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. As a type of anabantoid or labyrinth fish, they have a special labyrinth organ that acts like rudimentary lungs, allowing them to gulp oxygen from the surface and create bubble nests for 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 common gouramis to be found in pet shops. Despite their small size, male can be quite feisty and may end up bullying their fellow tank mates. Females are much calmer by nature, but most of them are duller in color. Luckily, female powder blue gouramis look just as stunning as their male counterparts without the attitude problems. 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 are more likely to have a round tip on their dorsal Fin and a larger body 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 brown body is covered with white dots or “pearls” and has a black horizontal strip running down the sides. Males exhibit a bright, red-orange stomach and throat 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. The pearl gouramis don’t have a preference for food and will happily eat an omnivore diet that includes frozen-dried foods, Hikari Vibra Bites and floating pellets.
Pearl Gouramis are immediately identifiable by their spotted Pearls and long ventral Fins.
3. Chocolate Gourami
Are you looking for a rarer species? 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. 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
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. 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 great micropredators and will happily eat all of your seed shrimp, detritusworms, or even hydra in the 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. The males are usually more colorful than the women, as is the case with all gouramis. 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. The full care sheet is available.
Honeygouramis are mainly solid-colored but males can develop a dark-blue-black abdomen and throat 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 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. Avoid adding other anabantoids (e.g., bettas and other gouramis), slow-moving fish, or fish with long fins. We prefer faster schooling fish such as giant danios, barbs, and 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.
Is there a fish that you don’t see on the list? To see what fish they have in stock, make sure you check out our favorite online fish vendors. Enjoy nature daily with these beautiful gouramis swimming in your aquarium.