Gourami Fish – Care, Tank Mates, Types, Habitat & Full Details!

Gourami fish, belonging to the Osphronemidae family, are a delightful addition to any aquarium. Known for their vibrant hues, serene demeanor, and ease of care, they are a popular choice among aquarists globally.

Originating from Southeast Asia, Gourami fish belong to a family that boasts over 90 distinct species.

They have captivated aquarists with their tranquil nature, wide array of colors and patterns, and resilience. This makes them a particularly excellent choice for beginners.

Gouramis have adapted to thrive in low-oxygenated water bodies, thanks to their labyrinth organ, a unique supplementary breathing structure.

This characteristic enables them to absorb oxygen directly from the atmosphere.

In the following guide, we delve deeper into the fascinating world of Gouramis, encompassing their care, breeding habits, and varieties.

Quick Stats About Gourami Fish

Scientific family: Osphronemidae, Polyacanthidae
Common names: Gourami, gouramis, gouramies
Distribution: Asia and Southeast Asia – from Korea to Indonesia and Pakistan
Size: 3.5–28 inches, depending on species
Life expectancy: 3–8 years
Color: Blue, orange, yellow, red, brown; various stripes and patterns
Diet: Omnivore
Temperament: Generally peaceful
Minimum tank size: 10 gallons minimum
Temperature: 72–82°F (22–27°C)
pH: 6.0–8.0
Hardness: 4–15 dGH
Care level: Moderate
Breeding: Mouthbrooders, bubble nests

Appearance of Gourami Fish

Gourami fish are renowned for their stunning, diverse palette, their peaceful demeanor, and their fascinating labyrinth organ, which empowers them to breathe oxygen directly from the air.

More than 90 unique species of Gouramis exist, each boasting a distinctive, mesmerizing appearance that makes them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.

Gourami fish species range from the vibrant, green-colored Samurai Gouramis to the luminous Gold Gouramis that are adorned with gold-hued scales and striped patterning.

Dwarf Gouramis, though petite in stature, captivate with their radiant color morphs, while the Pearl Gouramis are recognized by their remarkable pearl-like spots and a striking black line adorning their bodies.

The Blue Gouramis exhibit a tantalizing blue color with marble-like patterns and two distinct dark spots – a beauty spectacle to behold.

Kissing Gouramis are famed for their distinct outward-protruding mouth that gives the fish a perpetual “pout.”

In contrast, Sparkling Gouramis mesmerize with their brown color punctuated with vibrant spots, and their fins tinged with a dark orange hue.

Each species provides a unique visual delight, making Gouramis a captivating addition to any freshwater aquarium.

The Natural Habitat of Gourami Fish

The natural habitat of Gourami fish is as diverse as their species. They primarily inhabit densely-vegetated, slow-moving freshwater bodies, characterized by low oxygen levels.

They are versatile and hardy, enabling them to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions.

These fish are found in ponds, rivers, and lakes across Southeastern Asia, with a preference for shallow, warm, and acidic water.

Their unique labyrinth organ, which operates similarly to a lung, allows them to survive in water bodies with low oxygen levels, as they can breathe oxygen directly from the air.

This makes them particularly resilient in diverse environments, further adding to their appeal as a popular choice for home aquariums.

Origin and Distribution of Gourami Fish

The term “Gourami” is derived from the Indonesian language and has been in use since the late 19th century.

The family to which Gouramis belong, Osphronemidae, is native to Asia and Southeast Asia, with their range extending from Korea to Indonesia and Pakistan.

In the wild, Gouramis are common and are predominantly found in countries across Eastern and Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Korea.

Their popularity has also led to their distribution worldwide in the aquarium trade.

Growth, Size & Lifespan of Gourami Fish

The growth and size of Gourami fish are greatly influenced by the species and the conditions in which they live. On average, Gourami fish can grow between 3.5 and 28 inches, depending on the species.

For example, the Giant Gouramis can reach up to 20 inches long, while Sparkling Gouramis, one of the smallest species, typically grow up to just 1.6 inches long.

The lifespan of Gouramis is equally diverse, with most species living between 3 and 8 years in optimal conditions.

However, some species, like the Giant Gourami, can live up to 15 years with proper care.

Proper care includes maintaining optimal water conditions, providing a balanced diet, and ensuring a stress-free environment.

Given their hardiness, Gouramis are relatively easy to care for, making them a delightful and enduring companion for both novice and experienced aquarists.

Gourami Fish Behavior and Temperament

Gourami fish are a fascinating species with a unique personality. Known for their peaceful demeanor, they’re an ideal choice for community tanks. They love exploring their environment, interacting with their tank mates, and are often seen swimming gracefully in the mid and top layers of the tank.

However, male Gouramis can be territorial, especially during the breeding season. They may display aggressive behavior if they feel their space is threatened. Female Gouramis, on the other hand, are generally more placid. Observing their behavior can be a delightful experience for any aquarist.

Types of Gourami Fish

Gourami fish are a group of freshwater species known for their vibrant colors and easy care. There are numerous types of Gourami, each with its unique appearance and characteristics. Here, we delve into 15 popular types of Gourami fish that can add diversity and color to your aquarium.

1. Blue Gourami

Also known as the Three Spot Gourami, the Blue Gourami is a large, vibrant fish that is an aquarium favorite. These fish are a bright blue color with three dark spots along their sides.

2. Gold Gourami

A color variant of the Blue Gourami, the Gold Gourami displays a warm, golden color. They have the same peaceful demeanor as their blue counterparts, making them a popular choice among aquarists.

3. Pearl Gourami

The Pearl Gourami is named for its beautiful pearl-like spots across its body. With a mix of orange and silver shades, these fish bring a touch of elegance to any aquarium.

4. Dwarf Gourami

Small and brightly colored, Dwarf Gouramis are perfect for smaller tanks. They come in a range of colors, with the most common being blue and red.

5. Honey Gourami

Honey Gouramis are a golden honey color, hence their name. They’re known for being exceptionally peaceful and do well in community tanks.

6. Kissing Gourami

Known for their unique mouth shape and “kissing” behavior, Kissing Gouramis are a fascinating addition to the aquarium. They are predominantly green or pink in color.

7. Moonlight Gourami

Moonlight Gouramis have a soft silver color that gives them a moonlit appearance. They are peaceful and prefer a densely planted tank.

Here are few more:

8. Chocolate Gourami

Chocolate Gouramis are distinctive for their deep brown color, which is punctuated by vertical yellow stripes. They require specific water conditions and are best suited for experienced aquarists.

9. Thick Lip Gourami

Thick Lip Gouramis have larger lips compared to other species. They are generally peaceful and come in a variety of colors.

10. Snakeskin Gourami

Snakeskin Gouramis are large and sport a unique pattern that resembles snakeskin. They’re a hardy breed, with a beautiful silver color and dark stripes.

11. Paradise Fish Gourami

One of the first tropical fish to be kept in aquariums, Paradise Fish Gouramis are a type of labyrinth fish. They have long fins and come in a variety of colors.

12. Opaline Gourami

Opaline Gouramis are a color variant of the Blue Gourami. They have a stunning opalescent sheen, making them a visually striking choice.

Each of these Gouramis has its own unique charm, from striking coloration to distinctive behaviors.

When selecting the best Gourami for your tank, consider factors such as tank size, water parameters, and the nature of your existing fish to ensure a harmonious environment. Remember, Gouramis are generally peaceful and adaptable, but each species has specific needs that must be met for them to thrive.

With their fascinating diversity and relative ease of care, Gouramis offer a wonderful opportunity to bring a vibrant touch of the exotic to your home aquarium.

No matter your level of experience in fish keeping, there’s a Gourami out there that’s perfect for you.

A Comprehensive Guide to Gourami Fish Tank Setup

Setting up a Gourami fish tank involves careful planning and consideration.

Here are the crucial steps to help ensure a healthy and comfortable environment for your Gourami fish.

Tank Size

The recommended tank size for Gourami fish depends on the specific species, but a general rule is a minimum of 20 gallons for small species and up to 50 gallons or more for larger ones. This space allows them to swim freely and establish their territory.


Gouramis aren’t fussy about the substrate. However, a soft, sandy substrate is often a good choice as it mimics their natural habitat and helps in achieving a lower pH.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Gouramis appreciate a well-decorated tank. Use aquatic plants, driftwood, and rock formations to create ample hiding spots. Floating plants are particularly favored as Gouramis often build bubble nests under them.

Water Parameters

Gouramis thrive in water with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 and a temperature between 72-82°F. They also prefer soft to moderately hard water.

Filtration and Aeration

As labyrinth fish, Gouramis can breathe air, reducing the need for high aeration. However, a good filtration system is crucial to maintain water quality.


Gouramis do well under moderate lighting. Too bright and it can cause stress, while too dim can hinder their activity.

Tank Mates

Gouramis are generally peaceful and can cohabit with similar-sized, non-aggressive fish. Avoid keeping them with fin-nipping species.


Gouramis are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of high-quality flake food, live and frozen foods, and occasional plant matter.

In conclusion, setting up a tank for Gourami fish requires thoughtful planning and understanding of their behavior and requirements.

With the right setup, your Gouramis can thrive, bringing color and life to your aquarium.

Tank Maintenance of Gourami Fish

To ensure your Gourami fish continue to thrive, proper tank maintenance is essential. Keeping the environment clean, healthy, and stress-free helps to prevent diseases and encourages a longer lifespan for your Gouramis.

Here are some fundamental aspects of tank maintenance for Gourami fish.

Regular Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for the health and well-being of your Gourami fish. It is recommended to change 10-20% of the tank’s water weekly. This practice reduces the buildup of harmful toxins and chemicals in the water, ensuring your Gouramis live in a clean and healthy environment.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Gouramis are tidy creatures, but they still produce waste that can accumulate over time. Clean the tank and decorations at least once a month to remove any algae or waste buildup. Be gentle when cleaning decorations to avoid disturbing the natural balance in the tank or causing unnecessary stress to the fish.

Filter Maintenance

While Gouramis can breathe air, a good filtration system is still essential to maintain water quality. Regular filter maintenance is crucial to ensure it functions properly. Clean the filter every month or as needed, but remember not to clean all the filter media at once, as it may disrupt beneficial bacteria that aid in breaking down waste.

Monitor Fish Health

Keeping an eye on your Gourami’s health is a vital part of tank maintenance. Observe their behavior, eating habits, and physical appearance regularly. Any sudden changes could indicate stress or illness. Early detection and intervention can often prevent a minor issue from becoming a serious problem.

In conclusion, tank maintenance for Gourami fish involves regular water changes, cleaning of the tank and decorations, filter maintenance, and continuous monitoring of fish health.

With these practices in place, you can create a healthy and stimulating environment for your Gouramis to flourish.

Acclimating Gourami Fish

When you bring a new Gourami fish home, acclimating them properly to their new environment is crucial.

This process is essential to minimize stress and prevent potential health problems.

Here’s a simple guide on how to acclimate your Gourami fish effectively:

  1. Float the Bag: Begin by floating the sealed bag containing the fish in the aquarium for about 15 minutes. This step equalizes the temperature inside the bag with that of the tank, reducing temperature shock.

  2. Add Tank Water: Open the bag and add some tank water to it. Do this every 10 minutes for about an hour. This gradual change helps the fish adjust to the water chemistry of the new tank.

  3. Release the Fish: Gently release the Gourami into the tank using a net. Avoid pouring the bag’s water into the tank as it might contain pollutants or pathogens.

Remember to dim the lights and reduce noise during the process to create a calm environment.

Gourami Fish Diet and Feeding

Gourami fish are omnivores, meaning they enjoy a varied diet of both plant-based and meaty foods.

A balanced diet is essential for their health and color vibrancy.

Below is a detailed guide on the diet and feeding of Gourami fish:

Balanced Commercial Feed

Commercial fish food, such as flakes or pellets, forms the basis of the Gourami diet. Ensure the feed is nutritionally balanced, containing a mix of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Live and Frozen Foods

Gourami fish also relish live and frozen foods. This includes brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and tubifex. These foods are rich in protein and help to enhance the fish’s color and vitality.


Incorporate vegetables into their diet. Options like lettuce, peas, spinach, and zucchini should be boiled and finely chopped before feeding.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your Gourami fish 2-3 times a day, giving only what they can consume within 3 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and pollute the tank water.

Observing Eating Habits

Keep a close eye on your Gouramis while they eat. This observation helps you understand their food preferences, and you can notice any changes in eating habits, which might indicate health issues.

In conclusion, a healthy diet and proper feeding schedule are integral to the wellbeing of Gourami fish.

By understanding their dietary needs, you can ensure your Gouramis are happy, healthy, and vibrant.

Pearl Gourami

Gourami Fish Tank Mates

In the world of aquatics, finding the right tank mates for your Gourami fish can make a huge difference in maintaining a harmonious environment.

Gouramis are generally peaceful, but they do well with certain tank mates and not so well with others.

Ideal Tank Mates for Gourami Fish

Here are some excellent companions for your Gourami fish:

  1. Tetras: These small, colorful fish are peaceful and energetic, making them a good fit for a Gourami tank. You can choose Like –  Diamond Tetra, Silver Tip Tetra, etc

  2. Corydoras Catfish: These bottom dwellers are non-aggressive and complement the Gouramis’ mid to top-level swimming habits.

  3. Mollies: Mollies are peaceful fish that can easily share a tank with Gouramis.

  4. Platies: Known for their peaceful temperament, Platies can coexist well with Gouramis.

  5. Rasboras: These are small, peaceful schooling fish that can comfortably live with Gouramis.

  6. Loaches: Certain types of loaches, like the Kuhli Loach, can be good tank mates due to their peaceful nature and bottom dwelling habits.

  7. Plecos: These algae-eating fish cohabitate well with Gouramis, helping to keep the tank clean.

  8. Cherry Barbs: These are peaceful fish that can add a pop of color to your Gourami tank.

Tank Mates to Avoid for Gourami Fish

Conversely, here are some species you should avoid adding to a Gourami tank:

  1. Bettas: Despite their similar appearance, Betta fish can be territorial and may clash with Gouramis.

  2. Cichlids: Many Cichlids are aggressive and could stress or harm your Gouramis.

  3. Guppies: Guppies may be nipped by Gouramis due to their long, flowing fins.

  4. Goldfish: Goldfish require different water parameters and can grow quite large, making them unsuitable tank mates.

  5. Sharks: Species like the Red Tail Shark can be aggressive and territorial.

Breeding Gourami Fish and Fry Care

Breeding Gourami fish can be a rewarding experience.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Pre-Breeding Preparation

  1. Separate Breeding Tank: Set up a separate tank with shallow water about 6 to 8 inches deep. The water should be slightly acidic and warm, around 80°F (27°C).

  2. Healthy Diet: Feed the breeding pair a diet rich in live and frozen foods to enhance their conditioning.

  3. Plant Cover: Include floating plants in the breeding tank as Gouramis build bubble nests using plant matter.

Breeding Process

  1. Bubble Nest Building: The male Gourami will begin building a bubble nest using plant matter and bubbles.

  2. Spawning: Once the nest is ready, the male and female will spawn under it. The male wraps his body around the female, who then releases eggs.

  3. Fertilization: The male fertilizes the eggs as they rise to the surface and into the bubble nest.

  4. Post-Spawning Care: After spawning, remove the female from the tank as the male guards the nest. He might become aggressive towards her.

Fry Care

  1. Protection: After the eggs hatch, remove the male as well. The fry can take care of themselves, and the male might eat them.

  2. Feeding: Feed the fry infusoria or finely crushed flake food until they can eat regular food.

  3. Water Changes: Regular water changes are critical at this stage. Clean water helps prevent disease and promotes healthy growth.

  4. Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the fry’s development. As they grow, they may start showing signs of aggression towards each other, at which point they should be separated into different tanks or compartments.

  5. Growth: Once the fry reach about 2 inches in length, they can be introduced into a regular community tank, given that the other inhabitants are not aggressive or large enough to see the young Gouramis as food.

Remember, breeding Gouramis requires patience and attention to detail, but the experience can be incredibly rewarding.

By providing the right environment and care, you can help ensure the survival of the fry and enjoy the fascinating process of watching them grow.

DCF 1.0

Signs of Stress in Gourami

A stressed Gourami fish can display several signs, and as a responsible fish keeper, you should be able to recognize them.

Stress can result from poor water quality, improper diet, disease, or conflicts with other fish.

  1. Color Change: Gouramis may lose their vibrant colors and appear dull when stressed.

  2. Loss of Appetite: If a Gourami suddenly stops eating, it could be a sign of stress.

  3. Erratic Swimming: Gouramis swimming erratically or hanging around the top or bottom of the tank may be stressed.

  4. Breathing Difficulty: Rapid or labored breathing could indicate stress or disease.

  5. Visible Marks or Wounds: Marks or wounds on the fish’s body might suggest conflicts with tank mates.

Common Health Issues and Treatments for Gourami Fish

Gourami fish are generally robust, but like any aquatic creature, they can still be susceptible to certain health issues.

Recognizing these problems early on and providing appropriate treatment is crucial for their wellbeing.

  1. Ich: This is a common fish disease characterized by white spots on the fish’s body. It’s usually treated with over-the-counter fish medications.

  2. Fin Rot: Fin rot can cause the fish’s fins to fray and discolor. Proper water conditions can prevent this issue, and antibiotics can treat it.

  3. Dropsy: Dropsy causes the fish to bloat due to fluid accumulation. Although difficult to treat, some success has been found with antibiotics.

  4. Parasites: External parasites can cause itchiness, leading to erratic swimming. Special fish medications can treat these parasites.

  5. Bacterial Infections: Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections, which often manifest as open sores or red streaks.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

To maintain a healthy Gourami fish aquarium, here are a few tips:

  1. Test Water Regularly: Regular testing ensures optimal water conditions.

  2. Quarantine New Fish: Quarantine any new fish for about two weeks before introducing them to the main tank.

  3. Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding can lead to poor water quality and increased aggression among fish.

  4. Provide a Balanced Diet: A balanced diet can keep your Gouramis healthy and vibrant.

  5. Monitor Fish Behavior: Regularly observe your fish for any behavioral changes, which can be the first sign of disease.

Should You Get a Gourami Fish for Your Aquarium?

Deciding whether to add Gourami fish to your aquarium depends on your readiness to meet their care requirements.

They’re a fantastic choice due to their hardiness, vibrant colors, and intriguing behavior.

However, they also require a tank of adequate size, a balanced diet, and regular water changes. If you’re ready to provide these, a Gourami fish can make a wonderful addition to your aquarium.

gourami types

Conservation Status

As of the current data, many Gourami species are not considered endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

However, it’s vital to note that the status can vary between species and could be influenced by factors such as habitat loss and water pollution.

Always aim to purchase Gouramis from reputable sources to ensure the sustainability of these species.

Availability & Pricing

Gourami fish are popular in the aquarium trade, making them widely available in pet stores and online.

They are often sought-after due to their striking colors and peaceful demeanor. As for pricing, it can vary based on factors such as the species, size, and color of the Gourami.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $15 per fish, although rare or larger species may command higher prices.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gourami

Q: How long do Gourami fish live?

A: With proper care, Gourami fish can live up to 4-6 years on average. However, lifespan can differ based on the species and care provided.

Q: What do Gourami fish eat?

A: Gourami fish are omnivorous and can eat a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, live foods, and vegetables.

Q: Can Gourami fish live with other fish?

A: Yes, Gouramis are generally peaceful and can live with other similar-sized, non-aggressive fish species.

Q: How big do Gourami fish get?

A: Depending on the species, Gourami fish can grow anywhere from 2 inches to 28 inches in length.

Q: How do I know if my Gourami is healthy?

A: A healthy Gourami will have vibrant colors, clear eyes, be active, and have a good appetite.


Gourami fish are a captivating addition to any home aquarium, known for their vibrant hues and unique behaviors. They are relatively hardy, making them a suitable choice for both beginner and seasoned aquarium enthusiasts.

By understanding their needs and providing a suitable environment, diet, and care, Gouramis can thrive and provide years of aquatic enjoyment.

Always remember to source your fish responsibly to ensure the preservation of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats.