Scientific Name: Colisa lalia

Breeding Strategy: Bubble nester

Ease of Breeding: Easy

Introduction: Native to India, Dwarf Gouramis are popular community-tank inhabitants because of their beautiful colors and generally peaceful nature. The biggest challenge in breeding them may be obtain­ing a female; the males are so much more colorful that many pet shops don't bother to stock the drabber females; you may have to special-order them.

Sex Differences: Male Dwarf Gouramis can be blue with red stripes or mostly red. Females are a silvery gray.

Water Conditions: Hardness and pH not critical. Temperature should be 75° to 81 °F.

Equipment: A 10-gallon tank with hood, filled with 4 to 6 inches of water and a heater set to about 80°F. Thick vegetation will give the female a place to hide if the male becomes too aggressive; fine-leaved or floating plants such as Riccia make the breed­ing pair feel more secure, and males also incorporate pieces into their bubble nests. Some breeders report that male Dwarf Gouramis are willing to use a chunk of Styrofoam cut from a cup to anchor for their bubble nest.

Conditioning and Triggers: Separately condition the male and female with live and flake foods for about a week. Transfer the male to the breeding tank in the evening. Add the female the following morning.

Spawning: The male should soon begin building a bubble nest, if he has not already done so. It will be several inches across. The female watches, and when she is ready to spawn, she nudges the male and he wraps himself around her, turning her upside down as she releases eggs and he releases milt. The fertilized eggs drift downward, and the male retrieves them and spits them into the nest. Spawning often lasts between two to four hours. When complete, remove the female, but leave the male to guard the nest.

Brood Size: Between 300 and 800.

Fry Care: Fry will hatch within 12 to 24 hours, and become free swimming three days later. At this point, remove the male, or he may try to eat the fry. Feed the fry infusoria and/or commercial fry food for the first week; you can add newly hatched brine shrimp and pulverized flake food the week after that. Be sure to keep the rearing tank covered to keep the air above the water's surface warm and humid; otherwise, when the fry swim to the surface to breathe, their labyrinth organ may be damaged.

Species with Similar Breeding Habits: Honey gourami (Colisa chuna).

Experienced fish breeders can tell the sex of a Dwarf Gourami by looking at the dorsal fin. You can oftentimes seperate the males and females from their color and color pattern, but not always. Many people attempt to raise Dwarf Gouramis to sell for a profit, yet there is not a huge market for them. If you specialize in selling healthy Dwarf Gouramis then you can make a name for yourself, but otherwise you should simply breed and raise Dwarf Gouramis  if you have a love and passion for this type of Aquarium fish.