Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Plants?

Dwarf Gouramis are popular aquarium fish that are known for their peaceful behavior and their love of plants. In fact, many people choose to keep Dwarf Gouramis in their tanks specifically because they enjoy watching the fish interact with the plants.

But do Dwarf Gouramis really eat plants? And if so, what kind of plants do they like to eat? Keep reading to find out!

Dwarf Gouramis and Plants: Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Plants?

First of all, dwarf gouramis ( Colisa lalia ) are actually a species of three fish that tend to be grouped together as one. These three fish include the blue dwarf gourami ( Colisa lalia ), the neon blue dwarf gourami ( Colisa midae ), and the sunset dwarf gourami ( Trichogaster microlepis ).

These fish all share a lot of commonalities, including their preference for heavily planted aquariums and their diets. Dwarf Gouramis are considered omnivores by nature, meaning that they eat both meat and plant matter.

In the wild, these fish eat a wide variety of foods including insects, worms, crustaceans, and leaves from plants.

In their natural environment inside the rivers and lakes of Southeast Asia, there is no real opportunity for them to eat plants (although they aren’t opposed to munching on algae).

However, when you bring these fish into your home and put them in a heavily planted aquarium, they tend to see the plants as an excellent source of food!

Dwarf Gourami Plant Eating Behavior

If you’ve ever seen a Dwarf Gourami in action inside its tank, then you probably know that it isn’t shy about eating any plants that it can reach. In fact, Dwarf Gouramis have been known to eat any type of plant that they can fit their mouths around!

Many people find this behavior frustrating, as they would rather not have the fish eating their expensive plants. Fortunately, there are a few ways around this problem.

The first way is to choose plants that are very difficult for the fish to actually eat. You can do this by choosing plants with hard or tough leaves, a lot of space between leaves, and/or very small leaf structures.

These types of plants will be harder for the Dwarf Gourami to grip onto, so they’ll have a much more difficult time getting into them. Another option is to use potted plants in your tank. These are plants that are kept in pots inside the tank, with their roots hanging out of the pot and into the water.

You can buy pretty much any type of plant you want in this form, making it easier to find plants the fish won’t eat while still giving them something nice to look at (and eat).

Dwarf Gourami Plant Eating Behavior: Possible Problems

Although Dwarf Gouramis are capable of eating most types of plants, this doesn’t mean that they’ll always do it!

In fact, in some cases, you may see your fish nipping on plants without actually cleaning them fully. However, if your Dwarf Gourami is a dedicated plant eater, there can be some serious problems with this behavior.

  • The first problem is that the fish will eat all of the leaves on a given plant and then move on to another one. If left unchecked, this could result in your tank looking completely bare as all of your plants are eaten down to the stems.
  • The second problem is that Dwarf Gouramis aren’t always very thorough when it comes to eating plants! What this means is that they’ll often leave bits of plant matter in the tank, which can lead to cloudiness in your water and problems with your filtration system.
  • Another potential issue is that if the fish eats too many plant leaves, they can actually get sick. This is because the leaves of some types of plants contain toxins that are harmful to fish when they’re in large concentrations.

Fish with Tons of Evolving Issues!

The one problem you should NEVER have with Dwarf Gouramis is overpopulation! If your tank is full of Dwarf Gouramis and you don’t have a large enough space for them, then your fish could become very stressed and aggressive toward each other.

In small numbers, Dwarf Gouramis get along perfectly well with each other and with other types of fish. However, when the tank is overstocked this can lead to problems such as fin-nipping and nipped colors.

For this reason, it’s very important that you only have the recommended number of Dwarf Gouramis in your tank at any given time. This will ensure that they’re all getting along together perfectly well!

Dwarf Gourami Plant Eating Behavior: What to Do

If your Dwarf Gourami is a dedicated plant eater, you can try a few different things in order to make them stop. The first option is to lower the water level in your tank so that there isn’t as much room for the fish to swim around.

Although this may seem like an odd solution, it actually works quite well because it takes away some of the food supply. The fish simply won’t be able to eat as many plants because there’s less room for them in your tank, and they’ll stop eating your plants completely after a few days!

Another option is to get rid of all of your live plants and replace them with plastic or silk plants instead. This will ensure that your fish have no interest in eating your plants because they’ll look completely different!

You could also try moving the Dwarf Gourami to a new tank since it’s possible that they may not like their current set-up. This is probably the best option if you know that there isn’t anything wrong with your tank – it just happens to be unappealing to your fish.


Although Dwarf Gouramis can eat plants, it’s certainly not a good idea to let them have free reign over your tank. This is because they may eliminate all of your plants or leave plant debris in the tank, which can lead to problems down the road.

In order to keep your fish from eating all of their greens, you should limit the number of Dwarf Gouramis in your tank and make sure to only have live plants in there.

In short, Dwarf Gouramis can be great fish but they’re not for everyone. If you do decide to get a Dwarf Gourami, however, make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into!