About animals

Description and types of labyrinth aquarium fish


About 20 species of fish that inhabit our aquariums belong to the labyrinth family. They differ not only in their beauty and brightness, but also in their behavior.

Labyrinth fish got this name because of a special organ - a labyrinth in which the circulatory system is saturated with oxygen directly from atmospheric air. Thanks to this apparatus, they can live in water that is not saturated with oxygen and has been on land for quite some time. Fish often swim to the surface and swallow air, so they are not allowed to be transported in closed containers filled to the top with water, this threatens them with death.

Labyrinth family

The second is the scientific name of these fish– pineapple. They are divided into species: macropods, gourami, males and pineapples. There are about a hundred representatives of this species.

The labyrinth family includes fish with an elongated and compressed body on the sides. They have a short head and small mouth, dorsal and anal fins are quite long. The labyrinth organ is located in the supraventral adnexa.

Representatives of this family are insensitive to the purity and freshness of water. They are able to live in tight ponds with spoiled, muddy water. But this peculiarity does not apply to fry, since up to 3-4 weeks of age the labyrinth organ only develops, and during this period they are also sensitive to the purity of the reservoir.

The origin of the labyrinth fish

Most of the labyrinth fish for the aquarium come from the warm countries of Africa and Southeast Asia. There, in the wild, they live in fresh and shallow, with muddy water swampy sections of rivers, as well as small ponds and puddles. The hot climate of the southern tropics, the lack of flow and the abundance of plant organics deplete small water areas with dissolved oxygen.

The survival problem, when the gills become ineffective, has led to the natural evolution of the fish organism: creating peculiar lungs - a maze. This formation allows, in addition to oxygen obtained from turbid water, to take it directly from the air. The organ is located next to the gills on both sides of the head and is a system of membranes penetrated by capillaries. It resembles a maze of blood vessels.

Types of labyrinth fish

The most enduring of all the pineapple are macropodsThey are able to live even in spoiled water, and are not picky about the cold. They are not recommended to be kept in a pond with other fish; over the years, macropods become very pugnacious, especially during the spawning season. The maximum macropod size can reach 12.5 cm.

The most common type of pineapple are certainly gourami. They are most suitable for multi-species aquariums. Their sizes are on average 10-15 cm. Adult gourami sometimes attack small inhabitants of the aquarium, and they have to be sent to larger fish.

One of the most colorful types of labyrinth fish are cockerels. They are very beautiful, but pugnacious. The males got their name because of their temper, in company with other males they always fight like real roosters. They both inflate their gill covers and protrude them in the form of a collar. Being in such an excited state, the males take on a very bright color.

The main colors of this type of labyrinth fish are blue, red, green or pink with oblong brown stripes along the entire body.

Such a species as pineapple is very famous, but, unfortunately, is rare in aquariums. For them, it is advisable to acquire a lot of dense vegetation and snags in the aquarium, so it will be more convenient for them to divide the territory in order to avoid conflicts.

Aquarium Maintenance

The size of the labyrinth aquarium is selected depending on the number of fish inhabiting it. A capacity of 20 liters is suitable for a flock of cockerels, and for a pair of larger gourami you will need a 100 liter aquarium.

Water change should be carried out on a regular basis and the content of nitrates and ammonia in the water should be monitored. Water needs soft and sour, in hard water fish are unlikely to want to breed.

Labyrinth fish are very fond of overgrown plants, so there should be a lot of them in the aquarium. For this, the correct natural soil is selected with a diameter of 3-4 mm. It is important to have floating plants such as pistii, richchia and water-coat. These plants can also become a support for the nest. The scenery can serve as an interior solution, as well as a place for sheltering fish. The most beneficial fish will look against the background of snags, coconut shells, clay pots. A dark background will also be optimal, with a light design, the fish will feel unprotected.

For labyrinth fish, it is not important to have a compressor and a powerful filter, the optimum temperature regime is 23-26 ° С.


Basically, all the labyrinth fish are quite peaceful. Can calmly to live next door with small haracin fish, mollies, swordsmen, with almost all catfish. Not getting along with all the barbs don't get along completely with pineapples, macropods, cockerels. Guppies can be added to small labyrinths. Pelvicachromises and apistograms coexist with almost all the labyrinths.


When feeding labyrinths, there are no difficulties. Fish feed on both live and dry food. Preference is given to animal feed.

For fast and healthy growth, fish need a balanced diet. You can enhance the color with the help of frozen or live cyclops, bloodworms, daphnia, crushed seafood. Dry food must be of good quality.


The process of reproduction of labyrinth fish can occur both in a general and in a separate aquarium. It is best to breed them in spawning, as in the general aquarium they are unlikely to be able to feed all their offspring.

For 2-3 weeks, manufacturers are planted in different places and fed with a bloodworm, which will serve as a prevention of cannibalism. Fish very nicely arrange their nest by blowing air bubbles on the surface of the water. The male actively cares for the partner, and the female hides from him. Further, the female emerges and together they circle in the nest. After spawning, the female should be removed, and the male will take care of the eggs. The parent will independently add air bubbles to the eggs. When the fry swim, the father must be removed so that he does not harm the fry, which can be fed with live dust and ciliates.


Many fell in love with these attractive representatives of the aquarium for their beautiful color, original body structure, smoothness and leisurely movements. Labyrinth fishes have an elegant, oblong, flattened body on the sides, a short head, a small mouth, a long anal, dorsal and caudal fins. The ventral fins are elongated, threadlike. Males have a brighter color, which only increases during the breeding season.


There are many types and breeding forms that are quite different. All male males are known for their pugnacious character. And they were really used for fish fights. And it is the males that have a brighter coloration of the fins, similar to a veil. And the angrier the cockerel, the brighter its fin.

The homeland of the cockerels is the reservoirs of Indonesia. In the aquarium, the males fight when they are separated from the females before spawning, and when the nests are arranged, all the fish are driven away.

But for spawning, not the brightest, but the largest and youngest (7-9 months) males are selected.

To stimulate the reproduction of labyrinth fish, you need a special aquarium for spawning with a capacity of about 10 liters. In it, water should have a temperature of 27-28 degrees. You will need a bunch of riccia, which the males use to build the nest.

In the spawning ground, the male and the female are fed with live food. After building the nest, steam begins to spawn. At the same time, she goes to the bottom, and the male picks up eggs with his mouth and puts them in a nest. After this, the female is sedimented, and the male remains to monitor the offspring. It is separated only after the fry swim independently.

The life expectancy of males reaches three years. Their color depends on the crossed fish. In monochromatic fish, the offspring will be like that, and if we select colorful fish to spawn, we get a mixture of colors.

Cockerels eat both dry and live food. Often they are used as cleaners for an aquarium, where too many snails have divorced. Males quickly cope with this overpopulation.


These are the most numerous labyrinth aquarium fish. Although their name is not entirely true. The real gourami is too large for the aquarium, and these fish belong to the genus Trichogaster, it has only four species: lunar, brown, spotted and pearl.

The largest of them is brown gourami, reaching a length of 15 cm. But the fish is peaceful.

The main color of this fish is brown with a black longitudinal stripe. The male is larger and brighter than the female.

Lunar gourami is slightly smaller. It is silver with a blue tint. Males also have abdominal fins of red-orange color.

These fish love to feast on soft aquarium plants.

Spotted gourami have many color morphs: blue, purple, marble, blue-red, yellow, white, mother-of-pearl.

They grow up to 12 cm. Females are paler and with a rounded abdomen.

Pearl gourami on the gray-lilac body has pearly spots.

Gourami are also distinguished by a variety of characters. There are both peaceful and aggressive, especially spotted species.

Features of the content of gourami

The aquarium for labyrinth fish of the genus Trichogaster needs at least 50 liters, and for the lunar and brown - more than 110 liters.

All labyrinth fish do not need a compressor. A filter is not required. Although if the aquarium is large and has a lot of inhabitants, it is better to put a filter, but direct it to the wall so that the flow does not interfere with the construction of foam nests. Lunar and spotted gourami can build them even in a common aquarium.

If gourami do not breed in the general aquarium, then a cyst may form in females from unmetered eggs, which will result in the death of the fish. Therefore, if the female constantly swims with a thick abdomen, then she and the male must be put into a separate aquarium for spawning.

The optimum water temperature for gourami is 22 - 26 degrees, and in spawning, it should be 2 - 3 degrees higher.

Gourami spawn in different ways. Some, like males, build vesicles, kissing gourams on the surface of the water release an oily stain that becomes a nest. Chocolate gourami hatched caviar in the mouth.

These fish do not spoil the plants, so the aquarium for labyrinth fish can be densely planted with plants. Necessarily present either floating plants (duckweed, pistachia, richchia, salvinia, etc.), or floating leaves of Wallisneria or nymphaea. The soil should be made dark, with driftwood.

Since gourami do not jump badly, the aquarium needs to be closed. They feel best in slightly acidic and slightly soft water. In the neighbors, all kinds of macropods and laliuses will come up to them. And from males it is better to hook only short-tailed ones. Gourami can eat around the long fins of neighbors.

Other fish families can be added to gourami: neon, scalar, catfish, apistograms.


This group is less diverse. Its representatives have greenish scales and dirty orange transverse stripes. The male has longer fins, and the tail ends with thin filiform processes.

It is paradoxical that in nature this creature survives at 10-12 degrees of heat, but they prefer water at 23 - 25 degrees.

Breeding macropods is very simple, because they are surprisingly prolific - in one litter there can be up to 800 fry.

They multiply in the same way as many labyrinth ones - building nests from air bubbles. During this period, males become aggressive, driving all fish away from their nest.


This is another few species of labyrinth fish. This is a small but bright fish up to 6 cm long. Its color is greenish-blue with transverse stripes of blue-blue and red, near the gill. The fins are covered with red spots.

Lalius are very shy and they need calm neighbors. From fright, Lilyus often climbs into places in the aquarium where he cannot get out on his own and dies. It is better to keep them in a flock, then they become less shy.

Lalius prefer bright lighting and dense thickets of algae. They need a small aquarium up to 10 liters with not very warm water - 18-20 degrees.

Lalius eat live food: Daphnia, Cyclops, small bloodworms, and eat small dry food.

This fish is bred quite easily, but in warm water about 30 degrees. The male builds a nest of bubbles on the frame of algae. After spawning, the female is sedimented, and the male takes care of the offspring. It is removed from the aquarium on the fourth day, when the fry are just starting to swim.

View Features

The nadzhaberny apparatus provides the fish with oxygen from the air and is an integral function of the body. Without it, in pure water, an individual will die from suffocation. In the aquarium, it is often observed how representatives of the labyrinth fish periodically rise to the surface behind a breath of air.

Labyrinth fish always have a bright color

The second name of the owners of a unique organ is creeping (Latin Anabantoidei), or pineapple. They are inherent in such features:

  • the body is oblong and flattened,
  • small head with small eyes and mouth,
  • fins are all long, abdominal and pectoral filiform,
  • the color is bright and especially expressive in the dark, in males it is more intense.

In all labyrinth species of fish, leisurely and smooth movements are noted, parental instincts are well expressed. In preparation for spawning, males create nests from air bubbles and their own mucus. The eggs are placed in a bowl where the fry grow, and mature, they spread.

Fish classification

Mature individuals of the pineapple family are indifferent to the purity of water. During the first month of life, young labyrinthine fish species do not have protection against a cloudy and oxygen-depleted environment, since their respiratory organ is in the formation stage. This circumstance is taken into account when caring for fry at home.

There are 6 species of this fish

The list of labyrinth aquarium fish, popular with amateurs, includes the following breeds:

  1. Macropods are black, red-backed and common. In the natural environment they live in rice fields, are quite hardy. Aquarium water for them does not require aeration and filtration. The scales are greenish with or without orange stripes, the maximum length is 12.5 cm. Any food - animal and vegetable, dry or frozen, grass from the aquarium. Aggressiveness is shown during the spawning period. The optimum temperature is 24–27 ° C, but fluctuations are allowed within 10–33 degrees.
  2. Gurami - painted in gold, marble, pearl, silver color, but spotted individuals are more common. The size of the body is 12-15 cm, sometimes they attack small fish, and you have to plant especially aggressive to large inhabitants of the aquarium. The diet contains 40% of live food. The temperature regime is maintained at 24―28ºС.
  3. Cockerels - there are more than 50 types of labyrinth aquarium fish that differ in the shape and color of the fins: they are red-blue, orange, yellow-blue, green. Their character is pugnacious, similar to the behavior of roosters - they inflate the gills to the position of the collar, and at such moments the colors become especially bright. The diet of fish includes all types of food, but their overfeeding should not be allowed. In favorable conditions, fighters live up to three years.
  4. Anabasy (fish slider) - suitable for keeping in an aquarium. The vessel is filled with dense vegetation to make it easier for the inhabitants to divide the territory, avoiding conflicts. They acquired the property of moving on land when they crawled from drying up reservoirs into filled ones using a labyrinth organ. In modern crawlers, movement on the ground occurs with the help of fins, and the ability to bury in wet sludge for up to two days helps them to wait for drought.
  5. Lyalius - shy fish up to 6 cm long yellow, blue and green in color with red spots on the fins. In aquariums from 50 liters they are settled in flocks. The aquatic environment is planted with shady plants and highlighted. Fish feed on food from the surface, comfortable temperature - 24―28ºС.
  6. Labioses (a lip-laden colise) - in appearance they are similar to laliuses, but grow up to 8 cm. The body is high and round. The male and the female are distinguished by the shape of the fin: the first has pointed feathers, the other rounded.

For spawning labyrinth fish, use a separate tank with a lid with ventilation holes. A restriction from above is necessary to prevent the sliders from jumping out of the aquarium.

Pineapple minding

Supervision is to maintain the desired composition of the aquatic environment and its temperature. It is necessary to observe a sufficient amount of vegetation and properly feed the fish with a kind of breathing apparatus.

There are a number of recommendations for keeping fish

It is necessary to follow some recommendations on the content of ichthyofauna:

  1. Transportation of individuals in a tank filled to the top with water - under the lid itself is not allowed. Permanent housing is selected by variety and quantity: for five cockerels, a 25 liter tank is suitable, and for the same number of gourami, a 120 liter glass tank is needed.
  2. Aeration of the aquarium is not necessary, but periodic replacement of water is required: the medium must be soft and acidic, the content of nitrates, salts and ammonia should be constantly monitored in it. In hard water, pineapples will not reproduce.
  3. The behavior of the fish is relatively peaceful, but males show aggression during the spawning period. Labyrinths do not combine with cichlids and goldfish. Good neighbors are non-predatory species of ichthyofauna.
  4. It is better to choose plants with wide leaves - on their lower part males arrange nests for eggs. The more flora, the better, but the excess will affect the condition of the fish.
  5. Lighting recommended diffused and not too bright. The temperature is maintained in the range 22―26ºС.
  6. The decorations serve not only as an aquarium decoration, but also as shelters for its inhabitants. Driftwood, coconut shells, shards of pots - all this will emphasize the beauty of the fish. It is important that there are no sharp corners in the structures.

Feeding is carried out periodically by any kind of food. The main thing is to prevent the appearance of excess weight in pets: they will become less active.

Food is recommended to be scattered over the entire water surface. Tidbits - bloodworm, earthworms, live and frozen cyclops.

In this video you will learn more about 10 popular fish:

Life span

Anabasovy live 2-15 years. Life expectancy depends on the type, size of fish, quality of life and water temperature.

  1. males, pineapples, betta picts live 2–5 years,
  2. gourami, labiosis, macropods, lalius - 5–7 years old,
  3. xenopomies, giant gourami - long-livers capable of living 15 years.

The list of labyrinth aquarium fish is small. There are approximately 20 species of labyrinth fish, which are kept in glass tanks.

About roosters

I will begin with the fact that this fish came to me almost the very first. Then I had (and still have) a spherical 30-liter aquarium in which only a couple of gourami, red coils and hornwort lived. I bought cocks from a breeder. Having seen a couple of cockerels in the bank, I did not even have time to look at them, I already realized that they would live with me.

Kupanusy in the aquarium

Aquarium fish Kupanus not so long ago found their real name, before they were just called, they started with polyacanths, and then they were attributed to macropods, and only then they were separated into a separate genus - Kupanus. In our country, we have gone further and as a result, they are known in our country under the following names - kupanusy, parosfromenusy, red macropods, polyacanths. They really look like small macropods, but their caviar is very different - in kupanus it is sinking, and in macropods it is light and does not sink.


The content of all the coliseums seems to be the only difference in the size of the aquarium and its neighbors. It is desirable to keep striped colies and lyabiosis in aquariums from 40 liters per couple, a pair of lilies will have an aquarium and 25 liters. And a couple of honey gourami can be placed in an aquarium of 10 liters. For the colise, it is necessary to select peaceful neighbors, since the abdominal fins of the colise, converted into filaments, are an irritant for predatory aquarium fish (for example, for barbs).

Trichogaster ("gourami")

Fish of the genus Trichogaster (Trichgaster), belonging to the Labyrinth family (Anabasovye) are often called the wrong name - gourami. In fact, gourami (Osphronemus gorami) is a large fish of commercial importance, rarely found in aquariums.

Genus Macropodus (Macropodus): Contents

In the Belontiev family (Belontidae) of the suborder Labyrinth (Anabantoidei) the Macropodov subfamily (Macropodinae), which has only one genus Macropod (Macropodus), it includes 4 types:

  • Macropodus opercularis (Linne, 1758),
  • Macropodus spechti (Schreitmuller, 1936), the old name Macropodus concolor (Ahi, 1937),
  • Macropodus erythropterus (Freyhof and Herder, 2002),
  • Macropodus chinnesis (Bloch, 1790), otherwise Macropodus ocellatus, Macropodus hongkongensis.

Mini - aquarium with labyrinths

Mini aquariums are quite popular with both beginners and experienced aquarists. Oddly enough, the first ones start it because they think that it is easier to manage with a small aquarium, and the second because they know that maintaining a balance in a small aquarium is much more difficult than in a large one (I think it’s clear which of them is right!) . In any case, the aquarist is faced with the question of which fish to put in a small aquarium (I’ll say right away that I will consider an aquarium from 10 to 30 liters a small aquarium). I already talked about the cock in another article, so here I will not consider his candidacy.

We buy a labyrinth fish!

In this article I want to tell you how to avoid mistakes when choosing a labyrinth fish for your aquarium. First of all, I want to remind you that for every fish you buy in a pet store or on the market, you need a monthly quarantine in a separate aquarium.

Aquarium for cockerel

My first fish were a couple of males that lived in a small glass aquarium. Beginner aquarists often contain cockerels in this way, because it seems to keep such an aquarium easier than large (although this is not so). Despite the fact that the aquarium is small, it is just as important to launch it as a large aquarium.

Water for aquarium with labyrinth fish

The water treatment process for an aquarium with labyrinth fish is relevant in relation, first of all, to those fish that live exclusively in soft and acidic water. These fish must be constantly kept in such water, which, at least in Moscow, does not flow from the tap.

Neighbors for labyrinth fish

Few aquarists plant only labyrinth fish in their aquarium, so the question often arises of who, in addition to other labyrinth fish, can live African labyrinth fish (real gourami, belontias are not considered). The easiest way to look for neighbors is by exclusion. For example, all herbivorous fish (goldfish, herbivorous cichlids and piranhas) disappear, because they eat plants in the thickets of which the labyrinths feel so comfortable.

Plants in a labyrinth fish tank

On the topic "Plants in an aquarium with labyrinth aquarium fish" two questions are usually asked - which aquarium plants to plant and how many. The answers to both questions are ambiguous. The question is whether living plants are needed in the aquarium or not, I shoot right away - of course, they are needed. They don’t need them except real gourami, he’ll just eat them.

Giants and fighters.

Summer 2005 was fruitful for Moscow lovers of Siamese fighting fish, cockerels. What colors were not presented at the Bird Market! And the forms? In addition to the familiar and beloved veil, we saw chic (and not so) crown-tails, came across short-tailed (maybe fighters?), And in August, giant short-tailed cockerels went on sale.

Roosters from the pond

You probably noticed that a person, seeing a new, unfamiliar animal or other object, is trying to compare it with long-known ones, and indicate this similarity in the name. So there appeared, marsupial bears and marsupial wolves, a rhinoceros bird and a bell bird, a moon fish and a butterfly fish: And this list goes on and on.

Labyrinth Aquarium

What should be an aquarium for labyrinth fish? Of course, so that the fish in it were comfortable. To do this, remember the conditions of their life in natural conditions. Most of the labyrinth fish live in Southeast Asia, often in shallow shallow reservoirs with a low oxygen content in the water, which in the process contributed to the survival of only those fish that had additional organs for oxygen production.

Betta picta

The species is known as the Javanese cockerel. It grows up to 5 cm. The elongated body is silver or golden with dark horizontal stripes. The fins are pointed short, the tail is rounded. The character is non-aggressive. Stable water parameters are required, therefore it is not recommended for beginner aquarists.


Peaceful fish, inferior in popularity to most relatives. Unpretentious, amenable to breeding. The color resembles laliuses with the presence of stripes of red and blue. The males have pointed fins, and the females are rounded. It grows to 10 cm. Contained in a group and individually.


Large inhabitant of the waters. Lifeless with most species. It grows to 20 cm. They are distinguished by the ability to move through the pectoral fins on land and go into hibernation, burrowing into the ground. This helps him survive in the natural environment at low tide. Contained in pairs or singly. In pet stores is rare, sold to order.

Water parameters

For most anabasovy acceptable indicators:

  1. hardness 2–26 dGh,
  2. acidity 6–8,
  3. water temperature 23–28 degrees.

Replace water a quarter of the total weekly. Protected tap or filtered water is suitable. Periodically check the water for nitrates.

Moody kupanusy prefer water with the following parameters:

  1. hardness 0–5 dGh,
  2. acidity 4-6,
  3. temperature 20-25 degrees.


A week after hatching, the fry are already swimming and eating. At the time of the appearance of the eggs, the parental instinct in the adult disappears, so put the parent-fish out. In the first month of life, the labyrinth respiratory organ is only forming, so the fry will need a compressor.

  1. living dust
  2. ciliates
  3. nauplii
  4. chopped adult feed
  5. rotary speed.

Serve in small portions 2-3 times a day. With abundant and high-quality feeding, fish will quickly grow. Remember that fry are more vulnerable to disease, so pay close attention to clean water.


Labyrinth - possessors of strong immunity. In case of poor content, they are susceptible to diseases:

  1. Ichthyophthyroidism (semolina). The body of the fish is covered with white dots, there is anxiety and loss of appetite. Treat the disease with drugs from the pet store, raising the water temperature by a couple of degrees. Increase aeration, change water several times a week.
  2. Oodiniumose (velvet rust). The disease is caused by parasites introduced by new fish or untreated plants. Treat copper sulfate in a common aquarium.
  3. Cotton disease. Formations resembling cotton wool appear on the body of a fish. It occurs with a decrease in the immunity of fish. Use special medicines.
  4. Poisoning with ammonia and chlorine. Water that is not settled or oversaturated with ammonia has a bad effect on the well-being of fish. May be fatal.


Aquarists note that the labyrinths have a complex character. Beginners place fighting fish with incompatible neighbors, such as guppies, which leads to the death of pets. Appearance of pineapple leaves no one indifferent. Many contain gourami and cockerels.

Labyrinth representatives are different, the price depends on the size of the fish and species. Different gourami cost 40–380 rubles, cockerels cost 100–5200 rubles, the most expensive phenotypes with large tails. Macropods and laliuses cost 140–240 rubles.


  1. Labyrinths look spectacular on a black background. A light background will cause discomfort to the population of the aquarium.
  2. If there is no opportunity to periodically feed the fish, you can automate the process using automatic feeders.
  3. Although the Siamese cockerel is a popular inhabitant of round aquariums, give preference to a rectangular container. In a spherical vessel, the light is refracted, creating the illusion of constant movement, which causes severe stress in the fish.
  4. Place the labyrinth aquarium at least 1.5 meters from the windows. Sunlight causes water to bloom.
  5. Avoid incandescent lamps in the aquarium. They heat water strongly, their color spectrum stimulates the growth of lower algae.

Labyrinths are very beautiful and unpretentious. There are international exhibitions in which Siamese cockerels compete in beauty, striking viewers with an unusual appearance.