Dwarf Gourami Care Guide: Feeding,Breeding Tips

The Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) is a popular freshwater fish known for its vibrant colors and peaceful nature. Native to South Asia, these small, striking fish thrive in well-planted tanks and are perfect for community aquariums

Their manageable size and charming behavior make them ideal for both beginners and experienced aquarists, adding beauty and tranquility to any tank.

Dwarf Gourami fish Overview:

AggressivenessGenerally peaceful, but males can be territorial
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons (37.85 liters)
Life Span4-6 years
DietOmnivorous: Flake food, freeze-dried food, live food, and vegetables
Size2-3.5 inches (5-9 cm)
CompatibilityCompatible with other peaceful fish; avoid aggressive or fin-nipping species
TemperamentPeaceful, social, and curious

Tank Setup for Dwarf Gourami

Creating an ideal tank setup for Dwarf Gourami ensures their health and happiness. Here’s a guide to setting up the perfect environment for these vibrant fish:

Tank Size

  • Minimum Size: 10 gallons for a single Dwarf Gourami.
  • Recommended Size: 20 gallons or larger if housing multiple fish or a community setup.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • pH Level: 6.0-7.5
  • Water Hardness: 4-10 dGH

Filtration and Aeration

  • Filter: Use a gentle filter to avoid strong currents. Sponge filters or canister filters are ideal.
  • Aeration: Moderate aeration is sufficient, as Dwarf Gouramis can breathe atmospheric air due to their labyrinth organ.

Substrate and Decorations

  • Substrate: Fine gravel or sand.
  • Plants: Dense vegetation with live plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword to mimic their natural habitat and provide hiding spots.
  • Decorations: Include driftwood, rocks, and caves for additional hiding places and exploration.


  • Intensity: Moderate lighting to support plant growth and maintain a natural day-night cycle.
  • Duration: 8-10 hours per day.


  • Water Changes: Perform weekly water changes of 25-30% to maintain water quality.
  • Monitoring: Regularly check water parameters and filter function.

Creating a well-planned tank setup for Dwarf Gourami not only enhances their well-being but also allows their vibrant colors and charming behaviors to truly shine in your aquarium.

Breeding Dwarf Gourami

Breeding Dwarf Gourami can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Here’s a guide to help you successfully breed these beautiful fish:

Tank Setup

  • Breeding Tank: Use a separate breeding tank, at least 10 gallons.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain a temperature of 78-82°F (25-28°C), pH between 6.5-7.0, and soft water.
  • Substrate: Bare bottom or fine sand.
  • Plants and Decorations: Provide floating plants like water lettuce or duckweed to create a suitable environment for bubble nest building. Include hiding spots with dense vegetation or artificial caves.

Conditioning the Breeders

  • Selection: Choose healthy, mature fish (6 months or older). Males are more brightly colored and have longer, pointed dorsal fins, while females are rounder and less colorful.
  • Diet: Condition both the male and female with high-quality live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia for 1-2 weeks before breeding.

Breeding Process

  1. Introduce the Pair: Place the conditioned female into the breeding tank first, followed by the male after a few hours or the next day.
  2. Bubble Nest Building: The male will start building a bubble nest at the surface among the floating plants. This may take a few days.
  3. Spawning: Once the nest is built, the male will court the female. When ready, the female will release eggs, and the male will fertilize them and place them in the bubble nest.
  4. Post-Spawning: After spawning, remove the female to prevent the male from becoming aggressive towards her. The male will guard and tend to the nest.

Raising Fry

  1. Hatching: Eggs will hatch in about 24-36 hours. The male will continue to care for the fry until they become free-swimming (approximately 3-5 days after hatching).
  2. Remove the Male: Once the fry are free-swimming, remove the male to prevent him from eating the fry.
  3. Feeding Fry: Start feeding the fry infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food for the first few days. Gradually introduce newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food as they grow.
  4. Water Maintenance: Keep the water clean with regular, gentle water changes, being careful not to disturb the delicate fry.

Suitable Tank Mates for Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gouramis are peaceful and can cohabit with a variety of other fish. Here’s a guide to choosing compatible tank mates:

Ideal Tank Mates

  • Tetras: Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Ember Tetras.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin Rasboras and Chili Rasboras.
  • Corydoras: Any small species of Corydoras catfish.
  • Small Livebearers: Guppies, Platies, and Mollies.
  • Other Gouramis: Sparkling Gourami and Honey Gourami.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: Apistogramma and Bolivian Rams.
  • Loaches: Kuhli Loaches.
  • Shrimp: Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp.
  • Snails: Nerite Snails and Mystery Snails.

Tank Mates to Avoid

  • Aggressive Species: Avoid larger Cichlids, such as Oscars and Jack Dempseys, as they can be aggressive towards Dwarf Gouramis.
  • Fin Nippers: Avoid species like Tiger Barbs and some Tetras known for fin nipping, such as Serpae Tetras.
  • Large Predatory Fish: Avoid fish like Arowanas and large Catfish that might prey on Dwarf Gouramis.

General Tips for Tank Mates

  • Similar Size: Choose fish of a similar size to prevent bullying and stress.
  • Peaceful Nature: Ensure all tank mates are peaceful and non-aggressive.
  • Environment: Provide plenty of hiding spots and vegetation to create a comfortable environment for all inhabitants.
  • Monitor Interactions: Regularly observe interactions between tank mates to ensure 
  • harmony in the aquarium.


Are Dwarf Gourami Friendly?

Yes, Dwarf Gouramis are known for their peaceful and friendly nature. They get along well with other non-aggressive fish, making them ideal for community tanks. However, male Dwarf Gouramis can sometimes be territorial with each other, so it’s best to keep only one male per tank unless the aquarium is large and has plenty of hiding spots.

Do Dwarf Gourami Eat Algae?

Dwarf Gouramis may nibble on algae occasionally, but they are not efficient algae eaters. Their diet should primarily consist of high-quality flake food, pellets, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. For algae control, consider adding dedicated algae-eating species like Nerite Snails or Otocinclus Catfish to your tank.

Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Fish?

Dwarf Gouramis do not typically eat other fish. They are peaceful and generally coexist well with other small, non-aggressive fish. However, they might eat very small fish fry if given the opportunity, so it’s important to consider tank mates carefully.

Can Dwarf Gourami Live with Goldfish?

Dwarf Gouramis are not ideal tank mates for goldfish. Goldfish prefer cooler water temperatures (65-75°F or 18-24°C), while Dwarf Gouramis thrive in warmer waters (72-82°F or 22-28°C). Additionally, goldfish can grow quite large and may inadvertently harm smaller, more delicate fish like Dwarf Gouramis. It’s best to keep them in separate tanks suited to their specific needs.

What is the Smallest Gourami?

The smallest gourami is the Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumila), also known as the Pygmy Gourami. Sparkling Gouramis typically grow to about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length, making them even smaller than Dwarf Gouramis. They are also peaceful and can be kept in small community tanks with similarly sized fish.

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