Honey Gouramis Care Guide – 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? We recommend the honey gourami. Like betta fish, honey gouramis are brightly colored, make bubble nests to house their eggs, and have a special labyrinth organ that allows them to absorb oxygen directly from the air. Learn all about this peaceful nano fish and their easy care requirements.
What are Honey Gouramis?
Trichogaster, also known as Trichogaster chuna, is from India and Bangladesh. They can be found in slow moving ponds with lots of vegetation. Because of the seasonal monsoon rains, its habitat experiences sudden fluctuations in water chemistry, making it a hardy pet that is 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.
Is a honey gourami the same as a dwarf gourami? No, the dwarf gourami is a different species called Trichogaster lalius that grows to 3 inches (8 cm), whereas the honey gourami is smaller in size and stays around 2 inches (5 cm). 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.
Honey gouramis of the yellow or gold variety are most commonly found in fish stores.
What types of honey gouramis are there? There are three main kinds: wild type, yellow-gold, and red. This latter type is sometimes called “sunset Honey Gourami”, but it is often confused with Trichogaster labiosa, which is a sunset thick-lipped. Thick-lipped gouramis grow up to 3.5-4 inches (9-10 cm), so make sure you are buying the correct species.
Why is my honey-gourami turning black? Although they are mostly solid-colored, the throat and belly of a male can become dark blue-black during a courtship with a female.
How much does honey gouramis usually cost? It all depends on where you live and what color the gourami is.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Honey Gouramis
Honey gouramis can live in a variety of environments, including pH of 6.0 to 8.0, temperatures between 74 and82 degrees F (23 to 28degC) and soft to hard 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.
Honey gouramis live in sluggish waters, so use a filter with slower flow.
Is honey gourami aggressive? Not at all. They are peaceful, social fish that get along well 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. Honey gouramis can sometimes fight, especially if there is a male protecting his territory during breeding. 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 by itself? Both sexes have the same good nature and can live in groups or alone. 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.
What fish can live with a honey gourami? Their agreeable personalities mean that they get along with similar-sized community fish. 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. They won’t eat adult cherry shrimp or amano, but they will eat any baby they find.
Trichogaster Chuna is a peaceful and easy-going gourami.
What does Honey Gouramis eat?
They consume small bug larvae and crustaceans in the wild. This is similar to bettafish. They don’t have a preference for food and will eat a variety of foods including flakes, nano pellets (Repashy gel food), freeze-dried foods and frozen 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 are fun fish to breed, especially if you have never bred bubble nesters before. You don’t need to separate the young fish into different containers or jars due to aggression issues. There are many methods to breed honeyguramis. The first is to ensure that you have at most one male and one woman. In terms of sex, gouramis are more vibrantly colored than their female counterparts. His throat also turns 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. Add plenty of floating plants like water sprite and water wisteria so the male has good places to anchor his bubble nest. Also, many hobbyists recommend sealing the aquarium lid with plastic wrap to increase the humidity and ensure proper labyrinth organ development in the babies.
In the breeding tank, add a male honey gourami and a female honey gourami pair. Feed them lots of frozen food and live foods such as baby brine shrimps to prepare them for spawning. After the male creates a suitable bubble nest and courts his female, the male will approach the female repeatedly and pick up the eggs with his mouth before carefully placing them into the bubble nest. He will chase down any mother or child who might be in the way of his eggs and guard them fiercely.
The temperature of the tank can determine the time it takes for eggs to hatch. Fry may become free-swimming after 1-2 days. The father can be removed from the tank once his children have left the bubble nest. Honey gouramis are capable of laying hundreds of eggs. However, the fry mortality rate is high within the first 2 weeks. Babies are tiny and need to be fed small foods such as vinegar eels and infusoria. We recommend that they reach 2 weeks of age to be able to eat live baby salt shrimp. This is a highly nutritious food and we highly recommend it. Veteran breeders recommend small meals, multiple times per day, and daily water changes to ensure that fry are able to eat enough without having to waste water from rotting leftovers.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy this hardy and colorful beginner fish in a planted aquarium. If you are intrigued by the fascinating world of gouramis, check out our article on the Top 5 Peaceful Gouramis for a Community Tank.