What Do Gourami Eat? 5 Things to Feed

Gourami is omnivorous, which means that they eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feast on insects, worms, slugs, snails, crustaceans, algae, and other plant life. While the natural diet of gourami may not be something you can duplicate in an aquarium at home due to cost and availability, you can provide a good substitute.

Gourami Diet In The Home Aquarium

The vast majority of pet stores carry food for gourami, but it is important to note that all brands are not created equally. As with any dietary choice for your fish, look for food specially formulated for each specific type of fish you have. Gourami is different from other types of tropical fish, so they should not be fed the same food that you feed guppies or goldfish. Pet stores that specialize in salt-water fish may also carry gourami food.

What To Feed Your Gourami

Gourami food should be a staple of their diet. In addition, you can supplement that food with other natural foods or treats. Insects such as mosquito larvae and baby crickets are good choices. Earthworms are another possibility, but ensure that they have been refrigerated before feeding to your fish so they don’t make your gourami sick by giving them worms that have any parasites.

Gourami Diet And Water Quality

It is important to remember that gourami are very sensitive to water quality issues, so they need a stable environment in which to live and eat. The more stable your gourami’s habitat is, the healthier he will be, including his diet. If you notice that your gourami is eating less and is sluggish, it means you need to step up your game and make sure he is living in a healthy environment.

Gourami Feeding Tips

According to fish experts, most male gourami will eat twice as much as females. This may be because the males require extra food because of the size they reach. If you notice that your gourami is not eating, check his environment for any signs of stress or illness, and be sure to change his water before offering him any food.

Food For Gourami

Cooked Peas

Most gourami love peas. Some people have even reported having success by feeding their fish frozen peas. However, if you go this route make sure to cook them before putting them in the water since raw vegetables can be difficult for fish to digest and could cause health problems.


Gourami enjoys eating cucumbers, which you can buy at the grocery store to feed your fish. Be sure to cut the cucumber into small slices so that it is easier for the gourami to eat. If you decide to try this treat, just remember that it does contain a lot of water, making it a poor option as a staple food.


Some gourami owners feed their fish bloodworms as an occasional treat, as these insects are high in protein and nutrients. Be sure to buy them from a pet store or bait shop rather than trying to catch your own from the backyard pond because those that live in still water can be full of parasites.

Chlorella Algae

Another occasional treat, algae is green like aquatic plants, and some gourami like to eat it. You can buy dried chlorella algae at the pet store for use as a supplement, or grow your own in your fish tank by putting a few teaspoons of granules in a pot and suspending it over the water with some rocks or other items.

Flake And Pellet Foods

Pellets and flake food make up the bulk of most gourami diets, but you can enhance their nutritional intake by changing things up on occasion with some of the suggestions above. Try to include live or frozen foods at least once a week to ensure that your fish are receiving all of the nutrients they need.

The Bottom Line

As is true with any pet, caring for gourami begins by understanding the needs of the animal. No matter what type of food you choose to feed your gourami, be sure it is high quality and healthy for your fish to eat and make sure that you take a natural approach to feeding rather than relying on processed foods. This will improve not only your gourami’s diet but also the condition of his skin and the health of his eyes, giving him everything he needs to live a long and happy life.