Dwarf Gourami, also known as Flame Gourami, are small, strikingly colored fish that delight aquarists as they add splashes of brilliant colors to the aquarium. This little fish is perfect for beginner hobbyists as they are hardy and mellow.
The Dwarf Gourami is a not picky eater and breeds easily in home aquariums. Their vibrant, iridescent colors make them an excellent centerpiece for a small aquarium.
The Flame Gourami is a robust breed, but it does have specific needs. This article provides information about water chemistry, tank setup, breeding information, suitable tankmates, and diet to help these little fish thrive in your tank.
Dwarf Gourami Stats
|Common names||Dwarf Gourami, Red Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Flame Gourami|
|Scientific names||Trichogaster Ialius|
|Adult size||2 inches|
|Life span||Four to six years|
|Colors||Blue, Powder Blue, Red Flame, Neon Blue, Honey|
|Origin||India; Bangladesh; Pakistan|
|Min. tank size||Ten gallons|
|Tank level||Top; middle-level|
|Diet||Omnivore; also eats algae|
|Breeding||Egg layer; creates a complex bubble nest|
|pH||6.0 to 7.5|
|Temperature||72 to 82 F|
|Hardness||4 to 10 dGH|
|Compatibility||a wide range of other species, including fish and invertebrates|
– Dwarf Gourami Habitat
Dwarf Gouramis live throughout the Indian sub-continent. This breed prefers relatively small, sluggish bodies of water with thick vegetation. They live in ponds, canals, creeks, and slow-flowing small rivers where they don’t need to fight swift currents, and there is plenty of food.
The monsoon rains create small temporary pools. Since these pools are shallow and stagnant, there are plenty of light, heat, and nutrients like algae, larvae, and small insects. These little pools are an ideal place for the Flame Gourami to live and breed.
Dwarf Gouramis are one of the most common food fish in northern India’s river plains. As such, people often consume them dried or as fish-meal.
– Dwarf Gourami Appearance
The Dwarf Gourami has a slim, compressed body with large fins. Their anal and dorsal fins are joined. The dorsal fins on the male Dwarf Gourami are pointed, while the female’s dorsal fins are rounded or curved.
It is easy to distinguish between the male and female gouramis because the Male Dwarf Gouramis are more brightly colored, while the females have softer, muted colors.
The Dwarf Gourami size is quite small. A male would generally grow to 3 inches, although some can grow as long as 4 inches; females are about 2.5 inches.
– Dwarf Gourami Colors
Dwarf Gourami colors appeal to fish enthusiasts of all levels. These stunning little fish are available in an extensive range of colors since breeders have developed many new variants in response to their popularity.
While the Dwarf Gourami is available in myriad colors, some of the most favored ones are the Red Dwarf Gourami, the Neon Dwarf Gourami, and the Blue Gourami.
The Flame Dwarf Gourami has intense shades of red and orange. Their fins also have a mixture of both colors. The Blue Dwarf Gourami is bright blue with reddish-brown stripes running across its body, and its scales are big. The Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami is a rich metallic blue with deep red stripes that make it very eye-catching.
– Dwarf Gourami Lifespan
Dwarf Gourami typically live for four to six years. However, they can live longer — even up to eight years — with optimal water conditions, a nutritious diet, and good care.
This species is sensitive to nitrites. It is essential to monitor the water chemistry and carry out regular water changes, as high nitrates in the water can shorten their lives.
– Dwarf Gourami Unique Characteristics
Dwarf Gourami belongs to the family Belontiidae. They are anabantoids or Labyrinth fish. They have a labyrinth organ, which is like a lung, and they can breathe air at the water’s surface.
This species often lives in swamps, flooded fields, or wetlands where the water is either shallow or stagnant, with very low oxygen levels. However, these fish can survive in these waters because they can breathe air at the water’s surface.
Another feature Dwarf Gouramis have is their pectoral fins, that have evolved into long thin feelers under their heads. You may be amused to see the fish waving these feelers about as they swim around the tank. However, they use these feelers to greet other fish, explore their surroundings, and search for food. These very sensitive feelers also have taste cells.
Flame Gouramis are also skilled, cunning hunters, which is quite unusual. They hide in the shadows or under floating plants and pounce on any unfortunate insect that gets too close.
Dwarf Gourami Care
We suggest keeping three Dwarf Gourami in a 10 gallons tank and adding five gallons for every extra fish.
|Dwarf Gourami||MinimumTank Size|
If you keep Dwarf Gouramis in a tank smaller than the minimum required size, the accumulation of fish waste can cause an ammonia spike, which is harmful to these little fish. Dwarf Gouramis do not tolerate ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.
A significant amount of ammonia or nitrite will be deadly for this fish. Therefore, it is vital to cycle your aquarium thoroughly before you introduce Dwarf Gourami into the tank. Nitrates tend to be more problematic, as they build up over time.
It is crucial to test the water regularly and carry out bi-weekly water changes to prevent nitrate levels from rising. We suggest regular water changes of 10 to 20 percent to keep the water clean.
The Dwarf Gourami can tolerate either soft or hard water condition. However, it is vital to maintain the parameters stable.
– Water Parameters
|Temperature:||72 F – 82 F|
|pH:||6.0 – 7.5|
|Water Hardness:||4 – 10 dGH|
– Dwarf Gourami Tank Setup
The Flame Gouramis will be comfortable in an aquarium that reflects their native wetlands habitat with lush vegetation and a sandy bottom.
Their natural river habitat has lots of floating plants, so you should choose floating aquarium plants with delicate leaves that are similar to the plants in their native environment. Flame Gouramis tend to be shy, so they will be able to hide behind these plants. They can also use these plants to build their nest for spawning.
In other words, you should have floating plants so these fish feel safe swimming around. Some suitable floating plants include Amazon frogbit, duckweed, and hornwort. It is essential to have lots of plants in the aquarium.
In addition, if you use ceramic pots and figures to anchor your plants, it will give the fish more places to hide. We suggest a substrate of small, dark gravel or large, coarse sand.
Remember that Dwarf Gouramis are not comfortable in bright lighting. A soft acquarium light turned on for eight to 10 hours daily is sufficient for them.
It is advisable to provide as much cover as you can for these fish the better since Dwarf Gouramis are used to floating vegetation. We suggest plants that can be anchored to the aquarium floor. Don’t forget that there must be enough room for swimming freely and space for these fish to access the surface to breathe.
– Dwarf Gourami Diet
Dwarf Gourami diet must be varied since they are omnivores and eat algae, small insects, and larvae in their natural habitat. To mimic the food they are used to eating, you could feed them algae-based flake food as well as brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex.
A varied, balanced diet for the Flame Gouramis could consist of the following foods:
- Quality flake food
- Green flake food
- Fresh spinach
- Small frozen foods like daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp
- Frozen blood worms
- Brine shrimp
- Beef heart
- Glass worms
- Live fish
- Tubifex worms
These fish will also accept freeze-dried, flake, and pellet foods.
Dwarf Gouramis are slow eaters, and they are not competitive. If the other fish in the aquarium are aggressive feeders, you must make sure your Flame Gouramis get sufficient food.
– Plants That Go Well With Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf Gouramis prefer stem plants and floating plants, which provide cover. Here are some undemanding beginner plants:
- Brazilian Water Weed (Anacharis)
- Red Root Floaters
- Java Fern
- Amazon Sword
- Java Moss
Dwarf Gourami loves all kinds of hiding places, including driftwood and rock formations. You could enjoy yourself planning the layout of this tank.
Dwarf Gourami must access the water surface to breathe, and they are too small to swim against a strong current. Therefore, a low flow is the best kind of current for these fish.
Since this species is used to sluggish water flow in the wild, you should adjust the filtration system at a low level so there is a gentle flow in the tank.
During the day, there should be a relatively bright light in the room where the tank is. Dwarf Gourami may hide more than usual since they are shy. However, the floating plants will serve as a natural therapy for this fish’s shyness, providing natural cover for the most stressful moments.
Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates
Dwarf Gourami behavior makes them the ideal addition to a community with other small fish, where they will stand out with their colorful bodies.
Dwarf Gouramis like to swim the top of the tank, where they have access to the surface. For this reason, we suggest tank mates that will prefer the middle and bottom of your aquarium. If you wish to keep a group of Dwarf Gourami, it would be best to have one male and two or three females since the male Gourami can be hostile towards other males.
Compatible tank mates for Flame Gouramis will be small, peaceful species that are middle or bottom dwellers and have similar tank requirements.
Invertebrates like the Cherry Shrimp and the Mystery Snail can also make very good tank mates. However, the Dwarf Gourami will eat the larvae of these invertebrates, which may be a problem for you.
However, large energetic fish would not be suitable tank mates, as they will cause these peaceful fish a lot of stress, and the Dwarf Gouramis will spend their time hiding out.
It would be best not to keep Flame Gouramis in the same tank as Tiger Barbs, Oscars, and Large Cichlids.
Goldfish wouldn’t be good tank companions because of their size and temperament. Furthermore, Goldfish need different tank conditions from that of Dwarf Gouramis.
Dwarf Gourami Breeding Information
Dwarf Gourami breeding is easy and fascinating to observe, as the male constructs a sturdy and complex bubble nest using plants.
To prepare your fish for breeding, condition them for one to two weeks by offering them live, protein-rich food like fairy shrimp, daphnia, blackworms, and white worms.
Prepare a breeding tank with 6 to 8 inches of water. Plants such as Vesicularia dubyana, Riccia fluitans, Ceratopteris thalictroides, and Limnophila Aquatica are suitable. You will need to bring the temperature of the water to 82 F.
Once he has built the nest, it is time for the male tocourt the female. He will dance around her with flared fins, attempting to signal that their nest is ready. The sign that the female has accepted her partner is that she will let him embrace her body, affectionately turning on the side and on the back. At this point, the female will release five dozen clear eggs, which the male will fertilize. The fertilized eggs will attach the bubble nest and remain there until hatching.
– The Male Dwarf Gourami’s Parental Instinct
Once spawning is complete, the male will lay another layer of bubbles underneath the eggs to secure them. At this point, you should move the female back to the main tank. The male has strong parental instincts, and he will guard the nest. The fry will hatch in 12 to 24 hours and develop inside the bubble nest, getting nutrition from the egg-sack.
Once the fry is free swimming, you can transfer the male back to the main aquarium, typically between the third and fifth day. During the first week, micro-foods such as rotifers, commercial fry food or infusoria will be the most suitable food for the fry. After a week, you can introduce them to a diet of finely ground flake foods and newly hatched baby brine shrimp.
Important Dwarf Gourami Requirements
Apart from the tank setup, water parameters, and diet, a few more things are essential.
– Time To Adapt
Dwarf Gouramis are very shy and are easily frightened. Upon arriving in your tank, they will probably hide among the plants. Be patient: in a short while, they will start to feel comfortable and move around the tank.
– Room and Tank Temperature
There mustn’t be a significant difference between your room temperature and the tank water. Flame Gouramis could injure their delicate labyrinth organ when they come up to breathe.
– Water Conditions
Dwarf Gouramis are vulnerable to diseases such as Dwarf Gourami iridovirus and a species-specific disease caused by poor water quality.
Gouramis are very popular freshwater aquarium fishes right now. They liven up things in the aquarium and are fun to observe.
- These stunning little fish are available in an extensive range of colors.
- The male constructs a sturdy and complex bubble nest.
- The male Dwarf Gourami has strong parental instincts.
- These fish are omnivores.
- This little fish is perfect for beginner hobbyists as they are hardy and mellow.
- Flame Gouramis are not picky eaters.
- This species has a labyrinth organ and breathes from the air.
- They like to swim at the top of the tank.
- Dwarf Gouramis are skilled hunters.
- Their most popular colors are Red, Neon, and Blue.
- Your room temperature must be the same as the tank temperature.
Not only are Dwarf Gouramis extremely good-looking, but they also have a good temperament that will make them appropriate for any aquarium. We hope that you will add these iridescent fish to your tank!
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