Well, alrighty then!
You've probably read a lot about the hardness/softness/acidity/alkalinity etc etc etc and also the preparation (separate the male and female, NEVER add the female after the male etc)... Well I'm here to tell you that the common advice did not work for me
I haven't even taken any measurements from my Gourami breeding tank. I had it running for a bit before I put the Gourami in... I don't know if they call it cycling or something. Anyway I had the male G in first for a month or so and he built a bubble nest but because our washing machine was nearby, the vibrations broke up his nest. Once I realised this I also got hold of a female and moved the tank to a quieter location and put them both in.
I hadn't conditioned her at all, hadn't put her in first to let her get to grips with the tank or anything, just both it at the same time. (To be honest a lot of what I've read in books is nonsense about fish-keeping but that's another argument.). After about 3 days in the new tank the MG
build his bubble nest and then after a few days of feeding them flake, peas and bloodworm I caught them in the act and so I knew the mating had worked. Now, once the eggs are in the nest and the mating ritual is complete, the male defends his nest aggressively and will chase and batter the female if she dares come to that half of the tank. I put in a net-breeding trap and left her in it for 24 hours to give her a break.
I found the hatched fry hiding around the nest some days later. They were very, very, very tiny. You need to look for a few minutes before you see them.
Unfortunately they've all since died because I was under-prepared: I had no nursery set up. Currently 'cycling' one or whatever and next time it happens I'll be ready to catch them.
A few things to remember:
- Still, quiet area of the house
- Water level about half of the tank, IE 6/8 inches.
- Lots of plants. Lots!
- Hiding places for the mom
- Temperature about 28'c, although if you put them in at 26 and increase to 28 over a few days, that'll encourage breeding.
Here's a video of my male defending his nest, you can see the tank conditions, etc: