Gourami Care and Breeding

Trichopodus leerii - Pearl Gourami
Pearl Gourami. Basheer Tome

Gourami care and breeding varies slightly from species to species, but most Gourami have the same basic needs. If you are seriously considering spawning your Gourami, read the general info then check the profile for the species you are spawning to see if they have special needs (profile links are in the last section of this article).

Aquarium Setup and Tankmates

Gouramis are relatively undemanding, and therefore are well suited to most community aquariums.

Choose non-aggressive similar sized tankmates. Dwarf Cichlids are suitable, as are charcins and other labyrinth fish. Because males may be rather territorial, it is wise to not keep more than one male Gourami in the same tank unless it is large enough to allow each to claim his own territory.

A fine to medium size neutral colored substrate is preferable. Optimum water temperature for most species is 74 - 79 F (24 - 26 C). The water should be neutral to slightly acidic and relatively soft. Plant the tank well with Cryptocoryne, or sturdy vegetation such as Java Fern and Vallisneria.


Gouramis will eat almost any food; however, it's important to vary the diet to ensure balanced nutrition. A combination of dry as well frozen and fresh/live foods will provide a well-rounded diet. When conditioning prior to breeding fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cooked peas, and spinach, may also be offered as well as live foods such as black worms, brine shrimp, and glass worms.


All Gourami are egglayers and build bubblenests for spawning and raising their young. The water level in the breeding tank should be low - six inches is plenty. Lighting should be subdued, and the water temperature should be slowly increased for several days prior to spawning until it reaches the mid 80's.

Water movement should be kept minimal so the bubblenest is not disturbed.

Popular Gourami Species

There are roughly a dozen species of Gourami that are commonly seen in the aquarium trade. Several of them have more than one color morph, but are the same species. Common Gourami species (with their scientific name) include: