Why Is My Dwarf Gourami Swimming Up and Down?

Are you having trouble figuring out why your Dwarf Gourami is swimming up and down? You’re not alone! This behavior can be perplexing to many fish owners.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to correct it. Keep reading to learn more!

What is “Swimming Up and Down”?

Dwarf Gouramis are a popular species of fish, in part because they come in such a wide range of colors. We’ve got blue ones, pink ones, yellow ones, and even some with three colors! The most common type you’ll find for sale is the Blue Dwarf Gourami fish.

And one of the most common questions we get from new fish owners is: “Why does my Dwarf Gourami swim up and down?”. This isn’t an easy question to answer, but let’s try!

What Causes a Dwarf Gourami Fish to Swim Up and Down?

There are several reasons why your Dwarf Gourami may be swimming up and down. In some cases, the behavior may not be a problem at all. But it’s important to know what might be going on behind the scenes!

Let’s take a look:

1. Your Aquarium is Too Small

This is one of the most common reasons why your Dwarf Gourami may be swimming up and down. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to end up with a tank that’s too small for your fish.

A lot of people (including me) want to save money on their new fish tank by getting a small one. “It’s just the single fish, right? It will be fine!” I know that I fell into this trap with my first Dwarf Gourami.

But in order to have a happy, healthy Dwarf Gourami, you need to have enough room for them! Even if it’s only 3 gallons, your Dwarf Gourami will need at least 30 gallons to be happy. A fish that’s constantly swimming up and down is a fish that’s stressed out!

2. You’re Using the Wrong Size Tank Filter

The filter you pick for your tank plays a big role in how clean the water is. The more powerful filters are sometimes called “Whisper Filters” because they’re almost silent.

But these filters come with a cost – they can be way too powerful for small tanks! If you choose the wrong filter, it won’t matter how big your tank is. Your fish will still feel like they’re swimming in cloudy water all of the time!

A great example of this is the filter I put on my 20 gallon community tank. It was a hang-on-back type, and it turned out to be too powerful for that sized tank. My Dwarf Gourami would swim up and down all of the time.

I should have realized what was wrong when I first set up my tank and saw how much the water was being disturbed. The filter was NOT appropriate for that tank size!

3. You’re Overfeeding Your Fish

Another common cause of Dwarf Gourami’s swimming up and down is overfeeding. Fish are natural scavengers, which means they’ll eat whatever you give them. But this also means it’s easy to feed your fish too much. If you add a little bit of food each day, your fish will eventually eat it.

However, if you add a little bit of food every hour, they’ll quickly grow fat and unhealthy! That’s one of the reasons why people think their fish has stopped eating – because it’s actually sick from overeating.

If you’re certain that your fish is eating and you’ve ruled out all of the problems above, you may still think it’s swimming up and down due to hunger. Although this is possible, it’s pretty rare.

Don’t worry too much about feeding your Dwarf Gourami every single day. But if they start swimming up and down, you might try feeding them a little less.

4. You Added Too Many Fish at Once

Adding too many new fish to the tank at one time is another common reason for Dwarf Gourami’s swimming up and down. But it leads to a problem that isn’t as obvious as others…

When you add more than a couple of fish at one time, the tank water quality quickly begins to drop. If you make a mistake and don’t realize this has happened, your fish will be at risk of disease.

It’s always better to add new fish one or two at a time instead. This way, you’ll keep the water quality high enough that it doesn’t stress them out – which is why they’re swimming up and down!

5. Your Tank’s Temperature is Too High

One final reason your Dwarf Gourami may be swimming up and down is that the temperature of your tank is too high. This will stress out your fish, causing them to behave strangely. Just like the other causes listed here, a stressed fish will swim up and down more than usual.

One way to check the temperature is with an aquarium thermometer. But this isn’t always accurate – some fish may like different temperatures than others! The best thing you can do is buy a tank heater and set it to 78 or 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If your Dwarf Gourami still acts stressed at this temperature, try one degree at a time until they’re comfortable.

There’s no reason to let your Dwarf Gourami swim up and down any longer! Try the steps listed above to solve their swimming behavior problem. A few minutes of your time can save you hours of cleaning later on!