Acquired: Fish / pet store
Jerrabomberra, New South Wales, Australia
Posted Mar 21, 2013
These fish are a beautiful, if slightly risky, display fish for the community tank. They do get quite big so other tank inhabitants should be sized accordingly so they don't accidentally find themselves on the menu. However, if they are not gouramis or their relatives they should not be bothered. The pattern and colouration is unique and eye-catching when fully mature - especially that of a displaying male. I suggest keeping this fish as a trio of two females and one male where possible.
Their compatibility really depends on the tankmates. I tried keeping them with a smaller gourami and he bullied them almost to death, but when I rehomed him with similar-sized fish, including gourami, he learned his place and was peaceful.
They are exceptionally hardy and even suitable for a beginner if your tank is large enough. A 30 gallon could be considered minimum, though bigger is much better especially if you want to host a trio. They are determined feeders and although they won't compete with the faster fish at meal time they will certainly eat their fair share and scavenge later for more.
With enough hiding places and surface cover to diffuse the light they are not at all skittish and will interact to some degree with their owner. They can be seen cruising around the tank checking new additions out with their modified fins that act as "feelers", and looking for food in the foliage or substrate.