Honey Gourami Main Facts

Trichogaster chuna

Colisa chuna, Colisa sota, Polyacanthus chuna, Trichopodus chuna, Trichopodus sota, Trichopodus soto, honey threadfish

Class: Actinopterygii (ray fins)

Order: Perciformes (perch-like)

Family: Osphronemidae (Guramis)

Genus: Trichogaster

Type: Trichogaster chuna (honey gourami)

The males reach a length of about 4 cm, rarely 4.5 cm. The females can get a little larger, up to a maximum of 5 cm.


The males are colored flat black from the head over the belly to shortly before the end of the anal fin. The sides of the body, the rest of the anal fin, the other fins except for the upper part of the dorsal fin are orange-red, the latter is yellow.


The females are more beige with a slightly greenish tinge, but a broad brown longitudinal stripe from the eye to the caudal fin. There are three cultivated forms. In the case of the golden one, the males are almost continuously yellow, only the rear dorsal, anal and caudal fins are reddish.

The females are also yellow, but show the brown longitudinal ligament. In the cultivated form “Fire” the fins are colored like in “Gold”, but the body is more beige, in “Fire Red” the whole fish is colored bright red.

Honey Gourami Breeding Facts



23 to 27 ° C

6.0 to 7.0

3 to 15 ° dGH

honey gourami
Honey Gourami Trichogaster chuna in an aquarium

Honey Gourami Distribution and Native Habitat

The Honey Gourami is native to the great river systems of the Ganges river (and its tributary, the Hooghly, which flows through West Bengal) and the Brahmaputra, which wends its way through Assam in the country’s northeast, within sight of the Himalayas.

honey gourami
Honey Gourami Native Habitat

The natural range of the honey gourami extends over the river plains of the Bramaputra, the Ganges and Yamunas to the Hooghly River, i.e. it occurs only in northeast India and in the neighboring region of Bangladesh.

There it colonizes the plant-rich bank areas and flood zones.

Honey Gourami Physiology and Color

Honey Gourami Physiology

  • The second ventral fin ray is elongated like a thread in the Honey Gourami – in contrast to other Trichogaster species, which have a threadlike elongated first ventral fin ray.

Honey Gourami Color

  • The Honey Gourami male is bright brown-yellow in color during the breeding season. On the other hand, the female remains inconspicuous apart from a dark longitudinal stripe, which can also fade.
honey gourami
  • The head area of ​​the male below the eyes, the chest, the lower abdominal area and the hard-ray area of ​​the anal fin are colored ink blue-black.
Honey Gourami
  • The hard ray area of ​​the dorsal fin, on the other hand, has a tin-red yellow color.
  • Honey Gourami males suppressed by dominant conspecifics can also have a pale, inconspicuous color and are then difficult to distinguish from the females.

Weird Honey Gourami color fact: On rare occasion, a female Honey Gourami that had already spawned changes color to a “male” color. There are instances of completely red colored specimens being sold by pet shops. Either:

  • these are genuinely cultivated varieties,
  • or whether these fish were merely supplied with color feed
  • or the color was even injected.

Honey Gourami Behavior

The honey gourami is a calm, somewhat shy representative of the labyrinth fish. They easily adapts to various aquarium water parameters and temperature.

Honey Gourami is an ideal species for beginner and experienced hobbyists alike due to its beautiful coloration, its peaceful disposition, and its curious, interactive behaviors!

They are also the smallest fish in the genus Trichogaster. That is why it is best to keep it in pairs in a nano aquarium.

Very seldom does the Honey Gourami grow up to 7 cm. As a general rule, males grow to in 4 cm long and females to 5 cm.

It can be easily socialized with small fish species living in the lower water zones. The Honey Gourami is peaceful and, therefore, it is quite welcome in any community tank, though the fish is a bit timid. It can also dwell in very small tanks.

However, it should not be kept together with the Dwarf Gourami or other Colisa species. The result would be permanent stress for both species.

Honey Gourami Mating and Breeding

Differentiating between male and female Honey Gourami is easy.

  • Just look at the coloring. Reproductive male has brighter coloring and dark-blue abdomen. This splendid coloring is for its reproductive nest. The female Honey Gourami is slightly larger than the male Honey Gourami and its coloring is paler.
  • Male has sharpened ends of dorsal and anal fin, the females have them rounded.

Then the male unfolds a bizarre courtship ritual to lure the female to the nest and to induce her to lay her eggs.

Honey Gourami bubble nest and mating ritual

The male Honey Gourami lays a very large foam nest by its standards, but it can also melt away again very quickly.

The foam stays near the water surface. When it comes time for spawning, the male Honey Gourami builds a nest from foam on the water surface and then dances and swings around the female.

Surprisingly, the male Honey Gourami looks after the eggs and the nest cleanness. Spawning process normally repeats several times within hours leading to hundreds of eggs being fertilized.

It is advised to carefully scoop the nest out of the spawning pool after spawning and move it to a separate breeding tank.

FACT: The Honey Gourami does not use any plants in its nest unlike the Dwarf Gourami. They have the nest under leaves of floating plants.

Honey Gourami Aquarium Compatibility

Generally, Honey gourami is timid, slow and fearful.

It needs time to get used to a new aquarium. It is therefore imperative that you select the right companions for the aquarium. This will ensure that:
• The Honey Gourami gets enough food
• It feels comfortable and adjusts to other inhabitants in the aquarium quickly

How can you help?

Make sure the aquarium plants are thickly planted. This will help the Honey Gourami become more confident and decrease the stress.
Fish is active mainly during a day. It prefers swimming in upper and medium water layers.

Which fish are good aquarium mates for the Honey Gourami?

You should add small and peaceful fish such
• Guppy
• Swordtail
• Molly
• Neon
• Tetra
• Betta

Which fish should you NOT have as aquarium mates for the Honey Gourami?

You should avoid all aggressive fish.

For example, the Dwarf Gourami: It tends to be aggressive towards other Gouramis and to other fish such as Tiger Barb. Dwarf Gourami may even nip long pectoral fins on the Honey Gourami.

Honey Gourami Feeding Options

Honey Gourami normally prey on insects and other small invertebrates in nature. 

You should feed your Honey Gourami dried products but also include plenty of small live or frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia, or Bloodworm regularly to ensure development of optimal colour and condition.

Other suitable things to feed the Honey Gourami include small insects such as micro-crickets or Drosophila fruit flies. You can actually pre-feed the insects on fish flakes or some kind of vegetable matter before offering them to the fish.

Honey Gourami – Trichogaster chuna
Honey gourami
Honey Gourami – Trichogaster chuna
feeding fish
Honey Gourami – Trichogaster chuna