Dwarf Gourami Care Guide

The dwarf gourami is the most popular aquarium fish due to its bright color and hardiness. Its modest dimensions allow keeping in small aquariums. It is suitable for aquarists with any experience, or beginners as the first fish. It is a perch-like modern ray finned fish under the Osphronemidae family of order Perciformes. The Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) was first described by Hamilton in 1822. It is considered as Least Concern (LC) on Red Data Book of the IUCN.

Systematic Position

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Sub-phylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Osphronemidae
  • Genus: Trichogaster 
  • Species: Trichogaster lalius

Distribution and Habitat

In nature, it is found in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. It prefers to live in water systems such as wetlands, streams, rice fields, irrigation canals and other flooded land with weak current and dense vegetation. In nature, it feeds on small invertebrates and algae.

Common Names

It has several common names ​including Blue Dwarf Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami Dwarf Banded Gourami, Neon Dwarf Gourami, Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami, Sunset Gourami, etc

Quick Dwarf Gourami Facts

  • Scientific Name: Trichogaster lalius
  • Origin: South Asia
  • Adult size: 8 cm
  • Tank size: 10 gallons
  • Tank region: Top to mid layer
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Breeding: Egg layer
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Water hardness: 5-19 dGH
  • Water Temperature: 72-82°F
  • Water movement: Weak or stagnant
  • Lighting: Moderate
  • Care level: Intermediate
  • Life expectancy: 5-7 years

Body Shape and Colors

It has small slightly compressed body with rounded caudal fin. The pectoral fin is changed into thin strings with touchy sensors. The body color is overwhelmed by the alternation of little vertical bands from somewhat blue green to orange or rosy. 

This fish has accessory respiratory organ which is called labyrinth organ that ingest climatic oxygen straightforwardly into the circulatory system.

The body of the male has clear orange-red with greenish blue vertical bands that proceed up to the fins while the female has pale, brilliant blue-dark with exceptionally black out yellowish vertical stripes. 

image of dwarf gourami
Dwarf Gourami

Size and Lifespan

It is a wonderfully designated fish that makes a striking showcase in the aquarium. The male can grow up to 8.8 cm long while the female can grow around 6 cm long. The dwarf gourami can live 5-7 years if proper care is taken.

Feeding Behavior

It is an omnivorous fish and in the wild it feeds on small invertebrates such as Cyclops, Daphnia, brine shrimp, rotifers, algae and other aufwuchs. In captivity it accepts all kinds of dry industrial forages such as flakes, granules, tablets. 

It also accepts algae-based flake food, freeze-dried or live bloodworms, tubifex, aquatic insects and brine shrimp. To keep your fish healthy and happy, give them 2-3 times food daily with small amount to avoid food wastes.

Housing and Care Facts

The dwarf gourami is a tranquil, timid fish which makes an incredible addition to your community tank. It requires no less than 10 gallons tank or bigger is suggested. It is a labyrinth fish and uses their labyrinth organ to receive extra oxygen from the surface if necessary.

The tank should have an effective filter with some water current. For this situation, air stones and peat filtration are prescribed to increase oxygenated waters.  It is an exceptionally quiet fish and it should not be kept with extensive or forceful fish.

Fin nippers and vivid species like different anabantoids and Bettas, should not be kept together to maintain a strategic distance from fin nipping exercises.

The tank should  have great water with a pH of 6.5-7.5, hardness of 5-9 dGH and the water temperature that should be varies from 72-82 °F (22-28°C). The tank should also have darker substrate which exhibits the gourami’s hues.

To keep your tank condition sound, routine water changes are an unquestionable requirement, as this gourami can be vulnerable to ailment. For this situation, 25% water changes should be done every other weak.


Dwarf gourami is a good community fish that can be kept with other peaceful fish. Large, active, or aggressive fish should not be kept together. Suitable tank-mates includes Harlequin rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha), other rasboras, , peaceful barbs, Kuhlii loach (Pangio kuhlii) and its relatives, Corydoras species, Otocinclus, Rainbowfish, Platies, Mollies, Plecostomus, Ghost Catfish, Tetras, and other docile fish make great tank mates. Notorious fin nippers like Tiger Barbs, Clown Barbs and beta fish should be avoided as a tank-mates.

Male and Female Sex Differences

It is easily recognized between the male and female dwarf gourami. Generally, the male is larger than the female with a bright orange-red body with greenish blue vertical bands that extend up to fins while the female has a duller silvery blue-gray color. The mature male has elongated dorsal and anal fins but the fin of female is shorter and rounded.

Breeding Behavior

Dwarf gourami is an egg layers and it can easily breed in aquarium condition if proper care is taken. The breeding tankshould be 10-20 gallons with water level at around 15-20 cm. The temperature should be between 80 and 84° F (26 – 29° C).

The tank needs a few fine leaved plants, similar to Hornwort or Milfoil, alongside some surface plants like Ricca for support. You should include a little delicately air-controlled sponge filter or some peat filtration to keep your tank clean. Before breeding, the brood fish should be adapted with live and frozen nourishments a few times each day.

The dwarf gourami is bubble nest developers and in nature, they utilize leaves, twigs, roots, peat fibers, and different debris to make bubble nest. The developed female delivers 300 – 800 eggs during spawning period.

The spawning session lasts for 2-4 hours. The most eggs buoy up into the bubble nest. The male ensures the eggs and eggs hatch within 12 to 24 hours. After three days, the fry become free swimming and at this time fry should be fed with infusonia, Artemia or rotifers. You can also give them any liquid fry feed for proper development. 

Also Read: Best HOB Filters: Reviews Of The Top Ones

Disease and Preventive Measures

The dwarf gourami is an exceptionally tough fish, however some of the time, it is defenseless to sickness if it is not keep in an all around looked after aquarium. Generally, they are prone to bacterial diseases, contagious contamination and constipation.

Recently in Singapore accessible examples have been found to convey an infection called the Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus (DGIV). Recent research has demonstrated that 22% of Singapore Trichogaster lalius convey this infection.

Symptoms of these infected fish incorporate dormant conduct, obscuring of shading, and tumors, and contaminated fish will die within a year. Right now, there is no treatment for this infection and it can be transmitted to some other fish species having similar water including Swordtails, Mollies, and perhaps cichlids.


The dwarf gourami is an extremely prevalent fish among the aquarium pet fish ​keepers because of its strength and splendid tinge. ​It is accessible in the local pet fish stores and online merchant with sensible cost. To make your mental amusement, we prescribe you to keep this gorgeous and hardy fish in your aquarium.

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