Page Navigation


Male bintan.

Adult male Parosphromenus bintan.

Parosphromenus bintan is perhaps the archetypal licorice gourami from which they get their common name. The similarity to licorice allsorts is plain to see.

Together with Parosphromenus nagyi, bintan is a good starting place if you want to try keeping and breeding licorice gourami.


Clean soft acid water with low lighting suits bintan. As with all licorice gourami, you will need live foods.

These are the water parameters within which I keep my bintan and nagyi.

  • pH between 4 and 5.5.
  • GH as low as possible.
  • KH as low as possible.
  • 26° Celsius (78° Fahrenheit).

Filtration is a small air operated biological sponge filter. I prefer to turn down the bubbles to a minimal flow-through, yet still enough to circulate the water to prevent temperature layering.

The sponge filter will become home to some very slow growing and helpful micro-organisms. These micro-organisms play a big part in water quality by consuming nutrients in the water released from fish urine and faeces.

A cave should be provided for the males to set up home within. The males will then court the females with their courtship displays. That is when they are at their best colouring and most interesting behaviour.

Lighting should not be too bright. If you don't see your bintan out and about, try lowering the lighting intensity or add some floating plants.

Feeding is live foods only. I feed mine mosquito larvae, newly hatched (rinsed) brine shrimp, micro worms and grindle worms.

Maintenance is general housecleaning and regular water changes. I aim for a 20 percent water change per week as a combined pH adjustment and nutrient lowering.


When young and in good condition, the males can show blue on the fins. In the aquarium stores as young fish, I find it impossible to tell males from females. It is only when I bring them home and bring up their condition that sexual differences begin to show.


Eggs and fry stuck to the wall and roof of a cave.

Newly laid eggs together with older developing fry from a previous spawning.

When well kept, bintan will breed in the aquarium as a normal part of life.

As can be seen in the photograph on the right, bintan spawns in a cave and the eggs are placed on the cave wall.

I have seen the females hunt and eat the fry, though not the males. Even with the predation of the females, one or two fry may sometimes survive to grow into adulthood.


Top of Page




Suggested Reading

parosphromenus project logoParosphromenus Project (external link)

Parosphromenus Project (external link)

The Parosphromenus Project was founded in 2005 in Germany and has grown to be a worldwide project to study and preserve the licorice gourami within the aquarium hobby.

There you will find everything about the keeping and breeding of the licorice gourami.

Highly recommended as essential reading if you wish to keep the Parosphromenus.

The Science of Aquariums (external link)

An easy read practical explanation of the science behind aquarium keeping and water chemistry. Written by a chemist who is also an aquarist.


You can contact the author of this website by emailing: Albert Sluik.



This website is my little corner of the web where I can indulge my interests of coding websites, breeding challenging tropical fish and taking photographs of said challenging subjects.

It is also a place where I can share knowledge gained.

I am enjoying myself.

That is what this website is all about.