Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Data Sheet

Dwarf Gourami

Scientific Name: Trichogaster trichopterus,
Other Names: Three Spot Gourami, Opaline Gourami, Cosby Gourami, Golden Gourami, Silver Gourami, Honey Gourami, Dwarf Gourami
Family: Belontiidae
Origin: South East Asia
Adult Size: 4.3 inches (11 cm)
Social: Peaceful with larger or same size fish. But may eat smaller fish.
Lifespan: 4 years
Tank Level: Top, middle dweller

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Omnivore - Eats most food
Breeding: Egg Layer - bubble nest builder
Care: Easy
Ideal pH: 6.8-7.5
Temperature: 72-79 F (22-26 C)

Pink Kissing Gourami

Tank setup:

Planted tank with some thick plants, and gentle circulation

The dorsal fin is long and pointed in males; in females it is shorter and rounded.

Flame Dwarf Gourami

Neon Dwarf Gourami

Gold Gourami


Many gouramies have an elongated ray at the front of their pelvic fins. Many species show parental care. The three spot Gourami sports but two spots; one in the center of the body, and a second at the caudal pentacle (beginning of the tail). The third spot is actually the eye. Selective breeding has produced other types of gouramis, and some species lack the spots.

Gouramis are among those fish who possess a labryinth organ, which allows them to breath air directly. This means that they can survive well in oxygen poor waters but must be able breathe directly from the surface.


Hailing from the tropical waters of the Far East, Blue Gouramis are one of the most hardy of the Gourami family. Their preference is for thickly vegetated waters of any type. They can be found in ditches, canals, ponds, swamps, rivers, and lakes. Blue Gouramis tolerate a wide range of temperatures and are not demanding in terms of water conditions. However, they prefer soft, slightly acidic water when in breeding season.

Mixing with other fishes:

In the home aquarium they may be housed with a variety of fish, although it's usually best to keep them with fish of similar size. Generally only one male should be kept per tank, as males are highly territorial. However if the tank is large enough, or there are enough other fish present, this natural tendency will be diminished.


These are exceptionally easy fish to feed, as they will accept virtually any foods, from flake to freeze-dried, to live foods. They will consume hydra voraciously, and are prized for their ability to eliminate this pest from the home aquarium.


Sexes are primarily differentiated by the shape of the dorsal fin, which is long and pointed in males, compared to the females' shorter rounded dorsal. Females that are prepared for spawning will show a pronounced swelling in the breast area, while the male will have a far more slender girth. Both sexes display a much deeper blue color during breeding periods.

Because the male can be rather aggressive during spawning, the aquarium habitat should provide ample places for the female to take refuge. Failure to do so can result in injury to the female.

Spawning begins with the building of the bubble nest by the male, which usually occurs early in the day. After a suitable nest has been prepared, the male will attempt to entice the female under it by swimming back and forth, flaring his fins and raising his tail. The female signals her readiness by biting his back; he responds by repeatedly brushing his back against her belly before taking her into a spawning embrace. During spawning the male wraps his body tightly around the female, turning her on her side or back so the eggs will rise unimpeded to the surface. This close embrace is also important because it brings the reproductive products as close together as possible. Because sperm cells survive only a matter of minutes in the water, the timing of their release and proximity to the eggs is critical.

Just before the sperm are released, the pair may be observed quivering - a sure sign that spawning is near completion. The eggs are released immediately thereafter, and are fertilized by the time they reach the bubble nest. The pair may repeat the process a number of times over the course of several hours. It is not unusual for the number of eggs produced to reach into the thousands.

Once spawning is complete, the female's involvement is over, and she should be removed to prevent her from being attacked by the male. From this point forward until they hatch, the male will tend the eggs, carefully rearranging them and returning any errant eggs back to the nest. Spitting streams of water is an interesting phenomenon often seen at this time in breeding males. It is believed the purpose of this behavior is to keep the eggs positioned within the bubble nest.

The eggs hatch in approximately 30 hours. The fry should be fed infusoria and nauplii. Water changes should be frequent as the fry grow, especially during the third week, which is when the labyrinth organ develops.


  • Dwarf Gourami - has diagonal turquoise blue stripes on their reddish orange body. The males are larger and more colorful than the females.
  • Honey Gourami - Males have beautiful bright orange-yellow color. The females are plain, have slightly shaded brownish orange body with a silvery fluorescent glow.
  • Giant Gourami - can grow up to 70 cm (28") long. It is highly territorial.
  • Pearl Gourami - The base color is a Reddish Brown that is almost completely covered by a mixture of White Pearly dots that give the look of an Opalescent sheen. An intermittent dark Brown line extends down the body sides from the nose through the eyes to the start of the tail fin where it blooms into a round blotch.
  • Kissing Gourami - get their name from large lips which they pucker and then lock with another Kissing Gourami. They have a long oval shaped body with a rose colouring and broad colourless dorsal and anal fins. They do not have the long thread-like pelvic fins that are typical of other gouramis. They grow to a much larger size than most gouramis and can grow to 12 inches in the wild.
  • Moonlight Gourami - is silvery colored with a slightly greenish hue that is not unlike the soft glow of moonlight. The concave slope of the head in the Moonlight Gourami distinguishes it from other Gourami species.

Photo Galley

Got a photo? Contact me.

Pearl Gourami

Golden Gourami

Blue Gourami

Three spot Gourami

Kissing Gourami

Giant Gourami

Links to other awesome Gourami sites:

1. - an excellent photo galley.
2. - a singaporean fish farm where they breed gourami for export.

References Cited:

1. Blue Gourami, [Online], Available
2. David Goodwin (2001), The Aquarium Fish Handbook, D & S books, England.
3. Pearl Gourami Profile [Online], Available
4. Gourami [Online], Available
5. William Burg (??) Breeding Gourami, Online, Available
6. Kissing Gourami Information, [Online], Available
7. Moonlight Gourami, [Online], Available

No comments: