Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community Tank

Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community tank

Gouramis are a unique freshwater fish, often known for their flat, oval-shaped bodies and whisker-like feeler fins. They are a type anabantoid, or labyrinth fish. Their special labyrinth organ acts as a rudimentary lung, and allows them to breathe oxygen from the water surface, creating bubble nests for their breeding. Gouramis sometimes get a bad reputation for being ornery, so we found our top 5 peaceful gouramis that play nice with other community fish.


1. Female Powder Blue Gourami

One of the most sought-after gouramis that you will see in pet shops is the dwarf gourami (Trichogaster Lalius). Despite their small stature, males can be quite aggressive and bully tank mates. Females are much calmer by nature, but most of them are duller in color. The female powder blue gouramis don’t seem to have any attitude issues and look as gorgeous as their male counterparts. You can keep this 3-inch (7.5 cm) fish by herself or in a group of girls. To contrast with their beautiful blue scales, try adding some orange schooling fish like lambchop rasboras or ember tetras. As with most smaller gouramis, they will eat just about anything a betta fish does, such as floating betta pellets, insect-based granules, and more.

Female gouramis have a more rounded dorsal tip and larger bodies than males.

2. Pearl Gourami

Hailing from southeast Asia, Trichopodus leerii is the largest species on our list that grows up to 5 inches (13 cm) in length. Because of their bigger size, you can keep one in a 29-gallon tank or a group of them in a 55- or 75-gallon aquarium. Their brown body is covered with white dots or “pearls” and has a black horizontal strip running down the sides. Males exhibit a bright, red-orange stomach and throat during courtship. They have modified ventral fins with a longer and thinner length that look like whiskers, which is a distinct advantage over other gouramis. Pearl gouramis do not have to eat a lot and will eat a variety of frozen foods, Hikari Vibra Bites, floating pellets, and other omnivore food options.

Pearl Gouramis are immediately identifiable by their spotted Pearls and long ventral Fins.

3. Chocolate Gourami

You are looking for rarer species to add your collection? Sphaerichthys.osphromenoides is 2.5 inches (6 cm) long and has a dark chocolate-brown body with golden vertical stripes. Although the fish are often wild-caught, they can be fussy eaters at first. They will eat only live and frozen foods. But hobbyists have succeeded in getting them to eat micro pellets and crushed flaflakes. They are found in Indonesia and other areas with low pH and low GH (generally hardness), as well as gentle flow. To truly appreciate these peaceful, laidback gouramis, add lots of live aquarium plants and shaded places to hide so that they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Chocolategouramis may be delicate at first, so give them a calm environment to boost their immunity and health.

4. Sparkling Gourami

Trichopsis Pumila is our smallest species, measuring 1.5 inches (4cm) in length. They are one of the few fish that can make an audible sound that comes from twitching their modified pectoral fins and can be heard “croaking” during sparring or courtship. Sparkling gouramis are bright blue with a body that has a brown, dotted striping and iridescent-blue spangling. These tiny gouramis can be kept alone, in pairs, or with other calm, small fish. You can feed them anything small enough to fit in their mouths, like daphnia, baby brine shrimp, and fine granules.

Sparkling gouramis make excellent micropredators. They will happily eat any seed shrimps, detritus or worms and even hydra that you have in your tank.


5. Honey Gourami

The super peaceful Trichogaster chuna is native to India and Bangladesh, and several color variants have been produced, such as wild type, yellow-gold, and red. Like most gouramis the males are more colorful than their female counterparts. Both sexes are equally friendly and can live in a single pair, couple, or group with other similarly-sized community fish. They really stand out in a lushy planted aquarium with schooling fish of a different color, like green neon tetras. They are fun to breed and are easy to care for. The male constructs a bubble nest that protects the eggs until they hatch. The full care sheet is available.

Honeygouramis are generally solid-colored. However, males may develop a dark blue or black abdomen and throat during breeding.

Honorable Mention: Paradise Fish

Macropodus opercularis is a famous gourami from East Asia and is historically labeled as one of the first tropical freshwater fish kept in a home aquarium (besides pond fish like carp and goldfish). It can grow up to 2.5-3 inches (6-8cm) in length and is available in albino, normal, and solid-blue versions. The “normal” version has a forked tail, striking vertical stripes in blue and red-orange and a striking tail. Paradise fish are extremely hardy and can live in a temperature range from 61-80degF (16-27degC), which means you can keep them in an unheated aquarium of 20 gallons or larger.

Paradise is a variety of nicknames for Paradise, including “paradise Gourami” or “Chinese Fighting Fish.”

This beautiful fish is worthy of an honorable mention because they are semi-aggressive, similar to betta fish. The males love to fight over territory. However, like betta fish, they can be kept in a community tank if given the right tank mates. Avoid adding other anabantoids (e.g., bettas and other gouramis), slow-moving fish, or fish with long fins. We prefer faster schooling fish such as giant danios, barbs, and bottom dwellers like loaches and catfish. If you are interested in a cheap, centerpiece fish with a bold personality, you have to try the paradise gourami.

Is there a fish that you don’t see on the list? Make sure to check out our preferred online fish vendors to see what they have in stock. Enjoy nature daily with these beautiful gouramis swimming in your aquarium.