Honey Gourami – Care, Habitat, Tank Mates & Full Details!

The honey gourami, also known as the sunset gourami, is a captivating aquatic creature that charms aquarists worldwide.

Not only are they stunning to look at, but they also boast easy maintenance and compatibility with many tank mates, making them the perfect addition to your aquarium.

There’s no denying that the honey gourami stands as one of the most attractive freshwater fish available today. However, their allure extends far beyond their vibrant appearance.

Their resilience and adaptability make them a pleasure to keep even for novice aquarists. A well-informed owner, armed with the right knowledge, can easily avoid common mistakes in honey gourami care.

The Honey Gourami, a treasure of the freshwater world, fascinates aquarists with its vivid colors and intriguing demeanor. We invite you on an enlightening journey to understand the stunning details of its appearance, natural habitat, origin, and lifespan.

With an in-depth understanding of these elements, you can create an ideal environment for these lovely creatures to flourish.

In the ensuing sections, we will discuss everything from species summary, lifespan, appearance, and size, to care tips, including tank size, water parameters, tank elements, potential diseases, food and diet, behavior, and temperament.

We also discuss the optimal tank mates and insights into breeding honey gouramis.

Quick Stats About Honey Gourami

Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful
Color: Silvery gray for females; honey-orange and black for males
Lifespan: 4-8 years
Size: 3 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Osphronemidae
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Tank Setup: Lots of vegetation and hiding spaces with very low current
Compatibility: Same species or other peaceful small fish

Appearance of Honey Gourami

The Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna), fondly referred to as the Sunset Gourami, truly manifests an enticing spectacle of nature’s artistry. Its appearance is a captivating blend of color and form that sets it apart in the world of aquarium fish.

Male Honey Gouramis sport a mesmerizing light orangeish-yellow hue that spans across their bodies, contrasted by a subtle bluish-silver tone on their throats.

These colors become more pronounced during the breeding period, turning the fish into a delightful visual spectacle. The edges of their fins exhibit a deep orange color, adding an extra dash of vibrancy to their look.

In contrast, females display a more understated elegance with a primarily silver body complemented by light gray fins.

However, males too start with these subtle colors at birth and gradually develop their trademark vibrant colors as they mature.

The body structure of Honey Gouramis exhibits a streamlined slimness, accented by an upward-tilting face.

This distinctive form, coupled with their striking coloration, makes them an undeniably charming addition to your aquarium.

Natural Habitat of Honey Gourami

Understanding the natural habitat of Honey Gouramis is essential for recreating a comfortable environment within your home aquarium.

In the wild, these fish are found in slow-moving waters abundant with plant life and vegetation, primarily in Bangladesh and India.

These waters are often low in oxygen, a challenge that Honey Gouramis overcome with their labyrinth organ.

This unique organ acts much like a lung, allowing Honey Gouramis to draw oxygen directly from the air. This adaptation permits them to thrive in poorly oxygenated environments that other fish may find inhabitable.

Consequently, they frequently rise to the water surface for a fresh gulp of air.

Their preference for plant-rich environments necessitates the inclusion of ample aquatic vegetation in their home tanks.

Keeping their natural habitat in mind allows aquarists to foster a familiar and comforting environment that promotes the well-being and longevity of these exquisite creatures.

Origin and Distribution of Honey Gourami

Tracing the origin of Honey Gourami takes us back to the freshwater bodies of Bangladesh and India. It is here that they naturally thrive in waters teeming with lush vegetation.

Their vibrant coloration quickly made them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

The initial fascination with Honey Gouramis began in Asia and gradually expanded to Europe, later reaching the United States.

Today, most Honey Gouramis sold in the aquarium trade are bred in captivity, making them a readily available species for aquarium enthusiasts across the globe.

Growth, Size & Lifespan of Honey Gourami

Honey Gouramis are known for their compact size and commendable lifespan. On average, a fully grown Honey Gourami measures about 2 inches in length.

While males and females start off similar in size, females often outgrow males to become slightly larger when fully matured.

Their lifespan can range from 5-8 years, contingent on the quality of care they receive. These resilient creatures are hardy by nature, but the right care can significantly influence their longevity.

When cared for properly, adhering to all the guidelines necessary for their well-being, Honey Gouramis can lead a healthy and vibrant life, adding years of joy to your aquarium experience.

Taking time to understand and appreciate the details of their appearance, habitat, origin, growth, and lifespan can truly enhance your Honey Gourami keeping experience.

Armed with this knowledge, you are well-equipped to provide the best possible care for your aquatic companions.

Honey Gourami Behavior and Temperament

Honey Gouramis are fascinating, featuring a delightful blend of peacefulness and active curiosity. Their temperament leans toward the docile side, making them a perfect choice for community aquariums.

Unlike some of their more aggressive relatives, Honey Gouramis exhibit a calm demeanor.

They often display a charming curiosity, swimming gracefully around their tank, exploring every nook and corner with keen interest.

During breeding times, males can display more territorial behavior, especially towards other males.

Despite this, the Honey Gourami remains a friendly and sociable species that enjoys the company of peaceful tank mates.

Tank Setup for Honey Gourami

Creating a comfortable and suitable environment for your Honey Gourami can significantly enhance their health and happiness.

Here is a detailed guide to help you set up the perfect home for these captivating creatures.

Tank Size

Considering the small size of Honey Gouramis, a tank size of 10 to 20 gallons should suffice for a pair. However, if you plan to keep a community of these fish, it’s recommended to increase the tank size accordingly.

A spacious environment encourages healthier and happier fish.


Honey Gouramis aren’t fussy about their substrate. However, dark sand or fine gravel can simulate their natural habitat, providing a comforting environment.

The dark substrate also enhances the vibrant colors of the Honey Gouramis, making them stand out beautifully.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Providing adequate hiding spots using decorations like caves, driftwood, and rocks can make Honey Gouramis feel secure.

These fish love plant-rich environments, so including live plants in your tank setup can create a home-like feel for them.

Water Parameters

Honey Gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. The water hardness should be between 5-15 dGH.

The ideal temperature for these fish ranges from 72°F to 82°F.

Filtration and Aeration

While Honey Gouramis can breathe atmospheric oxygen thanks to their labyrinth organ, a good filtration system is still crucial for maintaining water quality. A gentle current from the filter will suffice, as these fish aren’t strong swimmers and prefer calmer waters.


Moderate lighting conditions are best for Honey Gouramis. They thrive in an environment that mimics the soft, dappled sunlight of their natural habitat, achieved through indirect or diffused lighting.

Tank Mates

Compatible tank mates for Honey Gouramis include other peaceful fish of similar size. Some great companions could be Tetras, Rasboras, or small Catfish species. It’s recommended to avoid overly aggressive or large fish that may stress or harm the Gouramis.


Honey Gouramis are omnivores, enjoying a varied diet of both plant-based and meaty foods. High-quality flakes or pellets can serve as their primary diet, supplemented by occasional live or frozen foods like daphnia or bloodworms.

Tank Maintenance for Honey Gourami

A well-maintained tank plays a critical role in keeping your Honey Gourami in good health.

From regular water changes to the vigilant monitoring of fish health, here’s a comprehensive guide to Honey Gourami tank maintenance.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential to maintain a healthy environment for your Honey Gourami. Aim to replace around 25-30% of the tank water weekly.

This practice helps to remove waste, uneaten food, and any harmful chemicals that might have built up in the water.

While changing water, ensure that the new water is similar in temperature to the tank water. Also, consider using a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine, which is common in tap water and harmful to fish.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Over time, algae and other waste can accumulate on your tank’s walls and decorations. Cleaning these areas every few weeks can prevent build-up and keep your tank looking its best.

Use a safe aquarium cleaner to gently scrub the tank’s walls and decorations. For the substrate, a gravel vacuum can remove debris while disturbing the substrate minimally.

Always remember, the aim is not to sterilize the tank but to clean it. Beneficial bacteria live in your tank, and it’s crucial to maintain their presence for a healthy aquarium ecosystem.

Filter Maintenance

Your filter is a workhorse, constantly cleaning and purifying the water. Like any machine, it needs regular maintenance to function effectively.

Every month, take time to clean your filter. Rinse the filter media with tank water to remove debris. Avoid using tap water, as it can kill the beneficial bacteria residing in the filter media.

Filter cartridges and media may need replacement if they become overly clogged or stop working efficiently. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines to understand when and how to replace them.

Monitor Fish Health

Regularly observing your Honey Gourami is crucial to maintaining their well-being. Look for signs of healthy behavior, such as active swimming, regular eating, and interaction with tank mates.

Any deviation from their normal behavior can indicate potential health issues. If your fish show signs of illness, like loss of appetite, lethargy, or visible spots, consult a vet or an aquatic pet specialist immediately.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular tank maintenance not only ensures a cleaner and aesthetically pleasing tank but also contributes significantly to your Honey Gourami’s health.

Adopting these practices in your routine will allow you to enjoy the delightful company of your Honey Gouramis for a long time, making your journey into the world of aquatics a rewarding one.

Acclimating Honey Gourami

Proper acclimation is vital when introducing your Honey Gourami to their new tank environment. A sudden change in water parameters can shock your fish, leading to stress and potential health issues.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth transition for your Honey Gourami:

  1. Float the Bag: Upon arriving home with your Honey Gourami, float the unopened bag in your aquarium for about 15 minutes. This process helps the water inside the bag match the tank’s temperature, easing the initial shock to the fish.

  2. Gradual Mixing: After the initial float, gradually add small amounts of tank water into the bag every five minutes. This step helps the fish adjust to your tank’s pH and other water parameters.

  3. Use a Net: After about 30 minutes, use a net to gently transfer the fish into the aquarium. Try to avoid adding water from the bag into the tank to prevent potential contamination.

  4. Monitor Closely: After introducing the Honey Gourami to its new home, keep a close eye on its behavior. A healthy adjustment involves active exploration of the tank and steady swimming.

Remember, patience is key. Never rush the acclimation process.

Honey Gourami Diet and Feeding

Honey Gouramis are omnivores, thriving on a varied diet that includes both plant-based and protein-rich foods.

A balanced diet for your Honey Gourami can include the following:

High-quality Flakes or Pellets

These should form the staple of your Honey Gourami’s diet. Choose a brand with high-quality ingredients, prioritizing options that contain a good balance of both plant matter and protein sources.

Live or Frozen Foods

Consider supplementing the diet with live or frozen foods occasionally. Daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms are excellent options that your Honey Gourami will enjoy.

Fresh Vegetables

Blanched peas, spinach, or zucchini can provide essential plant nutrients. These should be cut into small pieces and fed sparingly.

When feeding, remember that less is often more. Overfeeding can lead to health issues and degrade the water quality in your tank. Aim to feed your Honey Gourami small amounts several times a day, only providing as much as they can consume in a few minutes.

Also, observe your fish during feeding time. It can help you identify their preferences, monitor their appetite, and spot any potential health concerns early.

Ensuring a balanced and varied diet will contribute to your Honey Gourami’s vibrant color, active behavior, and overall wellbeing. Happy feeding!

Honey Gourami Tank Mates

Honey Gouramis are generally peaceful, making them suitable for community tanks with like-minded fish. However, selecting the right tank mates is critical to maintaining a harmonious environment.

Let’s look at some suitable companions and which ones to avoid.

Best Tank Mates for Honey Gourami

  1. Tetras: Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Ember Tetras are small, peaceful, and active fish that make excellent companions for your Honey Gourami. They add a splash of color and won’t compete for territory.

  2. Rasboras: Harlequin Rasboras and Galaxy Rasboras are calm and peaceful, making them perfect tank mates. Their vibrant colors also complement the Honey Gourami’s subtle tones.

  3. Corydoras Catfish: Cory Catfish are peaceful bottom-dwellers that won’t intrude on your Gourami’s space. Plus, they help keep the tank clean!

  4. Dwarf Gourami: Sharing similar temperament and needs, Dwarf Gouramis can cohabit well with Honey Gouramis.

  5. Platies: These friendly, easy-to-care-for fish are excellent companions due to their peaceful nature.

  6. Mollies: Their calm temperament and hardy nature make them a good choice. However, make sure the tank is big enough to prevent territorial disputes.

  7. Oto Catfish: Another great choice for tank cleanliness, Otto Catfish stick to the tank’s walls and surfaces, away from your Honey Gourami.

  8. Cherry Shrimp: A fun addition to your community tank. They’re peaceful, small, and add a dash of bright color.

Tank Mates to Avoid

  1. Cichlids: Most Cichlids are too aggressive and territorial for the peaceful Honey Gourami.

  2. Betta Fish: Known for their territorial nature, Bettas might stress or attack the peaceful Honey Gourami.

  3. Oscar Fish: They grow quite large and can be aggressive, posing a danger to your Honey Gourami.

  4. Arowanas: These predatory fish are likely to see your Honey Gourami as a meal rather than a tank mate.

  5. Red Tail Sharks: Their aggressive nature can lead to them bullying the more peaceful Honey Gourami.

Breeding Honey Gourami and Fry Care

Breeding Honey Gourami can be a rewarding experience for hobbyists, given their fascinating reproductive behavior.

Here’s a detailed guide:

Breeding Process

  1. Set up a Separate Tank: A separate breeding tank ensures safety for the fry. It should be shallow, around 6-8 inches of water depth, with soft water conditions.

  2. Pair Selection: A healthy, mature pair is essential. The male will display brighter coloration during breeding time.

  3. Diet: A high-protein diet, including live foods, encourages spawning.

  4. Bubble Nest: The male builds a bubble nest on the water surface using plant debris and bubbles.

  5. Spawning: The male and female wrap together beneath the bubble nest, and the female releases eggs. The male fertilizes them and places them in the nest.

  6. Post-Spawning: After spawning, the female should be removed to avoid potential aggression from the male.

Fry Care

  1. Parental Care: The male guards the eggs and fry until they’re free-swimming. Once this stage is reached, remove the male.

  2. Feeding: Newly hatched fry can be fed infusoria or liquid fry food until they’re large enough to eat brine shrimp nauplii or finely crushed flake food.

  3. Water Quality: Maintaining clean, warm water is crucial. Regular, small water changes are beneficial.

  4. Growth Monitoring: Keep an eye on the fry’s growth and separate any that grow significantly larger to prevent them from preying on their siblings.

With careful observation and diligent care, you can successfully breed and raise Honey Gourami in your home aquarium. Good luck!

Recognizing Signs of Stress in Honey Gourami

Understanding your Honey Gourami’s behavior is vital in spotting stress.

These signs can help you act quickly:

Change in Eating Habits: Honey Gourami love their food. If you notice a decrease in appetite or complete refusal to eat, it’s likely a sign of stress.

Change in Color: Honey Gourami display vibrant colors, especially during breeding. Dull or faded coloration can indicate stress.

Rapid Breathing: Fast, shallow breaths or labored breathing near the water surface can be a telltale sign of stress.

Odd Swimming Patterns: If your Gourami is swimming erratically, hiding constantly, or staying near the surface, they may be feeling stressed.

Common Health Issues in Honey Gourami and their Treatments

Like any pet, Honey Gourami can experience health issues. Here’s a quick guide to common problems and their solutions:

Ich: Ich is a parasitic disease causing white spots on the fish’s body. Raise the tank temperature gradually to 86°F and use an over-the-counter ich medication.

Fin Rot: Symptoms include fraying or discolored fins. Regular water changes, removal of any sharp objects, and using antibiotics should help.

Dropsy: Swollen belly and raised scales indicate Dropsy. Quarantine the affected fish and administer antibiotics.

Swim Bladder Disease: If your Gourami struggles to maintain its buoyancy, it might have Swim Bladder Disease. Feeding them peas (which have been shelled, cooked, and cooled) can help.

Remember to always consult with a vet or an aquatics expert if you’re unsure about diagnosing and treating your fish.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

Maintaining a healthy aquarium is not just about regular cleaning.

Consider these tips:

  • Test your water parameters regularly to ensure they’re in the ideal range.

  • Don’t overfeed your fish. Uneaten food can decay and pollute the tank.

  • Ensure your aquarium has a balanced ecosystem, with the right number of fish for its size.

  • Use live plants to help absorb excess nutrients and provide hiding spots.

  • Always quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank.

Should You Get a Honey Gourami for Your Aquarium?

Honey Gourami make a wonderful addition to any community tank, thanks to their peaceful nature and striking colors. They’re relatively easy to care for, which makes them suitable for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

Remember, they need a well-maintained tank with a peaceful environment and proper diet.

So, if you’re ready to meet their needs, a Honey Gourami could be the perfect new addition to your aquarium.

Conservation Status of Honey Gourami

Honey Gourami are not currently listed as endangered or threatened according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are a common species in their native range and have a stable population.

However, maintaining a sustainable fish-keeping hobby is vital for all species, including the Honey Gourami. Always choose to support businesses that practice responsible fish breeding.

Availability & Pricing of Honey Gourami

Honey Gourami are popular in the fish-keeping community, so they are widely available in most pet stores and online. They’re often chosen for their stunning hues and peaceful temperament, which makes them perfect for community tanks.

As for pricing, Honey Gourami are typically quite affordable. Prices can vary depending on the size, age, and coloration of the fish, as well as your location.

As of my knowledge, You can expect to pay around $3 to $6 per fish. But remember, prices may have fluctuated since then.

Frequently Asked Questions About Honey Gourami

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Honey Gourami:

Q – How many Honey Gourami can I put in my tank?

Ans – This depends on your tank size. The general rule is one Gourami per 10 gallons of water to ensure enough space for each fish.

Q – How can I tell the gender of my Honey Gourami?

Ans – Males are more colorful, with a more pointed dorsal fin. Females are lighter in color and have a rounder dorsal fin.

Q – Are Honey Gourami good for beginners?

Ans – Yes, they are! They are a hardy species, relatively easy to care for, and are peaceful, which makes them an excellent choice for beginners.

Q – Can Honey Gourami live alone?

Ans – While they can live alone, Honey Gourami are social fish and do well in groups or with other peaceful species.

In Conclusion

Honey Gourami are a delightful addition to any home aquarium, thanks to their vibrant colors, peaceful nature, and manageable care requirements.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced aquarist, these wonderful fish can add a splash of color and a calming presence to your tank. Just make sure to provide them with the right tank conditions, diet, and companions to keep them happy and healthy.

With the right care, your Honey Gourami will thrive and be a joy to observe.