Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community Tank
Gouramis are a unique freshwater fish, often known for their flat, oval-shaped bodies and whisker-like feeler fins. They are a type anabantoid, or labyrinth fish. Their special labyrinth organ acts as a rudimentary lung, and allows them to breathe oxygen from the water surface, creating bubble nests for their breeding. Gouramis are sometimes known for being annoying and can be a nuisance to other fish. We have compiled a list of the top five peaceful gouramis.
1. Female Powder Blue Gourami
Dwarf gouramis (Trichogaster lalius) are one of the most popular gouramis you see at pet stores. Despite being small, males can be very feisty and bully their tank mates. While females are calmer by nature, most of them are duller in their color. The female powder blue gouramis don’t seem to have any attitude issues and look as gorgeous as their male counterparts. You can keep this 3-inch (7.5 cm) fish by herself or in a group of girls. Add orange schooling fish to the mix, such as lambchop rasasboras or even ember Tetras, to counteract their stunning blue scales. Like most small gouramis they can eat any kind of betta fish, including floating betta balls, insect-based pellets, and many other things.
Female gouramis tend to have a rounded tip on their dorsal fin and a larger body size compared to males.
2. Pearl Gourami
Trichopodus leerii hails from southeast Asia and can grow to a maximum length of 5 inches (13cm) in height. Because of their bigger size, you can keep one in a 29-gallon tank or a group of them in a 55- or 75-gallon aquarium. Their light brown body is covered in white dots or “pearls” with a black horizontal line running down the side, and males display a bright red-orange throat and belly during courtship. To help them navigate their environment, they have long and thin modified ventral Fins. Pearl gouramis do not have to eat a lot and will eat a variety of frozen foods, Hikari Vibra Bites, floating pellets, and other omnivore food options.
Pearl Gouramis are immediately identifiable by their spotted Pearls and long ventral Fins.
3. Chocolate Gourami
Looking for a rarer species to add to your collection? Sphaerichthys Osphromenoides, a 2.5-inch (6cm) gourami has a dark chocolate brown body and is covered with vertical, gold stripes. The fish are wild-caught and can be difficult to eat at first. However, with patience hobbyists have been able to convert them to micro pellets and crushed flakes. They are found in Indonesia and other areas with low pH and low GH (generally hardness), as well as gentle flow. To truly appreciate these peaceful, laidback gouramis, add lots of live aquarium plants and shaded places to hide so that they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
Chocolategouramis may be delicate at first, so give them a calm environment to boost their immunity and health.
4. Sparkling Gourami
Coming in at 1.5 inches (4 cm) long, Trichopsis pumila (also known as the pygmy gourami or dwarf croaking gourami) is the smallest species on our list. One of the few fish that makes an audible sound from twitching modified pectoral blades, they can be heard “croaking”, during sparring or courtship. Sparkling gouramis are bright blue with a body that has a brown, dotted striping and iridescent-blue spangling. You can keep these tiny gouramis alone or in small groups with other calm, nanofish. You can feed them anything that fits in their mouths such as baby brine shrimps, daphnia and fine granules.
Sparkling Gouramis are great micropredators and will happily eat all of your seed shrimp, detritusworms, or even hydra in the fish tank.
5. Honey Gourami
The super peaceful Trichogaster chuna is native to India and Bangladesh, and several color variants have been produced, such as wild type, yellow-gold, and red. The males are usually more colorful than the women, as is the case with all gouramis. Both sexes can live together as a single fish, a pair, or grouped with similar-sized community fish. They really stand out in a lushy planted aquarium with schooling fish of a different color, like green neon tetras. Honey gouramis are also fun and easy to breed, where the male builds a bubble nest to protect the fertilized eggs until they hatch. The full care sheet is available.
Honeygouramis are generally solid-colored. However, males may develop a dark blue or black abdomen and throat during breeding.
Honorable Mention: Paradise Fish
Macropodus opercularis is a famous gourami from East Asia and is historically labeled as one of the first tropical freshwater fish kept in a home aquarium (besides pond fish like carp and goldfish). It can grow to 2.5-3 inches (6-8 cm) long and comes in normal, albino, and solid blue versions. The “normal” type features a forked tail and striking blue and red-orange vertical stripes. Paradise fish are extremely hardy and can live in a temperature range from 61-80degF (16-27degC), which means you can keep them in an unheated aquarium of 20 gallons or larger.
Paradise is a variety of nicknames for Paradise, including “paradise Gourami” or “Chinese Fighting Fish.”
The reason why this beautiful fish gets an honorable mention is because they are considered semi-aggressive like betta fish, where the males like to squabble over territory. If they are paired with the right fish mates, they can be kept together in a tank. Avoid adding anabantoids, such as bettas or other gouramis, slow-moving fish, and fish with long fins to your tank. Instead, we recommend faster, larger schooling fish like giant danios and barbs, as well as bottom dwellers like catfish and loaches. The paradise gourami is a great choice if you’re looking for a big, bold fish that can be used as a centerpiece.
Are you unable to find the fish you are looking for on this list? Check out our top online fish sellers to see what they have available. Enjoy nature daily with these beautiful gouramis swimming in your aquarium.