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Gourami Care Guide (Tips to Help Them Thrive)

Gourami Care Guide (Tips to Help Them Thrive)

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 more popular community fish tank fish that you can purchase. Specifically, people often purchase dwarf gouramis for their community aquariums.

They’re pretty well known when it comes to getting along with other popular freshwater aquarium fish. Also, they aren’t overly hard to take care of.

If you’re somewhat of a beginner at taking care of fish, then buying some gouramis will be a very good idea. These fish should look incredibly pretty in your fish tank, and you’re going to be able to get used to keeping them without it being a huge deal.

Read on to get some important gourami care tips. This is going to prepare you so that you will be ready to care for the gouramis the right way on day one.

So long as you take the time to read through all of the information, you’ll be able to approach this situation with great confidence. Whether these are the only fish you want to buy or you’re getting gouramis as part of a community fish tank, this will be excellent information to know.

What Are Common Gourami Behaviors?

There are some specific things about gouramis that you should know before you buy them. This will ensure that you don’t get caught off guard by some of the things that these fish do.

Firstly, you should know that male gouramis will fight each other. This is why it’s generally not a good idea to keep more than one male gourami in a fish tank.

Female gouramis can get along okay with each other for the most part. It’s not generally recommended to mix different types of gouramis, though.

This means that you usually don’t want to put two or three different species of gouramis in the same fish tank. You can do this if you have a large enough tank and the different sets of gouramis will be able to stay away from each other.

Gouramis are generally a peaceful type of fish despite what you just learned about them not always getting along with each other. They’re excellent community fish that usually won’t make problems in a fish tank.

These fish do have certain types of fish that they’re incompatible with, though. They seem to be more likely to want to fight fish that have long fins, such as bettas.

Sometimes you might notice the gouramis locking lips. This can be a type of fighting that the fish do with each other.

It’s also sometimes a part of the gouramis mating ritual. If you want to get less aggressive gouramis, then it’s recommended to buy dwarf gouramis since they’re the most peaceful.

Gouramis aren’t bottom feeders, so they tend to stick to the top or middle of the aquarium. If they’re hanging out near the bottom of your tank, that might be a cause for concern.

Gourami Tank Setup

Getting your fish tank set up isn’t going to be that difficult. Since these are freshwater fish, you’re not going to need a ton of expensive equipment to get started.

You’re going to need to choose a fish tank that is the appropriate size for these fish. Generally, it’s recommended to buy a 30-gallon fish tank when you want to keep gouramis.

There are some gouramis that are capable of thriving in smaller fish tanks, though. Dwarf gouramis should be fine in 20-gallon fish tanks if you don’t have enough room for a 30-gallon fish tank.

It should also be noted that some larger types of gouramis will need more space. You might need a 55-gallon tank or something even larger if you wish to purchase the very largest gouramis that you can find.

You should try to get a fish tank that is tall and rectangular. This works best with the size of the gouramis and their body shapes.

Aside from picking out an appropriate fish tank, you’ll need to buy standard equipment. You’ll want to purchase a filter, an air pump, a heater, and the necessary food that will keep them healthy.

You’ll learn more specific information about heaters, filters, and air pumps later in this article. This will tell you why the fish may or may not need these things.

What Do Gouramis Eat?

The vast majority of gouramis are considered to be omnivorous. This means that they will eat many different types of food.

Some gouramis might be herbivorous, though. A specific example of this is the popular kissing gourami that needs to be fed things such as spirulina flakes.

Omnivorous gouramis will be able to eat tropical fish flakes to stay healthy. You can also give them shrimp pellets to help vary their diet.

You’re going to want to avoid overfeeding these fish, too. As with many other types of fish, gouramis can develop swim bladder problems if you overfeed them.

It’s generally recommended to feed gouramis twice per day. You want to give them only as much food as they can finish in around two minutes.

If it’s taking the fish longer than this period of time to eat the food, then you’re giving them too much. As you get used to caring for the fish, it’ll become easier to feed them only as much food as they need.

There Are Many Types of Gouramis

Before you go out and buy some gouramis for your fish tank, it’s important to know that there are many different types of gouramis. Typically, all of these fish are going to have very similar care requirements, but there are still going to be some differences.

For example, some gouramis are going to be a lot larger than others. The bigger fish will need to have larger aquariums so that they can thrive and stay healthy.

Continue reading to learn a bit about the various types of gouramis. This might help you to figure out which gouramis you’re truly interested in purchasing for your home aquarium.

Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf gouramis are among the most popular types because they’re perfect for community fish tanks. These fish are very peaceful overall, and they’re going to be good choices if you want to have an easy time.

It’s also notable that these fish are a bit smaller than other types of gouramis. This means that they’re able to be kept in fish tanks that are a bit smaller.

If you only have room for a 20-gallon fish tank, then you’re going to want to go with dwarf gouramis. You will wind up loving how fun these fish are to take care of.

These fish are so popular that you can find them in pretty much any pet store that sells fish. They aren’t expensive and they’re considered to be quite easy to care for.

Pearl Gouramis

Pearl gouramis are probably the next most popular type of gourami fish after the dwarf gourami. They’ve become staples in many community aquariums because of how pretty they are.

You’ll definitely be able to see that these fish look great as soon as you lay eyes on them. They’re going to stand out in your fish tank, and you’ll love being able to observe them while they swim around.

These fish will grow to be about four and a half inches long at maturity. They can live for as long as five years in an aquarium.

It’ll be easy to feed and take care of these fish. Just give them a varied diet and keep an eye on the water parameters to keep everything in check.

Giant Gouramis

As you might expect by the name, giant gouramis are very big fish. These fish usually grow to be somewhere between 16 and 18 inches long.

That’s substantially larger than the other gouramis that have been mentioned here. As such, you’re going to need to have a very large aquarium to house these behemoths.

An adult giant gourami is going to need a 200-gallon tank or large. You’ll likely only want to buy this fish if you’re serious about keeping fish tanks as a hobby.

It’ll be necessary to dedicate a substantial amount of space to keeping an aquarium. It can be a lot of fun to have these big, beautiful fish in your home, though.

Honey Gouramis

Honey gouramis are another fairly small type of gourami fish. The males might reach three inches in length while the females will usually be around two inches at maturity.

You should be able to keep these fish in a 20-gallon aquarium without it being an issue. They’ve proven to be quite popular because of how gorgeous they look.

The color of these fish really resembles honey quite a bit. These are omnivorous fish that are pretty easy to take care of.

You’ll have a good time keeping these fish in a community tank if you want to. Just pick out good tank mates for these fish and they will be excellent members of the aquarium community.

Kissing Gouramis

Kissing gouramis are another popular and well-known type of fish. They’re pretty big, and this means that you’ll need a decent-sized aquarium for them.

At adulthood, the kissing gouramis will reach approximately twelve inches in length. It’s recommended to have a 75-gallon tank or larger for these fish.

You’ll need to be more careful than usual when picking tank mates for this type of gouramis. They can be very aggressive toward smaller fish.

Pick medium-sized fish to go in the community aquarium with these gouramis. Loaches work out very well as tank mates for kissing gouramis and so do large tetras.

Sparkling Gouramis

Sparkling gouramis are some of the smallest gouramis that you can find. They’re good for people who need to keep fish in a smaller fish tank.

You’ll find that these gouramis only reach lengths of a little over one and a half inches at adulthood. They also really like to be kept in small groups despite not technically being schooling fish.

To have a good experience, it’s generally recommended to purchase five or six of these gouramis. Sometimes the males will be aggressive toward each other.

As such, you might have an easier time if you only keep one male in the group and have all of the rest of the fish be female. These are good additions to your freshwater tank that will be worth considering.

Blue Gouramis

Blue gouramis are great because they’re some of the hardiest fish that you can buy for your freshwater aquarium. Many people who are new to the hobby will have a good experience when buying these fish.

They can reach up to five inches in size at adulthood. You can expect them to live for around five years in your fish tank if you do a good job of caring for them.

One thing to keep in mind is that these fish like aquariums that have plants. In the wild, they live in ponds, swamps, and lakes that have plenty of vegetation.

Add some good live plants to the fish tank and these fish will do very well in your care. You might wind up falling in love with the dark blue color of these fish.

What Water Temperature for Gouramis?

Of course, one of the most important things to get right will be the water temperature. These fish generally stay in warm and shallow streams when you find them in the wild.

It makes sense that gouramis would prefer to have the water temperature remain pretty warm. You’re supposed to keep the temperature of the water between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

This means that you absolutely need to use a heater to keep these fish in good health. Most places won’t make it possible to keep the water in your fish tank above 75 degrees Fahrenheit without a heater.

Remember to monitor the temperature of the water to ensure that everything stays in the right range. Ideally, you should buy a heater for the aquarium that has a built-in thermometer that will allow you to glance at the water temperature easily.

Always keep the recommended water temperature in mind when adding other fish to the community aquarium. You’re going to need to buy fish that can thrive in this temperature range that will also get along well with the gouramis.

Gourami pH Balance

As you’d expect, keeping an eye on the pH balance of the water will be just as important as monitoring the water temperature. These fish do have a preferred pH balance range, but they’re hardy enough that they’ll be quite forgiving if you make mistakes.

You should strive to keep the pH balance of the water between 6.8 and 7.8. This should ensure that the gouramis will be able to thrive in your aquarium.

Be sure to keep the right chemicals on hand so that you can make necessary adjustments. Whenever you’re caring for fish, it’s going to be best to monitor the pH balance and be ready to make changes.

You’ll be able to raise or lower the balance as necessary so long as you possess the right chemicals. It isn’t hard to keep things in the right range, but you do need to pay attention to the tank.

Gourami Water Hardness

Another aspect of the water that needs your attention is the hardness of the water. Water hardness should not get too high or it’ll be bad for the fish.

Wild gouramis live in soft and acidic water, but they’re adaptable enough that you won’t have to keep things too soft. It’s recommended to keep the water hardness between five and twenty degrees dH.

So long as you’re monitoring everything, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any major problems. The gouramis are very hardy fish that adapt well to many situations.

You shouldn’t have to worry too much about water hardness with these fish. Even so, it’s good to know how hard your water is so that you can make sure that you aren’t putting them in a bad spot.

Do Gouramis Need a Heater?

Yes, gouramis are going to need a heater because you won’t be able to keep the water temperature in the right range otherwise. Most people are going to live in temperature-controlled environments, and the fish tank will wind up getting much cooler than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even if you don’t use air conditioning, it’s likely that there will be times when the water will get cooler than the recommended range. Those who live in warmer parts of the world will still be recommended to use heaters for the fish tank.

Truly, it’s always going to be important to have a heater for your fish tank. You need to keep the water in the right range for all of the fish in the tank or they will encounter health issues.

Luckily, it isn’t going to cost you a lot of money to get a high-quality heater. Just be sure to monitor things so that you can keep the fish safe and healthy.

Do Gourami Need an Air Pump?

Interestingly, you don’t need to have an air pump to take care of gouramis. Most fish will need an air pump to ensure that the fish tank has adequate oxygen.

The reason why gouramis don’t need an air pump is that they have special glands. You see, these fish often live in shallow streams in the wild, and this means that they don’t live in environments that have as much oxygen.

Gouramis have developed a labyrinth organ that acts sort of like a lung. It allows them to breathe oxygen at the surface.

In fact, gouramis have been known to survive outside the water for quite some time if you keep them moist. It’s not recommended to take a gourami fish out of the water, but this is certainly an interesting thing to know.

So this means that you can get away with not purchasing an air pump for your fish tank if you’re only going to be taking care of gouramis in the tank. If you’re going to be putting other fish in the tank with the gouramis, then you’ll most likely need to buy an air pump.

Do Gourami Need a Filter?

Gouramis are generally going to need to have good filtration. There is an exception to this, though.

Sparkling gourami fish are known to be able to live just fine without having a filter. If you’re looking specifically for a fish that doesn’t require a filter, then you might want to go with that gourami fish.

Otherwise, you’re definitely going to want to maintain good filtration. A good filter is going to help you to keep the water as clean as possible.

Maintaining proper filtration will ensure that your gouramis stay in good health. You should ensure that you buy a filter that is capable of keeping the fish tank clean based on the size of the fish tank that you have.

If you’re planning to keep sparkling gourami fish in a community fish tank, then you’ll almost surely still need a filter anyway. Generally, you’re always going to want to buy a filter for your fish tank.

Do Gouramis Like Current?

It’s also important to consider the current when you’re setting up the fish tank. You’re likely curious about how well gouramis do with stronger currents.

These fish don’t do so well if you put them in fish tanks with strong currents. Since they’re fairly hardy, they can put up with a bit of current, but they aren’t used to dealing with strong currents.

In the wild, gouramis will usually be found in relatively still waters. For this reason, it’s best to keep gouramis in fish tanks that have only slow currents.

When you’re planning out your community fish tank, it’ll be best to keep this in mind. Pick out other fish that will do well in a slow-current environment.

Final Thoughts

Learning about taking care of gouramis will make it a lot easier for you to figure out how to proceed. These are great fish that come highly recommended for beginners.

You’ll be able to get used to caring for gouramis really quickly. Pick out the type of gouramis that you’re most interested in and then move forward from there.

It should be a positive experience that will help you to appreciate keeping aquariums as a hobby. Be sure to let your friends know what you learned today if they’re interested in buying gouramis sometime soon as well.

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