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What Do Gouramis Eat? (Feeding Tips for Optimal Health)

What Do Gouramis Eat? (Feeding Tips for Optimal Health)

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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.

Those who have decided to buy gourami fish for their fish tanks will be happy with how simple they are to get used to caring for. Most gourami fish are considered to be easy for people to care for, and this makes them pretty popular among beginners.

These are very pretty fish overall, and you’ll love how they look in a community fish tank setting. Of course, to get the most out of these fish, you’re going to need to do your best to give them optimal care.

For instance, you’re going to want to feed them properly. What sort of foods do gouramis eat, though?

Read on to learn about what types of foods you’re supposed to feed gourami fish. You’ll get the answers to common questions about whether they eat certain things as well as all of the information about how to ensure that your gouramis are getting the proper nutrition that they need to thrive.

What to Feed Gourami

The vast majority of gouramis are considered to be omnivores. This means that they will eat all sorts of different things.

When it comes to feeding gourami fish in your home aquarium, you’re going to want to ensure that they get a balanced diet. You want the fish to get all of the nutrients that they need to thrive.

Typically, people will feed gouramis fish flakes such as tropical flakes or color flakes. These types of fish food will contain the nutrients that gouramis need to stay healthy.

Of course, some gouramis are considered to be herbivores, and this means that they will require different flakes. Some gouramis will do better with spirulina flakes, and many will also feed their fish algae rounds.

Many say that it’s beneficial to mix up the diet of the gourami fish in your care. You will likely want to feed these fish more than just fish flakes.

Sometimes you might want to give them shrimp pellets. These fish will also like various types of freeze-dried foods and frozen foods.

Gourami enthusiasts have also had success when feeding these fish small insects and certain types of larvae. Many say that giving gouramis live worms periodically will be very good for their health.

What Not to Feed Gouramis

Of course, you might worry about feeding your gouramis things that won’t be good for them. Since most gouramis are omnivores, they’re going to eat a lot of different things.

They aren’t considered to be “picky eaters.” That being said, you can’t just throw anything in the fish tank and call it good.

As you might expect, you’re not going to want to feed your fish unusual things that aren’t meant for fish. Don’t try to put processed foods in the fish tank.

You’ll certainly want to stick to feeding the gouramis natural foods that they might eat in the wild. It’s also fine to give the fish preparations that are meant for gouramis.

Generally, it’s not good to give gouramis fish flakes and other preparations that aren’t meant for them. You want to buy the specific types of fish flakes that have the nutrients that the gouramis need.

It probably wouldn’t harm the gouramis to eat other types of fish flakes, but they wouldn’t be getting the right nutrients. The best course of action is to stick to feeding gouramis the recommended types of food rather than giving them unusual things.

Also, be sure to look up specifics about the type of gourami that you have. Some gouramis might be herbivores, and this means that you’ll be feeding them vegetable-based preparations and forgoing foods that contain meat.

How to Tell When a Gourami Is Hungry

You might be concerned about whether your gouramis are hungry or not. Is there a good way to tell when gouramis are hungry?

Typically, gouramis are going to want to eat pretty much all the time. You shouldn’t look for telltale signs that the gouramis are hungry when you want to feed them.

Unless you’re not feeding your gourami fish often enough, this isn’t something that you need to worry about. It’s recommended to feed the fish on a schedule instead of trying to feed them when they look hungry.

In the wild, fish are going to be constantly looking for food. They’ll do that in fish tanks as well, and you really don’t want to overfeed the fish since that can be detrimental.

How Often to Feed Gourami

Now that you know that trying to determine when gourami fish are hungry won’t be practical, it’ll be good to learn how often to feed them. Adult gourami fish should be fed two or three times per day.

Most people choose to feed the gouramis twice per day. If you have enough time, then feeding the gouramis three times per day will be good.

No matter what, you’re going to be spreading the amount of food that you give the fish out. If you feed the fish three times per day, then you’ll be giving it less food during each feeding session.

Two feeding sessions will see you giving the gouramis a bit more feed each time since there will be no third feeding. Either option is going to be fine so long as you’re giving the gouramis healthy food to eat.

It’s going to be easier for you if you just get on a schedule. Try to feed your gouramis consistently and you should be able to keep them very healthy and happy.

When to Feed Gourami

Some get confused about when they’re supposed to feed the gouramis. You learned earlier that trying to identify when the gouramis are hungry will be a poor choice.

Instead, you’re going to want to start feeding the gouramis on a schedule. This will ensure that they’re getting fed enough each day without the risk of getting fed too much.

You just need to decide whether you’re going to feed them twice per day or three times per day. It’ll likely be easier if you choose to go with two times per day.

If you choose to feed the fish twice per day, then you can set up a simple schedule for yourself. You can feed the fish when you wake up in the morning and then feed them again when you return home from work.

The basic idea will be to feed the fish once in the morning and then feed them again in the late afternoon or early evening hours. Stick to a fairly consistent schedule and the fish will do very well under your care.

Those who have trouble remembering to feed the fish can set reminders on their phones. Make an alarm that will notify you that it’s time to feed the fish so that you will never forget.

Can a Gourami Overeat?

Yes, gouramis can and will overeat if you give them the chance. This is one of the many reasons why you aren’t supposed to feed gouramis when they act as though they’re hungry.

As mentioned earlier, fish constantly look for food in the wild. They will generally take whatever chance that they can get to eat another meal.

Some say that gouramis will only eat when they’re hungry, but this isn’t really true. Many gouramis have been known to eat too much, and this can cause issues such as constipation and bloating.

Overfeeding a gourami could cause it to develop swim bladder issues. This will keep the fish from being able to swim properly since it won’t be able to control its buoyancy properly.

Even if this doesn’t happen, feeding a fish too much can cause it to produce too much poop. This can make the water dirty faster than usual, and it might even throw the water parameters off if you aren’t proactive about cleaning the fish tank.

To avoid having issues with overfeeding, you’re going to want to feed the fish just enough food without going overboard. Generally, it’s recommended to give gourami fish as much food as they can finish in just a couple of minutes.

If the fish takes longer than a few minutes to eat what you’re giving them, then that’s a sign that you’re giving them too much. You should cut back on the amount of food that you’re giving the fish to avoid problems.

How Much to Feed Gourami

It’s best to feed gourami fish two or three times per day. When you go to feed the fish, you want to feed them enough food so that they will get the necessary nutrients.

Try to give the fish enough food that it will take them just under two minutes to finish eating. This is considered to be optimal by gourami fish enthusiasts.

This ratio works out well because it gives the fish enough to eat without giving them too much. It’d be better to give the fish a little less food than it would to give them too much.

Overfeeding can be a real problem. Try to hold back a bit on what you’re feeding the gouramis.

Eventually, you should get pretty good at portioning out the food. It becomes second nature to feed the fish as you get used to the routine.

Can Gouramis Eat Goldfish Flakes?

It should be fine to feed gouramis goldfish flakes. However, this isn’t going to be the best food to feed the gouramis.

You see, goldfish flakes don’t contain all of the nutrients that gouramis need. This means that the flakes won’t be adequate when given to the fish as the sole source of food.

If you’re feeding the fish goldfish flakes once or twice until you can get to the pet store, it’ll likely be fine. It also should be okay if you’re also giving the fish other types of food such as shrimp pellets.

Generally, it’s going to be better to give the fish the right type of flakes. Tropical flakes would be far better for gouramis than goldfish flakes.

Can Gourami Eat Fruit Flies?

Your gouramis will love to eat fruit flies. It’s actually pretty common for gourami fish enthusiasts to buy fruit flies as a treat for the gouramis.

When you buy the fruit flies, you’ll place them on the surface of the water for the gouramis. They will then come and snack on them.

This could be a good thing to buy for your fish from time to time. You should be able to purchase fruit flies in different forms for the fish, too.

You can buy wingless fruit flies and normal fruit flies. It’s easy to buy fruit flies that are meant for feeding small animals and give them to your fish.

Can Gourami Eat Cichlid Food?

This situation winds up being very similar to the goldfish flakes scenario. It’s fine to feed your gouramis cichlid food if it’s all that you have, but gouramis are not cichlids.

You just need to know that this food won’t meet all of the nutritional needs of the gourami fish. As such, you’ll only be able to give the gouramis cichlid food as part of a varied diet.

If you’re mixing it up with other foods that are recommended for gouramis, then things should work out fine. Just know that it’d be better to seek out flakes that are meant for gouramis.

It’s just a common situation for aquarium owners to need to feed fish different flakes until they can get out to the pet store. Giving your gouramis some cichlid flakes on occasion will be okay, but it shouldn’t become a regular part of the dietary routine.

Can Gourami Eat Betta Food?

You might not know this, but betta fish are actually closely related to gourami fish. Both of these fish have labyrinth organs, and they’re alike in many other ways, too.

It’ll be fine to give your gourami fish some betta food if you need to. This won’t necessarily be as ideal as preparations that are specifically meant for gouramis, but it’ll be fine to give them the food.

This is good to know because you might find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to give the gouramis some betta food until you can buy other preparations. Some people also keep betta fish in a separate tank which will make being able to give the gouramis betta food convenient.

Most betta food is going to contain food that gouramis will really like. For example, bloodworms are very commonly used as ingredients in betta food.

Can Gourami Eat Bloodworms?

Gouramis really enjoy eating bloodworms. Since you’ve learned that gouramis will eat betta food, it’s not going to surprise you to hear that they like eating bloodworms.

Bloodworms are considered to be some of the best live foods to give to gouramis. You should be able to easily get bloodworms that you can give to your fish.

Technically, bloodworms are considered to be larvae. Gouramis really seem to enjoy chasing and eating living things such as bloodworms.

Most enthusiasts say that you should give gouramis live food at least every once in a while. You might not feed the fish these bloodworms every single day, but they will be good to purchase for them from time to time.

Can Gourami Eat Frozen Peas?

Your gouramis will definitely eat frozen peas if you choose to give them to them. Some people have reported gouramis shying away from the peas, though.

It might be that some types of gouramis will be more interested in eating peas than others. Typically, fish owners will try to get gouramis to eat frozen peas to clear up constipation issues.

When fish overeat, they will sometimes become bloated. A bloated fish might have issues with malfunctioning swim bladders, and that will keep them from being able to swim properly.

Frozen peas clear the fish out and make them poop a lot. It’s a good way to “reset” the system and get the fish back to normal.

Can Gourami Eat Bread?

You should absolutely never feed fish bread under any circumstances. Sometimes people out in parks will throw bread into ponds that have fish in them.

Fish might try to eat the bread, but they will be incapable of digesting it. The same holds true for gourami fish.

You see, fish don’t have the ability to digest yeast and gluten like humans do. If you feed a fish bread, then it’s going to cause its stomach to bloat.

The fish will wind up experiencing bloating and severe inflammation issues. If you want the fish to remain healthy, then you’ll never want to feed it bread.

Earlier, you learned that you’re not supposed to feed fish processed foods or generally unnatural foods. Bread is meant for human consumption, and it’s not something that you’re supposed to give to your fish.

Do Gourami Eat Algae?

It’s pretty common for gourami fish to eat algae. Since most gouramis are omnivores, they’re going to eat algae in the wild when they get the chance to.

Some types of gouramis that are herbivorous will primarily eat things such as algae. It’s very much a normal thing to give gourami fish various types of algae preparations.

There are nutrient pellets that contain algae that you can purchase for the fish. You’ll be able to give your gouramis algae in various different ways.

Some of the fish flakes that you might give gouramis will contain algae, too. Gouramis certainly do like algae.

Do Gouramis Eat Shrimp?

Brine shrimp will be tasty treats for many different types of gouramis. You can feed gouramis brine shrimp in many different ways, too.

Some will give the gouramis brine shrimp as a live food offering. This will certainly excite the fish and they will eat the brine shrimp quite fast.

You can also find frozen brine shrimp being sold in stores. These will make for excellent treats for your gourami fish.

Shrimp pellets are commonly given to many different types of fish. This will be another great way to give your gouramis the nutrients that can come from shrimp.

Do Gouramis Eat Other Fish?

Yes, gouramis will indeed eat other fish. However, they’re only going to be able to eat fish that are small enough to fit in their mouths.

This usually means that babies of other species will be eaten by gouramis. For example, some people will try to obtain guppy babies to feed to gouramis.

Others object to this practice because they think that it’s wrong to use live fish as food for other fish. Either way, you should know that gouramis will eat other fish.

In nature, gouramis will eat whatever live fish they get the opportunity to eat. If a potential meal swims by, then it will entice the gourami fish.

Do Gouramis Eat Snails?

A gourami fish will eat snails, but it might not be the greatest when it comes to tracking them down. Snails usually wind up hanging out in the substrate or the gravel.

Gouramis don’t necessarily have an easy time tracking snails in the gravel. Regardless, you should know that gouramis will eat snails when they can.

Some snails will be too large for most gouramis to eat, though. If you want to keep snails with gouramis in your fish tank, then you’ll need to pick a large snail.

A mystery snail is big enough to withstand nips from most gouramis. If you just want to feed the gouramis, then you’ll need to seek out somewhat small snails.

Final Thoughts

You’ve been able to learn a lot about gouramis and what they eat in this article. It should give you a better idea of what you should be feeding these fish.

It’s also good that you know some things that you shouldn’t try to feed gouramis. For instance, feeding the gouramis bread would be a very bad idea.

Remember to stick to a consistent feeding schedule for the gouramis. Don’t overfeed them because that can lead to various complications.

If you keep all of this information in mind, then you should be able to help the gouramis to thrive in your fish tank. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the water parameters so that your gouramis can truly be comfortable in your care.

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