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 their small size, male can be quite feisty and may end up bullying their fellow tank mates. Although they are more calm by nature, females tend to be duller in color. Luckily, female powder blue gouramis look just as stunning as their male counterparts without the attitude problems. This 3-inch (7.5 cm), fish can be kept by one person or in groups of three. You can add orange schooling fish such as lambchop rasboras and ember tetras to contrast their blue scales. As with most smaller gouramis, they will eat just about anything a betta fish does, such as floating betta pellets, insect-based granules, and more.
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 dark brown bodies are covered with white dots, or “pearls”, and a black horizontal line runs down the side. Males have a bright reddish-orange belly and throat 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. 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
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. 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 gouramis can be a little delicate when you first buy them, so pamper them with a stress-free environment to increase their health and immunity.
4. Sparkling Gourami
Trichopsis Pumila is our smallest species, measuring 1.5 inches (4cm) in length. They are one of the few fish that can make an audible sound that comes from twitching their modified pectoral fins and can be heard “croaking” during sparring or 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 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. As with most gouramis, the males tend to be more colorful than the females. Both sexes are equally friendly and can live in a single pair, couple, or group with other 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.
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 up to 2.5-3 inches (6-8cm) in length and is available in albino, normal, and solid-blue versions. The “normal” variety has a forked tail with 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. 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. We recommend bottom dwellers such as loaches and catfish, which are faster and more schooling fish than the giant danios or barbs. The paradise gourami is a great choice if you’re looking for a big, bold fish that can be used as a centerpiece.
Can’t find a fish on this list that you’re looking for? 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.