Dwarf Gourami, scientifically referred to as Trichogaster lalius, is a colorful freshwater fish that belongs to the Gourami family. This species originates from parts of Asia such as India, West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Assam. They majorly live in thick waters that are heavily vegetated with plant growth. This species is among the most popular freshwater fish. They are very beautiful and therefore do a great work of splashing color into your aquarium.

Besides being beautiful with vibrant colors, this fish species is also easygoing and will need fewer efforts to keep. This makes them likable, and it explains why they are loved by the most aquarist. The Dwarf Gourami is a labyrinth which means that they have to get their oxygen from the surface. They have an organ that resembles the lungs and helps them to take in oxygen. They are mainly found on the top or middle section of your aquarium.

This species is an ideal choice for beginners due to the ease of taking care of. Before even bringing this fish in your tank, you need to have some information regarding the care of the fish, and therefore this guide seeks to give you an overview of what you need to do whenever you have this fish in your tank. Please read;


Scientific NameTrichogaster lalius 
Other NamesPowder  Blue Gourami, Sunset Gourami, Frame Gourami, Rec Gourami
colorBlue, Red, Powder Blue, Frame, Honey, Neon Blue
Size2 to 5 inches
Lifespan4 to 5 years
Tank size10 gallons
Care levelBeginner
Temperature77 to 78.5 degrees F
PH level6.0 to 8.0
CompatibilityCommunity fish


The Dwarf Gourami is peaceful community fish that do not bother other fish in the tank. They thrive best in tanks that are not inviting of aggressiveness and that mostly contain similar-sized fish as long as they share common temperaments. The most compatible tank mates for this species would be bottom dwellers since they themselves dwell in the middle or upper section. This means there will be no conflict at all.

Some of the best tank mates include;

  • Catfish
  • Loaches, Mollies
  • Tetras
  • Swordtail Fish

This fish should also not be put with overactive fish in the same tank since they can easily stress them with the unnecessary aggressive competitive factor, especially during feeding. Always ensure the tank mates are peaceful and there is the right chemistry to avoid completion in the aquarium.


It is important to keep away the notorious fish that can bully this fish. Also, you should never keep them with fin nippers, aggressive fish, and large predators with adorable little fish. Below are some of the unsuitable tank mates for this species;

  • Sharks
  • Barbs
  • Arowanas
  • Oscars


This species is named Dwarf due to the fact that it cannot grow beyond two to five inches. The males are slightly bigger compared to females. Most of the fish have a bright orange-red body and turquoise blue vertical stripes on their fins and tail. Some are powder blue, neon, and rainbow shaded. This species carries many sensitive cells on its thread-like pelvic fins.

While the female Dwarf Gourami has round dorsal fins, the male fish has pointed dorsal fins. The males have more vibrant colors than the females. Also, the male species develops elongated anal and dorsal fins while the females have short circular-shaped fins and tails. There are various types of Dwarf Gourami, and they differ in colors.


This species has different types that vary in shape, colors, and patterns. You will always get a variety of them and it upon you to decide which you will keep n your tank. Below are some of the types;

Blue Dwarf Gourami – This species is dark blue in color and has reddish-brown lines that run on both the sides of its body and fins. The fins, too, have light brownish edging. This fish has large scales that are easy to recognize since they are located close to each other.

Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami – This species has a light blue shaded body and orangish lines on its body; the scales are solid metallic in color.

Honey Dwarf Gourami – This s body has a light honey-orange coloration. The caudal fins are colorless and transparent. On the scales of this species, you will find dark patches.

Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami – This species is neon blue in color. This is the brightest fish in the Gourami family. It has some red stripes that run through the body. Splashes f blue and red color I mixed on its fins.


Under proper care, the Dwarf Gourami can live for up to 4 years. There are several factors that determine the lifespan of this fish species, such as diet, water condition, tank conditions, and the tank mates they will live with. If you do not give them the right diet, quality water, and tank conditions, they will get stressed, and this will significantly shorten their lifespan.


This interesting and vibrant fish originates from Southern Asia. They are mainly found in slow-flowing rivers, ponds, and lakes. Currently, they are found near the rivers of Singapore, Columbia, and the USA. Most of the Dwarf Gourami originates from the streams of Rivers in Northern India and Eastern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This species is among the most popular fish in the River plains of the Asian region. They like living in thickly vegetated water.


Dwarf Gourami will spend most of their time in the middle or upper section of the aquarium, and this is mainly because they have a labyrinth mechanism that enables them to breathe oxygen from the surface. They are also social and schooling species. If the tank has a pair of a male and females, they will be swimming together. The males are very aggressive and territorial, especially when it comes to their females. They will attack any male that comes close to the female.

Despite their territorial behavior, they are a very social species when it comes to interacting with the rest of the fish. They rarely attacks or harass other fish outside their species unless they are provoked. Another outstanding characteristic of these species is their hunting mechanism. Naturally, they are born hunters, and they are popular for hiding in the water shadows and pouncing on the insects that get close to the surface. They are methodical hunters, and this is rare behavior among the species in captivity. You can incorporate their hunting tendencies in their feeding schedule by feeding them on live foods.


Just as discussed earlier, this species loves living in slow-moving rivers, streams, lakes, canals, creeks, and ponds. This should, however, be reciprocated in their tank. These fish can be seen swimming on the upper section of water during the monsoons. They prefer living in natural habitations, and it is adaptable to both cold and warm water. However, there are other factors that you should put into consideration whenever you are setting a tank for the fish.


Just as the name suggests, the Dwarf Gourami is a small fish species that grow to a maximum size of between 2 to 4 inches. This means that they do not need a large space to live comfortably. The ideal size of the tank should be 10 gallons. This will be enough, but as you add other tank mates, you will need to increase the size so as to comfortably accommodate them all.


This species does not like a lot of lighting in their aquarium, and therefore you can keep a dimmed aquarium lamp in the tank and switch it on for 8 to 10 hours every day.


It is the number of aquatic plants that are in the take that determines the intensity of filtration. You can keep a medium-powered filter because this species prefers dwelling on slow-moving water.


The Dwarf Gourami is sensitive to water changes in the tank, and therefore the temperatures should always range within the limit. To ensure that happens, you should always keep monitoring temperatures using a submerged thermometer, and whenever the temperature drops below the range, you can use the heater to warm it.


The substrate is not so important to this species. This is because they dwell on the middle and upper sections of the aquarium. However, they can be kept on sand and gravel without any behavioral changes. If you are planning on keeping tank mates that are bottom dwellers such as Cory Catfish, the ideal substrate is sand.

If you are not planning on having a bottom-dwelling tank companion, then you can consider a substrate that will support the growth of plants. Sand has extremely low nutrient absorption, and therefore root tabs are necessary if you wish to have any plants aside from floating plants. Root tabs are the tablets placed under the substrate below or near the roots of the plants.


Dwarf Gourami loves their natural environments, and that is why it is critical to mimic their natural habitat. You can therefore provide some plants since they love heavily vegetated water. You can add some caves. When adding these decorations, ensure that they do not have sharp edges or rough surfaces since they may end up injuring the fish.

Dwarf Gourami also loves having plenty of hiding places, and you can also include some driftwoods or rocks. It is upon the aquarist to choose the appropriate decoration that they will add to their tank.


When it comes to planting choice, this species is not overly demanding. They prefer stem plants and floating plants, which will provide cover. Below are some of the best choices for the aquarium plants;

  • Java fern
  • Pennywort
  • Frogbit
  • Red Rot Floaters
  • Brazilian Water Weed
  • Rotala
  • Subwassertang
  • Amazon  Sword


Just like human beings, the Dwarf Gourami needs a clean, safe and healthy living environment. Therefore, water being the home of this fish, needs to be kept clean and fresh always. Along with clean and hygiene management, you need to maintain the water parameters for the survival of the fish. There are some of the parameters that you need to always keep on checking out, and they include;


The ideal water temperature in the tank should range between 77 to 78. 5 degrees F, and this should always be maintained within the range. The water should be closely monitored using a thermometer.


The average Ph. level of water in the tank should always be between 6.0 to 8.0. This should be monitored to ensure it is within this range all the time.


The water hardness should range from 10 to 20 Dgh.


This fish is very sensitive, and it can easily get sick from contaminated water. If you need to clean the tank, you can do so by use of a soft cloth and lukewarm water. Ensure that you do not use any soap-based or chemical product since it is very toxic to them. After you have rubbed and washed the tank, wipe the body, corners, and edges of the tank with a white cloth. All the materials, including the decorations, should be cleaned thoroughly before being added into the tank and from time to time.


The Dwarf Gourami are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, and therefore it is important to cycle your tank completely before you can add the fish. Despite the fact that you need to wait for the fish, there is no need to wait in order to add plants or decorations. This is the time to set up your landscape according to your preference before adding fish. Plants are very crucial as they help in absorbing nitrogen compounds such as ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and can carry aa small group of bacteria’s that convert the harmful components into less harmful ones.

This cycling period is very important since it not only gives you ample time to set up your ideal hardscape but also allows you to research everything you need to know about the planned pet. It also allows other types of bacterial to establish and consequently make the tank healthier.


As mentioned earlier, the quality of water is very crucial to the overall health and lifespan of the Dwarf Gourami. It is therefore important to keep changing water from time to time, and this should be done in regular intervals. It is advisable to change about 25 percent of water in the tank every week, and this should be consistent. The new water that you are adding into the tank should meet all the parameters so that it can match with the water inside the tank. Do not change the entire water in the tank at the same time since this will kill the beneficial bacteria in the tank.


Dwarf Gourami is omnivores in nature, and this means they feed on fresh and plant matter. In their natural habitat, these species feed mainly on water-borne crustaceans and small insects that fall on water naturally. They also feed on small amounts of algae and aufwuchs. In captivity, this species is easy to feed since they feed on almost every commercially available food.

As you select the commercial food to buy for this species, it is always good to remember that they are middle to upper section dwellers, and therefore you need to buy floating foods. You can feed this fish on gag bites which are made from fluvial or  Tetramin  Tropical fish flakes. Both these foods are made from high-quality ingredients, and both have a proven track record in the hobby.

Bug bites are made from black soldier larvae, which are rich in protein, and this makes them an especially good food if you are trying to help your fish grow or conditioning them for breeding. The color-enhancing formula also helps this species to stand out. Another popular food that you should feed on your fish is Tetramin flakes food. These foods will float for the longest, and they will always be available for the Dwarf Gourami to feed on them. This food is made from high-quality ingredients, which make it rich in vitamins and minerals.

Besides these commercial foods, you can also feed our fish on live foods. You can add some live, frozen foods to the diet. You should already have some frozen live foods within your freezer so that you can be feeding them regularly. Below are some of the live foods you can feed to the Dwarf Gourami

  • Daphnia
  • Blood worms
  • Cyclops
  • Brine shrimps
  • Mosquito Larvae

You can feed the frozen foods by defrosting a cube or two in a cup of aquarium water, and then you can pour the content back into the tank when the cubes have defrosted.


Just like any other fish, the Dwarf Gourami are better off fed in small quantities several times a day than being fed on one large amount of food at once. By feeding a small amount severally, the fish gets enough time to feed, digest and benefit from more food over the case of the day than they would from a single large meal. You can feed your fish three times a day, and that will be okay.

It’s advisable to feed them on flakes food in the morning, pellets in the afternoon, and then in the evening, you can feed them on live foods. If you have some Dwarf Gourami that is underweight either because it is new or has been spawning, you can increase the number of feeding up to 5 per day.


First, you need to differentiate between a male and female Dwarf Gourami before breeding. This is quite easy since the females tend to be on the gray side of the coloring scale while the males have bigger and more decorative fins, and the colors are brighter throughout their bodies. In terms of size, the males are generally larger. 

 After determining that you have a breeding pair, if you want to trigger the spawning process, it is possible. It is important that the breeding pair be kept in a separate breeding tank so as to ensure that the fries are safe after hatching. You should only put the males and female pair into the tank that you wish to breed, along with some plants and other decors that will give the fish shelter as they breed.

During these periods, the parents to be fish should be fed on live foods mostly rather than pellets for about one week from the day you put them in a separate breeding tank. This will help boost their immunity and make them ready for spawning. First, move the female to the breeding tank, and then after a few hours to a day, move the male into the tank.

The breeding tank should have all the water parameters such as temperatures and ph. Constant as the other community tank. The water should also have a low flow filtration in order to avoid destroying bubble nests. Most of these species are mouthbrooders, which, as the name suggests, means that they brood their eggs in their mouth until they are ready. Other Gourami makes bubble nest in the water until they are ready to hatch.

It is fun and interesting to watch the courtships of his species. The couple will touch their pectoral fins that sort to look like antenna. The male creates a layer of bubble nests where the eggs will be deposited after they have been fertilized. It is easy to notice that there is breeding that is going on when you find out that the male is chasing the female incessantly. The female lays up to 1000 eggs, but the majority of these eggs do not survive.

 After the eggs have been laid, you can return the female to the main tank if possible. The male suddenly becomes overprotective over the nest, and they might end up harming the female if left out in the same tank. The male takes care of the eggs, and in case they fall to the floor of the aquarium, the male will pick them up and return them to the bubble nest. The eggs stay in the nest for about three days before hatching the tiny fries.

At this point, you can now remove the male from the tank also since they might eat the fry. At first, the fry will feed on their York sacs, and then later, they will start to feed on food that you will provide for them. Once they have fed on these sacs, they will now move towards the middle part of the aquarium as they look for more food. You can feed them with small portions of foods such as rotifers and paramecium. After they have been fed this for about a week, you can now feed them on brine shrimp to help them boost their growth.

This species will develop its labyrinth organs between the sixth and eighth week. During this time, they need to have a steady environment.


This species is popular among the aquarist due to two reasons. The first is that it is beautiful and the second is because it is hardy. Despite the fact that it is hardy, it is still prone to some fish diseases, and they need to be protected from them. Some of these diseases include

  • ICH

This mainly occurs in Dwarf and blue Gourami. It appears like a white grain-sized nodule on the skin of the fish. Some of the notable signs include appetite loss, cloudy eyes, the fish becoming inactive, and abnormal breathing patterns.           

There are a few things you can do to deal with this disease, and first, you can increase the water temperature o about 86 degrees F. This water is warm, and this should happen for a short period of time. This temperature should be maintained for about ten days. This can deal with ich permanently, but if it does not, you can increase aeration in the tank as well since this will boost their metabolism, which helps them fight off the ich with increased immune response.


This is a parasitic worm that is common in this species and other freshwater fish. These nasty little worms settle in the body of a fish. They enjoy draining the nutrients, which makes the fish appear weak. If you notice your fish is scraping against the walls, mucus over the gills, rapid respiration, decaying fins, or turning blue and drooping them, your fish might be suffering from this disease.

The ideal way of treating this disease is by partial water changes. You should continue doing these changes until water has been changed completely.


When a fish is suffering from this disease, they swell up ad resembles a pinecone with their scales sticking out away from thin bodies. This disease is caused by fluid being detained within the body of this fish as a result of kidney failure. There is no effective treatment against this disease.


Are Dwarf Gourami Freshwater fish?

Yes, the Dwarf Gourami are freshwater fish that originates from Sothern Asia in regions such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They are mainly found in slow-flowing rivers, ponds, and lakes.

Can Dwarf Gourami Live together?

This species loves living with a school just like other Gourami. Moreover, this species enjoys swimming in pairs. You can keep 3 to 4 Dwarf Gourami together, but you should ensure that you maintain the ratio of males to females. Try to keep a couple of females for every male.


There is a reason why the Dwarf Gourami is among the most popular fish right now. They are beautiful with vibrant colors, and they are also hardy. This makes them the ideal choice for beginners and experienced aquarists. They are peaceful and social, and therefore they interact well and play with others, and it makes viewing full of fun.

It is our hope that this guide has given you extensive information all you need to know about the care and maintenance of Dwarf Gourami. You should now consider adding this fish to your aquarium.

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