Colisa chuna (Honey gourami)

Taxonomy:
Colisa chuna which is most known as the Honey gourami belongs to the Osphronemidae family and Anabantoidei suborder. In the past, the species have changed their scientific names by scientists to Trichopodus sota, Polyacanthus sota, and Trichogaster chuna.
Distribution-Habitat:
The species is native of Asia ( Bangladesh and Northern India). Honey Gouramis inhibits slow-moving waters like floodplains, irrigation systems, and rice paddies. In general, gouramis occur in low oxygen, plant-choked, low mineral content, tea-colored black-water areas. Furthermore, the water has a high amount of tannin due to the decomposition of leaves and wood. As a result of the human expansion, the original habitat of gouramis has altered and are found in pig farms and rice paddies (Colisa sp.), etc. In addition to the degradation of gouramis’ habitat, many species are in danger of extinction.
Description:
Generally, gouramis have a long, flattened body with extended and filamentous ventral fins that are used as tactile organs to obtain physical information about objects. Furthermore, gouramis can use ventral fins for orientation in dark, muddy water habitats. They are similar to dwarf gouramis, but they have a slender body.
Colisa chuna (males) have long pointed dorsal fins, a reddish-brown body with yellow dorsal fin and black color from the eyes to the base of the anal fin. If they get stressed can lose their bright color. Other colorations of the species is a yellow colored body and an orange-red form (similar to the red dwarf gourami). Females have short-rounded dorsal fins, a grey-silver colored body and develop a dark stripe in breeding conditions.
Honey gouramis have an average size of 2.4 inches (6,3 cm). Gouramis, like the rest of the Anabantoidei fish, can breathe atmospheric air. This ability occurs in Anabantoidei fish due to an organ located closed to the branchial apparatus, the labyrinth. The species have an average of 4 years lifespan.
Habits:
In general, honey gouramis are easy to maintain. It’s best to keep gouramis in pairs or in a ratio of one male with two females as males can be territorial with the same species. They are also suited for community tanks with species with a similar size, behavior and water chemistry. Some compatible species are corydoras, peaceful tetras, Trigonostigma heteromorpha, rasboras, e.t.c.
Because of the natural habitat of honey gouramis should be kept in soft acidic water. A pH between 6.0-7.0, with a temperature between 22-28 Celsius, and hardness 50mg/l, suits the species.
Honey gouramis are prone to velvet disease (colisa disease) caused by a parasite if the water is not clean. An aquarium with pure 55 liters of water is suitable for a pair of honey gouramis. Plants are necessary as they provide shelter for stressed fish and their offspring, especially floating plants. Furthermore, the surface air should have a similar temperature of the water for the prevention of losses. Cover the aquarium to maintain a similar temperature above and under the water.
Honey gouramis are omnivorous and can eat prepared food and small live-foods such as brine shrimp, white worms, bloodworms, etc. In nature, their diet consists of small invertebrates, algae, e.t.c
Breeding:
Honey gouramis are surface bubble nesters which means when the male is ready for reproduction, creates a nest and waits for a ”willing” female. The species may use floating plants for the creation of bubble nests. Then the male wraps the female’s body and inseminates the eggs, that she releases. After that, the male collects the eggs and puts them into the nest. The action is repeated many times until the female gets exhausted. The female dwarf gourami produces about 200 eggs. The male gourami like the rest of the anabantoid fish cares for the nest alone until the young can swim on their own. The young hatch 28 to 30 hours after egg-laying and after 3-4 days can swim on their own. Anabantoid young are very small in size to eat regular food for young such as hatched brine shrimp. You can feed the young with liquid food (boiled egg), infusoria or rotifers.
For the survival of the young, the species is best to spawn in a breeding tank than an only-species tank with many individuals. For the reproduction of the species, an aquarium with dense floating plants and more than 15 cm of water depth suits for breeding them. Like almost every fish, another key for breeding gouramis is diet. Besides prepared food, feed the dwarf gouramis with a variety of high-quality foods such as live foods and plant sources like spirulina or vegetables. Last, Remove the female after she releases the eggs and when the young are swimming-free, remove the male too.

Honey gourami Trichogaster chuna tropical aquarium fish isolated on white
“iStock.com/Mirco_Rosenau.”

References:  

  1. Gary Elson and Oliver Lucanus 2005, Gouramis and other Labyrinth fishes, Published by Barrons
  2. David Alderton 2005, 2008, Encyclopedia of aquarium and pond fish, Published in the United States by DK Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7566-3678-4
  3. A. O. Kasumyan, E. S. Mikhailova, and E. A. Marusov 2013, Role of Tactile Sense and Other Sensory Systems in Control of Feeding Behavior in Gourami of the Genus Trichopodus. Retrieved from https://istina.msu.ru/media/publications/article/6d5/24c/6023586/kasumyan_et_al_2014.pdf
  4. Trichogaster Chuna. Retrieved from https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/trichogaster-chuna/
  5. Colisa Chuna. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=172632#null

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