Gouramis are such great fish that you’re going to love keeping in your freshwater tank. These fish are very pretty and taking care of them is relatively easy.
They’re good fish for novices to own. If you’re not that experienced with taking care of fish yet, then gouramis will be a good first experience for you so long as you get the right type.
Even if you do have a little experience caring for these fish, you might sometimes be surprised by some of the things that they will do. For example, you might observe the fish and see that one or more of your gouramis are eating the plants.
Why would a gourami fish choose to eat plants? Is this considered to be normal behavior for gouramis?
Continue reading to learn more about why gouramis might eat plants. You’ll feel much more informed about what is going on with the fish.
Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Plants?
Many gouramis are considered to be omnivores. This means that they will eat pretty much anything.
If the gouramis in your tank are hungry, then they might choose to nibble on the aquatic plants that have been placed in the aquarium. Of course, not every type of gourami fish is going to eat plants.
It’s said that dwarf gouramis won’t eat plants, but some people have said that they’ve seen their dwarf gouramis eating plants before. This means that most gouramis might choose to eat plants under the right conditions.
Normally, gouramis will probably leave the plants alone. The fact that the gouramis feel as if they need to eat the plants might be a sign that you need to make some changes.
Are You Feeding the Gouramis Properly?
One thing to consider is whether you’re feeding the gouramis properly. The gouramis might be so hungry that they feel the need to eat the plants.
This might not be the case, but it’s still worth looking into whether you’re providing the gouramis with the right nutrition. Gouramis need to be given plenty of nutrients so that they can stay healthy and grow strong.
Typically, you’re going to be feeding gouramis tropical flakes as a staple of their diet. You’ll also be giving them things such as algae rounds, shrimp pellets, freeze-dried brine shrimp, and even some live foods.
Mixing up the diet of the fish will be beneficial. You want them to have all of the nutrients that they need, and just feeding the fish tropical flakes won’t quite be enough.
You’re supposed to feed these fish twice per day. It’s recommended to feed gouramis as much as they can eat in a couple of minutes.
Don’t feed them more than this because it could cause them to become constipated. Also, you don’t want to have leftover food in the tank since organic debris can throw off the water parameters.
What Are the Best Plants for Gouramis?
There are certain types of plants that gouramis won’t seem to eat. Some plants such as milfoil and twisted valis will get eaten by gouramis under certain conditions.
If you want to buy plants that the gouramis won’t eat, then you should start with amazon sword. These plants don’t seem to interest the gouramis at all, and you should be able to keep them in your aquarium confidently.
Java ferns should also be plants that the gouramis won’t want to eat. The same can be said for anubus.
Anecdotal reports have said that some gouramis will occasionally nibble on wisteria. However, they don’t normally devour wisteria plants.
Most of the information that is out there about which plants gouramis will or won’t eat comes from standard aquarium owners. There isn’t a compiled and verified list of plants that gouramis like to eat nor is there a list of plants that they won’t touch.
If you find that your gouramis are eating the plants in your fish tank, then you could try some of the plants mentioned above. Amazon sword plants seem to do really well.
Avoid plants that gouramis seem to like eating, such as twisted valis. You might have to discover which plants they will or won’t eat on your own.
Do Gouramis Need Plants?
It isn’t 100% necessary to have plants in the fish tank with the gouramis. However, they will appreciate having plants in the tank.
If you think that the plants are too much trouble, then artificial plants should suffice. The gouramis will like having hiding spots.
Not All Gouramis Will Give You Problems
Not all gouramis are going to give you problems like this. Kissing gouramis seem to be among the most likely to devour plants.
Sparkling gouramis don’t seem to eat plants in the aquarium often if ever. Most gouramis will like eating plant material as part of their normal diet, but many won’t touch the plants so long as you’re feeding them enough.
It might get annoying if your gouramis are eating the plants in your fish tank. You want to keep the plants in the fish tank to give fish places to hide and to add to the aesthetic appeal of the tank.
You always have the option of putting fake plants in the tank if your gouramis are giving you too much trouble. They certainly won’t be able to eat those.
Gouramis might decide to eat the plants in your fish tank if they’re very hungry. It’s likely a good idea to ensure that you’re giving them enough food.
Make sure that you feed your gouramis twice per day. Feed them only as much as they can eat within a couple of minutes.
Vary their diet and don’t just give them tropical fish flakes all the time. You should also be feeding the gouramis things such as shrimp pellets, algae rounds, frozen foods, and even live foods.
If the gouramis are getting the necessary nutrients, then they might not be so inclined to eat your aquatic plants. Some gouramis might not eat aquatic plants as much as others, too.
It’s said that certain gouramis such as kissing gouramis are more problematic than others. Sparkling gouramis seem to rarely eat aquatic plants.
If you’re getting really annoyed with having your gouramis eat your plants, then you can try putting in plants that they don’t like. It seems that gouramis won’t eat amazon sword plants.
You could also put fake plants in the fish tank instead of real ones. These can look good in the fish tank and the fish won’t be able to eat them.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.