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 can be classified as an anabantoid (or labyrinth) fish. They have a unique labyrinth system that acts like a rudimentary lungs. It allows them to gulp oxygen from water and create bubble nests for reproduction. Gouramis are sometimes known for being ornery. We found five peaceful gouramis who can be a good partner to other fish in 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 their small size, male can be quite feisty and may end up bullying their fellow tank mates. While they are generally calmer, the majority of females are darker in color. Luckily, female powder blue gouramis look just as stunning as their male counterparts without the attitude problems. This fish is available in two sizes: a 3-inch (7.5cm) individual or a group of females. Add orange schooling fish to the mix, such as lambchop rasasboras or even ember Tetras, to counteract their stunning blue scales. As with many smaller gouramis it will eat anything a small betta fish eats, such as floating pellets or insect-based granules.
Female gouramis have a more rounded dorsal tip and larger bodies than males.
2. Pearl Gourami
Trichopodus leerii, a species that hails from Southeast Asia, is the largest on our list. It can grow up to 5 in (13 cm) long. 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. They have modified ventral fins with a longer and thinner length that look like whiskers, which is a distinct advantage over other gouramis. Pearl gouramis do not have to eat a lot and will eat omnivore foods such as Hikari Vibra Bites, frozen food, and floating pellets.
Pearl Gouramis are easily recognizable by the spotted pearls on their ventral fins.
3. Chocolate Gourami
Looking for a rarer species to add to your collection? Sphaerichthys.osphromenoides is 2.5 inches (6 cm) long and has a dark chocolate-brown body with golden vertical 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 can convert them to microchips and crushed flakes with enough patience. In Indonesia and the surrounding regions, they come from waters with low pH, low GH (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
Trichopsis pumila, also known as the dwarf croaking or pygmy goatami, measures 1.5 inches (4 cm) in length. 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 bright blue eye and a body that has a brown, dotted striping and iridescent-blue spangling. You can keep these mini gouramis as an individual, or as a pair with other calm, tiny fish. You can feed them any small food that will fit into their mouths, such as daphnia or baby brine shrimps.
Sparkling Gouramis are great micropredators. They will happily eat any seed shrimps, detritusworms and even hydra that you have in your tank.
5. Honey Gourami
Trichogaster Chuna, a peaceful and tranquil species, is native to India, Bangladesh and other countries. There are many color variations, including wild type, yellow-gold and red. The males are usually more colorful than the women, as is the case with all gouramis. Both sexes have the same good nature and can live alone, as a couple, or in groups with similarly-sized community aquarium fish. They really stand out in a lushy planted aquarium with schooling fish of a different color, like green neon tetras. They are fun to breed and easy to care for. The male constructs a bubble nest that protects the fertilized eggs until they hatch. The full care sheet is available.
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). It can grow to 2.5-3 inches (6-8 cm) long and comes in normal, albino, and solid blue versions. The “normal”, with its forked tail and distinctive blue-orange vertical stripes, is the most striking. 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.”
This beautiful fish is worthy of an honorable mention because they are semi-aggressive, similar to betta fish. The males love to fight over territory. If they are paired with the right fish mates, they can be kept together in a tank. Do not add any anabantoids to them (e.g., gouramis or bettas), slow-moving fish or finless fish. We recommend using larger, faster-moving fish like giant barbs and danios, along with bottom dwellers like loaches and catfish. If you are interested in a cheap, centerpiece fish with a bold personality, you have to try the paradise gourami.
Are you unable to find the fish you are looking for on this list? Make sure to check out our preferred online fish vendors to see what they have in stock. Enjoy nature daily with these beautiful gouramis swimming in your aquarium.