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Easy Aquarium Fish: Dwarf Gourami Tank

Updated on January 26, 2013
Dwarf Gourami kaleidoscope.
Dwarf Gourami kaleidoscope. | Source

Dwarf Gourami are easy to care for, hardy aquarium fish for a freshwater fish tank. They are also remarkably pretty aquarium fish, and come in many beautiful color variations.

There are many different kinds of Gourami, but the Dwarf variety (Colisa lalia) are best suited to a small tank, and I think they are the most beautiful!

The Dwarf Gourami:

  • can live in a community with other kinds of fish, and other gouramis (although male gouramis can be territorial)
  • eat almost anything
  • grow up to 2 inches
  • will occupy the mid and top layer of the tank
  • and live up to 4 years.

I chose one of each color Dwarf Gourami for my tank. On top is the standard striped blue and orange, in the middle is the powder blue, and on the bottom is the flame gourami.
I chose one of each color Dwarf Gourami for my tank. On top is the standard striped blue and orange, in the middle is the powder blue, and on the bottom is the flame gourami. | Source

Choosing Your Gourami

Color Morphs

There are several different colors common in Dwarf Gouramis: powder blue, flame, and the standard variegated. When you choose a Gourami fish for your freshwater tank, consider the colors of the other fish in your tank, the background, and the hardscape. I chose an orange theme for my tank, and the blue in the gouramis complement and enhance the orange.

Male vs. Female

The male gourami grow slightly bigger than the females, and sport a more vibrant color. It is recommended to keep several females, or a single male with females. Multiple males may fight over territory. You can distinguish between male and female Gouramis by looking at the dorsal fin: male Gouramis have a more pointed dorsal fin than females.

*Most importantly, choose a healthy fish from the pet store!*

Here you can better see the difference between the standard and the powder blue Gourami. The powder blue (right) is a male, and has a pointed dorsal fin.
Here you can better see the difference between the standard and the powder blue Gourami. The powder blue (right) is a male, and has a pointed dorsal fin. | Source

Gouramis Care

Dwarf Gouramis can live comfortably in a 10 gallon tank with a few other peaceful fish. They prefer:

  • temperatures between 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • a pH of 6.0-7.5,
  • and a hardness of 4-10 dGH.

Hikari Bio-Pure 18597 Frozen Blood Worms Cubes
Hikari Bio-Pure 18597 Frozen Blood Worms Cubes

Fish love blood worms! Frozen blood worms are a great live food choice.

 

Gourami Fish Food

Gouramis are omnivores, which means they need a varied diet that includes live food and vegetables. Flakes are perfect for regular meals, but every few days they will need brine shrimp, bloodworms, crushed up peas, or spinach. Be careful never to overfeed your fish, because they will eat until they become sick and die. Gouramis also graze on algea.

Tetra 77031 TetraMin Flakes Select-a-Food, 2.4-Ounce, 250-ml
Tetra 77031 TetraMin Flakes Select-a-Food, 2.4-Ounce, 250-ml

I feed my Gouramis TetraMin 3 in one becuase it is good for the fish and convenient for me to use. Since Gouramis are omnivores, they need a varied diet and the 3 in one gives me the option to feed floating flakes, sinking granules, and baby brine shrimp. My Gouramis love it!

 
Red Tailed Shark swimming through a carefully chosen orange striped rock.
Red Tailed Shark swimming through a carefully chosen orange striped rock. | Source

Freshwater Fishtank Set Up

Substrate

Small to medium sized substrate is best for Dwarf Gouramis. Choose the color to compliment the color of your fish and the rest of the tank!

Hardscape

Hardscape refers to rock and driftwood, which provide structure for fish to swim in, under, through, and around. Gouramis do not generally hide behind or underneath any of the structures, but appreciate the scenery.

Plants

Gouramis are wonderful fish to have with live plants, because they do not root up the plants like cichlids. They prefer to have vegetation, especially floating plants.

Tank Mates

Gouramis are generally peaceful fish, and can live happily in a tropical community or a species tank. Since the Dwarf Gourami populate the mid to top layer of the tank, a catfish, rainbow, or red tailed shark, all of which live along the bottom of the tank, complement the the Gourami. An algea eater is also a must, and there are many beautiful Plecostomus to choose from.

I hope you enjoy your Gourami tank as much I enjoy mine! Find out more on the logistics of setting finding the tank and materials.

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    • TropiCoaqua profile image

      Amar Salvi 4 years ago from India

      Good article. I have kept Dwarf Gouramis in the past and they make wonderful tank mates. They also have the ability to spit out small jets of water like the Archer fish,but not to a great distance or force.One can check this out by dangling a tubifex worm over an overhanging leaf just above the water surface and observe the behavior.

    • sgiguere profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Giguere 4 years ago from Marlborough MA

      Wow, I will have to check that out! Thanks TropiCoaqua :)

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