The blue gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) is a fantastic fish for those starting out in the hobby as it’s easy to care for and quite hardy. However, after reading this you may decide that these fish aren’t as great as they seem!
Here are 9 things you need to know about these fish:
1. They need a lot of space
This is especially true if kept in a community tank as they’re known for being quite territorial and can be very aggressive which often ends up with them ripping each other’s fins!
As such, I wouldn’t recommend keeping them in anything less than a 48″ tank.
2. They don’t like bright tanks!
If you want to keep these fish, avoid keeping them in bright tanks as they’re not the best of swimmers, meaning that if they’re kept in a bright tank with any sort of decent current then they’ll spend their time constantly trying to swim against the current which will make them very unhappy and lead to them wasting away.
3. They’re not fans of water changes
Blue Gouramis like their water quite warm, with an around neutral pH (7.0-7.5 is best). If you keep your tank in this sort of condition then you can avoid regular 50%+ water changes.
4. They’re jumpers
Blue Gouramis are great at hiding, even when you know they’re in a tank… but they’re also fantastic at finding ways to get out too! They can be quite sneaky and may find a way to escape if your tank isn’t fully covered – make sure your lid is secure!
5. They don’t like other fish
Blue Gouramis need to be kept in groups of 5+, but even then they’re likely to pick on any smaller, more passive fish. If you do want to keep them with other small/passive fish, then ensure the tank is suitably decorated so that the gourami can’t move the other fish around and they won’t see each other as a threat.
6. They can be quite fussy eaters
Blue gouramis aren’t the best at coping with missing meals, and if you’re away for a couple of days then it’s likely that your blue gourami will suffer from bloat as a result.
7. They can be awkward to sex
Blue gouramis are extremely difficult to sex as they’re not sexually dimorphic which basically means that despite lots of people claiming that there are sure signs of gender, it’s very hard to tell for certain!
I guess the best way is to buy several young ones and let them grow up together, and see which ones develop a bigger “hump” on their forehead.
8. They’re not the best at breeding
If you want to breed blue gouramis then you’ll have to set your tank up with them due to their dislike of being moved. However, even when done correctly it seems that they only spawn around once a year!
9. They can be fin nippers…
Blue Gouramis can be pretty passive fish, but they do like to pick on their own kind and any fish with long fins (such as bettas). Sometimes these nips can lead to infections, so ensure that your tank is well decorated to reduce this risk.
With all of those facts in mind, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to look after these fish. They’re not as bad as some people make out, but if you keep them then hopefully this article will allow you to avoid any problems! Good luck with your fishkeeping!