The Opaline Gourami, also known as the Three Spot Gourami or Trichopodus trichopterus, is a striking and popular freshwater fish highly regarded for its elegant appearance, peaceful temperament, and ease of care. Belonging to the labyrinth fish family, these gouramis possess a labyrinth organ, enabling them to breathe atmospheric air, which allows them to survive in oxygen-deprived waters.
This species is named for its iridescent, opalescent scales that shimmer and reflect a range of colors under proper lighting, displaying hues of blue, green, and pink. The Opaline Gourami has a distinct, elongated body adorned with vibrant colors that intensify during periods of courtship or when the fish is excited or stressed.
One of its most defining features is the presence of three dark spots or markings that typically appear on its body: one near the base of the tail, one on the flank, and another at the gill cover, giving rise to the "Three Spot" moniker. These spots add an attractive contrast to its overall iridescent appearance.
Opaline Gouramis are known for their calm and peaceful demeanor, making them suitable inhabitants for community aquariums. However, they may exhibit territorial behavior, particularly during breeding or if tank space is limited. Providing ample hiding places and territories in a well-decorated tank can help mitigate aggression among tank mates.
They prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of open swimming space and areas shaded by floating plants. These fish appreciate subdued lighting and a stable environment to thrive. Maintaining water temperatures between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C) and a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.5 is optimal for their health and longevity.
Opaline Gouramis are omnivorous and generally not picky eaters. They accept a varied diet that includes high-quality flake or pellet food, supplemented with live or frozen fare such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Providing a diverse diet ensures they receive essential nutrients and helps showcase their best colors.
Breeding Opaline Gouramis can be achieved in a separate breeding tank with floating plants for the bubble nest and slightly warmer water conditions. The male builds a bubble nest at the water surface, where the eggs are laid and guarded until they hatch.
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