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. They are a type anabantoid, or labyrinth fish. Their special labyrinth organ acts as a rudimentary lung, and allows them to breathe oxygen from the water surface, creating bubble nests for their 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
Dwarf gouramis (Trichogaster lalius) are one of the most popular gouramis you see at pet stores. 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. This 3-inch (7.5 cm), fish can be kept by one person or in groups of three. To contrast with their beautiful blue scales, try adding some orange schooling fish like lambchop rasboras or ember tetras. 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 are more likely to have a round tip on their dorsal Fin and a larger body than 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 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. Compared to other gouramis, they have especially long and thin modified ventral fins that act like whiskers to help them explore their environment. Pearl gouramis do not have to eat a lot and will eat a variety of frozen foods, Hikari Vibra Bites, floating pellets, and other omnivore food options.
Pearl Gouramis can be instantly identified by their spotted pearls, long ventral fins, and distinctive spotting.
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. They are found in Indonesia and other areas with low pH and low GH (generally hardness), as well as 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. Trichopsis pumila is one of few fish that make an audible sound when they twitch their modified pectoral fins. This can be heard during sparring and courtship. Sparkling gouramis have bright blue eyes and a body with brown, dotted striping and iridescent blue spangling. These tiny gouramis can be kept alone, in pairs, or with other calm, small 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. As with most gouramis, the males tend to be more colorful than the females. Both sexes can live together as a single fish, a pair, or grouped with similar-sized community fish. They really stand out in a lushy planted aquarium with schooling fish of a different color, like green neon tetras. It is easy to breed honey gouramis. The male creates a bubble nest to keep the eggs from hatching and protects them. You can read the complete care sheet for more details.
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). It can grow to 2.5-3 inches (6-8 cm) long and comes in normal, albino, and solid blue versions. 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 Fish have many nicknames, such as “paradise gourami”, and “Chinese-fighting fish.”
This beautiful fish deserves an honorable mention as they are considered semi-aggressive. However, like betta fish, they can be kept in a community tank if given the right tank mates. You should avoid adding any other anabantoids (e.g. bettas and other guramis), slow-moving or long-fin fish 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.
Are you unable to find the fish you are looking for on this 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.