All you need to know about moonlight gouramis
The Moonlight Gourami (Trichopodus microlepis) is a stunning fish, and even more so as it matures. It has a silver body with a wonderful iridescence that becomes touched with a pastel green hue in the adults. Males have an orange to red coloration to the pelvic fin. However, there are no other color markings on its body and its scales are very small. Together these create its illustrious sheen, and even in a dimly lit tank this fish has the soft glow of moon light.
This gourami is aptly named for this wondrous glowing effect. With a silver body so iridescent that it seemingly glows. Increasingly, this gourami makes the perfect choice for aquarists wishing to add a sense of the celestial to their tanks. In Thailand it is called Pla Kadi Nang, while they call other gouramis in this genus Pla Kadi. The term “Nang” was attached because it means wife or woman and they thought this silver fish was a female form of the Blue (Three-spot) Gourami.
Special features about moonlight gourami
Like all labyrinth fish, the moonlight gourami has a special lung-like organ that allows it to breathe air directly from above the water line. It is common to see this species slowly move toward the top of the tank and gulp air above the surface. Despite the fact that this organ allows moonlight gouramis to survive in pools with a low oxygen level in the wild, they still do best when placed in tanks with proper filtration and excellent water quality.
Moonlight gouramis are omnivorous and not picky, which make them very easy to feed. This species will readily accept flakes, frozen foods, and live foods. Favorite treats include
- brine shrimp,
- insects, and
- small crustaceans.
Diet should be varied to ensure that the fish remain in optimum health. If fed, cared for, and housed properly, this species can live for many years in a home aquarium.