Dwarf Gourami Ultimate Guide

dwarf gourami
Dwarf Gourami Trichogaster lalius in an aquarium

Dwarf Gourami Main Facts

Trichogaster lalius

Flame Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Red Gourami, Sunset Gourami.

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anabantiformes
Family: Osphronemidae
Genus: Trichogaster
Species: T. lalius

They can grow up to 4.5 inches but on average most of them only reach 3.5 inches.

Their primary color variations are:
1. Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami
2. Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami
3. Flame Dwarf Gourami

They are characterized by their body shape and striking coloration.

Their color varies with each morph, from a vibrant blue with red stripes to a red and orange body like a red melon discus.

Dwarf Gourami Breeding Facts

Dwarf gouramis do not do well with large, aggressive fish. Dwarf gouramis are so docile that they will allow themselves to be bullied to death rather than fight back.

The male builds a floating bubble nest in which the eggs are laid. Unlike other bubble nest builders, males will incorporate bits of plants, twigs, and other debris, which hold the nest together better.

28-30 °C (86 °F)

6.0 to 7.5

5 to 10 ° dGH

Dwarf Gourami Distribution and Native Habitat

The Dwarf Gourami is a native of the great river systems of the Indus, Ganges and Bramaputra, where it occurs in large schools.

Dwarf Gourami
Dwarf Gourami Native Habitat

The Dwarf Gourami is spread over almost all of northern India and beyond including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. In the dry season, the Dwarf Gouramis migrate through deeper water zones.

During the monsoon season the Dwarf Gourami move to the floodplain, where they can build foam nests between the plants. The nutrient-rich banks and flood zones are where the males begin the breeding season by defending their nesting areas.

Dwarf Gourami Physiology and Color

Dwarf Gourami Physiology

The main physiological characteristics of the Dwarf Gourami:

  • The dwarf gourami is compact and high back
  • The anal fins are rounded
  • The dorsal fin of the Dwarf Gourami may be slightly pointed or rounded
  • Adult female Dwarf Gourami have a silver-gray basic color, on which up to 14 weakly pronounced oblique and bluish shimmering vertical bands extend from the end of the gill to the base of the caudal fin
  • When excited, the penultimate vertical band of Dwarf Gourami forms a round bruise in the middle. The fins are colorless, the dorsal and anal fins only slightly reddish
dwarf gourami
Dwarf Gourami Trichogaster lalius in an aquarium

Dwarf Gourami Color

  • Unlike the females, adult Dwarf Gourami have a strong red base color, which is usually superimposed by 12 pronounced light to turquoise-blue shiny vertical stripes.
  • The throat and chest of the male Dwarf Gourami are also colored bright blue. During courtship, the throats may appear a strong dark blue
  • The unpaired fins of the Dwarf Gourami are spotted light blue and red, with blue predominating in the hard-radiating part of the dorsal fin
  • The hard-radiating part of the anal fin is lined with turquoise blue
  • The eyes are colored bright red
A Dwarf Gourami with light blue and red spotted fins

Dwarf Gourami species and cultivated Dwarf Gourami

In general, there are few major species differences among Dwarf Gourami.

River Dwarf Gourami

The Dwarf Gourami with a turquoise base tone and red-brown stripes can mostly be found in the rivers.

Cultivated Dwarf Gourami

The reddish and blue shimmering versions are now also popular and most breeders have found a way to change the color.

The Dwarf Gourami belongs to the genus of Gourami, which is also available in larger variants. It is related to the:

  • The Honey Gourami
  • The Striped Gourami
  • The Thick-lipped Gourami
  • The Mosaic Gourami
Dwarf Gourami Aquarium Fish Profile

Dwarf Gourami Diet

To maintain a healthy Dwarf Gourami, you need to pick the right foods because they are omnivores

What does a Dwarf Gourami diet consist of?

Dried foods

You should mainly give dry food to the Dwarf Gourami in the aquarium.

You can buy this in the form of classic flakes and feed it to the animals on a daily basis.

Small frozen animals

There are frozen small animals or live food that you can feed the Gourami about twice a week.

Insect larvae and mollusks are particularly recommended.

Flying insects

This is the natural food with which the Dwarf Gourami in the wild take up energy. Flying insects can be given to the fish

ATTENTION: You should not feed Red mosquito larvae to Dwarf Gourami! These can carry viruses and bacteria, which often lead to intestinal infections and ultimately death.

Dwarf Gourami in the aquarium

For your Dwarf Gourami, it is best to buy an aquarium that can hold at least 112 liters.

Ratio of male to female Dwarf Gourami in an aquarium


  • You should only buy a male for this size, as they have an extremely territorial behavior.
  • You can also add three females to the tank.
  • In larger aquariums, it is also possible to keep a second male. In any case, these must be used at the same time so that they can immediately look for their own territories. If the second male arrives later, violent conflicts can arise.

Plants in an aquarium with Dwarf Gourami

In the wild, dwarf gourami mostly live in troubled and heavily planted rivers or floodplain areas.

You should therefore:

  • Have as many plants as possible in the aquarium
  • Make sure that the plants are protruding to the surface of the water. The plants are an important place of retreat for the fish, not least to hide their foam nests for the offspring.
  • Make sure that the temperature in the aquarium is high enough. Dwarf Gourami swim to the surface, protected by the green, to take a breath.
A look at the suitable tank mates for the Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami Summary

  • The Dwarf Gourami is originally native to the great river systems of South Asia and is known for its enchanting coloration and for the long, thread-like fins on its belly.
  • In general, the Dwarf Gourami is a rather sensitive species. You should only buy such a creature if you have experience and can guarantee stable conditions in the aquarium.
  • The basic color of turquoise and the red-brown stripes that run lengthwise across the stomach and back are typical of the dwarf gourami. In the meantime, however, the bluish Dwarf Gourami are also popular with breeders and keepers.
  • It is important that tall plants grow in the aquarium for Dwarf Gourami. The living beings use these as a retreat, to emerge and to lay their eggs protected in foam nests.
  • 112 liters is the minimum size that you need in an aquarium for keeping Dwarf Gourami. You should put a maximum of one pair in such a pool. If the aquarium is larger, you can keep two males and a maximum of three females.
  • The Dwarf Gourami usually live a maximum of three years and thus belong to the rather short-lived inhabitants of the aquarium.
  • You should not keep the Dwarf Gourami together with animals that tend to pluck at their long ventral fins – especially Barbel.