Name: Sphaerichthys osphromenoides
Origin: Mekong Basin (Asia)
Gorgeous fish, said to be very sensitive, so I researched for months and prepared my tank for them - heavily planted, quiet (very few other quiet fish), stable, cycled, excellent quality soft water. Bought 7 from a couple of LFS's. Sadly, all died in two months. As I've heard before on a number of web sites - don't buy 'cos they die!
I have kept 2 chocolate gouramis for about a month and they are doing great. They have a rich dark chocolate colour and bright golden patterning. They are feeding really well on normal commercial foods, with the occasional squirt of live blackworms. I keep one with 2 platies, 3 schwartz cories, black neon, neon and glowlight tetras, 1 sparkling gourami, 1 yo-yo loach and 1 whip tail catfish. The other is kept with glass catfish, 2 dwarf croaking gouramis, 5 kuhlii loaches, 6 harlequin rasboras, 1 lizard fish and 2 borneo scooters. So far my chocolates have been quite easy to keep, live happily and eagerly compete with other members of their tanks for food.
This species, largely available in Malaysia and Indonesia, grow to a few cm the most. I had 6 of them, measuring at 3 to 4 cm each. I do not agree that they are hard to keep in aquarium, provided that they are properly acclimatised. I got mine from a reputable ship shop, which are wild caught, and they fed well on flakes and frozen food. I would recommend this cute fish to intermediate keepers with stable tanks.
Chocolate gouramies are only hard to keep if you're not experienced. I have 2 chocs in my aquarium and they've been alive for 2 years now. All I do is feed them Wardley Pondflakes and sometimes instead mosquito larvae and an ice cube. For some reason they like eating ice.
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