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Breeding Sparkling Gourami


15 Sep 2021
I'm a newbie who has had success breeding one generation of sparkling gourami. The sparklers are now breeding again in my 106L community tank. My hunch has been to remove the fry after 3-4 days, when they go from vertical to horizontal and begin to move, on the assumption that they would soon after become a meal for someone if I didn't. I put them in a 30L, with shrimps, and feed them as best I can, with BBS, spirulina, ground down dry food, and bee pollen. It's a heavily planted tank with moss so I hope there is some micro critters to feed on. I got 5 to maturity last time. The problem is that as soon as I remove them the sparklers breed again, and again, and again. I worry about them getting exhausted. I wonder if it would be kinder to let the latest brood mature, even if they are all eaten, as that way the breeding cycle may lapse? The male looks understandably tired! I also have 4 or 5 baby Cory in the smaller tank. I am less sure what to feed them and have little skill with infusoria. I am using the same foods as listed above. The reason I don't remove the sparkler pair to the smaller tank is that they would eat all the baby shrimps. I can't afford another tank. Any advice welcome.
Sounds good do you have any pictures of your grow out tank?

I've not bred sparkling gouramis but from the species I have bred, eating the fry doesn't break the cycle of spawning. Best thing would be to separate the male. If you don't have another tank, an in tank breeding net would work. It'll give him a break and allow you to feed up the male and female(s). The nets are quite small so I wouldn't do it long term but shouldn't take long to condition him back up. Adding some floating plants and moss/other plants helps provide cover and makes them more comfortable in the confined space of the net.

As for the corys the foods you mentioned should be fine. If you find the brine shrimp are staying too high in the water column. I harvest some from the culture into a small cup and then put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This slows the brine shrimp down so when you add it to the tank they tend to sink and are slower to swim back towards the light.
Substrate is quite important, too coarse and any uneaten food will feed bacteria that can be harmful to fish, especially those that are in contact with it. A thin layer of sand is good because the waste sits on the surface making it easy to see and syphon out.
It's inbuilt to breed and if you are keeping them happy and healthy, breeding is what they will try and do. I completely agree with scarecrow above and that the only realistic option is to split them up if you don't want them to breed.

I'm not sure if breeding will shorten their lifespan though. It definitely does in some fish but in others seemingly not. You have to way up effort and resources really. The best examples I can think of are from my marine breeding days. Bangaii cardinals are mouth brooders and the male doesn't eat for up to a month until he releases the fry. With these fish it is very easy to see them decline quickly if over bred because they don't have a chance to rest and feed up again. On the flip side clown fish can breed every ten days for over 30 years without seemingly deteriorating. I inherited a pair that had been breeding for someone for 25 years and if I didn't believe him, you'd have never known. My male dottybacks, as breeders, lasted about 2 years before they were warn out and died because they heavily defended their nest, the females reached 8-10 years (they all switched to males after the existing male died) when kept without conspecifics.
So that's a long winded way of saying that you might not get a shortened lifespan if they can replenish their reserves. I don't know if these gouramis spawn seasonally, which might extend their life, but the best you can do is to just give them a good diet and let them live their best lives.
Hi all,
Can’t remove the female and house her with her fry?
It is the male that guards the nest, but I think once the fry become free-swimming he abandons them?

I have bred them (I just provided a 35mm film canister), in which the male built a rudimentary bubble nest, and they spawned in that pretty much straight away.

Once they've hatched he spits any that fall back into the nest, but I'm pretty sure that is the end of care once the fry are free swimming

cheers Darrel
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I must have a most inept male sparkler! He's tried under a leaf twice, both times added too many bubbles, the leaf tilted & spilled the nest. Then he picked a leaf skeleton....🙄 Finally the female made him build under an overhanging piece of mopani wood & overnight he went & moved the nest, losing all the bubbles!
On his one successful spawning in another tank I have seen the female join in rescuing the fry & spitting them back into the nest.
I agree the females can become exhausted & look ragged, they fight each other quite aggressively so really your only option as @seedoubleyou said is to separate them.
Mine build good nests among the cover of floating plants I have. I think the pencil fish would be the ones who would get the fry, and the female gourami, but it would be interesting as an experiment to let one brood remain in the community tank and see. I am less worried about the females as they get time to recover and look well. The male tends to guard the nest without sleep for a period of days, but it's what he signed up for! My fry are all in a small tank that's fully planted, with earth and then a thick cover of sand, some leaves, and lots of moss and plants. Hopefully lots of small insect life. I find that moss balls are useful to scatter food on, which the shrimps get most of but I have seen the gourami fry go for. I haven't managed to raise the Cory fry yet, but fingers crossed. Thanks everyone for the advice. @dw1305, you are correct, after the fry become free swimming they are on their own.
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