Blue Gourami is a freshwater fish mainly found in Southeast Asia, like China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. However, these fish have been recently introduced outside their natural habitat in the Philippines, Trinidad, India, and Sulawesi.
This is a popular fish in the aquarium trade due to its unique appearance and ease of care. Keep on reading to find out how to take care of Blue Gourami to provide it with the best life.
Blue Gourami Stats
Below is some quick information about the fish and how difficult it will be to care for it. So keep on reading to get to know this hardy fish better.
|Maximum Size||Around six inches|
|Minimum Tank Size||20 gallons|
|Average lifespan||Four to five years|
|Breeding Type||Bubble nest|
|pH||6.0 to 8.0|
|Hardness||Four to 18 dKH|
|Temperature||72 F to 82 F|
Blue Gourami Appearance: Body and Coloration
This beautiful fish is known for its unique appearance. As stated in its name, it is blue. The blue in its body is more of a whitish-blue as it is a natural color variation of the lavender or brown gourami. This is a colorful fish species as you can even find gourami in various colors like blue, yellow, red, and platinum.
Like all other gouramis, it has a long and flattened body accompanied by large rounded fins. Moreover, they have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe direct air. They also have touch-sensitive cells located in their long, hair-like pelvic fins. Their anal fins are expansive and pectoral fins resemble needles.
The most noticeable part of the fish is the three (including the eye) round spots on both sides of its body. One spot is at the center of the body, while the other is near the tail. These spots form a straight line and are linear to the eye giving it the name of Three Spot Gourami as the eye acts as the third spot.
Their stunning blue color can change according to many factors. Some factors are harmless, like their breeding season approaching, but color change can also mean poor water conditions. The best way to know if your fish is in bad water condition is by looking at its spot. If the spots are fading away, you need to check what the problem is. It could be caused by water parameters not being met or even overcrowding.
– Blue Gourami Sex Difference
Just like most other fish, it is not the easiest to differentiate between the sexes in this fish. However, it is not entirely impossible either. Blue Gourami does display some mild differences between the two genders.
The typical difference is the female fish looks a little bigger and fuller than the male fish. This feature is more noticeable during the breeding season. Otherwise, you will need both female and male Blue Gourami fish in your tank to know them through this feature.
Behaviorwise, the male fish gets really aggressive during the breeding season. In fact, it can harm the female fish if there isn’t enough hiding place found for it. Again, this difference can only be noticed during the breeding season.
One easy and almost perfect way to distinguish the sexes of the Blue Gourami is by looking at its dorsal fins. The male Blue Gourami has dorsal fins that are longer and more pointed in shape. At the same time, the female Blue Gourami has dorsal fins that are shorter in size and rounder. The sex of the fish does not matter in the care of the fish, but it is helpful information if you want to breed the fish in your tank.
Blue Gourami Care
They can suffer from common freshwater fish diseases like ICH, bacterial infection, constipation, dropsy, fungal problems, and other conditions. Although it is uncommon for the Blue Gourami to get these diseases as they are pretty hardy, the introduction of a diseased organism in the tank or poor water conditions can lead to this.
Therefore, follow the appropriate water conditions like temperature, ph, and water hardness to prevent these diseases. Moreover, do not introduce sick fish; make sure to buy from a reputable breeder to ensure this. You can cure most of these diseases with appropriate ointments in case of infection.
– Blue Gourami Diet
Since they are omnivores, they are effortless to please when it comes to food. They will eat almost anything you give them. However, you have to ensure that they get all the nutrients needed to have a balanced diet in their diet.
In the wild, they feed on insect larvae, crustaceans, and zooplankton. At home aquariums, giving them a mixture of live and freeze-dried food is excellent for them. In the tank, they will feed on hydra and get rid of this pest! Here are some more food items that you can provide for the Blue Gourami:
- Flakes and pellet food
- White worms
- Blood worms
- Brine shrimp
- Blanched lettuce
- Tubifex Worms
- Black worms
- Whole fish
- Algae meal
- Squid meal
Choose a food item that has good nutritional value. When buying food, make sure the ingredients don’t contain wheat, soy, and rice, as these will create more waste in the water while not being as effective. When giving food, keep the food in the tank for a short time and then remove it to prevent the water from getting dirty. It is enough to feed the Blue Gourami once or twice a day. Find a balance so you don’t overfeed or underfeed them.
– Blue Gourami Lifespan
This fish does not have a very long lifespan, but it can, of course, change with proper care. It is a good fish choice for people who don’t want a long commitment or are beginners due to their not long lifespan.
On average, the Blue Gourami lifespan is said to be around four to five years. This decreases with poor water conditions and vice versa. People can get pretty attached to their Blue Gourami as these fishes are said to recognize their owners. Of course, taking care of them does determine the lifespan, but it also depends on your luck.
As some fish are bred better, they have better genes that can allow them to live longer. Regardless, make sure your tank has good quality, the fish has a proper tank, and the tank is not cramped to give it the longest lifespan.
– Blue Gourami Full Size
These fish are quite bigger compared to other fish of a similar lifespan. This is the only difficulty that the beginner fish keepers might encounter, as they will require a bigger than average tank to live appropriately.
It takes time to reach the Blue Gourami full size, but it is around six inches when it does. In the aquarium, it will mostly be about five inches in length. This size is reached when the fishes grow up to be adults. It is said that the female fish usually are bigger than the male fish, but this difference is very subtle.
To ensure that they reach their maximum potential, buy the fish from a reputable seller, but that’s not enough. You also have to make sure to provide them with the best quality care. As mentioned above, take care of their water parameters and diet. One of the most important parts of allowing them to grow is the tank size. The small tank size will not let the fish get bigger and cause diseases, so make sure to buy a big tank before purchasing the fish.
Blue Gourami Tank
Tank is one of the most important parts of Blue Gourami’s life. You have to make sure that it follows its natural habitat. Their natural habitat is vegetated water like ponds, ditches, swamps, and rivers, so similar water conditions should be followed for their tank as well.
Although they are hardy and can withstand some fluctuations in water parameters, they should still be followed to a tee to ensure their best care. The Blue Gourami temperature of the water should be around 76 degrees; of course, there can be some small fluctuations in it. Along with following Blue Gourami temperature, the pH of the water should be neutral, which is the best, and water hardness should be four to 18 dKH.
To maintain these conditions at all times, invest in good quality and accurate water testing kits. These kits are not that expensive and can be very useful for maintaining water quality for all fish. Along with these water testing kits, you also need to have a thermometer, especially for species like Blue Gourami that require a higher water temperature to survive. Here are some more tank requirements that need to be met.
– Blue Gourami Tank Size
When it comes to tanks, the first thing you have to think about is the tank size. These gouramis are a bit larger than most other fish, so you will need a larger tank than usual to accommodate them. Make sure you are ready for this before buying the fish.
The minimum tank size for an adult Blue Gourami is said to be 35 gallons. When they are young, they can be housed in a tank of about 15 to 20 gallons but will need a bigger tank as they grow. If you plan on having more than one gourami, make sure there is enough space for these fishes’ dominant and quieter personalities to live together. As a general rule of thumb, add five gallons to the tank with additional Blue Gourami fish.
Of course, you can go bigger with the tank size. In fact, these fish love exploring the tank, so the bigger it is, the better for them and their curiosity. No tank is too big for a fish, but some tanks can be too small for them.
– Blue Gourami Tank Decorations
Decorating the tank for your Blue Gourami is pretty easy. Just make sure there are enough plants and well-oxygenated water. Their natural habitat is pretty simple and easy to replicate in the tank if you follow the following guidelines.
It is best for the substrate to find dark-colored sand or gravel as it will make their colors pop and make them look even more stunning. The type is not that important because these fishes like to roam all over the tank and don’t occupy a certain level. However, they don’t go to the bottom and like staying on top of the water surface.
The tank should, of course, have plants but make sure the plants don’t cover the top of the tank as they need access to breathe air from the surface. This means avoiding too many floating plants but having some to provide shade. It would help if you had lots of different variations of plants in the tank, though. Moreover, give them plenty of hiding places by using caves, rocks, and driftwood.
You should not produce a strong current in your tank as the fish don’t like it but have strong filtration. They don’t produce a lot of waste, but it is still important to prevent the build-up of nitrate and ammonia. In addition to that, perform regular water changes and have air stones to improve the oxygen in the water. If the fish frequently come to the surface, it might mean that there isn’t enough oxygen inside the water!
Blue Gourami Tank Mates
These are large fish that are semi-aggressive. Most gouramis are pretty peaceful, so Blue Gourami is a little different in this aspect. They can be part of a community tank, but the fishes should be chosen carefully for a community with them.
They are quite peaceful when young and can be kept with many other fish, but as they grow older, they get aggressive. The type of tank mates that you can have also depended on the temperament of your fish. Generally, keeping this fish with small fish and fin nippers is a very bad idea. Keeping that in mind, here are some good tank mates for Blue Gourami:
- Large Characins
- Loricariid Catfish
- Loaches like Clown Loach and Kuhli Loach
- Larger Tetras
- Other peaceful catfish
- Dwarf Crayfish
- Cherry Barbs
- Harlequin Rasbora
Find peaceful or semi-aggressive fishes that can survive in similar water parameters as the Blue Gourami for the perfect tank mate. They can also be kept with other species of gouramis that are of similar size, but bullying can be a problem, so be careful with it.
Blue Gourami Breeding
It is easy to make the Blue Gouramis breed if you can provide a breeding tank to their liking. Just like most other gouramis, they are bubble nest builders. This makes their breeding fascinating to observe!
They start breeding when the male fish builds a bubble nest, mostly earlier in the day. The male fish does this by blowing bubbles out of his mouth until a circular nest appears on the water’s surface. After this, the male fish courts the female fish by swimming back and forth, flaring his fins, and raising his tail. When the female fish is ready, she will bite his back!
After this, spawning will start when the male gourami wraps its body around the female fish. After their breeding session is complete, around 800 Blue Gourami eggs will be laid by the female fish, which the male fish will fertilize. The Blue Gourami eggs will be collected in the bubble nest created by the male fish. After this, the female fish will have to move to a different tank before the male fish gets aggressive towards it. The male fish is fully capable of taking care of the eggs at this point. The eggs will hatch after around 30 hours.
The breeding tank should be of 10 to 20 gallons with normal water parameters to achieve this breeding. However, the Blue Gourami temperature of the water should be raised up to 80 degrees at this point. They should be given plenty of food, and the water current should be minimal.
These fishes are perfect for beginners as long as you can follow the fish’s water parameters and diet requirements. Here are things to remember:
- Blue Gourami is a freshwater fish mainly found in Southeast Asia, like China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
- These fishes can live for four to five years and grow up to be six inches in size.
- They need at least 35 gallons of the tank when fully grown.
- The diet for Three Spot Gourami is easy as they are omnivores and can eat everything as long as it is balanced.
- Most fishes of similar size and temperament can be good tank mates for the fish; however, Blue Gourami can be aggressive, so you have to be careful.
- They are bubble nest builders that breed readily if an appropriate breeding tank is provided.
The key points from the article should be kept in mind, and you’ll surely be a great fish parent to this beautiful species.
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