Care Guide for Honey Gouramis – Our Favorite Peaceful Gourami
Looking for a beautiful centerpiece fish that is similar to a betta but isn’t as aggressive and plays well with other tank mates? The honey gourami is a great choice. Like bettafish, honey gouramis can be brightly colored. They make bubble nests for their eggs and have a labyrinth system that allows them absorb oxygen directly from air. This peaceful nano fish is easy to care for.
What are Honey Gouramis?
Trichogaster Chuna is a Trichogaster from India and Bangladesh. It can be found in slow-moving, lush ponds. The habitat is subject to sudden fluctuations in water chemical, which makes it a tough pet and great for beginners. Honey gouramis are similar to many other gouramis. They have a flat, oval-shaped body and two modified ventral Fins that act as long, trailing, whiskers.
Are honey gouramis the same as dwarf gouramis? The dwarf gourami, Trichogaster lelius, grows to 3 inches (8cm), while the honey gourami stays at 2 inches (5cm) in size. While dwarf gouramis have a greater number of color varieties to choose from, their feisty nature means that they can be more prone to bullying other fish in the aquarium.
The most popular honey gouramis found in fish shops are yellow or gold types.
What kinds of honey gouramis do you have? Red, yellow gold and wild are the most popular. Sometimes the latter type is called “sunset honey gourami,” but that common name is often confused with the sunset thick-lipped gourami (Trichogaster labiosa). Thick-lipped Gouramis can reach 3.5-4 inches (9-10 cm), so ensure you’re buying the right species.
Why are my honey gouramis turning black? While they are mostly solid-colored. However, the throat or belly of a male gourami may turn dark blue-black when he is attempting to court a woman.
How much are honey gouramis worth? Prices vary depending on where they’re located and the type of gourami.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Honey Gouramis
Honey gouramis, as mentioned, can survive in a wide variety of environments. They are accustomed to temperatures between 74-82degF (23-30degC), pH of 6.0-8.0, and hard to soft water hardness (or GH). A single honey gourami can live in a 5- or 10-gallon tank, but a group of three gouramis would do better in a 20-gallon aquarium.
Honeygouramis prefer slow flowing water so filter your water with a slower flow.
Are honey gouramis aggressive? No, they are considered to be peaceful community fish that get along with everyone. In fact, if you have a semi-aggressive fish that establishes itself as the “tank boss,” the honey gourami can become quite shy and start hiding all the time. That being said, honey gouramis sometimes squabble amongst themselves, especially if you have a male defending his territory during breeding periods. We’ve also witnessed a dominant female chase another female during mealtimes. To minimize minor quarreling, spread out the fish food and provide plenty of cover.
Can I keep a honey gourami all by myself? Both sexes can live together or separately. They are not schooling fish and do not tend to swim together if they are comfortable with their surroundings. If you keep a pair of them, make sure they have plenty of room and that one gourami is not dominating the other.
How can a honey gourami fish live with another fish? Their friendly personalities make it easy for them to get along with smaller fish in their community. Their classic yellow color really stands out in a lushly planted aquarium with schooling fish of a contrasting color, such as green neon tetras or blue neon rasboras (Sundadanio axelrodi ‘blue’). They can also be kept with bottom dwellers such cory catfish and rosy loaches. Although we have had them before with a betta fish, it was only possible if the betta were less aggressive. Be prepared to separate them if necessary. Finally, although they don’t seem to be interested in adult amano and cherry shrimp, they will eat any babies that they find.
Trichogaster Chuna is a peaceful and easy-going gourami.
What are Honey Gouramis’ Favorite Foods?
They consume small bug larvae and crustaceans in the wild. This is similar to bettafish. They are not picky eaters and willingly eat an omnivore diet of flakes, nano pellets, Repashy gel food, freeze-dried foods, frozen foods, and live foods. While many labyrinth fish (or anabantoids) like to hang around the middle to top layers of the aquarium, we find that our honey gouramis swim all over the tank and readily eat both floating and sinking foods.
How to Breed Honey Gouramis
Honey gouramis can be fun to breed, especially if your experience with bubble nesters is limited. You don’t need to separate the young fish into different containers or jars due to aggression issues. There are many ways to breed honey gouramis. However, the first step is to make sure you have at least one male as well as one female. The male goes more vividly than the female when it comes to sexing honey gouramis. His throat becomes dark blue-black during courtship.
Male Honey Gourami in Breeding Dress
We prepared a 10-gallon aquarium with approximately 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) of water, a heater set to 82degF (28degC), and a gentle sponge filter with minimal surface agitation. To give the males a good place to anchor his bubble nest, add plenty of floating plants such water sprite (or water wisteria). Also, many hobbyists recommend sealing the aquarium lid with plastic wrap to increase the humidity and ensure proper labyrinth organ development in the babies.
Add a male and female pair of honey gouramis to the breeding tank, and feed lots of frozen foods and live foods like baby brine shrimp to condition them for spawning. After the male makes a suitable bubble nest and courts the female, he will embrace the female multiple times and collect the eggs she drops with his mouth, carefully placing them in the bubble nest. Then he will ferociously guard his clutch and chase away anyone that gets near, including the mother, so you can remove the female at this point.
The eggs can hatch depending on the temperature in the tank. After 24-36 hours, the fry may be free to swim after another 1-2 day. Once the newborns leave the bubble nest, it is safe to remove the father from the tank as well. Honey gouramis can lay hundreds of eggs, but there is usually a high fry mortality rate within the first two weeks. The babies are very tiny and require constant access to miniscule foods like infusoria, vinegar eels, and powdered fry food. They should reach the age of 2 weeks and be able to eat baby brine shrimp, which is highly nutritious. Veteran breeders suggest feeding fry small meals several times per day, and making daily water changes to make sure they have enough food without rotting leftovers.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy this hardy and colorful beginner fish in a planted aquarium. We have a great article about the Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for Community Tanks.