Dwarf Gourami Fish – Species Profile & Facts

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Dwarf gouramis are one of the most popular freshwater fish species for tank owners. There is little wonder about that; these fish have one of the most beautiful and unique bodily colorations among the freshwater species that you can get.

Their body is painted by a large variety of colors, ranging from blue all the way to orange. The colors on its body mean that it is sure to bring some much-needed life and vividness to your aquarium.

Dwarf Gourami Fish

Dwarf Gourami Fish

What makes them even more special and popular for community tanks is the fact that these little fish are quite peaceful. Therefore, will go really well with other peaceful, small fish that you might have in your tank.

They are also quite easy to take care of and are omnivores. Which means that they are not picky with food and will eat just about anything.

Dwarf gouramis originate from India (more specifically, West Bengal and Assam) and Bangladesh, where they can be found in their natural habitat in rivers and streams with plenty of vegetation.

An interesting fact about these fish is that they have the so-called labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe for a short space of time. This means that these fish will occasionally swim to the surface and gulp for air.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide about the dwarf gouramis; this can be especially helpful for beginners, but there is a lot of useful information for everyone.

We will cover the right tank conditions for the dwarf gouramis. And we will also talk about the diet, tank mates, breeding, care, and other important things as well.

Dwarf Gourami Tank Conditions

Dwarf Gourami Tank Conditions

Dwarf Gourami Tank Conditions

Firstly, we will take a look at what are the ideal tank conditions for the dwarf gouramis to live in. In order to keep the fish happy and healthy, it is a good idea to keep the tank conditions as close as possible to the requirements.

First, we will cover the right water parameters for the fish, and then we will move on to choosing the right substrate, vegetation and other equipment which will make it easier for you to keep the fish healthy.

Gourami Water Parameters

It is important to note that the dwarf gouramis have adapted to a wide range of water parameters, and they can adapt to various conditions. That does not mean that it is not important to keep the water parameters at ideal numbers. You should always strive to provide the fish with ideal conditions, even if it is not always possible.

As for the water parameters, your tank water should be quite warm considering that the dwarf gouramis are tropical fish. The water temperature should ideally be at around 77-78.5 degrees Fahrenheit (25-26 degrees Celsius).

But as we already mentioned, these fish can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, so the temperatures can be at around 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 28 degrees Celsius).

In terms of water acidity, it should ideally be kept at around neutral; although it can be slightly acidic to slightly basic. It should be at around 6 – 8 PH. The water hardness is another factor you should look at; it should be at about 10-20 DGH.

Gourami Tank Size

It depends on the size of the fish you want to put into the tank; these fish are relatively small fish, and they only grow to about 4 or 5 inches in size. Ideally, you might want to put more fish together in the tank, as they prefer to swim in groups together.

If you want to keep a few of them together, or if you want to keep them in a community tank, the minimum recommended size for the dwarf gouramis is 5 gallons.

Should you decide to keep more of them together, however, then a 10-gallon tank or larger would be a better choice. They can, of course, also fit into a much larger tank if it is a community tank.

Each fish tends to take about 5 gallons of the water in the tank, so each additional fish you add to the tank will require at least an additional 5 gallons. Always enable the fish enough space to live.

Substrate for Gourami Tank

When it comes to the substrate, it is recommended that you choose the substrate that fits the dwarf gourami natural habitat in the closest way possible. Typically, it is best to have large grains of sand or even gravel on the bottom of the tank as that represents the settings in the natural habitat best.

To bring out the best looks from the fish, you can opt for the black or darker-colored gravel or sand. That would really help bring out the colors of the fish, which are very vivid and bright. The substrate, in general, does not have a big role; it can also be any other type of substrate and the dwarf gouramis will be happy to adapt.

Aquarium Plants for Gouramis

As far as vegetation is concerned, dwarf gouramis actually prefer to have plenty of vegetation in their tank. In the natural habitat, they are often found in rivers and streams with very thick vegetation and plenty of hiding places.

That would really complement the nature and the character of the fish, as they are generally quite shy fish that like to swim around the vegetation and hide a lot.

So, what type of vegetation is best? It is recommended to have free-floating or drifting plants in the tank, as that would represent the natural conditions in the closest way.

You can opt for hornwort, for example, or also some other pieces of vegetation that are of similar nature.

Equipment for Gouramis

Let’s now discuss any other additional equipment that you can use to keep the fish happier and more satisfied in the long run.

A good idea would be, for instance, to get a lighting system that would allow you to set up the lighting to be dim and not too bright, and would have the option to adjust the light. Keep the light switched on for about 8 to 10 hours each day.

They prefer the water to be slowly-moving, so a decent medium filtration system would do the job best. You don’t need anything too fancy or strong, just find a good filtration system that would suit the tank size and would also have the ability to adjust the water flow. Then again, it depends on what other fish you might have in the tank, as well.

To recreate the natural habitat even better, you might opt for some additional pieces of decoration, like wood, roots or even ceramics. These types of decoration would allow the fish to retreat, swim around them and even hide.

Dwarf Gourami Diet


Dwarf gouramis are very versatile and not picky when it comes to food selection. In essence, they are omnivores. But in the natural habitat, they are quite good hunters in reality.

They tend to hunt flies and mosquitoes that float just over the water surface, and with the help of their labyrinth organ, they tend to jump out of the water a lot to hunt.

So, you can feed them both meaty foods as well as plant-based foods. For meaty foods, you can feed them live foods such as worms, shrimp or similar foods, but just make sure that the food is not too big for the fish to digest it.

Remember to keep plenty of variety when it comes to food; in addition to these meaty foods, you can feed them plant-based foods that you can buy in the pet shop.

Flakes and pellets can also do the trick, but do not rely solely on these foods. Keeping a healthy and balanced variety of diet would really help keep the fish healthy for a long time.

As for feeding patterns, you can feed them once or twice daily, but make sure that you do not overfeed them. They are not demanding eaters in general, and you should not have too many problems in this aspect.

Breeding Gouramis in Aquarium


Breeding dwarf gouramis is a really easy process if you do it right and can be really rewarding in the end. You can breed the gouramis in the shared tank if you wish, but breeding them in a separate tank is a better choice.

If you opt for a separate tank, then make sure that it is set up exactly the same as the original one, though it can be much smaller.

When the gouramis become mature, they will breed on their own without much encouragement. All you need to do is provide the right conditions.

The water level in the breeding tank should be at around 4 to 6 inches, and the water temperature should be slightly warmer to stimulate the process; the temperature should at about 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the egg spawning process, the males will start making a nest from saliva and foam. To make sure that this nest doesn’t get ruined, set the flow of the filter on a bit weaker filtering strength.

When the nest is constructed, the egg will be spawned and larvae will appear in less than two days. This fry will then start to leave the nest; when that happens, place the male into the original tank. Feed the fry infusoria initially, and then start introducing other foods as well.

Breeding gouramis is not a complicated process at all, but you need to provide the right water conditions as well as remove the male once the larvae spawn in the tank.

Dwarf Gourami Fish Tank Mates


Dwarf gouramis are really peaceful fish. They prefer to be placed next to other similar fish with similar temperaments. Make sure that you place them next to peaceful fish.

What you really want to avoid is putting the dwarf gouramis next to large, aggressive fish, as they would really not cope well and would spend most of their time hiding; they might even get hurt.

Ideally, they should be placed together in the tank with fish that will dwell near the bottom or in the middle. And will not disturb them at all when they are breeding and also at all times.

Some good companions are bottom dwellers such as plecos, other gourami fish (sparkling gourami).

Other great tank mates for the dwarf gourami fish are mollies, platies, rasboras, swordtail fish, loaches, catfish and tetras. You can even consider other smaller inhabitants, such as the mystery snails and shrimp.

As you can see there is plenty of options when it comes to tank mates for the dwarf gouramis, and you can choose freely from the above-mentioned fish species.

You can even keep more dwarf gouramis together, provided that you keep the ratio of males and females in check. Ideally there should be 2 females for every male.

Dwarf Gourami Common Diseases & Treatment

Dwarf Gourami Common Diseases & Treatment

Dwarf Gourami Common Diseases & Treatment

Your first and main goal is to keep the tank conditions and the water quality at a high level in order to prevent diseases in the first place. Gouramis are quite sensitive to water quality changes and can be really sensitive to lower water quality.

Gouramis can contract some various illnesses, and you can only do so much to limit or get rid of some. The unique illness that the dwarf gouramis face is the Dwarf Gourami Disease, also known as DGD.

This is a viral infection and can be seen when the colors start fading from the bodies of the fish and fins start degrading. To combat this illness, prevention is important – make sure that water quality is sufficient.

Another disease dwarf gourami might encounter is iridovirus in dwarf gourami, which is an infection that can lead to death.

Again, you can prevent this from happening by keeping the water quality in check and also keep the food varied. For both diseases, there are no real known ways of treating them, so it is best to prevent them in the first place.

Are Dwarf Gouramis Aggressive?

No, dwarf gouramis are not aggressive by nature at all and will be very peaceful towards other fish in the tank.

There have been some lonely cases and rare reports that their gourami is acting aggressive towards other fish, which is quite uncommon to see.

In order to prevent possible aggression, provide enough living space for the fish and also put plenty of vegetation into the tank for more hiding places and to act as a sort of a barrier.

Will Dwarf Gourami Jump Out of the Tank?

You have to know that this can happen, especially if you have an aquarium without a lid. In nature, the gouramis are often seen jumping out of the water to catch prey or even to catch some air, so you can expect them to jump out of the tank.

You can easily solve this issue by getting a lid or get one custom made for your aquarium.

How Big do Dwarf Gouramis Get?

The size of the dwarf gouramis really depends on other conditions; primarily, on the tank size you have and also on the way you treat and feed your fish.

If everything is great and the conditions are good, then it can grow to 5 inches. But it is really rare to see dwarf gourami larger than that; normally, they grow to about 4 inches in size, sometimes less and sometimes more.

How Long do Dwarf Gourami Live For?

Dwarf gourami is small fish, which means that their life span is expected to be quite short. If they are cared for properly and tank conditions are perfect, then you can expect the gouramis to live for about 5 years; in some cases, it can be even for longer. Again, it depends on the way you treat your fish and if you provide it with perfect care.

In general, the maximum age for dwarf gouramis is 5 years; if they catch a disease (above mentioned), then it can die even faster.

The best thing you can do is provide perfect water quality and good tank conditions that would allow the fish to live for longer and enable them to be healthier and prevent them from catching diseases.


Dwarf gouramis are one of the most popular fish in the world. They are a freshwater species that possess some really eye-catching colors. A good thing about these fish is also the fact that they are quite peaceful, easy to care for and not really demanding in terms of diet.

These fish are quite small fish, as they can grow to about 5 inches in size. The tank size for these fish is about 5 gallons or more. If you want to keep more of them then a 10-gallon tank is better.

The dwarf gouramis are quite susceptible to diseases if water quality is bad. Make sure that you keep the water quality at a high level, keep the diet varied and quality, and make regular maintenance. That way, the gouramis will be happy and healthy for longer.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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