If you are passionate about a community aquarium, then varied types of gourami species will definitely have an answer for you. Diverse, colorful, entertaining, challenging, and easy-going, they will keep you engaged.
This discussion covers the family of fish called Osphronemidae, where every species bears distinguished traits and temperaments. With variations in pigmentation, some of them can recognize you and show sensitive behavior.
Their labyrinth organ differentiates them from their underwater counterparts, helping them survive in shallow, muddy water. The mouthbrooding and bubble-nest-building habits of specific species indicate parental feelings, which is not the usual behavior in the fish kingdom.
Natives of Asia, these omnivorous freshwater gouramis are found in multiple sizes, with a leafy or cylindrical shape.
If you are confused about which fish species will suit your fish tank, you should find your perfect match among the different gourami species covered here.
|Adult Size:||4-5 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Trichopodus Leerii|
|Temperament||Peaceful with occasional aggression in males|
Pearl gouramis are a reasonable option for an easy-going fish compatible with other mates in a gourami community tank. Their peculiar color-morph resembling a pearl-like pattern on a brownish-silvery body has earned them the name pearl gourami.
They are clad with one of the most appealing color patterns among all the gourami species. A black line running from the mouth to the tail enhances their beauty. With brighter orange-red coloration, larger bodies, and angular fins, males are easily distinguishable from females. Likewise, you can recognize a female with her rounder fins, paler colors, and plumper body.
These bubble-nest builders originated primarily in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Although they prefer soft, acidic water, they are hardy enough to withstand slight variations in the water condition. Resembling their natural environment, enough vegetation with low lighting in the tank makes them happier.
Pearl gouramis readily accept varieties of food, including live or frozen food, greens and vegetables, and flake food.
They are a peaceful underwater species, except for the occasional aggression in males while breeding. Experts recommend keeping only one male with several females while you pet a school of them.
|Adult Size:||2-4.5 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||10 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Trichogaster Lalius|
One of the smallest in the gourami family, dwarf gouramis come in multiple colors. Considering their different hues and hassle-free maintenance, they have a secure position in the aquarium tradition.
Their different color variations introduce different types of dwarf gouramis. The most popular varieties include striped variants such as Powder Blue, Blue, and Neon Blue Dwarf Gouramis. You will also come across solid-colored variants like Flame or Honey Dwarf Gouramis. The flame dwarf gouramis are solid dark-orange shaded gouramis developing blue-colored fins with silvery heads.
The peaceful and shy bubble-nest builders are suitable for a community tank with other similar-sized calm fish. They school in a ratio of one male and two females.
Native to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, they prefer thickly vegetated waters. They are happy to be away from the noise and bright light.
Dwarf gouramis primarily eat insects, larvae, and algae in their natural habitat. They are a water-spitter for catching their prey. In captivity, you can feed them live, frozen and flake food in tablet size. But check if they are picky eaters.
|Adult Size:||2-2.5 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Sphaerichthys Osphromenoides|
One of the smallest gourami species, chocolate gourami, needs special care and maintenance. Blackwater rainforest peat swamps are their natural habitat in the Malaysian Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.
Adopting chocolate gouramis involves your willingness to accept the challenges in fishkeeping, including checking water parameters, tankmates, diet, and breeding.
Notwithstanding that, they are popular among aquarists. The little dark chocolate-brown forms are decorated with yellowish-golden stirpes. Like most other gourami species, males are relatively larger than females.
They are usually peaceful towards other smaller species. Considering their timid nature, they do well with selective tankmates resembling their sizes, like danios, smaller rasboras, or some loaches. But, checking their aggression, a single-species fish tank is recommended for chocolate gouramis.
They are a shoaling species with small family groups, where outsiders are not often welcome.
One particular characteristic of this species is its maternal mouthbrooding nature, which is not seen in other gourami species.
Soft, acidic water is an inevitable requirement for this species. Improper water parameters make them prone to bacterial or fungal infections. With proper care and maintenance, they are quite a sight to behold.
|Adult Size:||18-28 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||200 Gallons|
|Lifespan:||20 Years on average|
|Scientific name:||Osphronemus Goramy|
Giant gouramis are seen to hold equal significance in both the commercial food fish market as well as the aquarium trade. They are the largest gourami species among the ones seen in the fishkeeping tradition. They are primarily found throughout Southeast Asia. They prefer waters with slow currents.
The young ones of this gourami fish are golden-yellow or cream-colored with several silvery grayish-blue stripes. When the fish matures, the strips fade, leaving only the base color. Sometimes, some fish can even develop a completely black or grayish-brown color when mature, and several appear to be white gouramis.
Blue and orange-red color variations are also available within the species. Artificial coloration is also commonly seen in this species. However, it can be dangerous and painful for the subject fish.
Keeping them as aquarium dwellers can be challenging because of their giant sizes. They come to their full size at four to five years. However, despite their large size, they are usually peaceful toward other fishes of similar sizes. As they are highly active, they have to be provided with enough swimming space.
|Adult Size:||12 Inches|
|Care Level:||Easy to Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||50 Gallons|
|Lifespan:||7 Years on average, and up to 25 years|
|Scientific name:||Helostoma Temminkii|
When you see them swimming, it appears that they are kissing one another or even the rocks at first sight. This kissing-like behavior is the truth behind their names.
The reality behind their kissing behavior is hidden in their territorial behavior. They have protrusible mouths with fine teeth inside, which they use to push one another, which seems like kissing between fishes. This indicates their aggressive nature.
This species primarily comes in two color shades — greenish and pinkish. Usually found variations for the aquarium trade are the pink ones. The silver-green variation is only found in the wild and is not commonly seen in the aquarium trade. Apart from these two variations, a patchy variety is also available in the trend.
These mid-sized freshwater species are dwellers of shallow, thickly-vegetated backwaters with slow currents in their natural habitat. Still, they are skillful swimmers.
Being a popular ornamental fish, caring for and maintaining kissing gouramis is not very hard. But it’s not like a walk in the park. The only thing you need is to maintain stability in their surrounding environment.
|Adult Size:||1.8-2.5 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 Gallons|
|Lifespan:||5 Years on average|
|Scientific name:||Parosphromenus Deissneri|
|Temperament||Usually Peaceful with Slight Aggression|
Here comes a tiny splash of colors within the gourami family. However, they are not very popular in the aquarium trade.
The brilliant coloration of licorice gouramis with multiple hues can make your aquarium vibrant. They share a base silver hue with black vertical stripes, which runs from the head towards the tail. The fins showcase green, blue, and red tinctures. Males are brighter in color compared to females.
Still, it is only during the spawning season that males and females can be clearly distinguished when males display even brighter coloration and females become plumper than males.
They are shy, although males might become aggressive toward other species of similar size and towards their male counterparts. This might happen during the breeding season when they tend to be territorial. However, considering their vulnerability to stress, they must be provided with enough hiding spaces.
Interestingly, these species are nocturnal. Thus, they prefer low lighting. Despite being slow swimmers, they tend to be more active with age. In such a scenario, sufficient swimming space is an ideal addition to a licorice gourami fish tank.
|Adult Size:||6-10 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Trichopodus Pectoralis|
The snake-like color patterns on their body make them snakeskin gourami. One among the larger species of the gourami family, they are commonly found in shallow waters like rice paddies and swamps. They are present in the aquarium trade but are more used for food.
Adorning an olive-colored body and greenish-grey flanks with silvery horizontal stripes makes them beautiful. While young, they carry eye-catching zig-zag lines throughout the whole body. Males are brighter colored and slimmer than females.
While in captivity, they are hardy fish, convenient even for beginners. Just like their maintenance, breeding is also easy with this species. They are known to produce up to 5000 eggs at a time.
As a feeder of aquatic insects and other tiny organisms, this species is known to spit water to catch its prey. They show unbelievable accuracy in it.
Despite being large, they are one of the most peaceful gouramis. Thus, they can make a perfect community fish. However, if you keep them with smaller tankmates, they will mistake them for food.
|Adult Size:||3.5-4 Inches|
|Care Level:||Easy to Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||15 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Trichogaster Labiosa|
Timid, shy, peaceful, and hardy – this species of the Osphronemidae family is a good choice even for beginner fish hobbyists. Having relatively thicker lips than the other gouramis, they came to be known as thick-lipped gouramis.
Being peaceful, they are compatible with a community fish tank. Smaller species similar to their own sizes, such as danios, rasboras, smaller barbs, etc., can be kept together with this species. But fin-nipping species should be avoided as they might harm this smaller gourami species.
These gouramis are voracious eaters, though not picky in this respect. So, you can provide them with a balanced diet with added varieties.
With beautiful color morphs, this species has been widely popular in the aquarium trade. While males are clad in an orange-brown color with powder-blue horizontal stripes, females come in an olive-brown coloration with paler blue stripes. With iridescent body colors, the turquoise-blue fins with red or orange edges are striking. While males have pointed fins, females have rounded fins.
As for breeding, they are bubble-nest builders like many other gourami species. Breeding thick-lipped gouramis are easy. They are often crossbred with other species, like dwarf gouramis, to get even more color varieties.
|Adult Size:||2-2.8 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||15 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Trichopsis Vittata|
These tiny gourami fish have a relatively shorter lifespan. Native to the still water habitats in Southeast Asia, they have their presence globally through the aquarium trade. They display timid behavior with a peaceful temperament. This makes them an appropriate community fish. However, as with other gourami species, males can be territorial, showing aggressive behavior during breeding.
While considering their name, you should know that this species can produce a sound with their pectoral fins, which seems like a croaking sound. You will often hear this sound during their breeding time.
With similar patterns of black or red-spotted fins, they show a high variation in their shades. The coloration varies, including light brown, green, or dark purple. Besides, their edges reflect a vibrant blue hue, where their eyes look at you through bright blue or purple irises. Several black or brown stripes are also prominent on their bodies.
Considering their temperament, it is vital to provide croaking gouramis with sufficient hiding spaces. Otherwise, they might develop stress.
|Adult Size:||2-4 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 Gallons|
|Lifespan:||Up to 8 Years|
|Scientific name:||Macropodus Opercularis|
Also known as paradise fish, paradise gouramis can make the lives of their tankmates like hell. These gouramis are highly aggressive, and this species is difficult to control. Hence, before having a paradise fish, it is necessary to know its behavior and temperament.
If you look for paradise in them beyond their aggressive nature, it is their beauty. They can efficiently heighten the aesthetics of your home aquarium. They come in different color varieties. With an orange caudal fin, you will find red, blue, and sometimes silver horizontal stripes all over the body. However, the striped pattern does not cover the fins.
They are temperamental fish, so their tankmates should be chosen carefully in a community tank. The males should be kept away from other males since they become combative. On the other hand, keeping with larger species will stress a paradise fish, making it retreat to hiding places. The reason is that they need to dominate over others in the tank.
Another way to lessen their stress level is to imitate their natural environment. A sandy substrate with enough hiding places with plants and rocks will do in this respect.
|Adult Size:||1.8-2.2 Inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20-30 Gallons|
|Scientific name:||Sphaerichthys Vaillanti|
|Temperament||Timid and Peaceful|
Another tiny gourami species, samurai gouramis, are an eye-catching phenomenon. Apart from being extremely beautiful, they are overly shy.
Unlike many other fish species, females of this species come in brighter colors than males. Male vs. female differentiation is impossible in juveniles, as they display a light brown hue when young.
But, once they mature, females appear to be bright green in color with dark red and green stripes towards the sides and a red tail. Males take on a light gray and brownish shade. They appear to have a rounder mouth, whereas females develop a pointed mouth. However, during courtship, males also get brighter.
This species is sensitive toward its surroundings and has specific care requirements. A dimly lit tank with enough hiding places with a thick plantation is perfect for them. Plus, they require acidic water with high temperatures. With the stellar conditioning of the tank, they are not hard to take care of.
Samurai gouramis are rare in the wild and in the aquarium trade too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can different types of gourami breed?
Certain gourami breeds, such as dwarf gouramis and thick-lipped gouramis, are sometimes crossbred with other species. But, this does not apply to each gourami species.
Can you have multiple types of gourami together?
You can have various types of gourami together in a community tank according to their temperament. They will get along well if they are peaceful and resemble in size.
Can you put gouramis with angelfish?
Not all, but certain specific types of gouramis, like dwarf gouramis, can be kept with angelfish, as they share similar habitat requirements and are of similar sizes. The temperament of the two species should also match.
Can you put a male and female paradise gourami together?
If you keep a male and female paradise gourami together, it is essential to have proper shelter for the female within the tank. If your male is ready for breeding and the female is not, keep her away from the breeder male. Otherwise, the male might seriously harm her and even kill her.
Can gouramis be with mollies?
Since mollies are hardy and require similar tank conditions like gouramis, the two species can be kept together.
The variegated color patterns of ornamental fish have been enchanting humans for ages. This is the reason that gouramis have often been the choice of aquarists.
Most of the time, they swim in the middle or surface of the water level. They come to the surface to gulp oxygen from the air because they are anabantoids. Since they need space on the water’s surface, too many floating plants should be avoided.
Enjoy parenting this fish family with the detailed guide at your service.
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