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Trichogaster chuna - Honey gourami


  • Trichogaster chuna - Honey gourami

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur – Red honey gourami

    Scientific name: Trichogaster chuna
    Common name: Honey gourami
    AKA: Honey dwarf gourami/ Colisa chuna/ Colisa sota/ Dwarf fire gourami/ honey gourami/ honey dwarf gourami/ red flame gourami/ red robin gourami/ sunset gourami.

    Country of origin: Asia – India, Bangladesh, Nepal

    pH: 6.0 – 7.5
    Temperature: 22 - 27c
    Hardness: 36 – 268ppm
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 5.5cm – males. 4cm – females. Occasionally up to 7cm.

    Diet: They eat live, frozen & sinking pellet foods – they are micropredators. They should be given regular feeds of live or frozen food.

    They have been known to eat hydra, eradicating an infestation.

    Non-breeding – pale orange, similar stripe to females, yellow fin-tips.
    Breeding – orange body, head, chin dark blue to black. Dorsal & anal fins are yellow on the extremities.
    Females: Pale brown, with a dark lateral stripe, paler either side of the stripe. This does fade if the fish is not happy (in store).
    Colour variants – males do not change in colour

    The male builds a bubble nest. Both parents should be removed after spawning – they will predate on the eggs & fry.

    Lifespan: 5 – 8 years

    Tank companions:
    They are NOT good tank companions with shrimp.

    They should only have 1 male to a tank, unless it’s a very large (6ft+) tank, with a lot of visual breaks, in which case, you may get away with 2 males. They can be kept with a group of females, or in groups of 6+ to spread the aggression.

    They are peaceful with other peaceful species of a similar size, with similar tank requirements. They should not be housed with boisterous or territorial fish, as they are slow and will not be able to compete for food.

    As with any fish they will eat any fish small enough to fit in their mouths, and equally can be eaten by any fish large enough to eat them. This should be taken into account when choosing tankmates.

    Minimum tanks size is 3 ft for a group. A single fish can be kept in a nano tank.

    They could be kept in a heavily planted tank with floating plants, open areas for swimming, and tannins from driftwood and Indian Almond Leaves.

    It needs tightly fitted lids, both to create humid air to breathe, and to prevent jumping from the tank.

    Confused with:
    There are colour variants:
    Golden – AKA Gold
    Red – AKA Sunset/ Robin red/ Red honey gourami – confused with the red variant of Colisa lalia (Dwarf Gourami)

    Many of the names used for this fish, particularly for the colour variants, are the same common names used for C. lalia.

    Some of the colour variants are hybridisations with C. lalia.

    Some fish have been dyed, a practice which is often fatal to the fish, and always reduces their lifespan. The best way to deal with this unethical practice is to refuse to purchase colour-dyed fish.

    Many have health issues, including iridovirus, which is invariably fatal, so they (in particular) should be quarantined before being added to the tank.

    They can rapidly change colour.

    It has a labyrinth organ, so can breathe air to an extent.

    Colisa chuna (synonym) are legal imports to Australia as of 31/10/2013 (list last updated 16/10/13):

    The IUCN Red List reports Colisa chuna as a species which has not been assessed yet at 29/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    They are good fish for beginners.

    Relevant threads:

    Breeding gouramis:
    Spawning honey gourami video:
    Bubble nest:

    Biotype tank:

    Eating hydra:

    1 male per tank & iridovirus:

    Scaring cats:

    Seriously fish:

    tfh magazine:


    Pics & threads with pics:

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur – Red honey gourami

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur – Red honey gourami

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur – Red honey gourami

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