Honey Gouramis Care Guide – Our Favorite Peaceful Gourami
Looking for a beautiful centerpiece fish that is similar to a betta but isn’t as aggressive and plays well with other tank mates? We recommend the honey gourami. Like bettafish, honey gouramis can be brightly colored. They make bubble nests for their eggs and have a labyrinth system that allows them absorb oxygen directly from air. Find out more about these peaceful nanofish and how to care for them.
What are Honey Gouramis?
Trichogaster chuna comes from India and Bangladesh and is found in slow-moving ponds full of vegetation. Because of the seasonal monsoon rains, its habitat experiences sudden fluctuations in water chemistry, making it a hardy pet that is great for beginners. Like many gouramis, the honey gourami has a flat, oblong-shaped body with two modified ventral fins that act like long, trailing whiskers.
Are honey gouramis the same as dwarf gouramis? The dwarf gourami, Trichogaster lelius, grows to 3 inches (8cm), while the honey gourami stays at 2 inches (5cm) in size. While dwarf gouramis have a greater number of color varieties to choose from, their feisty nature means that they can be more prone to bullying other fish in the aquarium.
The most popular honey gouramis found in fish shops are yellow or gold types.
What types of honey gouramis are there? There are three main kinds: wild type, yellow-gold, and red. The latter is sometimes called “sunset honey gurami”, but this common name is often mistaken for the sunset thick-lipped urami (Trichogaster lebiosa). Thick-lipped gouramis grow up to 3.5-4 inches (9-10 cm), so make sure you are buying the correct species.
Why is my honey-gourami turning black? Although they are mostly solid-colored, the throat and belly of a male can become dark blue-black during a courtship with a female.
How much does honey gouramis usually cost? It all depends on where you live and what color the gourami is.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Honey Gouramis
Honey gouramis can live in a variety of environments, including pH of 6.0 to 8.0, temperatures between 74 and82 degrees F (23 to 28degC) and soft to hard water hardness or GH. A single honey gourami can live in a 5- or 10-gallon tank, but a group of three gouramis would do better in a 20-gallon aquarium.
Honey gouramis live in sluggish waters, so use a filter with slower flow.
Is honey gourami aggressive? Not at all. They are peaceful, social fish that get along well with everyone. In fact, if you have a semi-aggressive fish that establishes itself as the “tank boss,” the honey gourami can become quite shy and start hiding all the time. That being said, honey gouramis sometimes squabble amongst themselves, especially if you have a male defending his territory during breeding periods. We have also seen a dominant female chase away another female during mealtimes, so spread out the fish food and provide lots of cover to minimize any minor quarreling.
Can I keep a honey gourami alone? Both sexes are equally good-natured and can live alone or in a group. They don’t like swimming together and aren’t interested in schooling fish. If you keep a pair of them, make sure they have plenty of room and that one gourami is not dominating the other.
What fish can live with a honey gourami? Their agreeable personalities mean that they get along with similar-sized community fish. Their classic yellow color really stands out in a lushly planted aquarium with schooling fish of a contrasting color, such as green neon tetras or blue neon rasboras (Sundadanio axelrodi ‘blue’). They also do well with bottom dwellers like cory catfish, rosy loaches, and kuhli loaches. We have kept them with a betta fish before, but it only worked out if the betta was not as aggressive so be prepared to separate them if necessary. Finally, although they don’t seem to be interested in adult amano and cherry shrimp, they will eat any babies that they find.
Trichogaster Chuna is a peaceful and easy-going gourami.
What are Honey Gouramis’ Favorite Foods?
In the wild, they eat small bug larvae, crustaceans, and other invertebrates – similar to betta fish. They don’t eat picky foods and will happily eat an omnivore diet consisting of flakes and nano pellets, Repashy food, frozen foods, frozen foods and freeze-dried food. While many labyrinth fish (or anabantoids) like to hang around the middle to top layers of the aquarium, we find that our honey gouramis swim all over the tank and readily eat both floating and sinking foods.
How to Breed Honey Gouramis
Honey gouramis make great fish, especially if you’ve never tried to breed bubble nesters. Because of aggression issues, you don’t have to separate the juveniles from their parents. This is unlike betta fish breeding. There are many methods to breed honeyguramis. The first is to ensure that you have at most one male and one woman. In terms of sex, gouramis are more vibrantly colored than their female counterparts. His throat also turns dark blue-black during courtship.
Male bee honey gourami in breeding gown
We prepared a 10-gallon aquarium with approximately 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) of water, a heater set to 82degF (28degC), and a gentle sponge filter with minimal surface agitation. You can add lots of floating plants such as water sprite or water wisteria to give the male a place to build his bubble nest. Also, many hobbyists recommend sealing the aquarium lid with plastic wrap to increase the humidity and ensure proper labyrinth organ development in the babies.
In the breeding tank, add a male honey gourami and a female honey gourami pair. Feed them lots of frozen food and live foods such as baby brine shrimps to prepare them for spawning. Once the male has made a bubble nest, and courted the female, he will hug the female several times, and then collect the eggs from her mouth and carefully place them in the bubble nest. He will chase down any mother or child who might be in the way of his eggs and guard them fiercely.
Depending on the temperature of the tank, the eggs may hatch after 24-36 hours and the fry become free swimming after another 1-2 days. The father can be removed from the tank once his children have left the bubble nest. Although honey gouramis can lay many eggs, there is a high rate of fry mortality within the first two weeks. The babies are very tiny and require constant access to miniscule foods like infusoria, vinegar eels, and powdered fry food. They should reach the age of 2 weeks and be able to eat baby brine shrimp, which is highly nutritious. Veteran breeders recommend small meals, multiple times per day, and daily water changes to ensure that fry are able to eat enough without having to waste water from rotting leftovers.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy this hardy and colorful beginner fish in a planted aquarium. You might be interested in the world of gouramis. Check out our article on the Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community Tank.