Max Size: 8cm

Samurai Gourami (Sphaerichthys vaillanti)

The Samurai Gourami is a small, shy, and extremely timid species that thrives best in dim lighting. Their water tanks should have a lot of floating plants and should be planted densely with aquatic plants, which can grow in low light, allowing them to feel more secure.

This Gourami fish is a rare and challenging fish that is relatively new for aquarium lovers and requires special care.

Females have vertical green and red stripes. The part adjacent to the head is mainly green, while the tail area is redder. They have a uniformly straight jaw profile and a more fringe head shape.

Males are usually light browny-grey and look fairer than females. Their skin is brown. The skin around their mouths is broad and expands when they are carrying eggs in their mouths. The lower jaw is slightly rounded and looks more extensive than the female. Also, males have a vertical stripe between the dorsal and anal fins. During courtship and spawning, the male's colour becomes more intense. However, females are more colourful throughout the year and look different from males.


Samurai Gourami
Samurai Gourami
Samurai Gourami
Samurai Gourami
Samurai Gourami
Quick Facts
Scientific NameSphaerichthys vaillanti
Year Described1832
Other NamesSamurai Zebra, Vaillants chocolate gourami
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan4 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH3.5 - 6.5
GH1 - 54
77 - 86℉
25 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Samurai 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

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Samurai Gourami could include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)

Sexual Dimorphism

When this species is young, it is tricky to differentiate males from females however once matured these fish exhibit striking reversed sexual dimorphism with the female taking on a vibrant red and green patterning which enhances further during spawning and is slightly smaller. In contrast, the males remain brownish and duller looking and are more significant than the females.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Congo Ctenopoma(Ctenopoma congicum)
Dwarf Ctenopoma(Microctenopoma nanum)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
View all Gouramis
Date Added: 25/09/2020 - Updated: 15/02/2022 14:14:16