Wild type thick lipped gourami?

Otomatic

Quick question: are wild type thick lipped gourami available at all in the hobby? Has anyone ever seen them at a store?
 

Neppley

As far as I've ever seen, other than fish import stations, I've never even heard of one, and I love thick lipped Gouramis!
 

Hellfishguy

I wish. I haven’t seen them in shops in over 10 years. They’re much more attractive than sunsets or red robins IMHO.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Here in the Netherlands I've seen them twice available in two years and bought them earlier this year or late last year(not quite sure). The store manager/owner said something like we see them a few times a year on stocking lists and get them in.

But they are clearly something that you don't see all too often which is an utter shame as they are very, very pretty fish.
 

MacZ

Here in the Netherlands I've seen them twice available in two years and bought them earlier this year or late last year(not quite sure). The store manager/owner said something like we see them a few times a year on stocking lists and get them in.

But they are clearly something that you don't see all too often which is an utter shame as they are very, very pretty fish.
Same in Germany. I know one retailer who's specialized in Labyrinth fish, that has them available in their online store, but rarely in the physical shop.
Most seem to be sold directly from the wholesaler to specialists. The retailer mostly only orders them but gives them directly to the end customer without unboxing them.

This applies to a lot of species and/or wild forms. You have the demand, but a lot is hush-hush.
Understandable, as many of these fish don't belong in store sales-tanks where they could be sold to people with a lack of experience.
 

Otomatic

Here in the Netherlands I've seen them twice available in two years and bought them earlier this year or late last year(not quite sure). The store manager/owner said something like we see them a few times a year on stocking lists and get them in.

But they are clearly something that you don't see all too often which is an utter shame as they are very, very pretty fish.
Thinking back I think I might have seen them in a LFS earlier this year. I don’t think the label said thick lipped though. The were mostly greyish-yellow with blue and yellow stripes I think. Unfortunately I remember takin pictures of them but I cant find the pictures.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Thinking back I think I might have seen them in a LFS earlier this year. I don’t think the label said thick lipped though. The were mostly greyish-yellow with blue and yellow stripes I think. Unfortunately I remember takin pictures of them but I cant find the pictures.
It's possible, they don't really stand out in stores from my experience and are usually kept together with other Gourami that are often more colourful in that kind of stressful environment.

If you want to keep them your best bet would be talking to store owners/managers.
 

Otomatic

Yeah I think they were in a tank with other gourami and the label said “assorted gourami”
 

MacZ

Yeah I think they were in a tank with other gourami and the label said “assorted gourami”
Stuff of nightmares.
 

Hellfishguy

Here in the Netherlands I've seen them twice available in two years and bought them earlier this year or late last year(not quite sure). The store manager/owner said something like we see them a few times a year on stocking lists and get them in.

But they are clearly something that you don't see all too often which is an utter shame as they are very, very pretty fish.
Pictures?
 

Otomatic

Do you remember what the substrate was in that tank? It’s very interesting.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Do you remember what the substrate was in that tank? It’s very interesting.
It is a Walstad setup, my partner used soil from the garden, mostly sandy soil.
 

Otomatic

It is a Walstad setup, my partner used soil from the garden, mostly sandy soil.
Neat. I’m thinking that sometime in the future(not now because I don’t have the budget) that I want to find a wild colour thick lipped and give it a setup that is as similar to its natural habitat as possible. I’ll make a thread on that when it happens.
 

Otomatic

Neat. I’m thinking that sometime in the future(not now because I don’t have the budget) that I want to find a wild colour thick lipped and give it a setup that is as similar to its natural habitat as possible. I’ll make a thread on that when it happens.
I will have a few questions about this when I start it. Should I post them on this thread or a different one?
 

jinjerJOSH22

I will have a few questions about this when I start it. Should I post them on this thread or a different one?
Think it would depend on the question, although the title of the thread is quite ambiguous and likely the people you would want to answer a question about these fish have posted or are watching the thread already.
I do recommend if you end up keeping them to start a Journal. You don't have to excessively post on it but updates here and there would be nice. It's also helpful to have other eyes incase something is starting to go awry.
 

chromedome52

Trichogaster labiosa wild type has never really been common in the US hobby, even 50 years ago. However, back then it was not uncommon to see T. fasciata, the Banded Gourami. Basically, it's like a big cousin to the others, as it is the largest species in the genus. They reproduced quite readily for me. However, I haven't seen any in decades. I consider them more attractive than the Thick Lips as wild type.


Colisa fasciata.JPG
At the time, some people thought the two species were synonyms. They are quite similar in structure.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Trichogaster labiosa wild type has never really been common in the US hobby, even 50 years ago. However, back then it was not uncommon to see T. fasciata, the Banded Gourami. Basically, it's like a big cousin to the others, as it is the largest species in the genus. They reproduced quite readily for me. However, I haven't seen any in decades. I consider them more attractive than the Thick Lips as wild type.

View attachment 860889
At the time, some people thought the two species were synonyms. They are quite similar in structure.
It's a shame these two species aren't seen all that often, I personally prefer how they look over the two more common in the Genus. I'm glad I have grabbed all the T. fasciata I have seen so far. Really enjoyable species to keep and I would recommend to anyone who wants to keep a mid sized Gourami to look out for these. .
 

Hellfishguy

Wild-type Trichogaster lalius and T. chuna have been almost completely replaced in shops by line bred forms, which is a shame. I can remember when wild-type C. lalius were the only form available, and always sold as pairs. Greed has ruined far too many species of fish.
 

Otomatic

When I do start this project, what kind of tank is best for the gourami? I know they like heavily planted with floating plants, but what are some details that would make the fishes as comfortable as possible? Also, how many should I get and what size of a tank? Sorry for so many questions lol.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Also, how many should I get and what size of a tank?
For tank size I would recommend as big as you could go but aim for at least 40 gallons. This gives you the best chance of success in my opinion, I always find T. labiosa to be a bit feisty and a group not so suitable for smaller tanks. Maybe a 33 gallon would also do the trick.
As for how many, as many as you can get(and likely more). Aim for a minimum of 5 or 6 and go from there. More would be fantastic. I wouldn't worry about gender ratios either. While multiple males wouldn't be ideal, it would likely be better than just a pair of fish.

I know they like heavily planted with floating plants, but what are some details that would make the fishes as comfortable as possible?
The important thing to know is what you are trying to achieve with the plants. Floating plants are a must and there are a few choices as to what you would like but that is completely up to you. Keep on top of maintenance with floating plants as you can have too many restricting access to the surface and reducing oxygen available. You would need to have a thick layer of them for this to happen in a roundabout way this is what cost me my Thick Lipped Gourami. With floating plants you are reducing light in the tank from the top.

With the other plants you want to break up the tank, so you can't see from one side to the other. This not only creates shelter for the fish but also breaks up their line of sight, this can be important when keeping fish that build a dominance based hierarchy.
Personally I would recommend things like various cryptocoryne, larger leafed Anubias, java ferns.
I would recommend filling the tank with twigs and sticks, this helps with creating visual blocks higher in the water column.

For filtration run a sponge filter, you don't need anything fancy here.
Sorry for so many questions lol.
No worries, you're talking to fish people you know? ;)
 

Otomatic

For tank size I would recommend as big as you could go but aim for at least 40 gallons. This gives you the best chance of success in my opinion, I always find T. labiosa to be a bit feisty and a group not so suitable for smaller tanks. Maybe a 33 gallon would also do the trick.
As for how many, as many as you can get(and likely more). Aim for a minimum of 5 or 6 and go from there. More would be fantastic. I wouldn't worry about gender ratios either. While multiple males wouldn't be ideal, it would likely be better than just a pair of fish.


The important thing to know is what you are trying to achieve with the plants. Floating plants are a must and there are a few choices as to what you would like but that is completely up to you. Keep on top of maintenance with floating plants as you can have too many restricting access to the surface and reducing oxygen available. You would need to have a thick layer of them for this to happen in a roundabout way this is what cost me my Thick Lipped Gourami. With floating plants you are reducing light in the tank from the top.

With the other plants you want to break up the tank, so you can't see from one side to the other. This not only creates shelter for the fish but also breaks up their line of sight, this can be important when keeping fish that build a dominance based hierarchy.
Personally I would recommend things like various cryptocoryne, larger leafed Anubias, java ferns.
I would recommend filling the tank with twigs and sticks, this helps with creating visual blocks higher in the water column.

For filtration run a sponge filter, you don't need anything fancy here.

No worries, you're talking to fish people you know? ;)
Thank you so much! Two last things, should the tank be blackwater with a lot of tannins and what you reccomend for substrate?
 

jinjerJOSH22

Thank you so much! Two last things, should the tank be blackwater with a lot of tannins and what you reccomend for substrate?
I don't believe they are a blackwater species but would be best off in soft water.
Darker substrates are always recommended, sand, gravel, soil, leaf litter, some kind of mix is probably best but anything really.
 

MacZ

Thank you so much! Two last things, should the tank be blackwater with a lot of tannins and what you reccomend for substrate?
They are not a blackwater species, and besides: "Tannins" alone don't make blackwater. ;)
Softwater would be good, though.
 

Otomatic

Thanks everyone for the replies, it is very helpful!
 

Otomatic

Would it be okay to have them in a faux blackwater tank?
 

MacZ

Would it be okay to have them in a faux blackwater tank?
Yes. They have actually become hemerophiles in a big portion of their distribution range, occuring in rice fields and irrigation canals outside their natural habitats.
 

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