Gouramis, or gouramies, are a group of freshwater anabantiform fishes that comprise the family Osphronemidae. The fish are native to Asia—from Pakistan and India to Southeast Asia Thailand, Vietnam, the Malaysian Archipelago, China, and as far north and east as Korea and Japan. The name “gourami,” of Indonesian origin, is also used for fish of Helostomatidae and Anabantidae.
Gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ (As labyrinth fishes such as betta fish) which allows them to breathe air at the surface. In nature, This organ is a vital innovation for fish that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water. Some gouramis are mouthbrooders, and some make bubble nests at the surface to incubate their eggs until they hatch. Males are usually larger and have brighter colors and longer fins than females.
Many gouramis have an elongated, feeler-like ray at the front of each of their pelvic fins. All living species show parental care: some are mouthbrooders, and others, like the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), build bubble nests. Currently, about 133 species are recognized, placed in four subfamilies and about 15 genera.
Common Names: Gourami Fish
Origin / Habitat: Southeast Asia
Care Level: Intermediate
Adult Size: Depend on Species mostly 1-3″
Lifespan: 4-5 years
Tank Size: 20 gallon
Water Parameters: the pH of 6.0-7.0
Water Hardness: 2 to 25 GH
Temperature: Between 79-86 °F or 26-30 °C
Feeding: Omnivore, eats most foods
Compatibility: Peaceful, suitable for a community tank
Tank: Level Top, Mid-dweller
In the aquarium
Numerous gourami species are popular aquarium fish widely kept throughout the world. As labyrinth fish, they will often swim near the top of the tank. As with other tropical freshwater fish, an aquarium heater is often used that water temperature should remain between 75° and 80° F.. Gouramis will eat either prepared or live foods. Some species can grow quite large and are unsuitable for general hobbyists, such as Giant Gourami. Big Gouramis may become territorial with fish that are colorful and of considerable size to them.
The size of the aquarium depends on which species of gourami you want to keep. Paradise, Opaline, croaking, honey, and dwarf gouramis can be kept in tanks as small as 10-30 gallons. Kissing gourami is quite large and it will need at least a 55-gallon tank or larger when full size. However, Osphronemus goramy, the Giant gourami, can grow to 24”, and adults require an aquarium of 250 gallons or larger. Most gouramis are surface-oriented, so having tall plants or ones that float at the surface helps make them feel at home. They will be less stressed and show their best colors in a well-decorated aquarium. Keep a secure lid on the aquarium to prevent them from jumping out.
Gouramis can be kept in pairs or groups in a community tank, so long as there are hiding places for the least aggressive in the group, which is sometimes bullied. Other tankmates can include other labyrinth fish and larger species such as Discus, Guppy, Molly, and angelfish.
Gourami Diet and Feeding
The moonlight gourami will eat flake, frozen, and live foods. Serving a good variety of live and flake foods will help ensure optimum health.