Guppies and Dwarf Gourami – Can You Keep them Together?
Guppies and dwarf gourami share a lot. They are both peaceful species of tropical aquarium fish that can adapt to a wide range of conditions. This is the reason behind why they are so popular among the novice and adept aquarists.
However, several times you will hear various aquarist complain about their guppies being harassed and even killed by gouramis. This is a fact that we can’t refurbish.
So, the main question is, can you keep guppies and gouramis together?
Yes, guppy fish and gourami fish can live together. However there are few things to consider when keeping these two fish species in the same tank.
Below I’ve highlighted some of the requirements for gouramis and guppies:
Tank Size for Guppies and Gouramis
Guppies do well in any size tank above 10 gallons. So, you don’t need to worry about this too much. However, whenever you are choosing the right sized tank for the friends, remember that for every one inch of fish, you will need one gallon of water.
Averagely, adult guppies measure about 2 to 2.5 inches long. Meaning to fully cover the fish and offer an additional adequate room for swimming, 5-gallon tank can be good for two guppy fish.
Dwarf gouramis come in a wide range of sizes, depending on their type. On average, the smallest gourami measure between 1.5 to 4.0 inches long. The 1.5 inched dwarfs can happily fit in a 5-gallon nano tank. However, for the bigger counterparts, a tank of 30-40 gallons is needed.
Bottom line, the number of fish species you want to keep in your community tank should guide you. When working with two dwarfs and two guppies, a tank measuring about 30-40 gallon is an ideal. Otherwise, you need a bigger tank for more than five tank occupants
Lastly, both guppies and dwarf gourami love hiding spaces. You will need to integrate live plants in the tank to make it more natural. This adds to factors that you need to consider while choosing your tank.
Water Parameters for Gouramis and Guppies
Guppies fall in the categories of freshwater aquarium species. For excellent health, you need to keep your tank free of chlorine. If you use tap water, the water should be de-chlorinated before pouring it into the tank.
Guppies thrive in hard water. Therefore, where you cannot access well-water, you can use unboiled tap water, placed in an open container overnight before adding into the aquarium.
Some of the water parameters that you must work to keep at a near-constant level include:
- Water temperature ranging between 72-82 Farenheight (22-88 degrees celsius)
- Water PH ranging between 6.8-7.8. De-Chlorinated tap water is always ideal when weighing your options
- Water hardness ranging between 8-12 (dGH)
- 0 ppm ammonia, nitrites and nitrate concentration.
The prevailing water conditions highly determine their respective health. The cardinal rule here is to keep your water free from chlorine and Chloramine contents. The two substances can immensely affect the health of your guppies and even cause death.
Additionally, care and maintained of guppies demands regular changing of your aquarium water. Usually, when you feed your pets, they produce waste due to biological processes such as excretion. You can only get rid of the accumulating waste through changing your water regularly.
For a community tank that carries both guppies and dwarfs, changing 30% of your water every week is the only way forward. This applies to low stock feeds. However, when the tank is highly stocked, you may need to change half of the water every week.
Water conditioner such as Seachem Prime can be of great use for removal of heavy metals and chlorine from the water.
Dwarfs have labyrinth that plays the role of a lung. The gland functions well under shallow waters hence making aquarium species prone to breathing at the surface of the aquarium. Otherwise, dwarfs are highly adaptable. They can survive under a wide range of parameters. Key parameters to take a keen note for include:
- Water temperatures ranging between 75 and 80 Fahrenheit
- pH range between 6.8 to 7.8
- Water alkalinity between 50 ppm and 140 ppm
Dwarf Gourami loves soft and slightly acidic water. Therefore, other than keeping the aquarium well-aerated, you may not need to change your water so often.
In a tank that carries only dwarfs, you can change approximately 20-25 % of your water after a period of between two weeks to one month. However, it does no harm to change the water after every one week more so when dealing with a community tank that carries the two aforementioned species.
Feeding Guppies and Gouramis
Proper feeding is the cornerstone for ethical and standard care and maintenance of any aquarium fish. All the aquarium species are livelier and more social during the feeding time. This trait helps you as an aquarist to determine whether your buddies are sick, depressed or healthy.
Guppies are a heavy feeder. They munch on a variety of foods that include vegetable flakes, frozen foods, raw vegetables, spirulina tabs and live foods. For healthy guppies, you need to:
- Alternate your ingredients to ensure that they benefit from a wide range of components
- Do not overfeed your pets. Feeding once per day works for most adept aquarists. A green flag to proper feeding entails eating in less than one minute. Anything that takes your pet more than that is harmful to the fish.
Dwarfs are omnivorous species. They thrive on flakes, tropical granules, aqueous tropical flakes and shrimp pellets. Additionally, they love live foods, frozen veggies and live foods. For healthy dwarfs.
- Provide the food once or twice a day
- Keep the feeding time to less than two minutes. Anything more than that is excess and can cause death.
So, if you want to setup a community tank with dwarf gouramis and guppies, you can be sure that the will live together peacefully.
Don’t forget though, that gouramis will eat baby guppies. So, in case you are planning to breed guppies, you might not want to keep guppies together with other fish species.