Gourami are generally easy fish to care for, and breeding them won’t be really that hard. At the age of close to one year, when they reach sexual maturity, you can try to entice gourami pair to start their spawning period. Gourami females usually increase in size due to all the eggs developing in them, so do not worry. If you wonder how long are gourami fish pregnant for, you can say that gourami will be pregnant for a week or two long. That’s about how long it takes for eggs to develop and be ready for spawning and insemination by the male. To start the spawning period, it is better to transfer a couple to a different fish tank and start feeding them with more and better quality food with increasing temperature and doing bigger than usual water changes. This will resemble their spawning period as it is in nature. Continue reading this article to find out more intricacies of gourami breeding.
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How long is the gourami breeding process?
As we mentioned, gourami breeding is not that hard, but there are some intricacies. If you got a lot of hiding spots, plants, and not many aggressive neighbors, you could even breed them in a community fish tank with every other inhabitant. One important thing is to remove any strong currents so the foam nest won’t get destroyed. It is preferable to elevate the water temperature to between 77 to 81 Fahrenheit or 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. Increasing fish food intake will serve as additional stimuli for spawning.
Gourami mating dances are an exciting thing to look at. During this period, the gourami pair increases their coloring and changes their behavior. The male, for instance, tries to attract a female by revealing his fins wide-open. Gourami male plays a vital role in spawning new fry. He constructs a foam nest from saliva and air bubbles.
He then takes the female under the nest to fertilize the eggs and put them within. He will carefully put any missed eggs inside the nest. After then, the female will seek refuge in a safe place. It is even better to put her in a different aquarium.
After hatching, your fry will spend two to three days in the nest. When they start getting out of the nest, it is better to transfer the father too, as he can start eating them. Because males eat almost nothing during the whole spawning time, it is critical to safeguard the young. You have to feed fry better with special food for fry or ciliates. The breeding process can take up a couple of weeks.
Stages of gourami breeding.
Most gouramis species’ breeding is pretty similar. At around one year, they reach their sexual maturity, male gourami builds foam nest and cares for the eggs, the female lays eggs, and in a couple of days, new gourami fry are hatched.
Even though sometimes it is hard to guess who is female or male gourami, you can easily use belly size to distinguish them. The female belly will be a bit inflated due to all the eggs inside her. As mentioned in the above paragraph, it is better to feed them more often and with better quality food, increase water temperature a bit, and maybe even try to decrease water hardness. Take note that high flow from filters will destroy the gourami nest.
For breeding to be quick and successful, it is better to have a 20+ gallon (100 liters) spawning aquarium. For female, it is required to have a broad range of hiding places to take refuge to spawn successfully.
The mating games begin when the female is ready to spawn eggs. The male wraps his fins around the female’s waist and then turns her belly upward. After that, the female starts spawning eggs in cycles producing more eggs each. A single gourami female can produce several thousand eggs over the course of spawning. If some eggs miss the nest, they might float on the top of the water or adhere to the leaves of aquatic plants. Both parents should better be removed as there is a chance they might start eating eggs or newly hatched fry.
It is common for eggs to incubate for a day in most cases. After 2 to 5 days, the fry will be able to eat ciliates and rotifers. During this period, the fry exhibit peculiar behavior: they congregate in tiny groups before swimming in pairs to avoid being eaten. After about a month, when their labyrinth organ develops, the fry will start living more and more like grown-ups.