Gourami Fish – Care, Habitat, Feeding & Details

Gourami fish is one of the few species that does not require significant maintenance, and also get along well with other inhabitants of the aquarium.

It is this type of fish that many experienced breeders recommend to breed for beginners. A significant variety of Gourami allows you to create any color scheme in your aquarium to your taste.


  • Scientific Name: Osphronemidae
  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Small To Medium
  • Tank size: 30 gallons or larger
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Hardness: Soft to Medium
  • Maximum Length: 70 cm (28 in)
  • Minimum Aquarium Size: 30Gal +
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Temperature: 75–81 °F (24–27 °C)
  • Swimming Region(s): Mid-Range
  • Gourami Tank Mates: Mollies, Swordtails, Platies, Rasboras, Loaches, Tetras and Catfish such as the Otocinclus Catfish
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly
  • pH: 6.5-7.5

History of appearance in Europe

The motherland of the macropod family (percussion order), to which the Gourami belong, are considered reservoirs of Southeast Asia.

Fish feel good not only in clean rivers and lakes, but they are known to occupy gutters and even puddles. Nevertheless, for quite a long time, the gouramis did not succeed in introducing into Europe.

The dream of the French scientist Pierre Carbonier was to breed these fish in France. A large number of attempts to transport in barrels from Vietnam or Malaysia were unsuccessful.

All the fish back then would be transported via ships in wooden barrels, filled to the top with water, and secured with a lid. It was necessary so that during transportation on the boat, the fish could not jump out of the tank.

One observant European, while in Asia, noticed that fish occasionally float to the surface of the water to breathe air. It was this fact that no one had previously taken into account, as a result of which the fish died.

They decided to fill the barrels with only 2/3 of the water and not close the lid. In this way, it was possible to deliver all the fish to Europe without any loss. Gouramis appeared in aquariums only in the winter of 1896, and in Russia a year later.

Natural distribution of Gourami

The habitat of representatives of macropods is the islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan. Tropical fish in the water bodies of Indochina and the Malay Archipelago are also widespread.

Gouramis inhabit not only quiet lakes, but also swift rivers. Also, they are known to thrive in the still water of ditches or large puddles. But even though Southeast Asia – rightfully considered to be the homeland, these tropical fish can also be found in the waters of Central America.

Description and structural features of Gourami

Another name for viviparous Gourami is threadbearder. As they have long fins on their abdomen, which help the fish navigate in the water.

The length of adult fish in nature can reach 15 cm, but among the representatives, there are also record species (serpentine Gourami), which grow up to 25 cm. In captivity, fish rarely exceed 10 cm in size.

Since thread carriers in nature live most of their lives in muddy, stagnant water, during evolution, they developed an adaptation – the supra-gill organ, which is called the labyrinth. It is he who allows you to swallow air and withstand up to eight hours without water.

The labyrinth in the suprajugular cavity allows fish to migrate from one reservoir to another.

Representatives of the genus Trichogaster have a flattened lateral body shape. Anal and dorsal fins are pointed and somewhat longer in males.

The fins on the abdomen have a length equal to the length of the body of the fish. Very often, these fins, touching sharp stones, break, but soon grow back. Colouring is very diverse, while males are brighter than females.

Types of Gourami Fish

The variation in the color of the thread carriers is considerable, which allows you to choose a specific look for the aquarium. It can be either pearl or brown or marble in color.

Although the color scheme of these tropical fish is quite diverse, there are only four types of Gourami:

The largest among aquarium thread carriers is the brown Gourami, which in captivity can grow up to 15 cm. The most interesting for aquarists are spotted thread carriers because this is the species whose representatives may look different (have white, yellow, honey, blue color).

The most popular among aquarists are the following species and subspecies of Gourami:

  1. Pearl gourami has a silver-violet color with silver spots throughout the body and fins. The length rarely exceeds 10 cm. Males are much larger and brighter than females and also have a red neck (in females, it is orange). Pearl thread carriers are complicated to adapt to a new habitat – displayed by the pale body color.
  2. Lunar Gourami has a silver color with a blue tint, which gave the fish such a name. If we talk about how many gouramis live in the aquarium, then these representatives can live up to 7 years. Lunar carriers in the aquarium with dark soil and saturated green vegetation look very lovely. Fish quickly get along in the neighborhood with any other representatives.
  3. Spotted Gourami (blue). The main feature of the blue thread carrier is the body color of the same name, as well as two black spots on each side (one in the center and the second near the caudal fin). The dorsal, caudal and ventral fins have many small silver spots that shimmer beautifully against a dark background.
  4. Opaline gourami is a subspecies of blue Gourami and appeared due to a genetic mutation. The difference between this fish and its counterpart is a dark grey body, as well as small light yellow spots on the fins. There are bright streaks on the head that look like marble in the design.
  5. Opaline and Gold gourami can both grow to a length of no more than 13 cm and appear yellow with an orange-gold tint. There are small blue spots on the fins and gill covers. Golden Gourami is pretty shy. These thread carriers love to swim in the branches of algae, so you might want to plant an aquatic plant with dense shoots in the aquarium so that the fish has a place to hide.
  6. Kissing Gourami is especially liked by aquarists. This name was given to the fish because they make natural mouth movements during courtship games, during aggression, as well as during feeding. Among the representatives of this subspecies, there are fish of yellow, pink, as well as a greenish hue. Their fins are usually light green. Kissing by gourami love space, so there should be enough free space in the aquarium and a small amount of other fish. If there are many neighbors, then the thread carriers can begin to show aggression, conquering the territory.
  7. Chocolate gourami has a brown body color with a red tint. A characteristic feature is the silver stripes that go from the dorsal fin to the abdomen. These fish are considered one of the smallest among the representatives of Gourami since the length of adult individuals does not exceed 5 cm.
  8. Croaking Gourami The main feature of the grinder is several dark bands along the body. The fins are mottled and have brownish-red spots. Fish prefer to swim among the branches of aquatic plants or snags.

Conditions of keeping Gouramis in Aquariums

If the aquarist decided to start the fish with Gourami, care, and maintenance for them should be selected optimally.

Since thread carriers belong to medium-sized aquarium fish, the capacity for their support should be at least 40 liters, and the water temperature should be in the range of 23–26 degrees. Still, its slight fluctuation will not harm the general condition of the Gourami.

The recommended acidity should be 6-7 units, and the hardness should be no more than 16.
Threader is undemanding to a significant amount of oxygen in the water so that a little aeration will be enough.

It’s best if you carry out a water change of at least 1/3. Since gouramis like to swim in the middle and upper layers of water, it’s advisable to cover the top of the aquarium so that pets do not jump out of it.

Feeding of Gourami Fish

The care and maintenance of the Gourami are not tricky. Nevertheless, novice aquarists who decide to acquire such fish may experience difficulties in feeding the gouramis in the aquarium.

Trimmers are not picky about food, so dry food is right for them. Bear in mind that in natural conditions, they feed on insects, aquatic plants, as well as mosquito larvae. Therefore, fish should periodically introduce live food (brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworm) into the diet.