Max Size: 6cm

Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)

Chocolate Gouramis are slow-moving with a gentle and shy nature, and will quickly be frightened or defeated for food by more abundant or more rowdy tankmates.

These Gouramis can be sensitive to water conditions and are susceptible to bacterial infections and skin parasites, so are not well suited to the beginner aquarist.

They can be very combative with each other, so larger tanks with the correct tank mates and groups of six or more will allow them to be peaceful and thrive.

Chocolate Gouramis have an oval-shaped, flat body, a pointed mouth, and a small head.

It gets its name from the dark chocolate brown colour it possesses which can differ from slightly reddish-brown to a greenish-brown.

This fish also has three to five light yellow to white stripes that run vertically through the body.

The fins are long and edged in yellow, with the caudal fin slightly forked.


Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gouramis
Chocolate Gouramis
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Quick Facts
Scientific NameSphaerichthys osphromenoides
Year Described1970
OriginsIndonesia, Malaysia
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 to 6.0
GH0.5 - 6
77 - 84℉
25 - 28.9℃


In the home aquarium, the Chocolate Gourami will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

9 interesting tank mate ideas for the Chocolate Gourami could include:

Boesemans Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia Boesemani)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Celebes Rainbowfish(Marosatherina ladigesi)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
Clown Rasbora(Rasbora kalochroma)
Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
Samurai Gourami(Sphaerichthys vaillanti)
Snakehead Betta(Betta channoides)
Snakeskin Barb(Desmopuntius Rhomboocellatus)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is quite easy to differentiate the male from the female.

The males are usually larger overall and have more developed, and pointier fins than females and their Caudel and Anal fins have a more prominent yellow edge than the females. They also present a more browny red colouration.

The females will have a more rounded throat, whereas the male's throat is more straight probably to facilitate mouthbrooding.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Congo Ctenopoma(Ctenopoma congicum)
Dwarf Ctenopoma(Microctenopoma nanum)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
View all Gouramis
Date Added: 17/08/2020 - Updated: 15/02/2022 13:46:46