19 Different Tropical Aquarium Gouramis - Rare & Common
Gouramis are popular and, for the most part, peaceful tropical fish originating from the families Osphronemidae, Helostomatidae and Anabantidae. Some gouramis are found commonly at local fish shops, but others are harder to come across. Below is a list of some of the most common and rarest Gouramis available in the aquarist hobby.
Gouramis species are a group of fish in the families Helostomatidae, Osphronemidae and Anabantidae. Currently, there are around 133 recognised species, placed in four subfamilies and about 15 genera.
They possess a labyrinth organ that acts like a lung, which allows them to breathe air at the water's surface. In nature, this modification lets them live in shallow, oxygen-poor stagnant water.
A majority of gouramis have an elongated, feeler-like ray at the front of each pelvic fins. Some Gouramis make bubble nests at the surface to incubate their eggs until they hatch, and others are mouthbrooders. All Gourami species show parental care over their babies.
Many Gourami species are popular aquarium fish widely kept by hobbyists or aquarists throughout the world. Some of these species can grow considerably large and are unsuitable for the inexperienced hobbyist.
Larger Gouramis may become territorial with fish that are a considerable size to them or are colourful. Males are usually larger, have brighter colours and more extended fins than the females. Several of these species have been selectively bred for different colour variations and fancier fins.
Giant Gouramis are eaten often in some parts of the world. In Southeast Asian countries, they are usually deep-fried and served in chilli sauce, sweet and sour sauce and other spices. The Paradise fish and other parts of that genus are the victim of a cannery industry in China, the goods available in oriental supermarkets around the world.
Gouramis can be found throughout eastern and southern Asia, from Pakistan through Thailand, the Malaysian Archipelago, Vietnam, China and as far east and north as Korea and Japan. They inhabit warm, slow-moving swamps, rivers, canals, marshes, wetlands and temporary pools.
Generally regarded as a peaceful species, Gouramis can still harass or kill long-finned or smaller fish. Depending on the species, juvenile and adult males have been known to spar with each other. Overcrowding of the aquarium can also result in aggression.
Many Gouramis species can be found in soft, acidic water in the wild; however, most aquarium species sold today are raised commercially in water with a higher pH and alkalinity than their natural environments them very adaptable.
It would be best if you kept the pH levels between 6.8 and 7.8, the alkalinity between 3 and 8 GH (50 ppm to 140 ppm) and the water temperature should remain between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are keeping the aquarium in rooms below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it is advisable to use an aquarium heater; this will help to maintain the correct temperature. It is beneficial to have good filtration and perform 10 per cent water changes weekly or 25 per cent every two weeks. Make sure you treat tap water with de-chlorinator before refilling your tank.
Male Gouramis tend to be aggressive towards one another, so it would be better to keep them individually. Female gouramis usually tolerate each other well.
Mixing different species or colour varieties of Gouramis should only be done in more extensive, well-decorated tanks. Remember that Opaline, Blue, Three Spot, Gold and Lavender Gouramis are all the same fish; they have just been bred for different colours.
Gouramis are slow movers that are best kept with similar sized fish that are not too active and do not nip fins. Larger Tetras, peaceful Barbs, Livebearers (other than Fancy Guppies), most Danios and Angelfish can all be good choices. However, it is always best to consult an aquarium expert before buying any new fish for your aquarium.
The size of the aquarium you may require depends on which species of Gourami you would like to keep.
Sparkling, Croaking, Honey and Dwarf gouramis can all be kept in tanks as small as 35 litres. In contrast, a 100-litre aquarium or larger is recommended for Pearl, Blue, Gold, Opaline and Moonlight Gouramis, as well as Paradise Fish.
Kissing gouramis can grow relatively large, so will require a 200-litre tank or larger when full size. The Giant Gourami can grow up to 60 cm, and adults need an aquarium of 1000 litres or larger.
Most Gouramis are surface-oriented, so floating plants or tall plants helps make them feel more comfortable. They will appear less stressed and show their best colours in a well-decorated aquarium.
Make sure you keep a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium to prevent your Gouramis from jumping out.
Most Gouramis are omnivores and will thrive on High quality dried food such as flakes, granules and shrimp pellets. Kissing Gouramis are herbivores and should be fed spirulina flakes and algae wafers.
Live and frozen fare can also be fed as treats occasionally, and they also help to induce spawning. For most beneficial results, adjust their diet daily and feed them only what they can consume in two minutes or less, once or twice daily.
You can breed a fair amount of Gouramis species in captivity; however, some effort is required to raise the fry to adulthood.
Most Gouramis species sold in pet shops are bubble nesters. After constructing an adequate nest at the water's surface, the male will court the female, and a spawning ritual will begin. While the eggs are being laid, the male will retrieve them and deposit them into his nest, which he will then guard and protect until they hatch.
The males may become aggressive towards the females after spawning has finished saving the eggs from being eaten; therefore, it is advisable to remove them immediately.
Other types of Gouramis skip the nesting process. They opt to mouth-brood their eggs instead. The males carry the young in their mouths, skipping meals for weeks to protect the developing young.
Whichever method your Gourami chooses, they are all model parents.
Frquently asked questions about the Gouramis
Can Gouramis live together?
What other fish are Gouramis compatible with?
Why do Gouramis have feelers?
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