Better known by the common name Dwarf Gourami, this species belong to the Anabantinoids (Labyrinth fish). It is mainly found in Indian rivers and in Borneo (South East Asia). A very beautiful little fish, colourful, adaptable in planted tanks (in fact it requires a heavily planted tank). Their small final size allows the hobbyist to place many of them in relatively small tanks. They thrive at water with a pH 6.8 (anything in the 6.5 - 7 range will do). They reach a final size of approximately 6 cm although in some cases they may exceed this limit. This species is very sensitive concerning the water conditions. In poor water conditions it is susceptible to diseases.
Although it doesn't show the kind of sexual dichromatism seen in African cichlids from the Rift Lakes, still the male is more colourful than the female. Dark gravel will bring out its spectacular coloration. Pairs usually swim side by side. Choose the tankmates carefully (size and temperament matching). A species tank is recommended. After spawning the female should be removed immediately and the male after a couple of days because they will eat the fry.
Commentary by Andreas Iliopoulos : Colisa lalia belongs to the family Belondidae, subfamily Trichogasteridae as all the other known "gouramis", like Trichogaster trichopterus, T. leeri and T. microlepis. In contrast, the real gourami is the giant gourami (Osphronemus gorami) unlike the African labyrinth fishes Anabas anabas, A. africanus etc.
Thanks to Terry Reeves for his note on which sex is kept with the fry.