Gouramis also referred to as labyrinth fish or anabantoids, an extraordinary species, are able to take in oxygen from atmospheric air in areas of poorly oxygenated water.
The proverbial guppy fondly, also referred to as million fish, exist in almost 300 varieties, along with a multitude of colors, tail shapes, and sizes and are an incredible addition to any aquarium.
Can Gouramis And Guppies Live Together?
You’ll be pleased to know that YES guppies and gouramis can definitely live together. However, if you do plan on letting them live together, you need to make sure that you pick the right species of gourami as well as making sure the requirements of both fish are met!
Careful consideration regarding fish temperament is crucial to maintaining a content community of fish. If you keep fish together who are incompatible, you are going to be up against serious difficulty to manage and maintain a harmonious environment in your aquarium.
Gouramis are peaceful in nature. However, larger species of blue and gold type Gourami tend to be semi-aggressive. Whereas dwarf Gouramis are docile fish.
Male Gouramis are aggressive towards each other but appear to be more placid around other more aggressive species of fish.
Male Gouramis being extremely territorial should be housed alone amongst other females, as this is ideal for keeping a harmonious tank environment. Gouramis tend to swim in small groups around the tank whilst some Gouramis prefer to swim at the surface, they are not schooling fish.
Guppies swim around peacefully with no qualms and are really great additions to any aquarium as they are quite social. It’s good to keep a group of them together in your tank or with other less aggressive fish.
Aggressiveness in guppies isn’t likely, however, males can become territorial when other male guppies try to challenge them. When this happens they’ll tend to bite their rival’s fins, tails, or other parts of their bodies.
Mating and fighting amongst guppies appear to be the same; that’s why it’s imperative to observe the behavior and discern whether they are trying to mate or fight.
You’ll notice that males are chasing females when guppies with wider tails and brightly colored bodies are pursuing fish that are not so bright in color with smaller tails. It is not deemed as aggressive behavior, though, however, if it continues, the female guppies will become stressed.
Two males guppies fighting for territory will chase each other around the aquarium. If you do spot them nipping at fins and fighting, then this will signal aggressive behavior and should prompt you to take action immediately.
Male guppies should never outnumber females, and to protect weaker male guppies and further prevent any serious issues, hideouts in the form of live plants should be available in the aquarium. Ample space should also be provided to decrease tension.
Lastly, they can be housed with other fish, provided these fish are calm in nature.
(Another great tank mate for guppies include platies, as they’re extremely peaceful and require similar conditions.)
Habitats and Tank Requirements
The natural habitat and conditions of fish should be simulated in their respective tanks in order to meet their psychological and physical requirements. Fish exposed to poor quality water or overstocking in a tank may be at risk of suffering from ill health or potentially death.
So the tank conditions should match the natural habitat as closely as possible to allow fish to lead long and healthy lives.
Gouramis hail from the eastern and southern parts of Asia, living in slow-paced rivers, lagoons, ponds, swamps, streams, marshes, canals, wetlands, and temporary pools.
They actually also dwell in less desirable conditions where oxygen levels are reduced, and they are less likely to encounter other predators and competition. They also venture into brackish habitats where there is a mix of both salt and freshwater.
Gouramis also venture into areas with different substrates, including soft sand and gravel. They are also often found in waters where low light is prevalent, and swamp vegetation floats around freely.
Gourami Tank Requirements
Tank specifications are dependent on the various species of Gourami fish. However, most species of Gourami prefer thick vegetation. You can offer a tropical environment filled with aquarium plants and décor, such as rocks and driftwood.
Java Fern, Java Moss, and Vallisneria are excellent options as they are robust and are preferable, especially if you keep Kissing Gouramis as they consume huge amounts of plant matter.
Dark or light substrates with gravel or fine pebbles should suffice as Gouramis are not too particular about this. Although some species, including Licorice and Chocolate Gouramis, prefer a darker substrate.
Low light is preferred and can be provided for about 8–10 hours per day with a dimmed aquarium lamp.
Strong water currents are not required as Gouramis originate from still, slow-moving waters. Medium-powered filters are sufficient to generate a very mild water current. Air pumps are also not needed as gouramis will do just fine without.
Gouramis require the following water conditions in a tank:
- Tropical temperatures should be maintained between 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
- During colder months, take care to ensure that room temperatures remain above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- pH levels should be neutral to slightly acidic at 6.5 to 7.8. (Find out more about how to maintain the perfect pH for gouramis.)
- Soft water should be maintained.
Investing in an aquarium heater, along with a thermometer, will allow you to keep the temperature consistent and should be purchased in relation to the tank size. Heat should be tested for coverage across the entire tank by occasionally changing the position of the thermometer.
Smaller sized tanks at 10 gallons can house Dwarf Gouramis. An additional 5 gallons can be provided for each extra fish. Larger tank sizes at 30 gallons are great for Gourami fish while Kissing Gourami are much larger species that require a 55-gallon tank.
Natural habitats for guppies are found in the South American warm freshwaters. Dark water that is saline but not as salty as the sea is preferred.
Slow-moving water in streams, ponds, and small water pools are where guppies are known to reside. In the wild, guppies feed on worms, shellfish, and insect larvae as well mosquito larvae.
Guppies Tank Requirements
Hornwort and Amazon Sword Plants make for ideal plant life in a guppy tank. You do not need to be too concerned about the substrate type as guppies are known to swim around the midway point in the tank as well as the top side of the tank. So, go ahead and decorate the tank with lively plants, rocks, and substrate.
Guppies require the following water conditions in a tank:
- The temperature should be maintained between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. (Find out more about why guppies need a heater.)
- pH levels should ideally be maintained at 7.0 and 7.2 (Find out more about the ideal guppy pH level.)
- Soft water should be maintained.
As with Gourami, Guppies also require heat provided with an aquarium heater and proper heat coverage to be tested with a thermometer.
Further, 5-10-gallon tanks or larger are a requirement for guppies to thrive.
Diet is important to any fish species for their longevity, health, and wellbeing. Fish not being fed appropriate diets could suffer dire consequences such as disease or death and contribute towards a poor environment for other life in your aquarium.
Gouramis are omnivorous in their natural habitats feeding on both meat and plants and they’re also very simple to feed in captivity as they are not fussy eaters.
A well balanced and healthy diet is required to maintain healthy Gouramis in an aquarium setting. Superb quality algae-based flakes, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp, provide adequate nutrition.
Kissing Gouramis form part of a few herbivorous species feeding on spirulina flakes and algae rounds instead of the usual tropical or color flakes, tropical granules, and shrimp pellets.
Gouramis can also feed on live and frozen foods as an occasional treat. Cooked peas and lettuce are great offerings, too, as they enjoy vegetables.
Guppies are omnivorous, feeding on plant-based and animal matter alike. The carnivorous part of Guppies’ diet consists of microorganisms as these fish species are quite tiny in size.
Algae, plankton, insect larvae, floating debris are some of the prevalent food items which they pick up in the form of small particles when they are foraging for food at the surface of the water.
How to Make it Work?
Guppies are peaceful-natured fish species who can be housed with less aggressive species of Gourami. Honey Gouramis, specifically, can be housed together with guppies. A tank can be set up to accommodate both fish species as their habitats are relatively similar.
Refer to the checklist below for the basics:
- Water temperature should be maintained at 75–79 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slow flow in water current can be maintained using a medium-powered water filter.
- Water pH should be kept at 7-7.2.
- Keep water soft to satisfy both fish species.
- Provide low light for 8 – 10 hours per day with a dimmed aquarium light. It suits both fish species.
- Vallisneria makes for excellent floating vegetation for Gouramis.
- Hornwort and Amazon Sword Plants are great for Guppies.
- Algae-based fish flakes are perfect for both fish species. Frozen and live foods can be used to enhance the diet for Gouramis.
- A large tank of 55 gallons or more is required to house all Gouramis and Guppies. Determine the tank size based on the amount of fish you would like to keep.
(Did you know that it’s possible to keep goldfish and guppies together?)
Gouramis and Guppies are much the same in their nature and make for excellent tank mates. With similar diets and overlapping tank requirements, it’s a fuss-free task caring for them.
Check out our website for more articles on combining different species.