Honey Gourami Fish Guide

You will know the Honey Gourami by its vibrant coloration. It’s bright orange like coloration makes it one of the most popular aquarium fish types in the industry. Even though they are among the smallest species of gourami fish, their vibrant appearance makes up. This particular species of Gourami is one of the smaller ones only averaging around 2 inches in at full growth length.

Nicknames: Flame Gourami, Red Fire Gourami, & Sunburst Gourami

honey gourami

Their natural habitat is usually flooded ditches and water holes. They do hold the power to live within low oxygen water conditions unlike most other fish. Their lungs are setup for them to breath a labyrinth style from the water surface. They are most comfortable in heavy vegetation where they can swim to hide when need be.

Foods and Nutritional Value

The Sunburst Gourami (nickname) is a omnivore and this means they eat both meat and plants. When kept in fish aquariums, count on tropical flake food being the core of their diet but also adding in some alternative meaty fish foods like bloodworms or dried shrimp. They will be more than happy to indulge in meat based fish foods and it adds some good protein to their diet.

Growth Size and Aquarium Size

image honeyThe Honey Gourami grows to around 2 inches long at full size. Even though that seems like a small fish, doesn’t mean they need a small aquarium. This is easy to mix up. Gourami fish in general need space to swim around and it’s almost part of their “health” and lifestyle. I want to stress not to keep these fish in any aquarium smaller than a 20 gallon. I would even go as far to say a 30 gallon aquarium but these are just bare minimum sizes.

It’s easy for me to get frustrated when I see Gourami fish kept in too small of aquariums. These fish truly need more space to swim around than other fish like say.. guppies or tetras. I hear too many stories of gouramis dying on people to not take action and speak some truth here.

Tankmates and Finding Roommates

The Flame Gourami (another nickname) isn’t tough to find tankmate friends to get along with. It’s easy going personality make it an ideal candidate for tons of other fun outgoing species. Some of the most popular fish that come to mind are Molly fish, swordtails, other Gourami species, South American Cichlids, Tetras, and many more. *Note: When housing with other gourami species, try and find the same mannered fish. In this instance, other related species to the Honey species would be the dwarf species, blue opaline and related.

If your having issues with Gourami aggression levels, a great trick to fix it is to add a more aggressive fish. Try to find a fish that could easily over power a Gourami but really wouldn’t actually do it. A great example I use all the time is the Blood Parrot Cichlid. A very happy go lucky cichlid that has some good size to push around but rarely would ever hurt another fish. When in the same tank with Gouramis, they realize they aren’t “in charge” anymore and the aggression levels completely disappear. This does work like a charm!

Water Parameters

Temperatures should be kept between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is tropical climate temps and Gourami fish absolutely need this. Most aquarists find they need an aquarium heater to keep these water temperatures consistent. Figure on needing 5 watts per every single gallon of water to heat when buying an aquarium heater.

Gourami fish are strong survivors when it comes to water parameters. Many aquarium owners find that Gouramis outlive their tank mates when water conditions are sporadic. Great fish for beginners but I still have to urge everyone to study the art of having a well established fish aquarium. Even though these fish are tough, they still deserve the best habitat we can offer them.

Popularity in Aquarium Industry

In general the Gourami species of fish is very popular for middle level aquarists. There is a wide variety of Gourami species that have very different habitat traits. The cost to buy these fish is pretty low too which makes it affordable for almost anyone. I would recommend this fish to anyone looking to own tropical fish that add a beautiful touch of personality to a fish tank.


Have Anything to Say??


Posted by Ashley K: Anyone know much about honey gourami? Our local fish store has some advertised as dwarf honey gourami. I can’t find much of anything online, the ones at the pet store are very small, a bit smaller than a nickel and they’re white bodies with red fins. Very pretty. I’d love to get some but only if they stay decently small.

  • They are known to get up to around 4 inches long.
  • I have some. They are lovely and peaceful and do not get those dreaded gourami diseases.


Posted by Nate: 55 gallon planted tank, sand substrate, 78° Fahrenheit pH 7.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ish. Stock list:

8 neons
1 honey gold gourami
6 glofish
2 corydoras
3 Siamese algae eaters
5 white cloud minnows
The problem is that both of my corydoras (and ONLY my corydoras) have roughed up fins. Should I suspect fin rot, or bullying from the other fish?

  • Finrot, maybe. Post pic. Does the substrate have a lot of mulm? Is there soemthing rough where they can hurt themselves?
  • As for mulm, there is some, but I wouldn’t say a lot. I try to keep the tank pretty clean. Decorations include live plants, a madrona branch and a couple of smooth rocks.
  • I also had mysteirous cory deads.. My 3 year old cories died one by one in about 4 months. Only two remained and then i decided to clean the substrate more and more often, and the two have stayed healthy. Often the cory might hurt itself somewhere else and while passing through mudd it may get some bacterial infection going. But thats my guess.


Posted by Harley T: Is it possible to have a betta in a community tank…? Looking off into the future of wanting a betta and after a sturdy QT wondering how I would place them…

Tank mates would be…
Red eye tetras
Candy cane tetras
BN plecos
Ruby barbs
Honey gourami
Mystery snails never black moor goldfish though

  • There are few hard rules here. It will vary based on betta personality. I’ve seen people succeed at it doing everything that is not suggested, and I’ve seen people follow all the rules and end up with fishy slaughter. Bettas are super unpredictable.
  • I have several in my 75 gal community with swordtails’ patties, Pricilla tetras, and plecos
  • Not with a gourami, same family and more often than not ends up with a dead betta.
  • I’ve had a betta and gourami fight in a community before but I hear that it is uncommon. In my community it was a DG, betta, Cory cats, and serpai tetra.
  • The tetras, barbs, and gourami will be the ones you will most likely have issues with.
  • You can but every betta is different and they should never be put with gouramis and barbs are known fin nippers so not a good idea.
  • Looks like my future betta buddy will get his own tank with a green phantom pleco and a pet rock… Sigh…
  • have a betta with a gourami, just depends on both of their attitudes. I also have them with a German Ram
  • I’ve done it several times, but the last time my Betta and Gourami didn’t get along, posturing, though no actual fighting. The Gourami died three days later, probably due to stress.
  • Bettas + Gouramis = Death, in my experience. I’ve also had problems with Bettas in the same tank as swordtails
  • You’re just rolling the dice with bettas. Some are super peaceful and get along great with other animals, some are vicious little bastards that just want to be alone. I have a weird one…tries killing any other fish, but lives peacefully with a bunch of tasty shrimp (go figure).
  • I’ve had a male in a community before and now I have a couple females in a community but it really depends on the Betta’s personality.

One Comment

  1. Wendy Kailas

    Does anyone know if the Sunburst Gourami is another name for a Flame or Red Fire Gourami or are these three different fish?

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