12 Awesome Gourami Fish Tank Mates

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Gourami Tank Mates

When it comes to Gourami fish, you could say they’re the life of the party. They’re active, entertaining, and generally easy to look after.

While they may not be the largest fish in the aquarium, they’re the type of fish you’d want to have around if you’re into beautiful fish that don’t require tons of maintenance.

The Gourami fish originally came from Southeast Asia and are certainly a fan favorite among fish enthusiasts here in the United States.

If you want to keep your Gourami the happiest they can be, keep them in large shoals.

Gourami Tank Mates & Care Video

Gourami fish come in a large variety including Blue Gourami, Chocolate Gourami, and the Dwarf Gourami, just to name a few.

They enjoy slightly acidic water as well as a tank that is well-planted. They like playing hide and seek so you may not see them all of the time, but they’re in there! Despite their need for a little quiet time, they also want to have plenty of room to swim freely.

When you see them swimming don’t freak out if you see them towards the top of the tank frequently. They have labyrinth organs so they can breathe easily towards the surface. Don’t be surprised if you see them gasping at the top for air. They’re not in distress. They’re just doing their thing.

These little guys are not picky eaters. They’ll snack away on flakes, freeze-dried foods, and live foods. If you want them to live a long life, give them a varied diet so that they’re getting a little bit of everything.

While Gouramis are pretty friendly fish that get along with other fish that are just as relaxed as they are, male Gouramis can become territorial when they’re ready to breed. So, you may just want to keep one male in the tank at a time. Females tend to get along well together, so you can keep as many females together as you’d like without a problem.

Here are some other things to keep in mind if you have Gourami fish or are thinking of getting some:

Gourami

Care Level: Easy
Ideal tank size:  15 gallons
Temperature range:  around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit
pH Range: 6.8-7.8

Gourami fish are typically slow movers and are not fin nippers. If your Gourami fish wants to invite some friends over to hang out in the tank.

Here’s a look at some of the most compatible fish for the Gourami:

1. Tetra’s

Serpae Tetra

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 1.5 inches
Temperature range: 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 5.5-6.8

Tetra’s and Gouramis can live together peacefully because they are quite similar. They both love to be in well-planted aquariums so they can play hide and seek. They’re just the right size so the gouramis won’t mistake them for food, plus they like to eat the same things.

Since tetras, like to swim towards the middle or bottom of the tank and gouramis, prefer the top, they won’t get in each other’s way either.

2. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin rasbora

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 2 inches
Temperature range: 73-82  degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6-7.5

The Harlequin Rasboras could be best friends with the gourami because they not only come from the same countries in South East Asia but can also survive in the same water temperature and conditions.

You don’t have to cook two meals for these fish when they’re with the gouramis because they eat the same types of food. They also like well-planted aquariums so they can co-exist well together.

3. Zebra Loach

Zebra loach

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 4 inches
Temperature range: 73-79 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6-6.5

Not all Loaches are created the same. If you want a good tank mate for your Gouramis, choose the zebra loach because it won’t grow to an extremely large size.

Zebra loaches don’t do well with other fish that tend to hang out at the bottom of the tank. That’s why the gouramis are a good choice because they hang out at the top. Zebra loaches also enjoy a good hiding spot or two, just like the gouramis.

4. Danios

Danio margaritatus (6)

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 4 inches
Temperature range: 64-74 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6.5-7

The Danio are calm fish who just want to swim along. They don’t want to fight, so they should be perfect tank mates for the Gouramis. Since there are several different types of Danios, be sure to stick with the Pearl danio and Rosy danios.

The Gouramis can have the top of the tank to themselves because the danios like the middle. They look for highly vegetated areas too so they get along just fine with the gouramis.

5. Sailfin Molly

25 09 08 Mr Molly

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 6 inches
Temperature range: 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 7-8

The Sailfin Molly comes in peace to live together with the Gourami. It thrives in the same water temperature and environment so these guys are best friends in the making.

When they’re in the same tank as gouramis, each species tends to hide, keeping out of each other’s way. They also both like to eat the same things so feeding time is that much easier.

6. The Common Pleco

Common Pleco/Pléco Commun (Hypostomus plecostomus)

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 24 inches
Temperature range: 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6.5-7.5

The Common Pleco is known as a bottom-feeding catfish. These types of fish rarely fight with other fish, just larger fish of their own species. Since the common plecos are much larger than the Gouramis, they’ll likely stay away from one another.

Also, the fact that the common plecos are bottom feeding algae eaters and Gouramis enjoy the top of the tank should give them both enough space.

7. Platy

Platy

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 1.5-2.5 inches
Temperature range: 64-77 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 7-8.2

The Common Pleco is known as a bottom-feeding catfish. These types of fish rarely fight with other fish, just larger fish of their own species. Since the common plecos are much larger than the Gouramis, they’ll likely stay away from one another.

Also, the fact that the common plecos are bottom feeding and Gouramis enjoy the top of the tank should give them both enough space.

8. Pineapple Swordtail

Pineapple Swordtail

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 4 inches
Temperature range: 64-82 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 7-8.3

The Pineapple swordtail fish is not only a beautiful fish; it is also a peaceful fish that is not looking to harm any other fish. This makes it perfect for the Gourami that also just want to make friends, not enemies.

It also enjoys spending time with other well-planted fish as well as swimming. Be sure the tank is big enough because the pineapple swordtail also likes to jump. It is also not a picky eater which makes it a great dining mate for the gourami.

9. Tiger Barbs

Tiger Barb

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 3 inches
Temperature range: 74-79 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6-7

Don’t be fooled by its name. The Tiger barb fish is a very playful fish that enjoys swimming. But, be sure to have a tank that’s big enough because if a tiger barb feels cramped with other fish it could nip a fin.

Despite this, it is still a good tank mate for the Gourami because it enjoys the same water temperature as well as a well-planted tank. It also orders off the same menu at feeding time which is a bonus for any fish-lover.

10. Discus

Discus

Care level: Moderate
Max Size of fish: 8 inches
Temperature range: 79-86 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6.1-7.5

The Discus requires a little more maintenance than the Gourami and some of its other preferred tank mates. But if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, the Discus and Gourami can still be friends.

It’s generally a peaceful fish unless it’s breeding time, then it may get a feisty and territorial. It also likes some different foods than the Gourami, such as high-quality flake food and meaty frozen foods. But, the Discus are beautiful fish that greatly compliment the Gourami fish in the tank.

11. Upsidedown Catfish

Upside-Down Catfish

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 10 inches
Temperature range: 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 7.5-9

Upsidedown catfish are known to hang upside down so don’t freak out if you see them doing this in the tank. They also like to hide just as the Gourami, so tanks with sandy bottoms, lots of plants, and crevices for hiding are also welcomed.

While they’ll eat fish flakes, you should offer them sinking catfish pellets to keep them in the best shape you can.

12. Cory Fish

Cory Catfish

Care level: Moderate
Max Size of fish: 2.5  inches
Temperature range: 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit
pH range: 6.2-7.2

Cory fish like the skunk Cory catfish make good tank mates for the Gourami because it tends to like the bottom of the tank, leaving the top of the tank open for the gourami.

Their size also make them good tank mates because they won’t take up much space giving both species more than enough room to swim around freely. To keep the Cory fish happy and healthy feed it a variety of flakes, tablets, and shrimp pellets.

Gourami Tank Mates to Avoid

Betta1

While any of the 12 above fish would make good tank mates for the Gourami, there are ones you want to avoid. The following should find other places to swim:

While these fish can be incompatible for a number of reasons, the main thing to remember is that Gourami fish are peaceful. If you throw a semi-aggressive fish like a Betta fish in there, you’ll throw off the harmony of the tank. It won’t be a good combination for either fish involved.

Misconceptions about the Gourami Fish

Male gourami

If you are thinking about buying Gourami fish don’t believe some common misconceptions that are floating around the fishing world.

Here are a few:

You don’t have the change the water regularly because Gourami fish have labyrinth organs, allowing them to survive in oxygen-depleted water: Wrong!

This is false because they can still suffer the same deadly consequences of not having their water changed regularly. Weekly water changes of 25% are recommended.

My fish is gasping for air so there must be something wrong with it: Wrong!

If your gourami fish looks like he’s gasping for air, he’s not. That’s just the way he breathes. If you put him in a tank with other fish, the other fish may not breathe in the same way if it doesn’t have labyrinth organs. Gourami fish do, so that’s why it breathes that way.

Gourami fish are anti-social: Wrong!

When you introduce a Gourami fish to the tank it may hide out quite frequently until it gets used to the tank. It may do the same thing even after it has been in the tank awhile because it just likes to hide out.

This doesn’t mean all Gourami fish are anti-social. They thrive in communities with many of the fish we listed above. Don’t put the “does not play well with other” label on these guys.

When you’re looking for a few good fish, Gourami fish are often referred to as starter fish for new aquarium ownersThey’re easy to take care of, can co-exist with several other fish, and aren’t picky eaters.

What more could you ask for?

Give your gouramis a well-planted tank, plenty of food and hiding places and you should all live happily ever after!

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By |2018-10-07T19:43:45+00:00April 22nd, 2018|Aquarium Fish|Comments Off on 12 Awesome Gourami Fish Tank Mates

About the Author:

Jack Dempsey has over 20 years of experience with freshwater aquariums, his goal is to help beginners avoid the biggest mistakes when getting started. If you find something helpful please share it on your favourite social network. If you need help with anything send Jack a question.