What Are Dwarf Gouramis? Diet, Care, Breed, Tank Mates

Dwarf Gouramis are a type of freshwater fish that originate from Southeast Asia. They get their name from their very long, thin bodies (similar to an eel).

Like other gouramis, the males of the species have beautiful colors and they can be kept in schools because they are peaceful. These amazing fish come in a variety of colors including red, black, turquoise and yellow.

Dwarf Gourami Compatibility

Some good tankmates for Dwarf Gouramis include other non-aggressive community fish like Platies, Mollies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Harlequin Rasboras. Keep in mind, however, that Dwarf Gouramis are slower swimmers and they will not do well when kept with very fast-moving fish.

Dwarf Gourami Behavior

Caring for Dwarf Gouramis is easy because they tend to be pretty laidback fish. Some people keep Dwarf Gouramis in smaller tanks by themselves, but they are very peaceful and will do well when kept with other community fish. They may show some aggression towards each other during the breeding season which typically happens around March or April.

Dwarf Gourami Diet

Dwarf Gouramis are omnivores, meaning that they eat both meat and plant matter. You can feed them high-quality flake food, but these fish also enjoy live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms. To keep your Dwarf Gouramis healthy, be sure to give them a variety of different foods in small amounts three times per day.

Dwarf Gourami Breeding

Dwarf Gourami breeding is not too difficult if certain conditions are met. To begin with, you must have a large tank with a lot of covers because Dwarf Gouramis will build bubble nests to hold their eggs.

The male fish also needs to have their own territory in order to feel safe enough to build a nest. Females can be added to a male’s territory after he builds a nest, but it is best to keep them separated for the first few weeks.

Dwarf Gourami Fry

After about 24 hours, the eggs will hatch and you will see several hundred fry hanging from the wall of the bubble nest. In most cases, both parents will care for their young.

It is important not to remove the fry from the tank because Dwarf Gouramis do not usually eat their young. However, you should remove any dead fry from the bottom of the tank so they do not start to rot and pollute your water.

In most cases, feed the newly hatched fry infusoria (protozoa) or brine shrimp that has been finely crushed. After about two weeks, the fry will be big enough to eat newly-hatched guppies.

Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates

Most community fish make good tank mates for Dwarf Gouramis. They are slow swimmers and will not do well when kept with very fast-moving fish. Some good tankmates for Dwarf Gouramis include Platies, Mollies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Harlequin Rasboras.

Tank Size

Dwarf Gouramis grow to be about 4 inches long on average, but they can reach up to 6 inches. They are fine in community tanks of 30 gallons, but they will do best when kept with other non-aggressive fish in larger tanks of 55 gallons or more.

Dwarf Gourami Water Conditions

Dwarf Gouramis are happiest when the water temperature is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should be between 6.5 and 7.8.

Dwarf Gourami Diseases

As with most fish, the biggest problem that Dwarf Gouramis face is Ich, a common disease caused by parasites.

Treating Dwarf Gouramis for Ich usually involves raising the water temperature to 86 degrees Fahrenheit or cycling a tank with live plants.

You should also avoid using medication in the tank because Dwarf Gourami is very sensitive to medications. It is best to treat them in a separate hospital tank with salt or in a pond outside.

Dwarf Gourami Special Care

It is important to keep in mind that Dwarf Gouramis are not as hardy as other fish, so they are not an ideal fish for beginners. Tank water should be clean and well-aerated to keep the Dwarf Gouramis healthy.

Water changes are also important because these fish are sensitive to chlorine, copper sulfate and other chemicals. Be sure to use a good de-chlorinator before adding your Dwarf Gouramis to the tank.

Dwarf Gourami Common Problems

Most Dwarf Gourami diseases are not fatal, but they can be quite frustrating because these fish are sensitive to medications. You should avoid using any type of aquarium salt with them because it will cause problems. If your water is hard, be sure to use a dechlorinator with a neutral pH level.

If your water is soft, it is a good idea to add some aquarium salts or peat to the water to help lower the pH level. You should also avoid adding any type of algaecides or chemicals because Dwarf Gouramis are also sensitive to them.

Dwarf Gourami Water Changes

Dwarf Gouramis are an interesting breed of fish, but they do have certain water requirements. When caring for Dwarf Gouramis, you should try to keep the pH level between 6.5 and 7.8, the water temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the hardness level at about 10 GH.

You should also cycle the water before you add any Dwarf Gouramis to the tank. Cycling the tank means that you use bacteria cultures to purify your water. It can take several weeks for cycling to complete, but it is worth the wait because it will keep your fish healthier.

Also, be sure to do a 25 percent water change at least once a week or more if needed.

Keeping your water clean and well-aerated, it will help keep your Dwarf Gourami healthy.