Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Gouramis & Anabantids



Tank Temperature:

Most require 74-82°F


Most require pH 6.5-8.0

Tank Requirements:

Planted tank preferred; tight-fitting lid; pristine water quality; low water movement; soft, sandy substrate or fine gravel; provide plenty of hiding places.


Omnivorous; floating pellets, flakes, vegetable matter, freeze-dried foods, frozen foods, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, Daphnia; feed once a day.


Tend to be territorial; bubble nest breeder; can be aggressive, but usually peaceful; males are usually aggressive towards other males.


Community Safe, with caution; Use caution when keeping with other fish in the same family, docile species that won't tolerate being stressed, and fish with long showy fins as they may be nipped.

Species Overview

Gouramis and other Anabantids (including the ever-popular Bettas and Siamese Fighting Fish) have an internal organ called the labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air in addition to using their gills. This is an adaptation to the rice paddies and stagnant pools in which these fish often live. All gouramis also have specialized pelvic fins that look like long filaments that they use to sense their surroundings.

Gouramis, like bettas, are bubble nest breeders. The males build floating nests out of bubbles that the eggs are deposited into until they hatch and develop into free-swimming fry. Breeding is fairly simple. Males and females can be differentiated by colors in many cases (males being more colorful) and male fish have a dorsal fin that is elongated and ends in a point while females are short and rounded.

These fish will accept a large variety of floating pellet and flake foods. Gouramis are generally suitable for planted aquariums, as they will not damage the live plants. As they get larger they can become slightly aggressive, particularly to other gouramis. Tank mates should be chosen to able to handle this aggression. They do well with barbs, loaches, large tetras, and semi-aggressive cichlids. Dwarf gouramis are less aggressive and can be kept with smaller or more peaceful tankmates, or in smaller aquariums than their larger counterparts. Some species are highly specialized and may grow very large or need a very specific pH range or other water parameters.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

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