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Gourami Breeding Guide (Everything You Need to Know)

Gourami Breeding Guide (Everything You Need to Know)

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

Gouramis are some of the prettiest little fish that you can get for your freshwater aquarium. They’ve proven to be very popular fish for a number of different reasons.

Many people turn to these fish because they work out so nicely in community fish tanks. Also, they’re decidedly easy to care for even for beginners.

You might be interested in getting some more gouramis, but you don’t necessarily have to spend money to make it happen. If you have a breeding pair, then you could breed gouramis so that you can have more fish for your aquarium.

Continue reading to learn everything that you need to know about breeding these fish. This should help you to determine how to approach things so that you can get the best results.

You don’t have to be a fish tank expert to successfully breed gouramis. So long as you learn what you need to know, you’re going to be pleased with how things go.

Do Gouramis Lay Eggs?

Yes, all gouramis are going to lay eggs. The female gourami is going to lay eggs and the male will then take the time to fertilize them once they have been released.

These fish are interesting because they don’t just lay the eggs somewhere and wait for them to hatch. Most male gouramis are going to build what is known as a bubble nest for the eggs.

It’ll anchor the bubbles and the eggs to some type of floating object such as a floating plant. Males then look after the eggs until they hatch.

Once the female lays the eggs, its role in the process is finished. In fact, sometimes people have trouble with the female gourami fish trying to eat the eggs.

The male might chase the female gourami away from the eggs. You’ll learn more about this process as you continue reading.

It should also be said that not all gouramis build bubble nests. There are some gouramis that care for eggs in unusual ways.

For example, chocolate gouramis keep the eggs in their mouths. This breeding information is focused on the popular types of gouramis that people buy for their aquariums.

Some gouramis are going to be tougher to breed than others. The common gouramis that are being referenced in this article are generally easier to breed.

What Do Gourami Eggs Look Like?

Gourami eggs can be kind of hard to see. This is especially true when you aren’t used to looking for them.

The eggs are going to be quite tiny and this can make them easy to miss. Often, people will see the bubble nest, but they won’t wind up noticing the eggs themselves right away.

Gourami Bubble Nest

You will find that the eggs will appear as a sort of white area. Developed eggs are going to look a bit darker when viewed from above.

It can be good to try to identify the eggs so that you can determine if they have been eaten or not. As mentioned above, sometimes the female will try to eat the eggs.

Occasionally, an inexperienced male will also choose to eat the eggs. There isn’t much that you can do about this.

The eggs need the male to look after them. The gourami fry are also going to need the male for a period of time until they become free swimmers.

Some choose to remove the female gourami from the breeding tank after the eggs have been laid. You can do this so long as you have another tank prepared to put the fish in.

Are Gouramis Live Bearers?

No, gouramis are not considered to be live-bearers. All gouramis lay eggs, and most of them are going to use bubble nests for the eggs.

The male makes the bubble nests for the eggs and then looks after everything. Females simply lay the eggs and the males handle the rest.

Some gouramis will have slightly different methods of breeding, but they will still lay eggs. You learned about the gourami parents that keep the eggs in their mouths earlier.

There are also gouramis that just lay eggs out in the water and don’t make use of bubble nests. Most of the common gouramis that you will be likely to purchase for your freshwater fish tank will be using bubble nests.

What Does a Pregnant Gourami Fish Look Like?

Saying that a female gourami fish gets pregnant might give you the wrong idea. Remember that gouramis are not live-bearers and that they’re going to be laying eggs.

That being said, some people use the term “pregnant gourami fish” to refer to when the female is ready to lay eggs. You will be able to visually spot a difference when the female is ready to lay eggs.

There should be a golf ball-sized bump on the fish. This shows that the female is getting ready to lay its eggs.

During this time, the male should be preparing the bubble nest and getting ready to do its part in fertilizing the eggs. Eventually, the female will lay the eggs, and then the male will carry on caring for them.

How Long Are Gourami Fish Pregnant for?

Once you notice that the gourami fish is swollen with eggs, you’ll be able to expect the fish to lay the eggs within one or two days. It definitely won’t take too long for the eggs to come out.

You should be able to see the female lay its eggs quite soon once noticing that it has a swollen belly. It’s not something that is going to require a lot of patience.

Even the eggs don’t take too long to hatch overall. The male will get the eggs in the bubble nest and then the eggs should hatch within two days.

Typically, the gourami eggs will hatch at some point between 24 and 48 hours. Once the eggs hatch, the male should look out for the gourami fry for a bit.

If you want to keep the gourami fry from being eaten by the parent fish, then it might be wise to put them in their own separate rearing tank. This helps to ensure that as many of them will survive as possible.

How Do Gouramis Mate?

A Male and Female Pair of Gouramis

A male and a female gourami fish will need to form a mating pair. You can encourage this by placing one male and one female fish into a breeding tank.

This ensures that there won’t be distractions or various stress factors that will keep the fish from focusing on breeding. It’s recommended to keep a hiding spot in the breeding tank for the female so that the male doesn’t harass it too much.

The two fish should eventually form a mating pair. You might see mating signs such as the two fish dancing around each other.

Often, gouramis will touch and wriggle against each other when forming a mating bond. Some types of gouramis will even latch together, and one of the mating fish will roll onto its back.

Sometimes males will start to build a bubble nest before doing the mating rituals. Either way, you can expect the male to start forming the bubble nest when the time is right (assuming that you’re dealing with a gourami species that uses bubble nests).

The female will then take the time to lay its eggs. A female gourami can lay hundreds or even more than a thousand eggs at once.

The male gourami fish will then pick the eggs up and start moving them to the bubble nest that it has created. If the gouramis don’t utilize bubble nests, then the eggs might be strewn about in the water instead.

Males fertilize the eggs and then care for them until they hatch. The process takes between one and two days.

The male gourami fish should keep caring and protecting the gourami fry after they’ve hatched until they become free swimmers. When the gourami fry have reached the free swimmer stage, it’s possible that the male will start eating some of them.

How Long Do Gourami Fry Take to Grow?

Gourami Fry

It takes some time for the gourami fry to grow. They’re going to be small and vulnerable for quite some time.

When the gourami fry hatch from the eggs, they’re going to remain attached to the yolk for a period of time. This will generally take two or three days.

After this, the gourami fry will become free swimmers. You’re supposed to look after them by feeding them special food.

They’re too small to eat the normal food that you feed to the adult gouramis. You can feed them rotifers, liquid fish food, or even infusoria.

Many choose to grow infusoria at home to feed gourami fry. It’s easy to accomplish since you just need to keep small pieces of lettuce in jars of water and then put them in sunny areas.

It takes a few days for the water to turn cloudy and then clear again. You can then feed the infusoria to the gourami fry in small amounts.

Depending on the species of gourami that you’re caring for, it’ll take a certain amount of time for the gourami fry to be able to start eating baby brine shrimp.

Smaller gourami breeds will generally need to reach nine days old to be able to eat baby brine shrimp. Larger species will be able to do so after reaching four days old.

It’ll take several weeks for the gourami fry to be ready to move to a normal aquarium. You’ll need to keep caring for them for months as they continue to grow.

Eventually, they’ll reach the size of young gourami fish. Just keep feeding them and they can grow faster than you might expect.

Specific growth rates will depend on the species. You might need to look up information about the particular type of gourami fish that you’re breeding to get all of the details.

How to Breed Gourami

The best way to breed gouramis is to put a male and a female fish into a breeding tank. You’ll then be able to let the two fish get used to each other and form a mating bond.

When picking out a breeding tank, it’s recommended that you go with a somewhat small tank. You don’t want the tank to be too small for the fish in question, but you don’t want it to be too large either.

A larger tank might keep the fish from forming a mating bond. Whereas a smaller tank makes it more likely that the male and female gouramis will interact.

Sometimes males can get too aggressive with the females during this time. There could be a situation where the male will injure the female, but this doesn’t always happen.

Some choose to put two females in the breeding tank with the male. The idea behind this is that it’ll divide the male’s attention and keep it from bothering one female too much.

Eventually, a mating bond will be formed, and the male will start building the bubble nest. You can then keep feeding the fish as normal and looking out for them.

The female should lay the eggs and the male will look after them. Remove the female from the tank once the eggs have been laid.

Keep the male in the fish tank to look after the eggs until they have hatched. You should remove the male gourami fish from the breeding tank once the gourami fry have reached the free swimmer stage.

This is to avoid having the adult male gourami eat the fry. Sadly, predation is a real issue that can make it so that many of the gourami fry won’t survive.

Are Dwarf Gouramis Easy to Breed?

Courting Dwarf Gouramis

People consider dwarf gouramis to be some of the easier fish to breed. If you’re going to try to breed gouramis, then dwarf gouramis will be a good place to start.

You won’t have too much trouble getting dwarf gouramis to breed if you put a male and a female in a breeding tank. They might attempt to breed in a community tank setting as well.

It’ll simply go a lot easier if you keep the fish in a breeding tank. There won’t be as many things that can go wrong when the fish are in their own separate tank for the purpose of breeding.

Do Gouramis Make Bubble Nests?

Yes, most gouramis are going to make bubble nests. However, there are some types of gouramis that don’t do this.

Many of the most popular types of gouramis that people buy for their freshwater aquariums will be bubble nest builders. Others such as the chocolate gourami fish don’t build bubble nests.

Take the time to learn about the specific type of gourami fish that you have. This will tell you exactly what to expect when caring for the fish and attempting to breed it.

Other Advice

There are some other important tips that will help you to have an easy time when breeding gouramis. One of the most important things to keep in mind involves keeping an eye on the water conditions in the fish tank.

You want to ensure that the water temperature is in the right range for the fish. Generally, it’s best to keep the water somewhere between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Monitor the pH balance of the water, too. You want this number to remain between 6.8 and 7.8.

This will be true when you’re looking after the gourami fry as well. Never neglect water changes because you need to do your best to keep the water clean to avoid issues.

Adding floating plants or other objects to the tank will help the male gourami fish to create its bubble nests. You can buy various types of floating plants if you want to, but some enthusiasts use pieces of Styrofoam to help do this.

Just remember not to cover too much of the surface of the water. Otherwise, you’d be making it tough for the gourami fish to take oxygen from the surface as normal.

Putting a cover on the aquarium can also help out immensely. This protects the gourami fry from being harmed by cold drafts.

Adult gouramis don’t necessarily need the cover, but it’ll be best to have one for the gourami fry. It’s a good precaution to take.

Final Thoughts

After learning everything that you need to know about breeding gourami fish, it should make it easier for you to figure out what you should do. Many popular types of gouramis are rather easy to breed, and this can be a good experience for you.

You could wind up with dozens or even hundreds of gourami fry depending on how well things go. This will give you many new fish for your aquariums.

It could even be so successful that you might need to give some of the new fish away. Just do your best to focus on feeding the gourami fry so that they can grow healthy and strong.

If you take care of water parameter issues and keep a close eye on the gourami fry, then things should go pretty well. Just don’t forget to keep the gourami fry in a separate tank or the parent fish will wind up eating many of them.

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