Trichopsis vittata (Croaking gourami)

Taxonomy:
Trichopsis vittata which is most known as the croaking which belongs to the Osphronemidae family and Anabantoidei suborder. In the past, the species have changed their scientific names such as Osphromenus vittatus, Trichopus striatus, and Trichopsis harrisi by several scientists.
Distribution-Habitat:
The species is native to Southeast Asia in a wide geographic range (Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, the Malay Peninsula, Java, Vietnam, eastern India). Croaking gouramis inhabit in slow streams, ponds, rice fields, and forests. 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.
However, Trichopsis vittata’s body is slender and more similar to a betta spledens than the common gourami’s body. Though Croaking gouramis have many color variations due to its geographical range, they have brown colored stripes along the side of the body. The species is difficult to sex, but the female’s ovary may be visible in bright light. The species have an average size of 3 inches (7.5 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. Another interesting fact about croaking gouramis is the high-intensity sound that they produce due to their pectoral mechanism during courtship displays. The species have an average of 6 years lifespan.
Habits:
It’s best to keep the species in a pair or groups in an only-species tank. Though the species has a shy and a peaceful temperament, males may become aggressive to other male gouramis due to territorial behavior in breeding conditions.
Croaking gouramis should be kept in soft acidic water. A pH between 6.0-7.0, with a temperature between 25-28 Celsius, and hardness 50mg/l, suits the species.
An aquarium with 60 liters (15.8 gallons) of water is suitable for a pair of 2-3 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.
Croaking 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 aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.
Breeding:
Trichopsis vittata are surface bubble nesters which means when the male is ready for reproduction, creates a nest and waits for a ”willing” female. A large water change and the increase in temperature may help trigger the behavior. The male croaking gourami uses 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, they collect the eggs and put them into the nest. The action is repeated many times until the female gets exhausted. The female croaking gourami produces about 200 eggs. The male gourami like the rest of the anabantoid fish cares for the nest until the young can swim on their own. The young hatch 28 to 30 hours after egg-laying and after 2-3 days can swim on their own. You can feed the young with brine shrimp, liquid food, boiled egg, infusoria, rotifers.


A croaking gourami
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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. Trichopsis Vittata. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=553301#null
  5. Trichopsis Vittata. Retrieved from https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/trichopsis-vittata/

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