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Are Gouramis Aggressive? (And Will They Bite Other Fish?)

Are Gouramis Aggressive? (And Will They Bite Other Fish?)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Before you go out and buy gouramis for your fish tank, it’s going to be smart to learn a bit about them. You want to be sure that they will be a good fit for your fish tank.

If you’re thinking of putting the gouramis in a community fish tank, then you’ll definitely want to learn about whether they’re aggressive or peaceful. This will be crucial so that you can ensure that you have a safe community aquarium that you can enjoy.

Keep reading to learn about gourami fish aggression. There will be a lot of information to dig into, such as differences in aggression levels based on the type of gourami fish that you’re dealing with.

Once you’ve read through everything, it’ll be a lot easier to decide which fish you want to buy. You’ll be glad that you took the time to learn about these fish.

Most Gouramis Aren’t Very Aggressive

You’ll be happy to hear that the vast majority of gouramis aren’t very aggressive at all. In fact, many of the most popular types of gourami fish are considered to be peaceful.

This is why gouramis are so popularly used as community aquarium fish. Many types of gouramis are known for being able to get along with other fish in a community tank setting.

Of course, there are still going to be situations where gouramis will become aggressive. Also, the gourami fish aggression levels will differ depending on what species you’re dealing with.

This means that you need to learn more about specific types of gouramis to have a firm grasp of the situation. There are also some other common questions about gourami aggression that you will likely want answered.

The information below should give you everything that you need to know about gourami aggression levels. You’ll be able to make good decisions once you’ve read it all.

Are Male or Female Gouramis More Aggressive?

Male Honey Gourami
Male Honey Gourami

Male gourami fish are far more aggressive than females. The females are generally going to be much more docile than the male fish.

This doesn’t mean that all male gouramis are considered to be super aggressive, though. They’re just more aggressive than the females by comparison.

The male gourami fish will be more likely to defend their territory or get into little skirmishes with other fish. Also, males are known to fight with each other.

This is why it’s not generally recommended to keep multiple male gouramis in the same tank. Females don’t seem to have problems getting along with each other.

Are Gouramis Aggressive Toward Each Other?

Yes, gouramis will sometimes be aggressive toward each other. It’s very common for males to fight with each other.

As you learned in the section above, male gourami fish don’t get along very well. They’re in competition for the attention of females and territory.

This makes them want to fight each other. Females get along with each other just fine, though.

It’s also true that gouramis of different species will usually fight each other. Typically, it’s not recommended to put two different gourami fish species in the same aquarium.

If you have a large aquarium that has many decorations, then you might be able to get two species of gouramis to live in the same tank peacefully. When one set of gouramis occupies the opposite side of the tank to the other gouramis, it can work out okay.

However, it’s generally not considered to be worth the risk. You don’t want the gouramis to fight each other and get injured.

There are some species of gourami fish that are known to get along okay. The general rule is just not to put multiple gourami species together.

Do Gourami Bite Other Fish?

Gouramis will sometimes nip at other fish. This is usually going to be fairly harmless, but it’s good to know that it can happen.

You need to ensure that you put gouramis in fish tanks with compatible fish. Picking out the tank mates carefully will ensure that everything goes just fine.

Understand that gouramis will certainly eat fish that are small enough to fit in their mouths. This means that you have to consider the size of the fish that you want to put in the community tank.

It’s recommended to look up compatibility before purchasing fish for your community aquarium. It’s truly the best course of action to take.

Do Gourami Bite Each Other?

Three Spot Gourami Swimming Toward Each Other

It’s not too unusual for gouramis to bite each other. This is especially true if two male gouramis are in the same tank.

You already learned that males will fight each other. They might bite at each other’s fins.

Sometimes fights between males can get really bad. In some situations, the male gouramis might even fight to the death.

Do Gourami Have Teeth?

Yes, gourami fish do indeed have teeth. Gourami fish have small teeth that are very sharp.

They will bite at each other sometimes and they will bite other fish if threatened. Since they’re peaceful fish, they likely won’t bite at other fish too often.

Dwarf Gourami Aggression

Dwarf gouramis are considered to be very peaceful overall. These fish aren’t very aggressive and you should have an easy time putting them in a community fish tank.

These fish are fairly small and this means that they can get bullied by other fish. You’ll need to pick tank mates for the dwarf gouramis that will not bother them too much.

Generally, you just want to avoid putting them in tanks with much larger fish. Dwarf gouramis are easy to take care of, and you’ll love having them in your fish tank.

Pearl Gourami Aggression

A Few Pearl Gouramis Facing Upwards in Tank

For the most part, pearl gouramis are going to be peaceful fish. They have a calm temperament and get along nicely with many other types of fish.

Male pearl gouramis don’t get along well with each other, though. They often become quite aggressive when competing for mates.

Females will usually only get aggressive when protecting their eggs. These are fine fish to add to a community aquarium.

Honey Gourami Aggression

Honey gourami fish are small fish that are only going to grow to be two and a half inches long. They’re rather peaceful fish that won’t bother others in a community tank setting.

You’ll need to be more worried about other fish bullying them. As such, you’ll need to pick out tank mates that are safe for the honey gouramis.

These are fun fish to own that you’ll like caring for. They aren’t as easy to care for as dwarf gouramis, but they’re still not fish that will be too tough for most beginners to the hobby.

Kissing Gourami Aggression

Two Kissing Gouramis With Their Mouths Close

Kissing gouramis are fairly aggressive, and this means that you need to be careful with them. It’s not uncommon at all to see kissing gouramis biting each other or biting at their tank mates.

Since these are semi-aggressive fish, you’ll need to pick tank mates very carefully. They’re among the toughest gourami fish to find tank mates for.

Kissing gouramis are fairly large, too. They can grow to be between eight and ten inches long.

Giant Gourami Aggression

Giant gouramis are way bigger than the kissing gouramis mentioned above. At full growth, giant gouramis can be between twenty and twenty-eight inches long.

These gourami fish are considered to be semi-aggressive. It wouldn’t be unusual to see these fish bullying other gouramis or their tank mates.

You must pick appropriate tank mates for giant gouramis. If you put them in a fish tank with smaller fish, then they will wind up eating them.

Sparkling Gourami Aggression

Sparkling gouramis are very small fish. They’re only going to wind up growing to be between one and a half inches and two inches long at adulthood.

Luckily, they’re easy to take care of and they’re very peaceful. It’s common for people to keep these fish in pairs, but some also keep them in groups of four to six.

These fish are so peaceful that even the males don’t generally nip at each other. When competing for females, they just croak and display.

Blue Gourami Aggression

Blue Gourami With Neon Tetras and Tiger Barbs in the Background

Blue gouramis are popular options that you’ll want to consider. They’re pretty aggressive fish, though.

These fish grow to be between six and eight inches long. Often, they’ll wind up becoming bully fish in community fish tanks.

They’re only semi-aggressive, but they’re definitely not the most peaceful gouramis you can choose. You’ll likely have an easier time keeping them in a fish tank with other semi-aggressive fish such as cichlids.

Paradise Gourami Aggression

Paradise gouramis are very aggressive gouramis. These gouramis are so aggressive that they don’t fit the general narrative about gouramis being a peaceful type of fish.

They aren’t very good community tank fish because of how aggressive they can be. It’s common for these fish to chase their tank mates around the aquarium.

Also, two male paradise gouramis will wind up fighting to the death. You’ll need to avoid putting two males together if you don’t want one of them to wind up dead.

Snakeskin Gourami Aggression

Snakeskin gouramis aren’t the most popular gourami fish that you can find. They still have plenty of fans, but they aren’t as commonly sold in pet stores.

This is because they don’t stand out due to not being particularly colorful. They do look rather neat though since they have a snakeskin-like appearance.

These fish are very peaceful, and they’ll make good community tank fish. They’ll grow to be between six and eight inches long and have a reputation for getting along well in community aquariums.

Moonlight Gourami Aggression

Moonlight Gourami in Community Tank

Moonlight gouramis are very peaceful overall. In fact, it’s common for them to get bullied by other fish because of how peaceful they are.

You’ll likely need to be careful not to put these fish in a community tank with larger fish. They grow to be approximately six inches in length, and it should be simple to find compatible tank mates for them.

It’s also good to know that these gouramis are easy to breed. They even take care of their fry, unlike many other types of gourami fish.

Licorice Gourami Aggression

Licorice gouramis aren’t often sold in pet stores. They look rather drab when compared to the common and popular gourami fish on the market.

They are still neat fish to own, though, and they’re considered to be peaceful. Licorice gouramis should make good tank mates for Kuhli loaches and Rasboras.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a new addition to your fish tank, you might find licorice gouramis to be a good fit. They’re neat types of gouramis that grow to be two inches long.

Chocolate Gourami Aggression

Chocolate gouramis are very closely related to the licorice gouramis mentioned above. They also grow to be two inches long.

You can also consider these fish to be quite peaceful. The downside to owning these fish is that they’re difficult to care for.

These won’t be good options for beginners since they have very particular requirements. Many struggle to find good tank mates for these fish because of the recommended pH balance for the chocolate gouramis.

Final Thoughts

You’ve been able to learn a lot about gourami fish aggression. Now you know that gouramis are generally considered to be peaceful fish.

They can still become aggressive in certain situations, though. For example, they’ll become aggressive to defend their territory or to protect their eggs.

Also, male gouramis will fight each other pretty often. It’s usually best not to keep two male gouramis together since they don’t get along.

Different gourami fish species have different aggression levels, too. Some gouramis, such as paradise gouramis, kissing gouramis, and blue gouramis, can be pretty aggressive.

You’ll want to be careful with choosing appropriate tank mates for whatever type of gourami fish you choose. This ensures that your fish stay protected and are able to thrive in your community aquarium.

Do your best to care for your gouramis and you’re going to be pleased with how everything goes. These are great fish to own that will definitely bring a lot of joy to your fish tank.

Some are easier to care for than others, but you’ll be able to do a good job if you put in the effort. Just research the specific type of gourami fish that you want to buy to ensure that things go smoothly.

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