I made the decision to part with my sparkling gourami after taking a long, hard look at how their presence in my 20 gallon blackwater-ish aquarium was impacting the behaviour of my three parosphromenus phoenicurus–namely, that I almost never saw them, except while being aggressively pursued by the dominant male sparkler defending his latest bubble nest. While their cohabitation had absolutely worked while the sparklers were much younger and only the paros were mature, the tables quickly turned once two of the sparklers paired off and established themselves as the Boss Fish in the tank.
I truly loved my sparkling gourami–I still do! But ultimately I had two options: acquire another dedicated tank devoted exclusively to their care, or find another home for them with someone I knew would ensure that they are well looked after. I opted for the latter, and am extremely happy that the folks over at Betta Go were looking to include this species in their fish room. They are also the same folks who sold me my paros and my betta rubra pair in the first place.
So, my little fish room no longer has any adult sparkling gourami left in it. However, I still have their fry left to raise, and because of just how prolific at breeding this species was for me, I’ve got fry living both within the 20 gallon alongside the licorice gourami, as well as the fry I was able to snatch from the tank about a month-ish ago before the other sparklers could eat them. I’m hoping to compare the size of the fry more closely as they develop alongside each other to determine how the different conditions they’re reared in influence their growth and development.