(Please note this is the how to page, for other information see Moonlight gourami (Very brief, needs revising)
Although undemanding about water conditions and requiring only intermediate care, the moonlight gourami thrives best in soft, acidic water. Because it is so tolerant of less than perfect water, it is often recommended for a beginner in the fishkeeping hobby. However, as in most other fishes, regular water changes will help maintain the health of the moonlight gourami. Ideal pH level for the gourami is 6.0–7.0 with the water hardness at 2.0 to 25 dGH and the temperature kept between 26 and 30°C (79 and 86°F).
It thrives in a heavily planted aquarium. Preferable plants are the sturdy Java fern and Vallisneria. The moonlight gourami is a social and peaceful fish suitable for community tanks. However, large specimens, particularly males, may attack others of the same or closely related species. On the other hand, the moonlight gourami could be a shy and timid fish that regularly hides behind vegetation and gets bullied by more aggressive tank mates. The moonlight gourami is also a top- or mid-level dweller. Minimum tank size requirement is 20 gallons.
The moonlight gourami will accept flakes, frozen, and live foods. However, in the case of community tanks, other large, fast fish can scare the moonlight gourami away from food, as the timid gourami does not compete well for its meal even if starving.
Breeding of this fish is easy. The moonlight gourami should be provided with a separate breeding tank because other fish consider eggs and small fry as food. An ideal breeding tank has very soft water reduced to a depth of about six inches; floating plants can also be present to give the fish security. The pH should be slightly acidic and the temperature should be raised to at least 80°F over a period of several days to trigger spawning. Dark gravel, plenty of floating plants to assist in bubble nest building, and feeding of live foods to the breeding pair will increase the chances for successful reproduction. After spawning, the aquarists often provide the female a thicket of fine-leaved plants in which to hide if the male becomes aggressive; however, the moonlight gourami will not harm the female as other species of labyrinth fish might.
Once the eggs hatch, the fry must be fed very fine foods several times daily. The fry are tiny and delicate for the first few weeks of their lives. Most losses of fry are due to the lack of adequate food or low water temperature. Live foods such as daphnia, artemia and rotifers are ideal. However, very finely chopped lettuce, banana skins, and finely ground flake food can also be used to feed the young. The water temperature 80-85°F are ideal while the fry are growing.
- Axelrod, Herbert R.; Emmens, C.; Burgess, W.;Pronek, N. (1996). Exotic Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-87666-543-1.