Care Guide for Dwarf Gouramis – Feisty Relative of Betta Fish
Are you looking for an attractive fish that’s not a betta? The dwarf gourami is a very popular alternative because of its vibrant colors, bold personality, and hardiness. It is not always the most peaceful fish in a community, despite its popularity as a beginner-friendly species. Let’s discuss the care requirements for your dwarf gourami, including housing, possible tank mates, food, and breeding.
What are Dwarf Gouramis, and how do they work?
Trichogaster lalius is a gourami with the classic oblong silhouette and two whisker-like pelvic fins that help the fish navigate through obstacles. Growing up to 3 inches (8 cm) long, it is one of the smaller gouramis available in the aquarium hobby and is part of the same family as betta fish and paradise fish. It is similar to the betta fish and a labyrinth fish or anabantoid. It has a lung-like, labyrinth organ that allows it to gulp oxygen from the air. This adaption allows it to live in the shallow, oxygen-deprived waters of South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
What types of dwarf gouramis are there? The regular dwarf variety is stunning with its shiny, blue body and red, vertical strips. The powder-blue dwarf gourami is entirely light blue, with no red stripes. The flame dwarf gourami features a red-orange body and iridescent blue fins.
Is dwarf gourami easy to care? We have found that this species is extremely resilient and can withstand a wide variety of water conditions. They live between 2 and 4 years with good care and a healthy diet. There are many articles online about Iridovirus dwarf Gourami Disease. It is a viral infection that is difficult to treat and can lead to high mortality rates. After many years of purchasing thousands of dwarf gouramis to stock our fish store, this disease has never been seen in person. However, there are rare cases when we get dwarf gouramis from overbreeding. If you do buy one at the fish shop, make sure it looks and feels healthy before you bring it home.
Dwarf gouramis at the pet store
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf gouramis are used to dwelling in slow-moving waterways and ditches that are filled with dense vegetation, so they would appreciate a 10-gallon or larger aquarium with slow flow and live aquarium plants. They can survive in areas where there is frequent flooding by monsoons.
How do I decide how many dwarf gouramis to keep together? They are often sold as a community fish and many online sources suggest keeping them together. In reality, most dwarf gouramis that you see in a pet shop are male and can be territorial bullies. When you put them together, expect a lot of squabbling, chasing, fin nipping, and other damage. Although a group of dwarf gouramis may work well in large tanks where the males have their own space and can find each other, we recommend one as the centerpiece fish for a community tank.
Can dwarf gouramis be kept with fish? They are very similar to betta fish. It all depends on the individual fish’s personality as to whether it can live in community tanks. While some are calm and will not bother others, others can be quite aggressive and attack anyone who crosses their territory. We love female powder blue dwarf gouramis if we can find them. They are peacefulr than males, but still have that same brilliant blue color.
If your dwarf gourami has a calm temperament, you might consider keeping them with other peaceful fish such as corydoras catfish or tetras. Although they can get along with other labyrinth fish like bettas, this is largely dependent on their disposition. As with most fish, they will take advantage of any opportunity to eat anything, such as baby fish or cherry shrimp.
Flame dwarf urami in a planted aquarium
What are Dwarf Gouramis’ Favorite Foods?
Anabantoids usually hang out in the top half of the aquarium, but we find that dwarf gouramis swim at all levels and will go after both sinking and floating foods. They can be aggressive eaters and may chase other fish away. Your gourami will be healthy and happy if they are fed a variety of prepared, frozen, frozen, and live foods. They love fish flakes, floating Betta pellets and community pellets. They sometimes like to pick on algae as well.
How to Breed Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf gouramis can be bred easily if you’ve never tried it before. It is difficult to find a female, since they are not available in most shops. Males tend to be more colorful and have a more pointed dorsal end. Females, on the other hand, have a more round dorsal. Begin by conditioning the adults with high-quality food. Set up a 10-gallon breeding tank with shallow water between 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep and warmer temperatures around 80-82degF (27-28degC). To reduce surface agitation, use a sponge filter that flows gently and add floating plants like floating water sprite to give the male a base to build his bubble nest. Some hobbyists also like to cover the aquarium with plastic cellophane wrap to keep the humidity as high as possible for proper labyrinth organ development in the babies.
Once the male has made his bubble nest, the male will court the female and wrap himself around her, causing her drop tiny white sand-like eggs. They will do this several times until they release hundreds of eggs. The male will grab the eggs with his tongue and throw them out of his bubble nest. Once the pair are done mating, remove the female because the male will relentlessly chase her away as he guards the nest. The male will guard the fry for a few weeks until they hatch and begin swimming freely. The male should be removed so that he doesn’t predate on the females. The baby fish should be given tiny foods, such as vinegar eels, infusoria, and powdered fried food, for the first few weeks. Once they are big enough, switch to feeding baby brine shrimp, which will help them grow fast and healthy.
A pair of dwarf gouramis in powder blue courting
If you like the look of gouramis and want to learn about other peaceful species you can keep, check out our article on the Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community Tank.