Dwarf Gourami Care: Top Tips For Success

Dwarf gouramis are beautiful and peaceful fish that make great additions to any aquarium. They’re relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things you need to know to keep them healthy and happy.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of dwarf gourami care, including tank size, water quality, diet, and breeding. We’ll also provide some tips on how to prevent common health problems.

TL;DR

Dwarf gouramis are popular freshwater fish suitable for beginners. They require a tank of at least 10 gallons with a temperature between 72-82°F and a pH between 6.0-7.5. They have an omnivorous diet and can be fed tropical fish flakes, live food, and algae wafers.

While relatively hardy, consistent water conditions are important for their overall well-being and keeping them healthy. Dwarf gouramis can live between 3-5 years with proper care. Compatible tank mates include harlequin rasboras, common corydoras, neon tetras, cherry barbs, and small dwarf gouramis. And most importantly make sure you’re keeping your dwarf gouramis in groups of 3-4.

Remember to provide hiding places with plants, rocks, and driftwood. Regularly change the water to maintain high water quality. Stay vigilant for signs of disease and promptly address any issues.

Are Dwarf Gouramis Easy To Keep?

If you want colorful and easy-to-care-for fish with lots of personality, Dwarf Gouramis are a great choice. Just make sure their tank is set up right, pick fish that will get along with them, and give them good food. With a little care, you can enjoy these amazing little fish in your aquarium.

First of all, Dwarf Gouramis are low-maintenance fish. You don’t have to do a lot of complicated stuff to keep them happy. Setting up their tank is pretty easy, and they can live in different kinds of water. Just make sure the temperature and pH levels are right for them.

What’s more, Dwarf Gouramis are tough fish. They can handle small changes in the water conditions. Of course, it’s always important to keep the water stable, but these fish are pretty forgiving compared to others that need special care. So, if you’re new to taking care of fish, they’re a good choice to start with.

Another thing to know is that Dwarf Gouramis usually get along with other peaceful fish. They’re not the aggressive type. But it’s important to watch out for fish that might be territorial. So, do some research and pick tank mates that will get along with them.

Also, Dwarf Gouramis eat different kinds of food, so feeding them is easy. They like a mix of good-quality flakes and pellets, and sometimes you can give them treats like brine shrimp or bloodworms. Keeping their diet balanced will help them stay healthy and keep their colors bright.

If you want to know about 15 more great and easy fish to take care of, then you need to read this article!

I asked other fishkeepers there thoughts on keeping Dwarf Gouramis. Here’s what they had to say!

Dwarf Gourami Community Thoughts
NameDwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
Cost$7.99+ Per Fish
OriginSouth East Asia (India, West Bengal, Assam, Bangladesh
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan4-6 Years
Size2-3 Inches
Tank Size10 Gallons
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
KH4-10
GH5-19
DietOmnivores
FeedingFish Flakes, Live Food, Blanched Vegetables
Community Tank Yes
Tank LevelTop-Mid Level
PlantsJava Fern, Anubias, Amazon Sword, Water Sprite, Hornwort
Tank MatesNeon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, Cherry Barbs, Otocinclus Catfish, Kuhli Loaches, Guppies, Swordtails
BreedingEasy
Breeding TypeEgg Layer

Appearance

Dwarf Gouramis are quite eye-catching and have some unique features that make them stand out in the aquarium. They’re known for their vibrant hues, especially the males. They come in a variety of shades, such as orange, electric blue, or even a stunning mix of different colors. And their scales sparkle in the light!

Also, these fish have a sleek body, shaped like a torpedo. This helps them move smoothly through the water. They also have long and beautiful fins that make them look really graceful when they swim.

You’ll also notice that gouramis have stripes running vertically down their side which often contrast perfectly with the main color of their bodies.

On the other hand, the females have a more subtle look. They’re not as bright as the males and don’t have those fancy patterns. But they still have their own beauty with their softer colors and delicate fins.

(As you can see, dwarf gouramis are such colorful fish! Here are some more great colorful fish you should consider in your fish tank!)

Size

Dwarf Gouramis, as the name suggests, are really small. They usually grow to be around 2 to 3 inches long, which makes them really cute!

Their small size helps them move around easily in the water. They’re great swimmers, gliding gracefully from one side of the tank to the other. And because they’re so small, they can live peacefully with other fish without taking up too much space.

And even though they’re small, Dwarf Gouramis have amazing personalities and bright colors. Their vibrant shades can make any tank look lively and colorful.

It’s important to note that the size difference between male and female dwarf gourami is not very noticeable. Both males and females are around the same small size, with just a little variation. So whether you have a boy or a girl Dwarf Gourami, they’ll be equally petite.

Behavior

Dwarf Gouramis are known to be very peaceful. They like to mind their own business and don’t bother other fish. You’ll often see them swimming calmly around, exploring their tank, and taking breaks near plants or decorations.

Another cool behavior of Dwarf Gouramis is how they interact with the water’s surface. They have a special organ called the labyrinth organ that lets them breathe air from above the water. So, sometimes you’ll see them swim up to the surface, take a quick breath, and then go back down.

When it comes to getting along with other fish, Dwarf Gouramis are usually friendly. They don’t start fights and can live happily with other peaceful fish in the same tank. But it’s important to keep an eye on them, especially during mating or if they feel threatened, as they may become a bit territorial.

The male Dwarf Gouramis have some interesting behaviors when they’re trying to impress the females. They might flare their fins, puff out their gills, and show off their bright colors. 

When it’s feeding time, Dwarf Gouramis get really excited. They love to eat and aren’t picky about their food. They’ll happily gobble up flakes, pellets, and even small treats like brine shrimp or bloodworms. They’re not fussy eaters at all!

Dwarf Gourami Lifespan

On average, Dwarf Gouramis live for about 4 to 6 years. But if you give them the right care, some can live for even longer!

A few things can affect how long they live. One important factor is the quality of their home. Keeping their tank clean and maintaining good water quality is key. Make sure to use a proper filter and regularly change the water to keep them healthy.

Their diet is also important. Feeding them nutritious food is essential. Give them high-quality flakes and pellets made for tropical fish, and sometimes treat them with brine shrimp or bloodworms. This balanced diet will help them stay strong and live longer.

Their genetics and individual traits also play a role. Some may have certain health issues, while others are naturally more robust.

Dwarf Gourami Care Sheet

Dwarf Gourami Water Parameters

Let’s discuss the water parameters and tank requirements for Dwarf Gouramis. These little fish have specific needs to thrive in their environment.

NameDwarf Gourami
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
GH5-19
KH4-10
Tank Size10 Gallons

pH

When it comes to the pH level, Dwarf Gouramis prefer a range of 6.0 to 7.5. This means the water should be slightly acidic to neutral. Maintaining the pH within this range helps promote their overall well-being.

Temperature

In terms of temperature, Dwarf Gouramis thrive in water that is kept between 72°F and 82°F. It’s important to provide a stable and suitable temperature within this range to ensure their comfort and health.

Water Hardness

The water hardness range suitable for Dwarf Gouramis is typically around 4 to 10 dGH. This range provides optimal conditions for their well-being and helps support their growth and overall health.

Tank Size

For Dwarf Gouramis, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended. This size gives them plenty of room to swim and do their thing. But if you can provide a larger tank, that’s even better. More space means more freedom for them to explore and less chance of them getting into fights with other fish.

Also, having a spacious tank is beneficial for Dwarf Gouramis because they can exercise and stay healthy. It also allows you to add plants, decorations, and hiding spots, which make the tank look nicer and give the fish more places to hang out.

And remember, Dwarf Gouramis can grow to be around 2 to 3.5 inches long. So, it’s important to choose a tank that can accommodate their size comfortably. This way, they won’t feel cramped and stressed.

What Do Dwarf Gourami Like In The Wild?

In the wild, Dwarf Gouramis live in freshwater streams, rice fields, and shallow lakes in Southeast Asia. These places have lots of plants and provide the fish with places to hide, find shelter, and get food.

One important thing they enjoy in their natural habitat is live plants. They like having aquatic plants like Java moss, Hornwort, and Amazon sword. These plants give them hiding spots and help keep the water clean by absorbing nutrients and giving off oxygen.

Another thing Dwarf Gouramis like is calm water. They don’t like strong currents and prefer slow-moving or still water. You can try to create a similar environment in the aquarium by using a gentle filter or adjusting the water flow.

Water temperature is also important to them. In the wild, they live in warm places, so they’re used to water that’s between 72°F and 82°F. It’s crucial to keep the water temperature within this range to make them comfortable and happy.

How To Setup A Tank For Dwarf Gourami 

Setting up a tank for Dwarf Gouramis is not only exciting but also essential for their well-being. Let’s go through the steps to ensure a smooth and successful setup.

Choose the Right Tank Size

To start, select a tank that provides enough space for your dwarf gourami to swim comfortably and avoid territorial fights. Aim for a tank size of at least 10 gallons or larger.

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Installing a Filter

Next, set up a suitable filter for your tank size. A good filtration system keeps the water clean by removing dirt and harmful substances, ensuring a healthy environment for your gourami.

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Adding a Heater

Maintain the ideal temperature range of 72°F to 82°F by installing a heater in the tank. This helps your dwarf gourami thrive in a tropical-like environment.

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Choosing the Right Substrate

Use fine sand, aquarium soil, or small gravel as the substrate for a natural and comfortable habitat. These types of substrate allow your gourami to dig and explore, and areas for your aquarium plants to grow.

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Adding Plants and Decorations

Enhance your tank’s beauty and provide hiding spots by adding live plants such as Java fern, Anubias, or Amazon sword. Also, decorations like driftwood, rocks, and caves mimic their natural habitat and offer shelter.

Using a Water Conditioner

Ensure the water is safe for your dwarf gourami by treating it with a water conditioner. This removes harmful chemicals like chlorine and prepares the water for your fish.

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Testing the Water Parameters

Regularly test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, and pH. This helps you monitor the water quality and ensure a healthy environment for your dwarf gouramis.

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Providing Appropriate Lighting

Install LED lights in the tank to simulate the natural day-night cycle. Use a timer to ensure your gourami receives 8-10 hours of light per day, preventing excessive algae growth and promoting a healthy environment.

Cycling the Tank

Before adding any fish, establish a stable environment by cycling your tank. This allows beneficial bacteria to grow and break down harmful substances. You can cycle the tank by adding an ammonia source or using a bacterial starter product.

Acclimating Dwarf Gouramis

Once the tank is fully cycled, it’s time to introduce your dwarf gouramis. Acclimate them slowly by floating their bag in the tank to match the water temperature. Gradually add small amounts of aquarium water to the bag, then let them float for another 15-20 minutes.

Lastly, gently release them into their new home. Observe their behavior to ensure they adapt well.

Regular Maintenance

Maintain a regular maintenance routine, including water changes, filter cleaning, and monitoring water parameters. This keeps the tank environment clean and ensures your dwarf gourami’s well-being.

If you’re setting up your fish tank for the first time, make sure you don’t make these 24 beginner mistakes!

Dwarf Gourami Male Vs Female

Let’s talk about the differences between male and female Dwarf Gouramis. Even though they may look similar, there are some noticeable characteristics that set them apart.

Colors

As mentioned earlier, one clear difference between male and female dwarf gouramis is with their colors. Male Dwarf Gouramis are more colorful and vibrant compared to females. They have bright shades of red, blue, or a mix of colors. In contrast, females have paler colors and are not as flashy.

Size

When it comes to size, males are usually a bit bigger than females. It’s not a huge difference, but if you look closely, you can see that males are slightly larger.

Behavior

In terms of behavior, males can be more territorial, especially during mating. They might get aggressive with other males to establish dominance and attract females. Females, on the other hand, are generally more peaceful and less aggressive.

It’s important to keep in mind that these differences become more noticeable as the fish mature. When they’re young, it might be harder to tell them apart based on these characteristics.

Dwarf Gourami Diet

Dwarf Gouramis are not picky eaters. They enjoy a mix of plant-based and small organism-based foods. In the wild, they eat insects, insect larvae, tiny creatures, and algae. 

In your aquarium, you can give them high-quality flake or pellet food made for tropical fish. These foods contain the right balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that Dwarf Gouramis need.

And to add variety to their diet, you can also offer them treats from time to time. Frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms are great choices. These treats are rich in protein and mimic the kind of food they would find in their natural environment.

Dwarf Gouramis also enjoy nibbling on live or floating plants in the tank. So, having some live plants in their habitat gives them extra grazing opportunities and adds to their overall well-being.

It’s important to feed them small amounts of food several times a day, rather than one big meal. This helps prevent overeating and keeps their bellies happy. Also, keep an eye on their eating habits and adjust the amount of food accordingly. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and poor water quality.

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Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates 

Now, let’s go over ten great tank mates for Dwarf Gouramis and why they make good companions:

Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras add vibrant colors and liveliness to the tank. They happily swim with your Dwarf Gouramis, creating an energetic and captivating display.

Neon Tetra Care Sheet

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras, with their graceful movements and shimmering scales, bring elegance and grace to your aquarium. These fish look really lovely as they glide alongside your Dwarf Gouramis.

Harlequin Rasbora Care Sheet

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish work as a cleaning crew, ensuring a tidy tank by scavenging leftover food. They peacefully coexist with Dwarf Gouramis, contributing to a clean and healthy environment.

Common Corydoras Care Sheet

Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs, with their fiery red hues and playfulness, add excitement to your tank. They also interact cheerfully with Dwarf Gouramis, so they’ll be happy together.

Cherry Barb Care Sheet

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish efficiently eat algae, helping to control its growth. These catfish join forces with your Dwarf Gouramis to keep your aquarium clean and maintain good water conditions.

Otocinclus Catfish Care Sheet

Kuhli Loaches

Kuhli Loaches have a unique and intriguing appearance. They love to explore the tank with your Dwarf Gouramis, making your tank even more interesting.

Kuhli loach care sheet

Guppies

Guppies are great beginner fish for many aquarists.They’re small, low-maintenance, and non-aggressive. They bring joy and liveliness to any aquarium, and your Dwarf Gouramis will be happy to have them as tankmates!

Swordtails

With their unique-looking tails, having Swordtails in your tank is always a great idea. These fish are easy to take care of, and despite their name that originated from a weapon, these fish are peaceful!

Swordtails Care Sheet

Ember Tetras

Despite their small size, ember tetras are great additions to any tank because of their active nature and schooling behavior. Their vibrant red-orange colors will look stunning with your Dwarf Gouramis’ beauty.

Ember Tetra Care Sheet

Bristlenose Plecos

With their unique appearance and beneficial cleaning habits, Bristlenose Plecos add an interesting harmony to your aquarium. And because they’re not aggressive fish, they won’t bother your Dwarf Gouramis at all!

Bristlenose Plecos Care Sheet

If you want to know about all the fantastic community fish you can keep with your dwarf gourami, then check out this article!

Dwarf Gourami Plants

Here are five excellent plant options for Dwarf Gouramis and why they make great additions to the aquarium:

Java Fern

Java Fern is a popular and sturdy plant that can thrive in different water conditions. It has broad, green leaves that provide hiding spots and resting places for Dwarf Gouramis. 

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Anubias

Anubias is another tough plant that adapts well to various water conditions. Anubias grows slowly, requiring minimal maintenance. Dwarf Gouramis appreciate the wide leaves as they offer places to rest and explore.

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Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword is a larger plant that makes any tank absolutely beautiful with its long, sword-shaped leaves. As you add this plant to your tank, take not that it needs a nutrient-rich substrate and moderate lighting to thrive.

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Water Sprite

Water Sprite is a versatile and fast-growing plant that adds a delicate touch to the tank. Its light green, feathery leaves create a beautiful contrast in aquarium. Its rapid growth also helps maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients.

Hornwort

Hornwort is a good plant choice for aquariums. It has small leaves that provide cover for Dwarf Gouramis and helps oxygenate the water. It’s also easy to take care of and can provide a natural habitat for small organisms that your fish can eat.

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Dwarf Gourami Breeding

Breeding Dwarf Gouramis can be an exciting and rewarding experience for aquarists. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to breeding these beautiful fish

Tank Setup

Create a separate breeding tank and lower the water level by a few inches. Also, raise the water temperature by a few degrees. These changes simulate the conditions in the wild that encourage Dwarf Gouramis to breed.

Pairing

Next, introduce compatible male and female Dwarf Gouramis into the breeding tank. For best results, find a decent breeding pair. Observe their behavior to ensure they get along. Remove any aggressive tank mates to create a peaceful environment for breeding.

Conditioning

Before breeding, it’s important to condition the pairs. Feed them a varied and nutritious diet, such as live or frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp. This helps prepare them for successful spawning.

Courtship and Spawning

During the courtship and spawning process, the male builds a bubble nest at the water’s surface to attract the female. He displays his colorful fins and tries to impress her. 

When she’s ready, they embrace beneath the nest, and she releases eggs that the male fertilizes. He then carefully collects the eggs in the bubble nest for safekeeping.

Egg and Fry Care

To care for the eggs and fry, maintain stable water conditions in your tank. Keep the water flow gentle to protect the nest. If necessary, you may need to remove the male to prevent him from eating the eggs. 

After 24 to 48 hours, the fry hatch from the eggs. Feed them small food like infusoria or liquid fry food until they grow bigger.

Dwarf Gourami Common Diseases 

These are common illnesses that can affect your Dwarf Gouramis and what you can do to treat them.

DiseaseSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action or Treatment
Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus (DGIV)Lethargy, loss of appetite, faded colorationNo known cure, practice good hygiene and avoid introducing infected fish
Dwarf Gourami Disease (DGD)Loss of color, sores or lesions on body, lethargyIsolate infected fish, no known cure at the moment
Fin RotDeterioration or fraying of fins, redness or inflammationImprove water quality, treat with antibiotics if severe
IchWhite spots on body and fins, flashing behaviorTreat with medication containing formalin or malachite green
Velvet DiseaseYellow or grayish film on body, loss of appetiteTreat with copper-based medication

How Many Dwarf Gourami Can You Keep Together?

To ensure a happy and social environment for Dwarf Gouramis, it’s best to keep a minimum of four of them together. Having a group of at least four of them allows them to interact and establish their own social hierarchy. They feel more secure and comfortable when they have companions of their own kind.

Moreover, it’s important to maintain a balanced gender ratio within the group. For instance, you can have one male and three females. This helps prevent any dominance disputes and reduces the chances of aggressive behavior.

Facts About Dwarf Gourami 

  1. The scientific name for the Dwarf gourami is Trichogaster lalius.
  1. Dwarf Gouramis are some of the smallest of the gourami species, only growing to about 2 inches.
  1. They’re native to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, but they’re now found all over the world in aquariums.
  1. Male dwarf gouramis are more colorful than females, with bright orange bodies and turquoise-blue stripes.
  1. Dwarf gouramis are labyrinth fish, which means they can breathe air directly from the surface of the water.
  1.  Dwarf Gouramis are peaceful fish, but they can be territorial towards other males of their species.
  1. Dwarf gouramis are easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner aquarium enthusiasts.

What Are The Different Types Of Dwarf Gourami?

There are several different types of Dwarf Gourami, each with its unique characteristics and color variations. Here are some common types:

  • Blue Dwarf Gourami: These fish have a vibrant blue body that shines in the daylight. They have reddish-brown lines running vertically on their torsos and similar shades around the edges of their fins.
  • Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami: Similar to the blue variation, these fish have a light blue color. However, the brownish stripes seen in the pure blue version are more prominent in Powder Blue Dwarf Gouramis.
  • Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami: The intensity of blue in this variation is much stronger, giving the fish a striking appearance. The brown stripes are still present but not as noticeable.
  • Flame Dwarf Gourami: These fish have a fiery coloration resembling a strong flame. Their body is reddish-orange, fading near the head, while the merged dorsal fin is a deep, vivid blue. A silver color is often found at the tip of the merged anal fin.
  • Honey Dwarf Gourami: These gouramis have less intense colors. They have a yellow-orange body with transparent dorsal and caudal fins. Some may have a deep brown stripe running through the merged anal fin.
  • Red Dwarf Gourami: Similar to the flame variety, these fish have a reddish-orange body. However, they lack the blue merged dorsal fin and the red color is less sharp, leaning towards a mix of orange and brown.

FAQ

Here are some more frequently asked questions that people have about dwarf gouramis!

Can Dwarf Gouramis Go In A Community Tank?

Dwarf Gouramis can happily live in a tank with other friendly fish. They get along well with peaceful species. However, it’s important to choose tankmates carefully and create a suitable environment for everyone. 

Are Dwarf Gouramis Aggressive?

Dwarf Gouramis are generally calm and friendly. While they may get territorial during breeding or when establishing their space, they’re not typically aggressive. 

Do Dwarf Gouramis Like Light?

Dwarf Gouramis enjoy well-lit tanks, but they also need shaded areas and hiding places. It’s important to provide a balance of light and shade in the tank. 

Can You Keep 1 Dwarf Gourami?

Dwarf Gouramis are social fish and feel more comfortable in groups. While it’s possible to keep a single Dwarf Gourami, they thrive better with companions. 

Conclusion:

Dwarf gouramis are a joy to watch and can provide years of enjoyment. With proper care, they can live for up to five years. If you’re looking for a peaceful and beautiful fish for your aquarium, the dwarf gourami is a great choice.

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!

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