What do Gourami eggs look like? This is a question that has been asked by many fish enthusiasts over the years. In this blog post, we will take a look at the different types of Gourami eggs and what they look like. We will also discuss the hatching process and how to care for newborn Gourami fry. So, if you are curious about Gourami eggs, keep reading!
Gourami Eggs Types
There are three main types of Gourami eggs: adhesive, bubble, and free floating. To begin, let us take a closer look at the different egg types.
Adhesive eggs stick to surfaces. They are sometimes also called ‘Glued Eggs’. However, this is not a very good term as it can be confusing. In some fish species, adhesive eggs are referred to as ‘glued’, too, even though they do not stick to surfaces at all!
Bubble nest eggs look like they were blown by a human child (with lots of saliva included). These Gourami eggs float in the water and can be spotted when you let your aquarium lights dim for a few hours. Bubble eggs are usually found in small groups, with 10-20 eggs per group.
Free-floating eggs do not stick to surfaces or float on the water surface. Instead, they get carried around by the current and might get eaten by other fish or shrimp that are in the aquarium.
Adhesive eggs are laid by both sexes, though mostly by female Gourami. Bubble eggs are only produced by females, while free-floating eggs can be produced by either sex. Different species of Gourami produce different types of eggs.
For example, Pearl Gourami lay adhesive eggs while Moonlight Gourami lay bubble eggs. Bubble nest eggs are the most popular type of Gourami egg in aquarium circles, so we will take a closer look at them.
Gourami Egg-Laying Process
When ready to spawn female Gouramis start creating their ‘nest’. Using her pelvic fins, she digs small pits in the sand or gravel. Then she starts laying her adhesive eggs in these pits, one by one.
During this process the male Gourami is busy chasing away other fish that might be trying to ‘steal’ his potential offspring. He might also chase individual eggs, leading to cracks and small pieces of eggs floating through the water column.
If you have ever looked at a freshly laid Gourami egg, you will notice that it is not completely clear. When taken out of the pelvic fins, the egg-mass has a white creamy coating. This coating holds all eggs together and makes sure they do not break while being transported over to the nest pit.
During the ovulation process female Gourami produce masses of clear gelatinous eggs. As soon as the male spots these, he will start to court the female with lots of twerking, fin flaring and chasing.
He will also use his anal fins to receive the adhesive eggs from the female’s pelvic fins. When being fertilized, these gelatinous egg-masses ‘harden’ and take on a whitish color.
Fertilized Gourami eggs will be laid one by one in the prepared nest. A single egg takes around 4 hours to form, which means that it can take an entire day for the female to lay all of her eggs (depending on how many times she has to re-lay them because they broke or got eaten).
After laying her eggs the female Gourami is usually chased away by the male. He will defend his territory and make sure that no other fish can get in to eat his offspring. This period can take up to two weeks, during which time you should not change any water in the tank as this might cause your male to turn against the eggs.
After around two weeks the fry hatch and become free-swimming. Now you can return your big Gourami back to his old territory and remove any other fish from the tank (as they might eat the young fry).
Once hatched, it will take another 2-3 months before the fry is big enough to sell. These young Gourami are usually sold as ‘feeder fish’, which means they are used for feeding bigger carnivorous fish.
Finally, I’d like to mention that it is not uncommon for young female Gourami to be fertilized by more than one male. Because of this, you might end up with more than one type of egg in your aquarium. For example, if you have a male Moonlight Gourami and a male Bicolor Gourami the female may be fertilized by both males. The resulting eggs will either be pearl or adhesive (bubble) eggs.