Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf Gouramis Care & Facts (Trichogaster lalius – Osphronemidae Family)

If you’re looking for a colourful fish for your freshwater aquarium that’s likely to make your tank stand out from the rest, then you really can’t go too far wrong with a dwarf gourami. A dwarf gourami arrives in a variety of different colours, meaning they are hugely popular with people looking to turn their tanks into real rainbows!

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Blue Dwarf Gourami

There are gouramis of all shapes and sizes, but the dwarf variety tend to be amongst the most popular. What really appeals to people about these gouramis is the fact that they are really easy to look after, and that they have fantastic personalities! If you like your tropical fish to have a bit of bite, but not too much, then you’re going to find these fish a brilliant source of entertainment.

In this guide, we will be taking a look at everything you need to know when it comes to getting started with dwarf gouramis. Who knows – they might just be the perfect pet for you and your freshwater aquarium!

Are dwarf gouramis hard to take care of?

Dwarf gouramis are very easy to take care of, meaning that it’s easy to get their tank setup right and to feed them regularly.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take special care of dwarf gouramis when it comes to what is likely to stress them out. As with many different freshwater fish, the dwarf gourami is likely to be stressed out by a variety of things! This fish, however, is generally pretty shaky when it comes to loud noises, meaning you are going to need to be extremely careful placing your tank near any sources of loud rumbles and the like.

Dwarf gourami are prone to certain diseases, too. For example, they can suffer from DGD, which is unique to the species. This is an infection which doesn’t yet have any kind of cure, meaning that it makes sense to try and keep an eye on the water quality. It’s always important to make sure that all fish you keep have water that’s healthy for them to swim and live in.

It’s also a really good idea to make sure that your dwarf gourami don’t get stuck anywhere. As they can get spooked easily, they may try and trap themselves and be unable to get out. Therefore, always ensure that you are keeping a close eye on them, and that they have plenty of escape routes.

We will take a look at what you need to know about tank setup and size a little further down, too.

What food do they eat?

Dwarf gouramis love to eat insects, though you can feed them on live animals as well as artificial food.

On the whole, these gouramis tend to be avid hunters, meaning that they love the sport of the chase. However, they don’t actually consume everything they hunt down! Therefore, this is always likely to be a great way for your fish to keep themselves happy and entertained.

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On the whole, you should think about looking for flakes if you do want to give them artificial food. As with all fish, it makes sense to look for artificial food that is well-balanced nutritionally, or to mix it with real animals, too. These fish will also enjoy plant life in their diet, meaning that you can really mix things up and keep things varied for them.

Therefore, don’t worry about your gourami being picky eaters. As it stands, they tend to go for absolutely everything. If you really want to make things exciting for them, be sure to give them live food once in a while, as they will love the thrill of it! As always, look for a diverse diet as much as possible.

What size tank do dwarf Gouramis need?

Generally, you should make sure that you keep gouramis in a tank of around 10 gallons in size. This is enough space for two or three fish, though you should also be aware that the general rule of thumb is to add five gallons for every fish.

The bigger the tank, the better. Fish like dwarf gouramis enjoy big tanks as it gives them more to explore! Think how you’d feel if you were cooped up in a tank all day – you’d want some form of variety!

Gouramis, like other fish, will need water changes to take place regularly. It’s thought that you should change their water weekly by at least 25%. If there’s one thing that the gourami is really picky about, it’s dirty water. Again, can you really blame them?

So – the bottom line is, make sure you have a 10 gallon tank that you clean out regularly, and you’ll have fish that would surely thank you for it if they could!

Do dwarf Gouramis need to be in pairs?

Dwarf gouramis are very social creatures, meaning that it’s never a good idea to isolate them.

However, they can be very shy! As with most fish of this nature, they can also get territorial, so it’s not always a good idea to try and group males together. That said, pairing up dwarf gouramis is an absolute must.

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A dwarf gourami that’s left alone with no other tankmates is likely to become very withdrawn. Therefore, it’s a really good idea to make sure they have at least one other fish they can buddy up with.

On the whole, dwarf gouramis work really well in small schools. These fish, as mentioned, will need an extra few gallons per critter, meaning that it’s always a good idea to look for a bigger tank.

Dwarf gouramis are a really good choice if you want to stack your tank with groups of wonderful, colourful fish. Always make sure to get a pair of dwarf gourami, if you can, instead of choosing just one to live on its own.

Are dwarf gouramis aggressive?

No – dwarf gouramis are generally really timid unless they are with their own kind but can get territorial.

It is the males of the species which can get aggressive during breeding season, for example, meaning that it’s worth keeping in mind that you need to keep these fish away from each other at times.

Otherwise, what makes dwarf gourami fish such a great starter pet is that they look fantastic and that they have such a good temperament. Providing you make sure that they can safely socialise, there are no reasons why you won’t be able to cultivate a friendly aquarium with these fish in play.

Therefore, it’s worth looking at other fish of a similar size, temperament, and those which thrive in the same water conditions and balancing. Why not take a look around other guides and see how you get on? Your vet will also likely be able to give you a good lowdown of what to expect, too.

Do dwarf gourami kill other fish?

Dwarf gourami generally won’t kill other fish unless threatened, but you need to be especially careful when it comes to how they get on with one another.

As mentioned, dwarf gourami males can get very aggressive with each other during certain seasons of the year, meaning that you may well have a fight or two on your hands. It is absolutely crucial that you keep a close eye on your fish, as while they can seem gentle and timid on the surface, they know what to do when it comes to defence.

As mentioned, dwarf gourami are really sociable, and for that reason, you are going to need to make sure they have some form of social scene. However, keep in mind that too many male fish is a recipe for disaster, and that is generally the case for other species, too!

How big do dwarf Gouramis get?

Dwarf gouramis can grow to around 4 to 4.5 inches in length.

As you can imagine, this is fairly small for a tank fish! However, despite their name, these fish can outstretch even some of the more common freshwater fish people introduce.

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Dwarf gouramis will never get too large, but it is, again, a really good idea to make sure that you have a tank that’s big enough for them to explore at their leisure. Otherwise, you are going to risk them getting stressed out, scared or bored. The more space, the better!

There are plenty of other freshwater fish which are of a similar size to dwarf gouramis, too, meaning that it shouldn’t be too tricky to set up a community of tropical critters of a similar ilk.

Just make sure that the temperament of other fish are likely to fit in well with gouramis? These tend to be fairly amiable beasts, but it’s their territorial nature which could make things difficult.

Do dwarf Gouramis need live plants?

Dwarf gouramis like plants, though they are not essential to keep in your tank.

That said, introducing live plants into your gourami tank is still a really good idea. As these fish tend to eat absolutely everything, there is nothing wrong with introducing healthy aquatic greens that they can munch on from time to time.

What’s more, as dwarf gouramis tend to be pretty timid, they will also love live plants to drift behind and hide in. It’s always a really good idea to give any fish private spaces and scenes they can retreat to.

Dwarf gouramis are used to plenty of different plant life in the wild, meaning that it’s a good idea generally to try and replicate what they’d normally come across in their natural habitat.

Crystalwort and hornwort, for example, are superb choices for greenery that dwarf gourami can munch on and hide in at their leisure. These tend to grow a bit woolly, mind, meaning you should always make a point of keeping an eye on your green growths, too.

Most dwarf gourami owners will tell you that live plants are a must, meaning while it’s probably not an essential add for your tank, you’ll be making your fish that little bit happier.

Are dwarf Gouramis good beginner fish?

On the whole, yes – dwarf gouramis can make brilliant beginner fish.

However, as with other exotic fish that live in freshwater, these critters are going to need specific care as far as water balance and temperature are concerned, and also in terms of diet.

On the whole, you can pretty much leave a few dwarf gourami to happily live together without there being any kind of issues. However, it pays to be vigilant.

One of the main reasons why people opt for dwarf gouramis at all isn’t just for the bright colours, but also for the fact that compared to some other freshwater fish, they are really easy to keep happy.


Dwarf gouramis are really rewarding little pets which are colourful and cheeky.

They are amazing little hunters and there are likely to be plenty of ways in which you can keep them happy. The water balance for a dwarf gourami isn’t too difficult to maintain. You should be looking for water hardness of up to 20 dGH, with at least 10 dGH as the parameter.

What’s more, you should always make sure that you have a tank water pH of anywhere between 6 and 8. Therefore, a neutral pH is likely to be a good choice.

Dwarf gourami tend to thrive at high temperatures of around 78F, too, meaning you shouldn’t ever feel too bad about keeping them in the heat.

Make sure to keep your dwarf gourami tank clean and to change water out regularly. As with other fish, it’s worth keeping an eye on their happiness and vitality. Dwarf gourami moods are very easy to spot if they are changing – meaning always be prepared to give them something new and interesting to play with and munch on!

The golden rules with gouramis – avoid large male groups, and always, always, go for the bigger tank. More space for your fish means more variety! Put yourself in their scales once in a while!