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Chocolate Gourami Sphaerichthys osphromenoides

$15.00 ea.

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Type locality is given simply as ‘Indies’ by Canestrini but this is by far the most widely distributed species in the genus being native to much of Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo. In the latter records exist from throughout the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesian province of West Kalimantan (Kalimantan Barat).

It’s also known from Singapore though this population may now have been extirpated. Some populations exhibit differences in colouration, particularly in the unpaired fins which may appear more blueish or reddish depending on population, and/or fin morphology, with males of some forms possessing more deeply-forked caudal and/or more extended dorsal and anal fins.

Mostly inhabits peat swamps and associated black water streams though is also found in some clear water habitats. The former are located in forested areas and contain water that is typically stained dark brown by humic acids and other chemicals released from decaying organic material.

This results in a negligible dissolved mineral content and the pH can drop as low as 3.0 or 4.0. The dense rainforest canopy above means that very little light penetrates the water surface and the substrate is normally littered with fallen tree branches and rotting leaves.

The clear water habitats are broadly simlar in terms of water chemistry but in many cases aquatic vegetation grows profusely and often includes representatives of genera such as Cryptocoryne, Blyxa, Barclaya, Eleocharis, Utricularia, and Lymnophila.

At habitat #1 in the images above S. osphromenoides was collected alongside Trigonopoma pauciperforatum, Luciocephalus pulcher, and Nandus nebulosus, while at habitat #2 sympatric species included Rasbora einthovenii, Boraras maculatus, Belontia hasselti, Betta waseri, B. tussyae, B. imbellis, and Kryptopterus macrocephalus.

Unfortunately due to logging, agriculture and other human activities throughout Southeast Asia vast tracts of primary forest have been altered or lost entirely. Fish habitats in affected regions have also been heavily-modified in many cases with species diversity declining as a result.

Maximum Standard Length
40 – 50 mm.

Aquarium Size
An aquarium with base dimensions of 60 ∗ 30 cm or more is suitable for a group.

Water Conditions
Temperature: 26 – 31 °C

pH: Wild specimens will require a value within the range 4.0 – 6.5 in order to thrive, but tank-raised individuals are normally more adaptable.

Hardness: 0 – 54 ppm for wild fish, up to 10° if captive-bred.


2.8/5 (4 Reviews)
Weight 1 kg
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