How to take care of Dwarf gourami Fish?

We will talk about dwarf gourami fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat,types,lifespan,tank set-up,water parameters and healthcare,etc.Everything you need to know about dwarf gourami fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog 

  • Key specifications of dwarf gourami fish
  • Why is dwarf gourami fish care important?
  • How many dwarf gourami fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of dwarf gourami fish
  • Types of dwarf gourami fish
  • Different strains or colors of dwarf gourami fish
  • General and physical attributes of dwarf gourami fish
  • Dwarf gourami fish lifespan
  • Dwarf gourami fish tank set-up
  • Dwarf gourami fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Dwarf gourami fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Dwarf gourami fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Dwarf gourami Fish?

Daily care tips for dwarf gourami fish

  • Make sure they are getting surface air from all sides of the aquarium.
  • Avoid loud noise near their tank.
  • Feed small portions 2-3 times a day.
  • Don’t overfeed them.
  • Leftovers removal should be done everyday using a gravel siphon.
  • Observe their swimming patterns and feeding habits.If they are swimming erratically or not accepting food or just floating either on the surface or bottom of the tank then kindly separate them for some days to a hospital tank until they recover well.
  • Water should be monitored daily.
  • All the vital parameters should be stable in the tanks.
  • Separate aggressive species to another tank if they are harming dwarf gouramis.
  • Aquarium lights should be kept turned on only for 6-8 hours.

Bi-weekly care tips for dwarf gourami fish

  • 25-30 % water replacement should be done weekly.
  • To keep the nitrate levels on check biweekly water replacement is very important.
  • They should have a hungry day once a week.
  • Always quarantine live food supplies for 15 days to avoid infections.
  • Quarantine new fish for two weeks before adding them to the main tank.
  • Tank plants and other decorations should be cleaned every week to avoid infections.
  • Trim tank plants if they are overgrown.
  • Water testing kits should be used weekly to monitor ammonia pollution.
  • Famous for their hunting skills, so provide them food which encourages their skills at least once a week in a tank environment.

Key specifications of  dwarf gourami fish

Scientific name Synonyms Trichogaster laliusTrichopodus laliusColisa laliaPolyacanthus laliusColisa unicolor
HabitatConservation statusSouthasia(freshwater)Least concern 
Lifespan4-6 years
Body sizeBody shapeColorSpecial trait/organSexual dimorphismUpto 3.5 inches (8.8 cm)Compact oval shapeRainbow like colourationLabyrinth organYes 
Another namesFlame gourami
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardness72F-81F6.0-7.54-10 dGH
TemperamentBeginner or experienced Peaceful Both levels
Care levelIntermediate 
Tank size and set-upTank type (Prefered)10 gallonsCommunity tankSmall tank
Preferred plants/decorationsHeavy plantation
CompatibilityPlecos other gouramis 
Number of dwarf gourami fish species found Six species of dwarf gourami(Overall 133 species of gouramis are there)
Male to female ratio
Egg layerBubble nest builder1:3 

Why is dwarf gourami fish care important?

Dwarf gouramis are hardy and undemanding aquarium fish.Being undemanding doesn’t mean they don’t need proper care.Like any other aquarium fish they also need good amount of care to thrive in artificial conditions.

They need care because they are sensitive to poor water conditions, especially organic pollutants like ammonia and nitrite, loud noise and being all alone in a solitary tank.

How many dwarf gourami fish should you start with as a newcomer?

As a newcomer you are recommended to start with 4 dwarf gouramis. They do well in groups and feel more secure with each other.

They take time to adapt in a new aquarium, so don’t get worried if they hide themselves or don’t interact much.

Maintain the male to female ratio to avoid harassment,conflicts and aggression in the tank.You can keep 3 females with one male together.

Habitat of dwarf gourami fish

  • Native -Southasia
  • Distribution- India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Water type- Freshwater
  • Water movement- Slow moving water bodies.

Types of dwarf gourami fish

  • Blue dwarf gourami
  • Powder blue dwarf gourami
  • Neon blue dwarf gourami
  • Flame dwarf gourami
  • Honey dwarf gourami
  • Red dwarf gourami

Different strains or colors of dwarf gourami fish

  • Female dwarf gouramis are silver coloured and males have alternate blue and red stripes arranged diagonally.
  • Pet shops- They come in these strains of colors.
  • Red flame variety
  • Powder blue dwarf variety
  • Turquoise variety
  • Neon variety 

General and physical attributes of dwarf gourami fish

  • Male dwarf gouramis- 3 inches in length
  • Female dwarf gouramis- 2.5 inches in length
  • Dwarf gouramis have a special labyrinth organ which helps them to breathe air from the surface of the water.

Dwarf gourami fish lifespan

Dwarf gourami can live upto 6 years in captivity.Correct aquarium set-up,water replacement routines,feeding habits and maintenance can help them live longer in aquarium settings.

Dwarf gourami fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for dwarf gourami fish

  • Tank size -A ten gallons (45 liters) tank would be sufficient for dwarf gouramis.
  • Additional gallons – Five gallons for each gouramis.
  • A 10 gallon tank can house 3 gouramis.More number of dwarf gouramis require more number of plants in the tank.
  • Don’t use tanks smaller than 10 gallons, it will lead to the accumulation of organic pollutants, which will badly affect their health. 
  • Large tanks are fine but never use small sized tanks, below 10 gallons a big no.Spacious tanks will give ample room to grow various plants in the aquarium.
  • Tank level -Dwarf gouramis occupy middle and top regions of the tank.
  • Keep dwarf gouramis away from noisy places, because they get nervous.
  • Cover the tank with a hood, because they can jump out of the tank if threatened.

Light intensity for dwarf gourami fish 

  • Dwarf gouramis don’t prefer bright lighting.
  • Subdued lighting is sufficient for them.
  • Keep standard aquarium lights turned on for 6-8 hours.

Substrate/decoration for dwarf gourami fish

  • Substrates are not so important in case of dwarf gouramis.
  • But if you’re keeping them with bottom dwellers, you can add a substrate in the tank.
  • Dark substrate can enhance their colouration
  • Dark gravels (small sized) and sand grains (large sized) can be added to their tank.
  • Driftwood and rock works – for hiding
  • Gravel should be cleaned with the help of a gravel siphon to eliminate waste and detritus without disturbing the beneficial bacteria which help in maintaining the water chemistry. 

Water parameters for dwarf gourami fish

  • Dwarf gouramis are sensitive to organic pollutants so you need to cycle the tank before adding them.Nitrates are specially concerning for them.
  • Water flow inside the tank-Slow water movement is preferred. Fast water currents might stress them.
  • Water pH- 6.0-7.5 (soft acidic water, lower pH) and water hardness of 4-10 dGH should be maintained in the tank.
  • Medium powered filters like canister filter or hang-on-back filter can be used to maintain low flow rate and organic pollutants removal.
  • Weekly or biweekly water changes should be done to keep the levels of organic pollutants in check.
  • Water test kits and pH kits can be used to check the water quality.

Temperature for dwarf gourami fish

  • Temperature plays a key role in fish metabolism.So it’s very important to maintain a stable temperature in aquarium settings.
  • Dwarf gouramis come from areas where water is subject to frequent temperature fluctuations, but Sudden dips can stress and kill your fish.
  • Dwarf gouramis can tolerate high temperatures.
  • Optimum temperature- 72F-81F
  • Breeding temperature – 80F-82F
  • Aquarium heaters can be used in colder regions.
  • Make sure the water temperature conditions in the tank are matching the room temperature.This can affect their labyrinth organ.

Tank plants for dwarf gourami fish

Tank plants act as good hiding spots and for building bubble nests during the spawning process.It also protects females from males who are chasing them continuously for breeding purposes.

By planting a mixture of plants on the front, back and middle of the tank,fish can comfortably explore all the levels of the aquarium.

List of tank plants:

  • Floating plants- hornworts,amazon frogbit and duckweed etc
  • Big, broad-leafed plants like bacopa
  • Drifting plants 
  • Stem plants 
  • Rooting plants
  • Tree branches

Tank mates for dwarf gourami fish

Dwarf gouramis get along well with bottom dwellers,small and peaceful fish. Avoid housing large,boisterous and aggressive fish like siamese fighting fish in the tank

Suitable tank mates for dwarf gouramis:

  • Other gouramis (except males)
  • Plecos
  • Tetras
  • Mollies
  • Scavenger catfish
  • Loaches
  • Swordtail fish
  • Rasboras 

Dwarf gourami fish diet and feeding requirements

Dwarf gouramis are not picky eaters and being omnivores they accept plant based, algae based diets and meaty diets whole-heartedly.

They are famous for their hunting skills, so provide them food which encourages their skills at least once a week in a tank environment.

  • Feed them a vitamin and protein enriched diet for their better health.
  • Feeding frequency- They should be fed 2-3 times a day.
  • Make sure you’re feeding small amounts and not overfeeding.
  • Remove uneaten food without fail from the tank to avoid ammonia spikes.
  • Rotate their diets for better results.

List of some of their favorite food:

  • Freeze dried food-Brine shrimp,bloodworms,tubifex
  • Algae based flakes/marimo moss
  • Tropical flakes
  • Vegetable tablets
  • Live food
  • Frozen food
  • Pond snail babies
  • Salt shrimps

Dwarf gourami fish healthcare and health conditions

Dwarf gouramis  are prone to bacterial and parasitic disease.

  • Dwarf gourami iridovirus or dwarf gourami disease- Very serious disease and has no treatments.
  • Some dwarf gourami carry iridovirus especially in singapore aquarium trade, be careful before getting them.Water changes can keep it at bay.
  • Sensitive to loud noise, so keep them away from such areas.
  • Ammonia poisoning-Sensitive to poor water quality.
  • Swim bladder disease-Dwarf gouramis will be seen floating on top, sides of the tank and sink in the bottom.
  • Aphanomyces- Swelling in internal organs


  • Low maintenance hardy aquarium fish.
  • Replicate their original habitat in terms of water movement (slow movement) and plantation (heavy vegetation)
  • Dwarf gouramis are sensitive to loud noise,so keep them in a peaceful place.
  • Dwarf gouramis are social fish and if kept alone they shy away by hiding in the rock structures or tank plants.
  • Recommended for both newcomers and experienced hobbyists.

Frequently asked questions on dwarf gourami fish care

How to care for dwarf gouramis?

  • Tank setup should be done before getting them.
  • Fully cycle the tank- dechlorination.
  • Heater to set the water temperature.
  • pH maintenance.
  • Decoration and plantations.
  • Choose a silent place to keep them.

How do you know if your dwarf gourami is doing well in the aquarium?

  • Dwarf gouramis will swim actively near the surface.
  • Good appetite.
  • Do not hide away all the time.
  • Looks vibrant and colorful.
  • Clear eyes without cloudiness.