Dwarf Gourami – Species Overview – Care, Tank Mates, Food

Dwarf gouramis are beautiful, colorful fish that can liven up any freshwater aquarium. They are some of the best-looking freshwater fish you can keep. Dwarf gourami tank mates should be peaceful, and the tank should be big enough to give the fish space to thrive. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for Dwarf Gouramis.

Dwarf Gourami
Other Common Names:Flame Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Red Gourami, Sunset Gourami
Scientific Name:Trichogaster lalius
Family Name:Osphronemidae
Distribution:Pakistan, India, Bangladesh
Size:2-5 inches
Color:Blue, Powder Blue, Neon Blue, Flame, Honey, Red
Care Level:Beginner
Temperament:Peaceful
Lifespan:4-6 years
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Tank Mate Compatibility:Compatible with a wide arrange of other species, both fish and invertebrates
Dwarf Gourami Species Overview
Adult Male Dwarf Gourami
Adult Male Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami Care

Dwarf Gouramis need weekly water changes around 25–30%. A clean tank promotes optimal health and growth. For water parameters aim for:

  • Temperature range: 77–78.5°F
  • Water hardness: 10–20 dGH
  • pH: 6–8

For plants, aim to use free-floating or drifting plants. Floating plants with fine leaves, like hornwort, are best. These plants are like what dwarf gouramis would find in their natural environment. Gouramis use plants to hide in and to build nests in.

How Long Do Dwarf Gouramis Live?

Most dwarf gouramis live for about four to six years; with proper care, they can live longer. Dwarf gouramis are generally peaceful fish—unlike the much larger standard gourami, which can become aggressive.

Are Dwarf Gourami Aggressive?

Usually, Dwarf Gouramis are very peaceful fish. But, male Gouramis tend to be a bit aggressive towards similar-looking fish. Male gouramis are also aggressive toward each other. Males become more aggressive and territorial when there are females in the tank.

What Fish Can Live With Dwarf Gourami?

Plecos, mollies, otocinclus catfish, and rasboras are a few fish that can live with dwarf gourami fish. These fish are peaceful and will get along with dwarf gouramis. Avoid fish with bright colors, long fins, or fish that are smaller than gouramis.

Male dwarf gouramis are territorial and chase away other males that come near. So, don’t keep more than one male gourami in the same tank. And, as usual, don’t keep larger or more aggressive fish in the same tank as gouramis. Fish like African cichlids and Oscars can and will attack, kill, and eat your smaller fish.

Powder Purple Dwarf Gourami
Powder Purple Dwarf Gourami

How Many Dwarf Gourami Should Be Kept Together?

Dwarf gourami should be kept in pairs. They are social fish and like to swim around in small schools. So, the more, the better so long as you have space in the aquarium. You can keep two or three gouramis in a 10-gallon fish tank. If you want to add more fish, increase the tank size by 5-gallons for each extra fish.

How Many Dwarf Gouramis In A 10 Gallon Tank

2-3 Sparkling, croaking, honey, and dwarf gouramis can live in tanks as small as 10 gallons. For pearl, blue, gold, alpine, and moonlight gourami and paradise fish, a 30-gallon aquarium or larger is best. Kissing gouramis are large when full-grown and usually need a 55-gallon tank or larger.

Do Dwarf Gourami Kill Other Fish?

Though dwarf gouramis are peaceful fish, they are territorial. So, you need a big aquarium if you want to keep several fish. Gouramis can harass and even kill smaller fish or fish with long fins. It’s not wise to keep gouramis with fancy guppies, goldfish, angelfish, and bettas.

Blue Dwarf Gourami
Blue Dwarf Gourami

Best Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates

Otocinlus Catfish

Otocinclus are great algae eaters. They spend most of their time eating algae off plants, decor, and the tank glass. Oto cats don’t harass other tank mates, so they’re perfect for keeping with gourami. And, since they spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, they won’t get in the way of gouramis who like to be at the top.

Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are small and colorful fish. These are schooling fish and need at least five or more to thrive in a tank. There aren’t so bright that dwarf gourami might attack them. But, if you want more subtle colors, you can get glowlight or ember tetras.

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras thrive in the same water conditions as gourami. An aquarium with lots of live plants is perfect for rasboras because it mimics their natural habitat. Try using low-light plants that don’t need bright light to grow.

Mollies

Mollies like to swim near the top of the aquarium, but they also love plants. When keeping mollies and dwarf gouramis together, make sure to have open spaces and planted areas.

Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose plecos spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank or stuck to the glass. If you want to keep these fish, you need an aquarium that’s 30 gallons or more. They get along with gouramis because they are peaceful and usually stay out of the way of other tank mates.

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp are excellent dwarf gourami tank mates because they are too big for the gourami to eat. Amano shrimp spend most of their time eating algae but you can feed them blanched vegetables or algae wafers too.
If you don’t have lots of algae and want shrimp, you can try Ghost shrimp. They are as big as Amano but can be more aggressive toward tank mates.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras catfish are also peaceful bottom feeder fish that scavenge for uneaten food in the substrate. They prefer a sandy substrate and live in groups of five or more.

Zebra Danios

Zebra danios prefer to be in groups of ten or more. So, you need a big tank to keep them. They are very active and like to dart around the aquarium in schools.

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli loaches are nocturnal creatures and scavenge for food during the night. In the day, they hide under rocks, between plants, etc. So, if you want to have them as pets, your tank needs lots of hiding places. Kuhli loaches are social and prefer to be in groups. Eight Kuhli loaches or more are best.

Guppies

Some species of dwarf gourami and guppies are good tank mates. If you want a peaceful aquarium, it’s best to keep less aggressive gourami fish like the honey gourami with your guppies.

A dwarf gourami with guppies
A dwarf gourami with guppies

Dwarf Gourami And Shrimp

Dwarf gourami and certain types of shrimp, like cherry shrimp, cannot live together. The gourami will eat the adult shrimp and any baby shrimp in the tank. Basically, any shrimp categorized as a ‘dwarf shrimp’ cannot live with dwarf gourami. The dwarf gourami will eat any shrimp small enough to fit into its mouth.

Will Dwarf Gourami Eat Amano Shrimp?

Dwarf Gourami and Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica) are great tank mates because, unlike dwarf shrimp such as cherry shrimp, they are too large for gourami to eat. Amano Shrimp are also easy to care for, so don’t worry if you don’t have much experience with shrimp.

Red Dwarf Gourami
Red Dwarf Gourami

Are Betta And Gourami Good Tank Mates?

No, betta fish cannot be kept with gouramis. Betta & gourami fish will fight for territory which causes the fish to become stressed.

Types of Dwarf Gourami

The most common dwarf gourami types are:

  • Blue Dwarf Gourami.
  • Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami.
  • Flame Dwarf Gourami.
  • Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami.
  • Honey Dwarf Gourami.

Dwarf Gourami Colors

The most common dwarf gourami colors are:

  • Blue
  • Powder Blue
  • Neon Blue
  • Flame
  • Honey
  • Red
Flame Dwarf Gourami
Flame Dwarf Gourami

Best Plants For Gouramis

These are some of the best plants for a gourami fish tank:

  1. Amazon Frogbit.
  2. Water Lettuce.
  3. Hornwort.
  4. Cryptocoryne Wendtii.
  5. Java Fern.
  6. Amazon Sword.
  7. Water Wisteria.
  8. Vallisneria.

Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Plants?

Dwarf gouramis won’t eat live plants. However, Gouramis are bubble nesters and may use leaves as a floating raft under which to lay their eggs. They are omnivorous and may nibble a little at plant material. But, very few will actually destroy a planted tank.

Best Food for Dwarf Gourami

What to feed dwarf gourami? Most gouramis are omnivorous and will eat Tropical Flakes, Color Flakes, Tropical Granules, and even Shrimp Pellets. Some types of gouramis like the kissing gourami are more herbivorous and prefer Spirulina Flakes and Algae Rounds. Dwarf gouramis will also eat frozen and live foods.

How To Breed Dwarf Gourami

Reducing the water level to six to eight inches and raising the water temperature to 82 degrees Fahrenheit will encourage breeding. There should be lots of vegetation in the aquarium as male gouramis construct bubble nests using plant materials.

  • Breeding: Egglayer, bubble nest
  • Tank Level: Top, mid-dweller
  • Smallest Tank Size: 10 gallon
  • Temperature: 72 to 82 F (22 to 28 C)

References

Honey Dwarf Gourami
Honey Dwarf Gourami