10 Types of Gourami Fish – Colorful & Popular Varieties

Gourami fish are probably among the most differentiated fish families among the aquarist hobby. There are so many to choose from- from small to massive sized, from mouthbrooders to bubble nest builders, from peaceful to temperamental ones.

Whatever type of pet you have ever imagined to house at your home, you will probably find the ideal one among the gourami family. What they have in common is owning the labyrinth organ, which allows them breathing air over the water surface and basically surviving in all sorts of ponds and shallow waters.

But they may vary in all other specifications, so here is a brief overview of the 10 most popular gourami types today.

1. Dwarf Gourami

To being, here is one of the smallest gourami fish types ever- the dwarf gourami. Indeed, these little beauties never exceed 2 inches in length, which makes them the ideal pets for super-small tanks such as those of 5 or 10 gallons.

Oppositely, they can live for a nice period of time when compared to their tiny size, and you can expect them to stick around for about 4 years.

As long as you provide them with plenty of dark hiding spots around their tank and offer them a high-quality omnivorous feeding plan, you should be facing a happy group of fish. And there are so many various color morphs for you to choose from.  

2. Pearl Gourami

Moving forward, the pearl gourami is doubling both the size and the lifespan. Therefore, you can expect this decently elegant charmer to grow around 4 inches and to survive up to 8 years.

They require consequentially a larger tank, somewhere between 20 and 30 gallons depending on the number of the specimens you wish to adopt.

The pearl gourami is very distinctive thanks to its pearl-looking tiny spots all over their gentle bodies, and the bold horizontal black stripe at mid-body level. This certainly makes them one of the most magnificent and wanted gourami types ever.

3. Honey Gourami

Although they get their name because of their coloration, honey gourami fish are probably the cutest type of the family. They grow up to just 2 inches in body length, making them one of the smallest species. Moreover, male specimens rarely exceed 1,5 inch. A 10-gallon tank can be a greatly suitable home for these little guys.

What is great about them is that they can adapt perfectly to life as individuals, but they can also live happily in pairs or in larger groups. On top of that, they are quite hardy pets and make a great choice for beginner keepers.

4. Three Spot Gourami

When someone mentions gourami fish, the three spot version is probably the first which comes to the mind, as this is certainly one of the most popular species ever. They are medium-sized fish which can reach around 4 inches during their life in captivity, so a 20-gallon tank would be a great starting home.

They feature two quite distinguishable spots in line with their eyes, and this is where their name comes from. And when it comes to colorations, you may find them in blue or opaline or even golden variations.

Three spot gourami fish can be greatly friendly community fish, but not really when it comes to their own species. Therefore, keeping one male only is a must.

5. Sparkling Gourami

If you are looking to add a splash of cute sparkles to your 10-gallon tank, this is the right gourami type for you. Sparkling gourami fish are the smallest option from our list and never exceed 1,5 inches in body length.

They are quite rarely seen among private aquariums, yet they make quite the hardy pets. You can also keep them in community tanks with other peaceful and similar-sized fish.

6. Chocolate Gourami

Chocolate Gourami

Chocolate Gourami – Flickr

Chocolate gourami fish are an amazing type for all those who are looking for a more demanding pet and like to face keeping challenges. Indeed, they are probably the most sensitive gourami type from our list.

Even though they are small and usually grow just a bit less than 2 inches, they have specific needs and should be housed in nothing smaller than 30-gallon tanks.

They require certain water acidity, plenty of vegetation and hiding spots, and somehow warmer temperatures to thrive. And, most importantly, they are super-delicate to oscillations in water values. However, if you manage to ensure them proper care, you may be facing a remarkable companion for a period of 5 years.

7. Licorice Gourami

Yes, these tiny creatures do look like colorful candies. They feature amazing coloration which varies from males to females, but also from specimen to specimen. They are fairly small and do not manage to reach 2 inches during their adulthood.

They too are not suitable choices for extreme beginners, as they are not just super-sensitive but also quite needy. Indeed, they require specific water parameters such as highly acidic values, maximal softness, and overly planted tanks.

Moreover, these tiny carnivorous are quite the picky eaters, so you can forget feeding them with commercial flakes or pellets. They will not accept such food. Meaty and tasty snacks only!

8. Kissing Gourami

Kissing gourami fish present one of the most odd and individualistic gourami species on the planet. Not just they showcase this extremely peculiar behavior and really do seem to kiss each other (in fact, it has quite the opposite meaning) but they can also grow to a fantastic size of up to 15 inches.

If you plan on adopting such spectacular creatures, please do plan to setup at least 75 gallons of water volume for your new pets, as this is the very minimum they require.

They can become quite territorial so it is better to avoid keeping more than one male specimen in a single tank. However, they do seem to function well with large peaceful fish species.

Kissing gourami make long-time commitment pets and you can expect them to survive around 10 years in captivity, although some have been reported to have had a 25-year-long lifespan.

9. Samurai Gourami

These colorful mouthbrooders are actually rather new to the aquarist hobby, so they are for now quite rare to spot around private aquariums. Yet, they seem to be fairly suitable for both intermediate and expert-level keepers. This may not be a good option for first-time keepers. 

Samurai gourami fish require specific water specifications which need to be stable at all times. A 30-gallon tank should be enough to provide home to a happy school of 6 specimens, but make sure to provide plenty of floating plants and high-quality omnivorous feeding sources.

10. Giant Gourami

And finally, we have kept the largest gourami type for last. The giant gourami, as its name suggests itself, is a massive fish species and requires therefore massive tanks.

If you are looking to adopt this spectacular fish, do expect for it to grow up to even 28 inches in body size, but also to survive around 20 years or more. A truly magnificent pet, for those who can afford the space. Indeed, these highly intelligent and interactive creatures require a home of at least 300 gallons.

However, once you manage to provide them with the space they deserve, they make quite the hardy yet extraordinary pets.

Wrapping Up

Depending on your work schedule and the size of aquariums you are able to house, there are so many different gourami species for you to choose from.

And even more importantly, you should choose your ideal pet according to your experience so far with aquatic creatures. Luckily, with gourami fish there is no doubt, as this family is so differentiated and offers a bit of suitable species for everyone.

Being your new pet tiny or huge, carnivorous or omnivorous, docile or aggressive, we are sure that you will enjoy taking care of your gourami.  

Gouramis   Updated: July 1, 2021
avatar Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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