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 “Blue or 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.

Speak Your Mind!

Posted by Amanda H: My oldest fish, a pearl gourami that was several years old passed away earlier and my five year old betta doesn’t look far behind (super lethargic, not really eating and not being his general grumpy self chasing everyone). So sad and nobody else understands losing your favorite fish.

  • I’m sorry for your loss. Fish might be “just fish” but to keepers like us they are so much more than that.
  • They are so much more. My mom’s boyfriend, also a fish keeper, was like well you can take your tank in a different direction but I don’t want to! I loved those old men lol I do have to think about what I am going to do as a centerpiece though.
  • Perhaps another gourami? An opaline, gold or tri-spot blue? They get a pinch larger than your pearl did, and can be feisty but make for some awesome personality for a 6″ fish.
  • I’m definitely going to look at another gourami. I have 4 guppies left but 2 are fairly old, 2 bn plecos, 11 corydora that better never die (they’re all 5 plus years old), 1 lonely oto that I want to get friends for in a fully planted double filtered 46 gallon bow front.
  • Opaline Gouramis are one of my favorites – only second to Pearls. I’ve kept both and adore them.
  • They’re not as uncommon as Pearls. Petsmart stocks them (and Blues, Golds, and dwarf species too) regularly but each store is different as far as the health of their fish goes. Always be picky with your purchases, never feel like you don’t have a choice in a particular fish. Local privately owned fish stores would probably have them too.
  • I have a YOYO loach that I’ve had for 9 years… And I see that he has slowed down, not feeding like he used to and losing body mass. He’s been quite the character and it will make me so sad to see him die. But I know that I took very good care of him and he has given me lots of joy. He was only 2 inches when I got him and he is at least 6 inches now…lol
  • I cried when I lost my “Gilly” (Gilligan)she was a tough glowlight tetra. We started off with 5 glowlight in a 10 gallon. When the girl at the pet store bagged up the fish and tied off the bag, it slipped out of her hands and came crashing on the floor. The bag didn’t break but in the fall poor Gilly lost a gill flap! We didn’t realize until we got her home and didn’t have high hopes for her, but we kept her and she grew up strong and well out lived most of her tank mates, survived all of our poor tankmate choices as novice keepers, a tank leak and curious cats. She was easily my favorite fish and was devastated when she passed away. I feel your pain 😩😭 RIP fishy.


Posted by Brandy G: Ok Betta keepers – opinions please..how often do you feed your betta? How often do you do water changes? Are you suppose to do anything special for the water? I have fish keeping experience but never a beta. Is there anything specific I should know? The reason I ask – my daughter got a 2.5 gallon betta tank for her birthday (for those of you that are opposed, it’s a huge step up from the half a cup of water the poor thing wasn’t even “swimming” in).

* Directions for the tank say change 25% of the water once a MONTH (oh my gosh). The same brand water sample packet of “betta bowl plus” says 50% weekly (more realistic).
* Betta bowl plus says it contains trace elements specifically formulated for Betta’s. Is this something special required for Betta’s or with the standard water conditioner for aquariums be ok
* directions say to feed a pinch 2-3 times per day. A petco employee told us 2-3 pellets every other day. Thanks!

  • I’ve got 8 males, 4 of them are in 2.5 gallon homes. I change 50% weekly, filters monthly and use bettasafe for the water. They all have heaters, lights and gentle filtration as well as things to hide in and soft plants. I give mine 2 soaked pellets in the morning and 2 at night with a blood worm occasionally. I skip 1 or 2 days a week for feeding.
  • I’ve got one of my females in a 2.5 gallon, I’d like to go bigger, but it is the minimum, so it’s fine for now. And yes, bettas are little piggies. I feed once a day 2-4 pellets depending on the size of the betta. I skip once in a while. As long as your fish is not getting bloated, you’re good. If you’re fish does happen to get bloated, fast for a couple days and try daphnia. Don’t use a pea. Bettas are insectivores and can’t digest peas.
  • I have a betta in a 2.6 so I’m right there with ya. I use just regular water conditioner. I have never used the betta specific stuff. I change 1.5 gallons a week for mine. I keep a snail in there with him but that’s it. I had him in my platy tank for quite awhile but I added a male gourami and he kicked the betta out, so now he flys solo. As far as feeding goes, I feed him 3-4 pellets every 12-14 hours. So i just keep him on a feeding schedule in snyc with turning the light off/on like I do with my other tanks.

Posted by Nick M: I have three angelfish in a 55 with some tetra and corycats. Two of the angels are starting to really go at it. If I take out one of the angels could it go in a tank (75) with three kissing gourami? Chart says yes, but some Google answers say no.

  • Google is great but it’s still mostly people’s opinion and preference stances, there is no true way to know how anything will act towards each other until you just try it, monitor and change back if needed.
  • Take gouramis out and rearrange the tank before adding the angel fish before putting gouramis back in.
    Only thing for sure is if the angel paired up the odds of the other one being mugged to death are high.
  • Wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to what this “boil” looking bump is that just popped up on my dwarf gourami. It is at the corner of his mouth. It doesn’t seem to affect eating or behavior. Water parameters are good. Did a pwc yesterday. Had a Cory cat die last night as well. I think that came from a filter intake clog from shrimp pellets. The water got real smelly real fast. Other than my weekend debacle all is usually very well. I have 1 dwarf gourami and 5 serpae tetras in a 20 tall. Thanks in advance for any input.
  • Hi everyone. Well, I tore down and redid my 50 gallon and am looking for suggestion for stocking options. The tank will eventually house a pair or two of german blue rams. Any suggestions on good tankmates? I would like to get a nice school (approx 12-15) small fish and maybe 1 or 2 larger fish. Here’s what I’m thinking:

    2 or maybe 4 GBR
    1 large angel
    1 large gourami or peaceful to semi-aggressive cichlid
    12-15 sarpae tetras


Posted by Harley B: Hi fishy peoples! Any idea what’s wrong with my Gourami? He’s been very unwell for a few days now, spending his time lying on his side ‘panting.’ It looks like his mouth is rotting away. Every now and then he musters his energy and swims for the surface, then falls back down. No one seems to be bothering him.

  • Has anyone here found that dwarf gouramis and platies just don’t get along? I had a trio of platies and a dwarf gourami in my 29 a few years back and I had to take the platies out because they were bothering thegourami.
  • I have a blue dwarf gourami in a 55g with 30 +/- sunburst platies and some corys and 3 rescued black skirted tetras. Everyone gets along great.
  • So we are now back to perfect water reading results..yay!!!
    I would still like to add a few more fish to get our initialy-non-educated-fish-sex-purchases sorted out. Aka our femalevery pregnant molly is getting harrassed by the two other males.
    We have black mollys. If we get dalmatian or other coloured mollys will the black males pursue them?

    And to confirm…i should stick to a ten percent wc per week? Once a month rinse the white filter in tank water then put back in?
    20g tank with 40g top fin filter. 3 molly 3 platy 2 gourami 7 neon tetras 1 clown pleco 2 snail 3 ghost shrimp

  • Maybe its the ratio?? Idk. I added both a powder blue Gourami and a red dwarf gourami to my tank however I had 7 platies. Everyone gets along great. Even when i was new to hobby and had everyone crammed in a 10g, now they’re in a 30g and everything is still going smooth.
  • I’ve seen this happen at a pet store before as well. Granted at the pet store the gourami wasn’t looking good but I find it really weird that only I’ve had this problem.