Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) Fish Species Profile

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The Dwarf Gourami is a majestic looking freshwater fish. They are shy and peaceful fish, very hardy and easily maintained. Because of this and their beautiful colours that make your tank stand out, they have become popular in the aquarium hobby.

If you own a pair of them, the two fish will happily swim together.

Dwarf gouramis are considered labyrinth fish; this means they breathe right from the air with their lung-like labyrinth organ and will need to have access to the water's surface.

Dwarf Gouramis are one of the smallest species of the gouramis. There are many colour variants, including blue, neon, rainbow, red, and honey.

Scientific NameTrichogaster lalius
Other NamesFlame Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Red Gourami, Sunset Gourami
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asPairs
Lifespanup to 5 year
Maximum Sizeup to 8 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature72 - 82 ℉ (22.2 - 27.8 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 10

Origins of the Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gouramis can be found in the slow-flowing, thickly vegetated beds in ponds, rivers, canals, and lakes in West Bengal, Assam, and Bangladesh, in India.

Monsoon season allows them to explore new territories by creating small seasonal pools perfect for breeding.

They are used to a lot of light, nutrients and heat in these small temporary pools, which make them a beautiful place to live. When the season is over, fish swim back to their permanent habitats.


Dwarf Gouramis will happily eat all sorts of foods, pretty much anything that will fit in their mouth. They will accept flakes, frozen foods, freeze-dried food, vegetable tablets and algae wafers.

To preserve good health and colour, enhance their diet with intermittent feedings of live foods.

Sexing the Dwarf Gourami

It is relatively easy to differentiate a male from a female Dwarf Gourami. The males are a bit larger than that of the females and have a bright red-orange body with turquoise-blue, vertical stripes that extend into the fins, and the females remain a duller, silvery grey-blue colour and never reach the male's vibrant colours.

Breeding the Dwarf Gourami

The male makes a floating bubble nest in which the eggs are laid. Unlike other bubble nest builders, males will include bits of plants, twigs, and other debris, which hold the nest together better. The water level should be reduced by a few centimetres during spawning, and you should raise your temperature by a few degrees.

Vegetation is necessary, as males build their bubble nest using plant matter, which they bind together with bubbles. Nests are very intricate and sturdy.

Once the male has constructed the nest, he will begin wooing the female, usually late afternoon or evening. He indicates his intentions by swimming around the female with splayed fins, trying to attract her to the nest where he will resume the display.

If the female endures the male, she will start to swim in circles with the male below the bubble nest. Once she is ready to spawn, she touches the male on either the tail or their back with her mouth.

Once the female does this, the male will welcome the female, turning her first on her side and finally on her back. At this point, the female will release around five dozen eggs, and the male will quickly fertilise them.

A majority of the eggs will float up into the bubble nest and the eggs that stray are collected by the male and put in the nest. Once all the eggs are collected, and in the nest, the couple will spawn again. If there are more females present in the breeding tank, the male will breed with them all.

These sessions will continue for two to four hours and produce between 300 and 800 eggs. After the female has run out of eggs, the male will place a fine layer of bubbles beneath the eggs, securing them in the bubble nest.

The female then needs to be removed and placed in a different tank, and the male will take full responsibility for the eggs, aggressively defending the nest, the eggs and the surrounding territory.

The fry will hatch within 12-24 hours, and continue developing within the protection of the bubble nest.

After three days they will be free swimming and leave the nest, at this point you then need to remove the male or he will consume the fry.

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Date Added: 8/24/2020 - Updated: 8/24/2020 9:47:57 AM