Dwarf Gourami: Care, Size, Lifespan, Diet & More

Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) is a small, colorful freshwater fish that makes an excellent pet for beginner aquarists. These fish are known for their peaceful nature and sociable behavior, making them ideal companions in the home aquarium. 

They are also quite hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. Dwarf Gouramis have been observed displaying interesting behaviors such as swimming around together in groups or engaging in courtship rituals with other members of their species. With proper care, these beautiful little fish can bring joy to any home aquarium!

In this article, you will be provided with the proper instructions for taking care of Dwarf Gouramis as well as any other relevant information.

Species Profile & Overview

The Dwarf Gourami is a freshwater fish native to the slow-moving rivers, streams, and wetlands of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They prefer shallow water with plenty of vegetation for hiding places. 

Dwarf Gouramis have a peaceful temperament and are usually not aggressive toward other species unless they feel threatened or overcrowded. They can be kept in small groups as long as there is enough space. Each individual should have enough space to establish their own territory.

These fish are famous among aquarists because they are relatively easy to care for and make an attractive addition to any tank setup due to their vibrant colors (blue/green/orange). In addition, they will often form pairs during the breeding season which makes them even more interesting to watch!

In the wild, these fish prefer slow-moving waters with lots of vegetation. This is where they can hide from predators while searching for food. They are usually found behind large boulders or smaller streams where water is slower. 

Dwarf gouramis can breathe air. Same as Betta Fish, it is common to see your gourami coming to the surface and gulping air. These fish have a special organ that helps them absorb oxygen out of the air.


Dwarf Blue Gourami
Dwarf Blue Gourami

The Dwarf Gouramis are stunning fish with their unique body shape and coloration. They have an elongated, oval-shaped body with two unique barbles. The colors of the Dwarf Gourami range from deep blues, greens, oranges, and yellows depending on their variety. 

Dwarf Gouramis come in a variety of patterns and shapes. Each of these Morpheus is known by the pattern and colors they have. They all feature striking colorations that make them look absolutely beautiful. 

Below are some of the most beautiful types of Dwarf Gouramis you can purchase.

6 Types Of Dwarf Gourami

There are many different types of Dwarf Gouramis around the world. These species are often line-bred to become more colorful and create different morphs. Most of these species look very similar to other variants so we only hand-picked the top 6 and most famous species of Dwarf Gouramis here in this guide.

1. Blue Dwarf Gourami

The Blue Dwarf Gourami is a remarkably beautiful fish species that develops more blue colors on its scales and fins. They are an eye-catching addition to freshwater aquariums due to their unique body shape and colorful markings. 

The main color of this variant is blue but it can also develop stripes of radish or orange colors. They can also develop reddish-brown coloration around the edges of their fins.

Dwarf Blue Gourami
Dwarf Blue Gourami

2. Flame Dwarf Gouramis

The Flame dwarf gourami is a unique color variant of these species that look bright orange with no strips or patches on its body. They can have some blue on their fins as well but for the most part, they are bright orange.

Some call these fish Red honey gourami but the majority of aquarists use flame gourami to refer to these fish.

3. Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

The peaceful Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami can look very similar to the Blue Dwarf Gourami but they often have a lighter blue. The scales can have hints of red or can be completely blue. 

They mainly have a Coral Greenish blue that makes them slightly different from the blue varieties. These fish look very beautiful in a black background tank with plants and a dark substrate.

Powder Blue Gourami
Powder Blue Gourami

4.Neon Blue Dwarf Gouramis

Neon blue dwarf gouramis are known for their beautiful bluish-green color that reflects light when hit at the right angle. The blue colors on this fish are more bright and more noticeable than the blue dwarfs.

Same as Blue dwarf gourami, they can have red stripes on their body. This makes them look very similar to blue variants but when kept next to each other the difference will be noticeable.

5. Honey Dwarf Gouramis

Honey dwarf gouramis as the name suggests are yellow and goldish colors that are super interesting to watch. This makes them a very unique species of dwarf gouramis.

They only grow to about 2 – 2.5 inches in length. This small size and their beautiful colors make them a desired fish among aquarists. They are also very peaceful species which makes them even more desirable.

6. Common Dwarf Gouramis

Red dwarf gourami or common gourami is a beautiful fish with a blue and red coloration. They are the main species of Dwarf Gouramis that are found naturally in the wild. All other color variants are line bred from this species to develop their beautiful colors. 

These fish have more red than blue and in some species blue might be very little. The food, genetics, and quality of life they lived are big factors in the colorations they develop. 

The overall sharpness of the red color is also much less intense.

Adult Size

Dwarf Gouramis typically grow to be about 2 – 3.5 inches in length. Depending on the variety you get they might be closer to 2 inches or can be up to 3.5 inches. 

Males and females of the Dwarf Gourami species have similar sizes; however, males tend to be slightly thinner than females. This is because they are not responsible for developing eggs in the breeding season. 


The lifespan of Dwarf Gourami fish is typically around 4 – 6 years. However, with proper care and a healthy environment, they can live even longer.

Water quality, diet, tank size, and stress levels can cause the fish to experience a shorter lifespan. So it’s important to provide your gouramis with a healthy environment if you want them to reach their maximum expected lifespan. 

Behavior & Temperament

Dwarf Gourami fish are typically peaceful and timid. They will usually hide when first introduced to a tank, but once they become comfortable in their environment, they will swim around freely. 

Dwarf Gouramis prefer to be kept in small groups of two or more and should not be housed with aggressive fish such as cichlids or large barbs.

When kept with other peaceful species, the Dwarf Gourami is generally very social and can even form schools with its tank mates.

They are generally good community tank fish, as they tend to be peaceful and non-aggressive towards other species. 

They prefer to swim in slow-moving water and have plenty of hiding places and vegetation. This is when you see their true playful behaviors.

When kept in larger numbers, they will form schools and swim together in harmony. But you will need a larger aquarium to be able to see their schooling behaviors. Keeping them in smaller tanks can cause aggressive behaviors.

Dwarf Gourami Care

These fish are a great choice of fish as they require minimal care and maintenance. They are hardy, peaceful fish that can thrive in most types of water conditions. 

Dwarf Gouramis are incredibly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of aquarium parameters. They are native to the shallow, slow-moving rivers and streams of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. So it’s best to recreate a similar environment for them in your aquarium.

In the next few sections, we will walk you through the necessary tank setup and water parameters these fish need to thrive. 

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Dwarf Gourami fish is 10 gallons. This size of the tank will provide enough space for the fish to swim around and explore, as well as provide plenty of oxygenation. 

You can keep up to 3 Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank. But you will have to make sure your filtration is strong enough to handle the waste produced by this many fish. It’s always best to have less fish than risking and keeping more fish than what your filter can handle.

If you want to have more than 3 gouramis then you should invest in a larger aquarium. This is because the waste produced by these fish will be more than what the filter can handle. At the same time, the fish need enough space to freely swim around. 

A large aquarium provides many benefits to these fish and can improve their health and lifespan. We strongly recommend getting the biggest aquarium you can house in your room and letting the fish have a better living space.

Dwarf Blue Gourami
Dwarf Blue Gourami

What To Put In A Dwarf Gourami Tank

These fish are not picky when it comes to decorating their tank. All they demand from you is enough hiding space and live plants in their tank. 

The best way to decorate an aquarium for Dwarf Gourami fish is to create a planted aquascape. This type of aquascape provides plenty of hiding places and natural swimming spaces, which the fish will appreciate. 

Depending on the size of your tank, you can use live plants such as Moneywort, Rotala Indica, Bucephalandra, Water Sprite, and Jungle Val. You can also use aquarium plants to block some light in the tank as these fish prefer indirect lighting.

It is important to use driftwood and rocks as well to create more hiding spots in the tank. These fish can easily get stressed if they can’t hide and this will have a negative impact on their health. 

These fish are not very picky about the substrate as well. But they look best in a black background tank with a black substrate. You can pick black sand or planted substrate depending on the types of plants you want to keep.

Light Requirements

Dwarf Gourami fish need moderate and indirect lighting conditions. This can be achieved by having lots of light plants in the tank to block the light. 

Intense lighting conditions can increase their stress levels and shorten their lifespan. With that being said, as long as you add plenty of live plants to the tank these fish can tolerate any level of light.

Water Conditions & Parameters

Dwarf Gourami is also a very adaptable and hardy fish. They can survive in a wide range of water parameters. These fish prefer tropical waters that are well-oxygenated. 

The tank should have a slow current to prevent stress in these fish. They live in slow-moving areas in the wild and need a similar environment in their tank. 

Below is the ideal range of parameters for Dwarf Gourami:

  • Temperature: 75 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 – 7.8
  • TDS: 100 – 250 PPM

It’s important to make sure the water parameters stay consistent. These fish are very susceptible to fluctuation in water parameters as well as poor water conditions. 

The best way to give them a stable and healthy environment is to make weekly water changes. When changing the water, it’s best to replace about 10 – 20% of the tank volume with fresh dechlorinated water each week.

This amount should not shock the fish as long as you are using a dechlorinator and adding back in some of the old tank water when replacing what was taken out. 

You can also use our Advance Aquarium Water Change Calculator to ensure a shock-free water change! 

Powder Blue Gourami
Powder Blue Gourami

Filtration System

Dwarf Gourami fish need clean water at all times. So a strong filtration system is necessary to ensure no toxins can remain in the water. 

Without adequate filtration, the tank can become polluted with waste products from fish, uneaten food, and other debris. This can lead to poor water quality which affects the health of your Dwarf Gourami by causing stress or even death.

When selecting a filter for your Gourami tank, it is important to consider the flow rate of the filter. These fish prefer slow-moving currents to swim gracefully in the tank. 

At the same time, this filter has to be able to filter the tank mechanically and biologically. Mechanical filtration removes physical particles from the water while biological filtration is essential for breaking down ammonia and nitrites into less toxic forms. 

Considering these points we recommend a canister filter with a lower flow rate. You can also use sponge filters if you don’t have any problem with the noise they generate. 

Common Diseases and Prevention

Dwarf gouramis, like all aquarium fish, are susceptible to a number of diseases. Common illnesses include parasitic infestations (like velvet or ich), bacterial infections such as mouth fungus and fin rot, and fungal infections. 

Stress often plays an important role in exacerbating these problems. So it is important to ensure the tank environment remains clean and balanced.

Water quality can be maintained through regular testing and changing out old water with fresh dechlorinated water. A high-quality filter system that can remove toxins is also crucial. 

If your dwarf gourami has developed any illness symptoms indicating disease – loss of appetite being one key symptom – you should immediately isolate the affected individual from other occupants until treatment is complete. 

Diet and Feeding Requirements

Dwarf Gourami fish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, Dwarf Gourami feed on small invertebrates such as insects, worms, crustaceans, and larvae. 

They also feed on algae and other plant material. They find their food by foraging in shallow waters or near the surface of the water where food is more abundant.

In captivity, it is important to provide them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Feeding too much protein or too many plant-based foods can lead to health problems. So it’s important to feed the right amount of each type of food.

As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to feed them a mix of different fish foods. They should not receive any more than what they can consume within two minutes twice daily. 

It’s also important not to overfeed as this can cause water quality issues and uneaten food will quickly pollute the tank leading to poor water conditions and unhealthy fish.

Breeding Dwarf Gourami

To breed Dwarf Gourami fish in an aquarium, the first step is to set up a breeding tank. This should be at least 10 gallons and include plenty of hiding places such as plants, rocks, and driftwood. 

The water temperature should be between 80 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH of 6.5 – 7.0 and moderate hardness levels (4 – 10 dGH). 

Next is to identify a male and a female. This can only be possible if the fish are fully mature. Males often have longer and slim bodies with pointed dorsal fins. Females, on the other hand, have a round body with a round dorsal fin. 

You should pick one male and one female that are about 3 inches long or larger. Place them in the tank together where they will form a pair bond before spawning begins. 

Feed them high-quality live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms to help condition them for spawning.

When ready to spawn, the male will build bubble nests on the surface of the water which can take several days to complete. Once finished he will entice the female underneath it until she releases her eggs. 

He then fertilizes them externally before placing them in the bubble nest. They can lay anywhere from 100 to 600 eggs. The fry usually emerges within 24 hours of being laid. After hatching, it takes another 3 to 4 weeks for them to become fully independent.

Tank Mates

Dwarf Gouramis are generally peaceful species and can be kept with other non-aggressive tank mates. They also tend to stay away from areas of the tank that have been claimed by other fish species which helps reduce competition for food and shelter.

Because these fish swim in all parts of the tank, it’s best to keep fewer tank mates in their tank. But if the tank is large enough you can house as many fish as your tank can house.

We recommend keeping other peaceful species with your gourami to prevent possible aggression or fin-nipping. 

Here are our top picks of tank mates for dwarf gouramis: 

Dwarf Blue Gourami
Dwarf Blue Gourami


Dwarf Gourami fish are a great addition to any aquarium. They are colorful, peaceful, and easy to care for. They have the unique ability to breathe both air and water, making them an interesting species of fish that can thrive in many different environments. With proper care and maintenance, Dwarf Gourami fish can be a wonderful addition to your home aquarium for years to come!