Banded gourami – Trichogaster fasciata (formerly Colisa fasciata)

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Trichogaster fasciata (Bloch & Schneider 1801), aka Colisa fasciata, is commonly known as ‘banded gourami’. ITIS (http://www.itis.gov), the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, classifies and renders Colisa fasciata as the valid name with Taxonomic Serial No.: 172624. However valid name with ICAN (http://iczn.org/), International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, is Trichogaster fasciata (as on Feb 2013).
Synonyms of Trichogaster fasciata are: Colisa fasciata, Colisa fasciatus, Trichopodus cotra, Colisa ponticeriana, Colisa bejeus, Colisa vulgaris, Trichopodus bejeus, Polyacanthus fasciatus, Trichogaster fasciatus and Trichopodus colisa.

Taxonomic classification / Names

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Osphronemidae (Gouramies)
Subfamily: Luciocephalinae
Genus: Trichogaster (Colisa)
Species: Trichogaster fasciata (Colisa fasciata)

Origin and distribution of Colisa fasciata

Banded gourami is believed to have originated in Northern India and is presently distributed in South Asia in Pakistan, Northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh, upper Myanmar (Jayaram 1981; Talwar and Jhingran 1992);also in Thailand and the Malay Peninsula (Sterba 1973). It has been widely introduced into other countries.

Habitat of Colisa fasciata

Banded gouramis is a freshwater fish, inhabiting shallow slow-moving waters covered with surface vegetation. Banded gourami is a tropical benthopelagic fish. Colisa fasciata is found in the swamps, ponds, ditches and the shallow margins of rivers covered with thick vegetation and weeds.

Maximum Length

A fully grown Colisa fasciata male may measure 4 – 5 inches (10 – 12.5 cm). Females are usually a little smaller.

Description

According to FishBase banded gourami has “Dorsal spines (total): 15 – 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-14; Anal spines: 15-18; Anal soft rays: 14 – 19; Vertebrae: 27. Body elongate and strongly compressed”.

Banded gourami is an Anabantoid having an accessory breathing organ known as the labyrinth organ. Banded gourami has small, slightly protrusible mouth. Mature males have papillose upper lip. In younger Colisa fasciata Preorbital region is serrated. Banded gourami is generally greenish in color having oblique orange/blue bars descending downwards and backwards from the back to the anal fin. The dorsal fins may have alternating dark and pale spots or bars. The caudal fin is fan-shaped. The anal fin of Trichogaster fasciata usually has a red margin. The males are more colorful and have larger pointed dorsal fins. the ventral fins are long and slender-almost thread-like.

Banded gourami aquarium

For a pair of Trichogaster fasciata a 70 liter capacity aquarium tank is sufficient. As banded gourami are timid fish, keeping plenty of floating plants and hiding places will provide cover and put the fish at ease. The tank must be covered with sufficient space above the water, as banded gouramis can breathe air directly.

Ideal water conditions for Banded gourami

The ideal temperature range for healthy growth is between 72-82°F (22-28°C). In higher pH these gourami fish are stressed and the ideal pH range is 6.0-7.5. Suitable hardness is 5-15°dH.

Diet and nutrition for banded gourami

In nature banded gourami are omnivorous, feeding on insects, larvae, plankton, detritus and algae. In an aquarium Colisa fasciata may be fed with live food, frozen food and flakes. Regular feeding will keep them healthy and enhance the size of their finnage and colors. They should not be overfed. Overfeeding of Trichogaster fasciata leads to diseases, parasites and pollution.

Compatibility, temperament and aquarium behavior

Banded gourami fish are peaceful and timid. They can be raised in community tanks with other social fish like Tetra species, Guppies, killifish and Platies.

Reproduction in banded gourami

The male fish builds a bubble-nest floating on the surface among the weeds. Spawning takes place below the bubble-nest. During the spawning, 500-1000 eggs are released and the fertilized eggs will float up into the bubble-nest. Stray eggs are collected by the male and deposited in the bubble-nest. Once the spawning is over, the male Trichogaster fasciata starts guarding the nest aggressively. To avoid injuries the female should be removed to another tank.

The banded gourami eggs may start hatching in about 24 hours. At this time male also should be removed to another tank. Now the real delicate task of raising the fry starts. The fry must be fed with appropriate size of feed like infusora and roftiers. After 10 -15 days the baby gouramis may be offered finely powdered formulated feed or artemia hatchlings.

Reference:
1. http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Trichogaster-fasciata.html
2. http://www.itis.gov
3. http://iczn.org/

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