating plants, the 20 has a few now and so far they remain hidden in the drift wood. I just have to wait for some of the plants to grow and reach the top
 

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