Sphaerichthys vaillanti, Vaillant’s Chocolate Gourami
The Chocolate Samurai Gourami, also known as Sphaerichthys vaillanti, is a peaceful, fun breed of fish, whose origins can be traced to Borneo. Featuring spectacular markings, these fish do best in colonies of similar shy and peaceful fish.
Samurai Chocolates do best when housed in a 10 – 20 gallon tank or more, that is well established, thickly planted, with peat extract, driftwood, and good healthy bacteria. Infrequent water changes of no more than 20% every 2 weeks will help with your success!
Stocking tip example; you could keep about 6 or 7 of these in a 20-gallon tank. When they intend to breed, the female will pick the male of her choice. They will pair off and guard a large part of a pool or aquarium. However, since they are not aggressive fish, no harm will be done to other fish.
The Samurai Chocolate gourami is originally from the Kalimantan River in Borneo. Its native water is very soft and acidic with a pH as low as 4.9. They live along the moving parts of the river. Visibility there is usually poor, owing to the fact that the water is amber in color from the rotting leaves surrounding their habitat, so consider this when trying to reproduce a tank for this fish. It should not be overly lit and we would suggest using a lot of driftwood for refuge. Water must be filtered with peat to maintain the acidity required. They may be acclimated to higher pH levels but if you keep them in the low sixes they will do fine. The key to success, is a quiet tank with low light and little human disruption to keep from stressing the fish to sickness. They will generally hang out near the mid section or lower parts of the tank, close to the driftwood.
Determining the sex is not easy, but the female in this species is usually a tad more colorful. The female may have vertical red and green bars, whereas the males are usually more plain with gray or brown tints. The colors of both sexes become more intense during spawning. This process takes about 14 days during which the male will not eat, so it’s important that you have your fish on a good diet.
Size at shipping: about 1.5″+