The Samurai Gourami (Sphaerichthys vaillanti) is a semi-rare species that is found in the Kalimantan River in Borneo; more specifically, in the area of the village of Nangah Sebroeang, which is south of the Danau Sentarum National Park in the upper Kapuas river basin, West Kalimantan province (the Indonesian part of Borneo).
Samurai Gourami appear to be endemic to the Kapuas drainage where it has also been recorded from the Danau Sentarum lake system, to downstream near the city of Sintang.
Samurai Gourami are categorized under Anabantidae and like other gourami have a labyrinth organ that allows them to survive oxygen depleted environments and deteriorating water conditions that would kill other species.
Although sexing is difficult, the females have vertical red and green bars and possess a uniformly straight lower jaw profile and more acuminate head shape than the males. The males are more plain and usually a pale gray or have a brownish tint.
Due to the presence of distensible skin that expands during mouthbrooding, their lower jaw is always slightly rounded. During spawning their colors become more intense, but females are always more colorful than the males.
Sphaerichthys vaillanti live in the very soft, acidic, tannin stained peat swamps, brick water streams, and slow moving river systems with negligible amounts of dissolved mineral content where the pH can be as low as 3.0 or 4.0. They normally inhabit areas where the dense rain forest canopy leaves very little light penetrating the surface of the water and the substrate is usually littered with rotting leaves and fallen tree branches. The aquatic plant species that may grow in these conditions include genera such as Cryptocoryne, Blyxa, Barclaya, Eleocharis, Utricularia, and Lymnophila.
Samurai Gourami are not common even in the Danau Sentarum system where they are normally collected in small creeks among the debris and leaf litter. Their color pattern and lethargic swimming behavior enable them to mimic the dead leaves where they are collected, making them very hard to detect.
Although Sphaerichthys vaillanti is not as sensitive to keep as the Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides osphromenoides), it is not considered a “hardy” species and does require specialized care.
Samurai Gourami are a bit larger than other gourami and are best kept in smaller groups instead of pairs. A 20 or 30 gallon tank is a good size for a group of 6 to 8 fish.
Although they do best in a single species biotope tank, they can be housed with other peaceful species such as Microrasbora sp., Boraras sp., Pangio sp. and most Corydoras sp. They should never be housed with boisterous species.
-Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between the availability of the actual livestock.
-And based on availability, your fish will be selected from an assortment of males and females, as we are not able to guarantee specific gender.