9 Gouramis for Your Freshwater Aquarium

The following is a list of the most common gourami species I have kept successfully with a brief overview of my experiences and general care. This is not an ultimate list of all the gouramis on the trade, but cover some of the best gouramis one can keep on a tank.

Colisa fasciata (Giant Gourami) – These fish are very peaceful for one of the larger gouramis and grow to about 5 inches. My experience with them is that they are relatively shy for a large gourami.

Colisa lalia (Dwarf Gourami) – Definitely very peaceful buy not shy. They are very colorful and stay small. There have been many new strains being produced in Asia like the “flame” and “powder blue” gourami. Both of them require the same care as the dwarf gourami though it is said the powder blues are more delicate. They are among the first fish to fall victim to aggressive fish like Leporinus or overly feisty Serpae Tetras (Hyphessobrycon c. callistus).

Helostoma temminckii (Kissing Gourami) – Big! They are the biggest type of gourami I have ever kept and also one of the most interesting. They can be slightly aggressive but do no harm to fish like “head and tail light” tetras (Hemigrammus ocellifer) or serpae tetras. They need a pretty big tank.

Macropodus opercularis (Paradise Fish) – Definitely a beautiful fish with many flaming colors. Among the hardiest of fish yet, unfortunately, they have an attitude. They also like their water slightly cooler than most other gouramis. They will do fine with most fish though and thrive in Asian biotope communities with other gourami species, loaches, and danios.

Betta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish) – They are very retiring showy fish. They made one of the most spectacular additions when I had an Asian community. They also did well with a host of other species like angelfish and swordtails etc. They do not like to be in small containers and are brilliant in larger tanks with other fish species to set them off. They like to lie out in the plants and often hunted any small fish that were hatched or born from the other fish in the tank. Read all about Bettas here.

Trichogaster leeri (Pearl Gourami) – This was one of my favorites for its delicate beauty. They reach 5 inches in length and are docile. They are long lived and make an excellent addition for most peaceful communities.

Trichogaster pectoralis (Snakeskin Gourami) – A large species and not very colorful, they are territorial towards their own kind but never attacked any other fishes in the tank.

Trichogaster microlepis (Moonlight Gourami) – One of the most peaceful gouramis. They are very peaceful and relatively shy. The trio I had, actually schooled together despite the fact they were all fully-grown. They are more delicate to ammonia and nitrate/nitrite problems than most other gouramis and sadly I lost two of them in this way despite the fact that no other gourami was negatively affected.

Trichogaster trichopterus (Blue Gourami) – They are peaceful despite countless remarks saying they aren’t. One of my specimens lived up to the ripe old age (for a gourami) of 7 years despite the fact it was the first fish I ever had. It survived countless problems I encountered and always survived! I have kept them with who knows how many other species of fish and my more recent blue gouramis were no different from the last; long-lived and peaceful to others in the tank. I’ve kept these guys with loaches, Corydoras, angelfish, platys, serpae tetras, giant danios, bettas, all the gouramis mentioned above, and head & tail light tetras. “Yellow,” “opaline,” and “cosby” gouramis are all strains of the regular blue gourami and have the same basic temperament.

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