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Trichopsis pumila
Sparkling Gourami, Pygmy Gourami

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Sparkling Gourami - Trichopsis pumila

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Trichopsis_pumila_2.jpg (9kb)
Photo Credit: Nate Standing

I really love my Sparkling Gouramis. They hide in my Cabomba forest and come out for rare diplays of color. I have never seen them eat with the rest, but it has been over 4 months so they must be finding something to eat. A great change of fish.

Contributed by Arthur Petersen

If you can find them, I highly recommend these fish. Easily my favourite, they are passive, shy and great community fish. All four of the sparklers that I have exhibit an almost ferret-like inquisitiveness and will intensely investigate any change I make to their tank. You can almost see the wheels in their heads turning as their eyes swivel and they approach the new arrangement/object from several angles during their investigations. My latest three were finicky eaters at first, only eating frozen brine shrimp. I've slowly been able to get them to accept flake by mixing flake in with the brine shrimp feedings. Great fish!

Contributed by Milo

My Sparkling Gouramis were so fascinating. I had four of them and lost one quickly. The other three did fine in a community tank. They were very vocal, making their little zipper sounds. I got the incredible experience of watching two of them mate and I got to see the male fertilize the eggs. When the female expelled them, they would gather them in their mouths and put them in the nest they made under the driftwood. Then they chased all other fish when they got too near their nest, it didn't matter how big the other fish were. My guppies ate the eggs eventually. And for some reason the three of them died after I had them for about 6 months. I haven't been able to find any since and don't think they'd do good in my tank now because of the Rainbow Boesemani I have. They are fierce competitors at feeding time.

Contributed by Annette Rathmann

I came across these guys while looking at a website where you can order fish online. I just had to order some! These little guys are so interesting. I have 3 of them in my 75 L gourami tank and they get along great with everybody. I recently put dark gravel in and this has helped so much to show off their subtle beauty. They are quite shy, but my ember tetras have brought them out and about more. I have even seen them chasing the tetras around a bit. Now they are quite curious and are spending more time swimming at all levels. Often these gouramis would spend their time staring at and stalking the gravel with their head down hunting for food! They don't really feed with the others, but they are eating something as I have had them for a few months now. They sure do love frozen brine shrimp though. I have never heard them make any croaking noises, but after reading other posts, I will have to spend more time listening to them.

Contributed by Stephanie

After seeing a beautiful picture of a sparkler on a website, I decided to special order some through a local pet store. As soon as they arrived I was, to say the least, disappointed. They were just ugly little brown fish that didn't sparkle! But since I was obliged to buy them, I took them home and added them into my 100 L aquarium with 1 female blue paradise fish, a few cardinals, and 4 black skirt tetras. They all adapted very well and I didn't have any losses. After about a week I noticed their neon blue eyes and decided any fish that has pretty blue eyes can't be that bad! After that I just fell in love with them. I have had them for about 5 months now and they are just great!

Their main diet is Tetra Min granules, which they seem to really like, and I have started feeding them freeze dried blood worms, frozen brine shrimp, and ColorBits as treats. After giving them more of a varied diet, and especially after the brine shrimp, their color REALLY came out! About 3 months ago I added a power compact and live plants to my aquarium and they seem to really love the thick vegetation along with rocks and driftwood. When you're not looking they all like to stay in the plants, but as soon as you walk in the door or over to the front of the aquarium they all swarm to the surface! They really love to eat! I'm not sure how many of what sex I have. I have too many plants in my aquarium to use the light method. If the red dot method is accurate then I have 4 males and 2 females. I do know for sure that I have one female at least...she looks like marble...the poor thing!

Mine do croak...all the time in fact! They do it mostly in the evening, but will do it in the middle of the day or in the morning too! They will flare their fins and swim in a circle parallel to each other, then shake their whole body and rub into the other one. It's quite the experience! Now that it's that wonderful mating time they are starting to pick on each other more. I've noticed a few sliced fins, couple of lost scales, and one actually got a little ulcer. I've had really bad luck with treatments, so I decided to see if it healed up on its own...and it did! So far no mortalities. I do have more/different fish now, but I have only witnessed them chase my black skirts and cardinals, nothing too aggressive. I know that if they wanted, they could easily take down a cardinal. All in all, they are a beautiful fish with a great personality! They seem to be very hardy and hopefully easy to breed (we'll see soon!), and are not picky eaters by any means! I recommend keeping them in a heavily planted aquarium in a small school with fish of similar size and behavior. If you have a chance to buy these fish, do so! You won't regret it.

Contributed by Katrina Simmons

I've had this fish breed, totally accidental and I only found out I had succeeded today! One of my sparkling gouramis had made a sort of bubblenest and was being protective of an area, but at the time I was more interested in my Kribensis with its 100 fry. Anyway, the Kribensis babies are now juveniles and the tank was looking a bit of a mess, so I did a water change today. The duckweed I have growing in the tank had almost taken over, so I decided to clear a lot of it away. After the change I sat down to check on the juvenile Kribs (there are 20 now) and noticed that one looked nothing like the others. I have been studying it now for about 2 hours on and off and it is definitely a sparkling gourami. I wish I hadn't chucked out all the duckweed now, just have to hope the remaining stuff grows. I have not noticed any other fry, but this one is about 1 cm long and I have high hopes it will survive to adulthood. Guess it must have fed off the natural beasties in the tank, I had left it a while before the water change, guess it paid off!

Contributed by Rowen Pickavance

I got my gouramies about a month ago. I keep them with a couple of Mollies and Amano shrimp in a well planted 75 L aquarium. After two weeks, I saw them mating. After another two weeks, I saw about 20+ fry. Both the female and male protect the young. If the young wanders off, the parent would suck the fry into it's mouth and spit it back out in a safe place. The male gets pretty aggressive, so other males should be removed from the tank. Often times, the male chases the female as well. The fry are about two weeks old now and growing pretty fast. Overall, it's a beautiful fish and very fun to watch, especially when they make their croaking noise.

Contributed by Billy Luu

The best small fish I've ever kept. I have a pair, sexing is not as hard as some say. Female have a round tummy and you can see the eggs in good light. But also the males have spots where the females spots just kind of blend together and are not as well defined as males. I am talking about the markings on the side of the body, right above the line. I've had mine a week and they already spawned for me. They are very much like betta fish in that the males turn on the females after they mate. This is an amazing and stunning fish. I love them. They stay so small.

Contributed by Sarah

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