Gourami Fish Types and Species

There are numerous different types of Gouramis and this guide goes through 15 of the most popular species. The thing about the Gourami species of fish is there are so many different traits that follow this genus. One species can grow up to to a foot long with lots of aggression while others grow to only a couple of inches. The diversity in this genus is absolutely mind blowing.

Honey Gourami

honey gouramiYou will know the Honey Gourami by its vibrant coloration. It’s bright orange like coloration makes it one of the most popular aquarium fish of the industry. Even though they are among the smallest species of gourami fish, their vibrant appearance makes up.

The Honey species is commonly nicknamed as the Sunburst Gourami, Flame Gourami, and the Honey Flame Gourami. This species is a great addition to any well mannered community tank. They wont show any highly aggression levels and it makes for a great tankmate with livebearers such as mollies, swordtails, & platies. Also kept with other well mannered Gourami species such as the blue gouramis, kissing gouramis, opaline gouramis and so more. Truly a nice fish at heart.

Dwarf Gourami

gouramiWhen compared to other species of Gourami Fish, the Dwarf Gourami is the smallest. It’s average size is anywhere from 2-4 inches (5-10 cm). This particular species of Gourami is from South Asia and has been widely distributed around the world for the two reasons of aquatics and food.

Maybe the most vibrant of all species is this Dwarf species of Gourami. As you can see in the image above, this fish is so vibrant that it’s commonly thought of as a saltwater species. The Neon Dwarf species really makes up for it’s small size with bright orange like colored horizontal stripes.

Blue Gourami (Three Spot)

image blue gouramiThis species of Gourami is called a couple of different nicknames, so there tends to be a little bit of mix up. Some aquarists prefer to call this species the “Three Spot” while others prefer the more convential “Blue Gourami”. It also sometimes referred to as the Opaline Gouarmi which makes things even more confusing for trying to call this fish out by name.

Maybe one of the most vibrant colored of all the species of gourami. This species grows to a descent size too which makes for a really cool tropical fish that adds a lot of color to an aquarium.

Kissing Gourami

kissing gouramiThis species is super popular due to their “kissing actions” that occur. If you have two kissing gouramis in the same tank they will lock lips and make this kissing like fashion. Experts have no idea why they do this but maybe it’s just how they interact.. or maybe a way of communicating..

These fish get pretty large but it takes them a while to grow that big. They are commonly seen in two colors of a whitish pink and a light green. They can get up to 12 inches long so plan on needing a larger tank down the road in the future. They are commonly seen looking for algae to feed on and stay busy doing this all day long! They make for very good tank cleaners.


The species of Gourami aquarium fish are fairly easy to take care of and also have tremendous cosmetic beauty. They can grow anywhere from a couple inches to over a foot in length.

Examples of commonly kept Gourami species are Chocolate gourami, Three spot gourami, Pearl gourami, Croaking gourami , Giant gourami, Dwarf gourami and of course the famous betta fish.

gouramiGouramis belong to the family Osphronemidae and are so called labyrinth fishes. To survive in waters low in oxygen, they swim up to the surface and breathe oxygen directly from the air. This is possible since they have a labyrinth shaped organ capable of utilizing oxygen from the air.

Gouramis come from Asia and are native to a region that stretches from Pakistan and India, over the Malay Archipelago, and into Korea. Since there are so many different Gourami species, it is hard to provide general guidelines that are true for all species. Always research the particular species you are interested in before you get a Gourami. One thing that all Gouramis do have in common is that they hail from warm waters. They should therefore only be kept in tropical aquariums where the temperature stays between 74 and 79 degrees F (24 and 26 degrees C). Most Gouramis appreciate soft and neutral to acidic water, but there are exceptions.

A majority of the Gourami species can be kept on a diet consisting of high-quality dry prepared food for Gouramis. To prevent malnutrition and ensure good health it is recommended to give your Gourami live food once in a while. You can for instance cultivate Brine Shrimp at home or purchase worms. Gouramis must also have plant matter in their diet to thrive and you can for instance give them lettuce and green peas. In a planted aquarium, the Gourami may nibble on the plants, especially if you do not serve it any vegetables.

Temperament, environmental preferences and maximal size varies a lot from species to species, and can also vary significantly between the two sexes. It is therefore important to research your species before you set up a tank and select aquarium companions. Some Gouramis should preferably be kept alone, while others can be mixed with other fish species or other Gouramis.

Just as the name suggests, the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendes) is highly aggressive and two males will fight each other to the death in an aquarium where the weaker part can not give up and swim far, far away. Advanced aquarists have succeeded in keeping two males together, but this requires a really large aquarium and a clever set up with natural boundaries.

If you have a community aquarium, there are several Gourami species available in the aquarium trade which are much more peaceful than the Siamese fighting fish, at least if you combine them with fish of roughly the same size. The aquarium should ideally be quite big and well decorated, since this makes it possible for each Gourami to claim its own territory.

The fact that a fish is commonly called “Gourami” does not mean that it is a true Gourami. Several fish species, such as the Kissing Gourami and the Climbing Gourami, were once believed to be members of the family Osphronemidae, but new research has shown that they are not that closely related to the true Gouramis. The Kissing Gourami is today a member of the family Helostomatidae while the Climbing Gourami belongs to the family Anabantidae.