Colisa Sota

Common Name: Honey Gourami

Sota is from a native word for the fish.

Synonyms:Trichopodus chuna, Trichogaster chuna, Trichogaster sota, Colisa chuna

Family:Belontiidae Sub-Family:Trichogasterinae

Colisa sota is an anabantoid fish, which means it has a labyrinth organ. This fish originally comes from Northeastern India, Assam, and Bangladesh. Temperature ranges for these fish are 72-82F. A pH of 6-7.5 with a water hardness of 15 dGH is best for these fish. Average size is about 2". Females get larger than the males. Males can be told by the colours it shows. It is basically orange all over (honey coloured) with the dorsal being mostly bright yellow. There is also a black area that runs from the fishes' mouth to approximately halfway down the anal fin. The female is basically a brown fish with a tinge of orange in the dorsal and anal fins. She has a darker longitudinal stripe from eye to tail. Her chin area is lighter than the rest of her body; it is tinged (or reflects) blue-green highlights. However, these are not very prominent.

These fish gather in large schools when not spawning. This season is from April to October in India. There is no problem feeding these fish. The only problem to look out for is keeping it at too low a temperature.

These fish are timid in a community tank, but are aggressive amongst themselves. I find they also like to pick at the long anal fins of the angels (who in turn pick at the Honey Gouramis). No real damage is done though.

This fish I bought already at full size. I already had the male for a while before coming across some females in a pet store. Females are rarely imported as they are such a drab fish. I put the male in a 5 gallon tank with some Elodea canadensis. I released one of the females into this tank. The male immediately began to chase her around the tank. She was bigger than he was. At no time was she damaged as with the Bettas I had done. I moved the filter away from the tank walls to give her extra hiding places just in case something happened during the night. The next morning there was a bubble nest approximately 1-1½ inches across. He seemed to be defending the nest pretty well so I removed the female figuring I could put her back if nothing had happened. The book stated that the eggs when first laid were clear. (Even the males had a hard time finding them) I thought I'd seen something but couldn't be sure. Within 12 hours the eggs had turned completely black. They hatched within 24 hours at about 80F. I figure that I had around 60+ fry. The fry were so tiny that I had a hard time even seeing their eyes. Other people couldn't even see them. At this time I removed the male. I began feeding them liquid fry food. I continued the liquid food because of the great disparity in the size of the fry over time. (Later I found out that the fry are cannibalistic on smaller fry) I ended up with fourteen fry. They occasionally get live brine shrimp nauplii. They also got powdered fry food.

© Copyright 1999-2003 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved

Suggested Reading:

Aqualog: all Labyrinths (Bettas, Gouramis, Snakeheads, Nandids) by Frank Schaefer

Bettas, Gouramis and Other Anabantoids by Jorg Vierke

Baensch Aquarium Atlas by Dr. Rüdiger Riehl & Hans A. Baensch

To see more references on anabantids:

Anabantid Book List

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