Ideal Gourami pH Level (And How To Maintain It)

Last Updated on 2023-05-24

Gouramis are known to be air breathers. This fish species uses a labyrinth organ, which acts similar to a lung. The organ allows the fish to breathe air when they get to the surface of the water. When you have this fish species in your tank, learning about the most ideal Gourami pH level is important.  

When the pH level is not right, there are some health problems that may occur. Luckily, when the pH level in the tank is not right, a few strategies can be used to bring it back into balance.  

What Is The Ideal pH Level For Gouramis? 

Gouramis are known to be adaptable fish species. The species can easily adapt to various water pH levels and temperatures. This does not mean they do not have a specific pH that they prefer. According to experts, Gouramis generally prefer a pH that falls within the range of 6.8 and 7.8.  

What Happens If The pH Level Is Too High? 

When the pH level in your tank is too high, it may cause your Gouramis to become stressed. This is a common problem that you want to avoid. When looking at avoiding a high pH level with Gouramis, it is important to prioritize the stability of the tank’s water over keeping it neutral.  

Changing the pH level of a Gourami’s water too quickly can cause stress. Gouramis should not be stressed. Some people have found that their Gouramis die when they are stressed too much. 

At the same time, note that a spike in pH levels within the tank’s water can cause long-term health complications in your Gouramis. The high pH level is especially a concern when breeding this fish species. When the pH level is too high, baby Gouramis and younger fish can suffer from health problems. These health issues tend to reduce their lifespan.  

A high pH itself can cause Gouramis to feel stressed in general too. This can cause long-term stress if the pH level is not gradually brought into a neutral range. In turn, you may find that excessive stress leads to your fish dying without any obvious explanation.  

File:Dwarf gourami common color morph.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

What Happens If The pH Level Is Too Low? 

A significant drop in pH levels can also stress your Gouramis out and, in turn, cause them to die.  

You need to constantly test the pH levels. The pH level should not drop too quickly. If this happens, there will be excess stress placed on the fish. This, in turn, causes more complications to develop. Long-term health issues are something that you are sure to face.  

It is generally advised to ensure the pH level never drops below six when you have Gouramis in your tank.  

There are other problems you need to consider with a low pH level. When the pH level is too low, there are too many acids in the water. This can cause your fish to experience burning on their skin. This is especially a concern among younger fish, as their skin will be more sensitive.  

Additionally, if you plan on breeding, note that Gourami eggs cannot survive in a pH level that is five or lower. Water with this pH level will cause the eggs to be killed – which means the eggs will never hatch.  

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How To Lower The pH Level In The Tank? 

Returning pH levels in a tank to a neutral range when the pH is too high can be tough. It is important that this process is done gradually and not too fast. When you lower the pH in the tank too fast, you will cause your Gouramis to feel stressed.  

Stress is not good for any species of fish, including Gouramis. When you put your Gouramis under stress, they may suffer from health problems. This adds expenses to the process of keeping fish in a tank. It also makes the Gouramis more likely to die at an early age.  

There are a few ways to gradually reduce the pH level of your tank. Many of these methods should be done while the fish is out of the tank. When you take your Gouramis out, make sure you add some water from the tank in the container you will keep them. This ensures the fish do not get stressed due to a sudden change in pH levels and water temperature.  

Be sure to test the pH level of the water before you decide to do anything. You should confirm that the pH is higher than eight before you decide to implement a strategy to lower the pH level.  

(Want to know about 13 great gouramis to add to your tank.)

Using Peat Moss 

Peat moss is an effective material to use when you find that the pH level of your tank’s water is too high.  

Peat moss is usually not hard to find. It is dead fibrous material. Peat moss forms when living material, including mosses, decompose. There are also many stores that sell peat moss. If you go to a pet shop that sells fish and related supplies, you might be able to buy peat moss from them too.  

Using peat moss is not as straightforward as adding a few drops of a chemical to your tank. Instead, you will need to filter your tank’s water through the peat moss.  

You can do this manually by hand. An alternative option is to place some of the peat moss at the filter of your tank. The water will circulate through the filter and come into contact with the peat moss. This can help you gradually reduce the pH level. In turn, you avoid causing your fish to stress or experience other problems when they are suddenly exposed to a different pH level.  

Reduce Water Hardness 

Areas, where the water hardness rating is high, tend to have an increased pH level too. Addressing the hardness of the water can be an effective way of also reducing the pH levels at the same time. This essentially means taking out some minerals in the water. In turn, this will make the water softer.  

A water softening system is an effective solution for reducing the hardness of the water. It is found that a water softener does not only reduce hardness but also causes pH to decline.  

Thrichogaster lalius (Colisa Lalia/Dwarf Gourami) | Bernat ...

How To Raise The pH Level In The Tank? 

There are times when the pH level in a tank can be too low. This causes the acidity of the water to increase. When this happens, breeding with Gouramis will be out of the question. The acidity also causes their skin to burn. It can eventually lead to the death of your Gouramis.  

Raising the pH level in your Gourami tank should be done gradually too. This ensures no excess stress is caused due to sudden fluctuation in pH levels. Reaching an ideal Gourami pH level can thus take a few days – but this is generally considered the safer method.  

Add Some Limestone 

A great way to increase the tank’s pH level is to add some limestone. This is a type of carbonate rock. Many limestones consist of skeletal fragments from coral, mollusks, and foraminifera. Aragonite and calcite are the two major minerals found in limestone.  

Adding limestone to your tank can help to increase the pH level of the water. The limestone will slowly release minerals into the water, which means this is a great way to increase the pH level over a longer period of time.  

Use An Air Pump 

Another strategy that can be used is to aerate the water with the use of an air pump. This should be done before you add the water to the tank. Make sure that your Gouramis are not in the tank while you are adding new water – and test the pH level of the water before returning the fish.  

Place water in a separate container. Connect an air pump to the container. The air pump will help to remove any excessive amounts of carbon dioxide that might be found in the water. Carbon dioxide tends to develop when the water has a low pH level.  

When some of the carbon dioxides are eliminated from the water, then the pH may reach closer to a neutral level. Test the pH after using the air pump for a while. You can continue using the air pump until you reach a pH level that is more suitable for your Gouramis. Add the water from the container to the tank once you reach the right pH level.  

Want to know more about gouramis! Here are all the best tank mates you can keep with gouramis!


Gouramis are able to adapt to various situations in the water, but they do prefer a neutral pH. High or low pH levels can cause health problems with Gouramis. Be sure to frequently test the water and take appropriate measures to keep the water at a neutral pH level. This ideal Gourami pH level will help to lengthen their lifespan and reduce health complications.  

If you’ve got other fish such as cardinal tetras, guppies, angelfish, cory catfish, plecos or mollies then you can also find out their ideal pH levels too!

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