Care Guide for Dwarf Gouramis – Feisty Relative of Betta Fish
Looking for an eye-catching fish that isn’t a betta fish? The dwarf gourami is a very popular alternative because of its vibrant colors, bold personality, and hardiness. Despite the beginner-friendly reputation, it isn’t always the most peaceful community fish, so before you get one, let’s talk about its care requirements when it comes to housing, potential tank mates, food, and breeding.
What are Dwarf Gouramis?
Trichogaster Lalius is a gourami that has a classic shape and two pelvic fins like a whisker. These fins help the fish navigate around 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 adaptation allows it to survive in the oxygen-deficient waters of South Asia, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bangladesh.
What are the different types of dwarf gouramis? The regular variety is already stunning with its shiny, light blue body and red, vertical stripes. 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.
How easy is it to care for dwarf gouramis? This species is resilient and can tolerate a wide range water parameters. With good care and diet, they tend to live about 2-4 years. Many online articles talk about how they are prone to having Iridovirus dwarf gourami disease – a viral infection that is nearly impossible to cure and has a high mortality rate. After many years of purchasing thousands of dwarf gouramis to stock our fish store, this disease has never been seen in person. That being said, we occasionally get batches that have genetic deformities caused by overbreeding, so if you are buying a dwarf gourami at the fish store, just make sure it looks and acts healthy before you bring it home.
Pet shop: Dwarf gouramis
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 are hardy enough to survive in areas that experience sudden flooding from monsoons and can live in pH levels of 6-8, temperatures from 72-82degF (22-28degC), and soft to hard water.
How many dwarf guramis should I keep? Because they are often sold as community fish, there is a lot of conflicting information. Many online sources recommend keeping them together. Most dwarf gouramis in the pet store are males and can be territorial bullies. Expect a lot more squabbling and chasing when you combine them. 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.
What fish can live with dwarf gouramis? Even if you only get one dwarf gourami, they are kind of similar to betta fish where it comes down to the individual’s personality on whether or not it can live in a community tank. 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 happens to have a calmer temperament, try keeping them with peaceful, similar-sized fish like corydoras catfish, tetras, rasboras, loaches, and platies. They tend to not get along with other labyrinth fish (like bettas), but again, it all depends on the individual’s disposition. Like most fish, they will opportunistically snack on anything that can fit in their mouths, like cherry shrimp and baby fish.
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 will eat anything and everything, even if they are trying to eat other fish. You can provide a diverse, omnivorous diet that includes prepared, frozen, frozen, as well as live foods for your gourami to ensure their health and beauty. They enjoy eating fish flakes, floating betta pellets, community pellets, bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and more. Sometimes, they like to eat alga.
How to Breed Dwarf Gouramis
If you have never bred a bubble nester before, dwarf gouramis are relatively easy to reproduce. The main difficulty is locating a female since most stores do not carry them. Males are usually more colorful and have a dorsal fin with a pointy end, whereas females have a dorsal fin that is more rounded. Begin by conditioning the adults with high-quality food. You will need a 10-gallon tank that holds shallow water, between 6-8 inches (15-20cm), and warmer temperatures of 80-82 degrees F (27-28c). A sponge filter with gentle flow is best. To help the male build his bubble nest, add floating plants (such as floating water sprite). 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 built his bubble nest, it will court the female by wrapping himself around him, causing the latter to release a cloud of tiny white sand grains-like eggs. This behavior will be repeated several times until hundreds are released. Each time the male picks up eggs with his mouth, he will spit them out of his bubble nest. The male will chase the female away from the nest, so remove them once they have finished mating. The male will keep the fry safe for a few more days, until they hatch and can swim 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. Baby brine shrimp can be fed to them once they have grown enough.
A couple of powder-blue dwarf gouramis for courting
If you like the look gouramis have and are interested in other peaceful species you could keep, read our article on the Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for your Community Tank.