Dwarf gouramis are known as some of the most peaceful fish you can keep in your aquarium. One problem though is not all of them stay on the bottom of the tank. It has been reported that this particular species likes to spend its time floating around at the top of the water column.
There are several possible causes for this behavior. The first, and most prominent is the presence of either other fish or plants in sunken decorations which can lead to dwarf gouramis hiding in them. This might be the cause for this behavior but it may also just be because they like spending time at the top of your tank.
Another possible reason is that the dwarf gourami doesn’t have enough room at the bottom of your tank. If you are keeping multiple dwarf gouramis together, they may feel threatened by each other, which will result in them not wanting to be on the same level.
One last cause could be because another fish or plant has died, and a bacterial bloom has begun.
How to Fix the Problem
To fix this problem, you will need to figure out if it is because of any sunken decorations or other fish/plants in your tank. If this is the cause, simply rearrange all of your tank decorations until they are touching the bottom of your aquarium. This will make it so that none of the decorations can be used for hiding.
I have personally never had a problem with dwarves floating around at the top of my tank, however, I did keep them alone in an unfiltered 5-gallon tank. I believe they were very comfortable because there wasn’t anything to hide behind or under and they were very open about swimming around.
Dwarf Gourami Perception of Top Dwellers
In most cases, it is not true that Dwarf gouramis are top dwellers. However, there is a chance that they may occasionally spend time on the top. This behavior has been observed more often in young dwarf gouramis and generally ends as they become adults.
If you are housing young dwarf gouramis with other species, it is not uncommon for them to hide in decorations or even plants at the top of the tank. Once they get older, this behavior will generally stop.
There may be some cases when this does not happen though, and the fish may continue to occasionally float around on the surface. An individual’s perception of top dwelling does not necessarily override scientific fact.