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How to Care for Gourami Fish

Scientific NameAverage Lifespan Average Adult SizeWater Temperature pH
Osphronemidae4-10 Years5-6 Inches75°-80° F6-8

From the freshwaters of Asia and India, right to your fish tank – Gourami is one of the most popular species of fish held in an aquarium. They are colorful, beautiful, and usually very easy to care for, so it’s no wonder that you might be thinking about owning them. What is that they like, how will they behave, and how to care for Gourami fish? We have all the answers.


Gourami Fish Types

If you mention Gourami to anyone interested and informed about fishkeeping without specifying the exact type, you’ll probably get them confused, since this is a huge family of fish. They vary from the giant ones that weigh twenty pounds to dwarfs that won’t get bigger than three or four inches. Other than in size and weight, Gourami fish vary in temperament and conditions for keeping. Many of them have two pelvic fins that they use as feelers to find their way in the dark and locate food.

What Type You Should Get

Before deciding which Gourami type you want to own, it’s good to check how well they will behave around other tank mates to avoid unpleasant situations. Some gourami is semi-aggressive, which means they might not fit with the community species you already have. Some of the peaceful and timid ones are:

  • Giant
  • Flame
  • Moonlight
  • Honey
  • Three-Spot
  • Chocolate
  • Neon Blue
  • Pearl
  • Dwarf
  • Licorice

All of the above can be kept in groups since they’re usually shy and non-aggressive. On the other hand, if you wish to have semi-aggressive or aggressive types, you can own Kissing, Paradise, or Sparkling Gourami. Males are especially tricky, as they don’t tolerate fish that are the same species as them. If you have more than one male in a tank, you can expect to see them chasing other species in the group, even if they’re larger than him. Conflict might be avoided if your tank is large enough. Females have a significantly better reputation than males, and they usually get along with other females.

Are Gouramis Easy to Keep?

Gourami usually doesn’t require high maintenance. Keeping gourami is easy to moderate, with some simple things you should pay attention to. These species have a labyrinth organ, which means that they get a small portion of oxygen from the water, and for the rest, they need to get to the surface. This is because the waters that these fish come from are usually slow and don’t have enough oxygen, so they must rely on the air outside the water. Make sure that the aquatic plants you have in the tank don’t cover the water surface so that gourami can come to breathe. Also, having enough rocks and decorations in the tank is desirable since they can be very shy and like to hide.

Minimum tank size, pH, water temperature, and lifespan vary from one type to another, but one thing is the same for all – feeding. Gouramis are omnivorous, and they’ll probably eat everything you give them. From fish flakes, pellets, and frozen foods, to live food like bloodworms and brine shrimp. Kissing Gourami might prefer herbs such as spirulina and algae. Do not feed your gourami more than twice a day, and make sure that they eat all the food that you’ve given them. If they don’t, don’t feed them the second time.

Gourami fish

How to Care for Specific Gourami?

Since there are currently more than 130 species of gourami, it’s essential to do your homework before deciding which type you wish to keep. We’ll cover the most common types you can find in a pet store.

Honey Gourami

This is a very peaceful type of gourami, and they come in a lot of color varieties. They’re excellent for beginners, so if you’re not an expert in fishkeeping, Honey Gourami should be your choice. They like to hide, so try to provide enough shelter for them in the aquarium. Here is the basic info for keeping a Honey type:

  • Tank size: Minimum of 10 gallons for a single Honey Gourami
  • Ph: 6-8
  • Temperature: 74℉ – 82℉
  • Adult size: 3 inches
  • Life span: 4-6 years

Three-Spot Gourami

Even though the name counts three spots, there are only two of them on the sides of this fish, and the eye is considered as the third spot. This type is also known as opaline, blue, and gold gourami, and the difference is just the color. They’re hardy and very easy to take care of, which makes them great for beginners.

  • Tank size: More than 25 gallons
  • Ph: 6-8
  • Temperature: 73℉ – 82℉
  • Adult size: 4-6 inches
  • Life span: 4-6 years

Pearl Gourami

Another perfect example of peaceful gourami you can keep with low maintenance. Pearl ones are very colorful and beautiful, especially the males when they’re ready to spawn. If you own a community tank, a single female and male are fantastic options.

  • Tank size: At least 35 gallons
  • Ph: 5.5 – 7.5
  • Temperature: 74℉ – 82℉
  • Adult size: 4-5 inches
  • Life span: 5 years

Dwarf Gourami

These peaceful fish are very popular at pet stores because of their bright colors. The standard type has crimson scales, but there are other color variations. There’s Powder Blue, Honey, Neon Blue, and Flame Dwarf gourami. They all have the same temperament and requirements:

  • Tank size: 10 gallons
  • Ph: 6-7.5
  • Temperature:  72℉ – 82℉
  • Adult size: 3.5 inches
  • Life span: 4 years

Paradise Gourami

Unlike the types above, Paradise gourami is a bully in the tank. They are beautiful and colorful, but they are known for fighting to the death with other males. Make sure that the tank is large enough since they tend to be very territorial. If you keep only one, there shouldn’t be any problems.

  • Tank size: More than 20 gallons
  • Ph: 5.8 – 8
  • Temperature: 61℉ – 79℉
  • Adult size: 2-3 inches
  • Life span: 8-10 years

Two Gouramis


Gourami Fish aren’t difficult to care for, and many types are a fantastic choice for beginners. Before you make your decision and decide which type you want to have, make sure you know all the specific details about keeping them in a good environment. Remember that two males are almost always aggressive towards each other, while the females tolerate each other well. Gouramis will be very thankful if you provide them with enough aquatic plants and places to hide.


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