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. Gouramis are an anabantoid fish or labyrinth fish. They have a labyrinth organ which acts as a basic lungs. This allows them to breath oxygen from the surface and make bubble nests for breeding. Gouramis can sometimes be known as being ornery. So we selected our top 5 peaceful gouramis to share the fish with other members of the community.
1. Female Powder Blue Gourami
One of the most sought-after gouramis that you will see in pet shops is the dwarf gourami (Trichogaster Lalius). Despite being small, males can be very feisty and bully their tank mates. Although they are more calm by nature, females tend to be duller in color. The female powder blue gouramis don’t seem to have any attitude issues and look as gorgeous as their male counterparts. This 3-inch (7.5 cm), fish can be kept by one person or in groups of three. To contrast with their beautiful blue scales, try adding some orange schooling fish like lambchop rasboras or ember tetras. They will eat almost anything a betta fish would eat, including floating betta pellets and insect-basedgranules.
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. Compared to other gouramis, they have especially long and thin modified ventral fins that act like whiskers to help them explore their environment. 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 can be instantly identified by their spotted pearls, long ventral fins, and distinctive spotting.
3. Chocolate Gourami
You are looking for rarer species to add your collection? Sphaerichthys Osphromenoides, a 2.5-inch (6cm) gourami has a dark chocolate brown body and is covered with vertical, gold stripes. Although the fish are often wild-caught, they can be fussy eaters at first. They will eat only live and frozen foods. But hobbyists have succeeded in getting them to eat micro pellets and crushed flaflakes. They come from areas in Indonesia and the surrounding countries that have low pH, low general hardness, and 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.
Chocolate guramis are delicate to begin with, so make sure they have a relaxing environment that is stress-free in order to improve their 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. Trichopsis pumila is one of few fish that make an audible sound when they twitch their modified pectoral fins. This can be heard during sparring and courtship. Sparkling gouramis have bright, blue eyes, and a body with dotted stripes and iridescent spangling. Keep these miniature gouramis by themselves, in pairs, or in a small group with other peaceful, nano fish. You can feed them any small food that will fit into their mouths, such as daphnia or baby brine shrimps.
Sparkling gouramis are excellent micropredators that will happily eat up all the seed shrimp, detritus worms, and even hydra in your fish tank.
5. Honey Gourami
Trichogaster, the peaceful Trichogaster, is a native of India and Bangladesh. There have been many variants of Trichogaster, such as wild, yellow-gold, or red. Like most gouramis the males are more colorful than their female counterparts. Both sexes are equally good-natured and can live as a single, pair, or group with similarly 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. For more information, read the full care sheet.
Honey gouramis are mostly solid-colored, but males often develop a dark blue-black throat and abdomen during breeding periods.
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). The size of the Macropodus opercularis can reach 2.5-3 inches (6-8cm) and it comes in three versions: normal, albino and solid blue. The “normal” version has a forked tail, striking vertical stripes in blue and red-orange and a striking tail. 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 fish have several nicknames, including “paradise gourami” and “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. They can, however, be kept in a communal tank with the right tank mates. 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.
Is there a fish that you don’t see on the 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.