Dwarf gouramis are hardy and popular fish for the home aquarium. They come in a range of colors and can be quite playful, making them a favorite among aquarists. While they are not difficult fish to keep, there are some things you should know before you add them to your tank.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the dwarf gourami and discuss how to care for them. So, if you are thinking about adding these little fish to your tank, read on for some helpful tips.
Tank Size and Water Conditions:
The first thing you should know about caring for dwarf gouramis is that they are large fish, with males reaching around 5 inches in length.
That being said, they have a peaceful temperament and can be kept with other small or medium-sized fish as long as they are introduced to the tank at the same time.
Their peaceful temperament also means that you can keep more than one male in a community tank together, but be aware that they will establish their own territories and may fight each other if they feel threatened.
Dwarf gouramis should not be kept with fish that will bully them or fish that are much larger than them, as these fish will cause the dwarf gourami stress.
As for tank size, you should provide at least 20 gallons of water for each dwarf gourami. Without enough space, they will become territorial and aggressive towards their tank mates.
You should also ensure that your tank offers an environment with a lot of plants, as this will help mimic their natural environment.
Dwarf gouramis can live in a range of water conditions, but it is important that you monitor the pH levels and temperature of your tank to ensure they are suitable for them. Ideally, aim for a pH level between 6.5 and 7.0 and a temperature between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you can, it is also advisable to use a sand or gravel substrate rather than a bare-bottomed tank. This will help keep the pH levels stable and prevent water quality from fluctuating.
Feeding Your Dwarf Gourami:
Dwarf gouramis are omnivores, which means they will eat both meat and plant-based foods. In the wild, their diet consists of crustaceans and algae, but in the tank, you can feed them a variety of different foods to ensure they get all of their essential nutrients.
As with most fish, it is important that you feed your dwarf gourami small amounts of food throughout the day. This will prevent them from overeating and displaying aggressive behavior.
You can feed your gourami a combination of flake food, bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex worms, micro worms, and micro pellets.
At least once per week, you should also include algae wafers in their diet, as these can help keep their teeth trimmed and healthy.
If you notice your dwarf gourami’s eyes growing large or cloudy, it could be a sign that they are struggling to eat. In such cases, it is advisable to feed them live food until their eyes return to normal. This can take up to ten days.
Tank Mates for Dwarf Gouramis:
Dwarf gouramis are generally peaceful fish, so you can keep them with other small or medium-sized community fish. Just be sure to only add one male per tank, as they will become aggressive when spawning.
As mentioned above, dwarf gouramis should not be kept with fish that bully them or are much larger than them. Otherwise, they can be kept in community tanks with other peaceful species such as:
Like dwarf gouramis, glass catfish prefer slow-moving waters and plenty of plants. This makes them a good tank mate for the gourami, as they will not disturb the plants and their smooth bodies mean that there is no risk of nipped fins.
Small schooling fish, such as rasboras, will be a good addition to your dwarf gourami tank as this will help with aggression. Dwarf gouramis can sometimes become aggressive when mating or when competing for food, but having tank mates that school together can help reduce this behavior.
Small to medium-sized loaches are also good tank mates for your dwarf gourami as long as you choose species that are not much larger than them. Popular choices include clown loach and weather loach.
Snails are a good choice for your gourami tank because they will help keep the substrate clean and also provide food for your fish.
All in all, there is no one “perfect” tank mate that you need to add to your dwarf gourami tank. Just focus on choosing fish that won’t bully them or become much larger than them.
If you are set on having a schooling fish tank with dwarf gouramis, make sure that there are at least 5 gallons of water per fish to prevent the possibility of nipped fins.
Dwarf gouramis can be sensitive to changes in pH and temperature, so it is important that you check these levels regularly to ensure they are suitable for your fish.
Tank Mates for Dwarf Gourami Fry:
Like with adult dwarf gouramis, you should only add one male to the tank when breeding as they will become aggressive towards each other.
As always, be sure to monitor the pH levels and temperature of your tank so that they are ideal for the gourami fry.
In a community tank, it is best to add fish that have a similar size and water preference to the newly born fry. Popular choices include:
Other small fish:
When adding other dwarf gouramis or fish of a similar size to your tank, be sure to only add 1-2 new fish at a time so that they can grow accustomed to the tank and tank mates.
You should also include plenty of live plants in your community tank, as this will provide hiding spots for new gourami fry. Popular choices include hornwort, water wisteria, and java fern.
In terms of substrate, dwarf gourami fry can be kept with sand as it is soft and helps with their delicate barbels. However, if you do use gravel make sure that it’s smaller than your fish as this will prevent them from ingesting it.
Once again, we recommend that you keep a spare tank or empty container to separate the male and female when they become aggressive. You can also use this tank to separate your gourami fry so that you can feed them and monitor them without worrying about the adults eating them!