From Borneo, this small labyrinth fish (1.75 – 2”) inhabits sluggish blackwater. Two remarkable things about this fish are its reverse sexual dimorphism (the females are colorful red and green whereas the males remain chocolate brown with lovely patterns that mimic leaves), and that it’s a paternal mouthbrooder. These gouramis should be kept in groups in a tank with low flow, pH 6.5 or below (although they are tolerant of higher pH levels), plenty of botanicals, and peaceful tankmates like small cyprinids. A bonus for club members trying to achieve Master Breeder status is that this species belongs to Category 5 and garners 30 points.
Croaking Gourami (Trichopsis vittata)
Another unique small gourami growing to 2.5”, found across southeast Asia in slow-moving, blackwater environments. This bubblenester is peaceful when not spawning and can be kept in groups. Once they're spawning, they need to be separated or they'll nip each other. Croaking sounds are produced by both sexes to communicate. During courtship the female produces ‘purring’ sounds in order to initiate spawning, and they are the only fishes in which this is known to occur.
Burmese Red Neon Badis (Badis badis)
This small, richly patterned and colored little (2”) cave-spawner hails from Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos where it inhabits roadside ditches and small creeks with abundant vegetation. In nature, this species is subject to large seasonal temperature fluctuations. Slow-moving and retiring by nature, keep it with peaceful cyprinids such as small Rasboras, Danios, and Microdevario, but not with other similar-looking, territorial bottom dwellers such as dwarf cichlids and never house it with other Badis species to avoid hybridization. Rival males set up small territories and engage in energetic battles so provide plenty of décor and space. No heater required.
Scarlet Badis (Dario dario)
This gorgeous nanofish set off the Badis craze. Growing to only 0.5 - 0.75”, these fish are tolerant of a wide range of water parameters. Like other Badis, the males set up territories and become aggressive toward each other so provide plenty of spawning sites separated by visual barriers. No heater required.