Gourami Species

Yellow and black 3-spot gourami fish swimming

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Gouramis are a diverse family of medium- to large-sized fish. Most can be kept in community aquariums, but some species do not play well with others, while some are too timid to be kept with larger species of fish. This reference covers the basic attributes of the popular Gourami species, so you can consider which one would be a good fit for you. Links within each species go to a more detailed profile of that particular fish.

  • 01 of 06

    Blue Gourami

    Blue Gourami
    Defender Regina
    • Scientific name: Trichogaster trichopterus
    • Also known as: Three Spot Gourami, Opaline Gourami, Cosby Gourami, Golden Gourami, Silver Gourami
    • Adult size: 4 inches (10 cm)
    • Lifespan: 4 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.0 to 8.8
    • Hardness: 5 to 35 dGH
    • Temperature: 72 to 82 F/22 to 28 C
    • Tankmates: Generally peaceful with similar sized fish

    Blue Gouramis are possibly the most well known of the Gourami family. They are easy to care for ​and can be kept with other fish of similar size. Blue Gouramis do not tolerate others of their species well. This is particularly true of males, and it's recommended that only one male be kept in a tank. They are native to southeastern Asia, but aquarium fish are commercially raised on fish farms.

    The standard blue-colored fish has a black spot on the base of the tail, one in the middle of its body, and the black pupil of the eye makes the third spot, giving the blue gourami the alternate name of 3-spot gourami. Several color morphs exist, such as a gold variety that still has the spots, and a blue variety that has black blotches or marbling instead of the distinct spots, called the "opaline gourami" (or "Cosby gourami"). The "silver or platinum gourami" is the white color morph.

  • 02 of 06

    Chocolate Gourami

    Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphormenoides)
    Jonathan Lines
    • Scientific name: Sphaerichthys osphormenoides
    • Adult size: 1.75 inches (5 cm)
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Minimum tank size: 30 gallon
    • pH: 4.0 to 7.0
    • Hardness: 2 to 6 dGH
    • Temperature: 75 to 86 F/25 to 30 C
    • Tankmates: Suitable only for very peaceful species

    Chocolate Gouramis are one of the more challenging Gourami species to keep. They are more sensitive to water conditions than other species and are rather timid, making them unsuitable for keeping with more boisterous or aggressive fish. Chocolate Gouramis can also be difficult to find ​but are relished by experienced fish keepers. They are native to much of Malaysia, Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo.

  • 03 of 06

    Dwarf Gourami

    Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami
    • Scientific name: Trichgaster (Colisa) lalia
    • Also known as: Powder Blue Gourami, Red Gourami
    • Adult size: 2-3 inches (5-7 cm)
    • Lifespan: 4-6 years
    • Minimum tank size: 5 gallon
    • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
    • Hardness: 4 to 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 72 to 82 F/22 to 28 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful, best kept with other smaller fish

    One of the smallest of the Gourami family, this species is well suited for community aquariums of small fish. They are also suitable for keeping in mini aquariums. The natural color of the male dwarf Gourami has alternating diagonal red and blue stripes. The female is less colorful. Color varieties that only have blue stripes are called powder blue gouramis, and only red stripes are called fire red gouramis The dwarf gourami is native to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

  • 04 of 06

    Kissing Gourami

    Kissing Gourami
    Daniel Ahlqvist
    • Scientific name: Helostoma temminckii
    • Also known as: Green Kisser, Pink Kisser
    • Adult size: 12 inches (40 cm)
    • Lifespan: 5-7 years
    • Minimum tank size: 40 gallon
    • pH: 6.5 to 7.0
    • Hardness: 5 to 12 dGH
    • Temperature: 64 to 74 F/18 to 24 C
    • Tankmates: compatible with similar sized species

    Kissing Gouramis are quite popular due to their unique behavior of appearing to kiss each other. In reality, they are exerting their territorial rights. This species can be quarrelsome with others, and care should be taken when putting them in a community tank. Generally, they do best with medium- to large-sized fish. Green is the natural color for this fish, but the pink variation is most commonly available. It is native to mainland southeast Asia and the islands of Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra.

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  • 05 of 06

    Moonlight Gourami

    Moonlight Gourami
    • Scientific name: Trichogaster microlepis
    • Also Known as: Moonbeam Gourami
    • Adult size: 6 inches (15 cm)
    • Lifespan: 4 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
    • Hardness: 2 to 25 dGH
    • Temperature: 79 to 86 F/26 to 30 C
    • Tankmates: Timid, keep only with non-aggressive fish

    Moonlight Gouramis are aptly named for their silvery appearance. They are one of the larger species of Gouramis, and also one of the more timid. Moonlight Gouramis prefer a well-planted tank that offers plenty of hiding spaces. This species is tolerant of water conditions. They are native to southeast Asia.

  • 06 of 06

    Pearl Gourami

    Pearl Gourami
    Stefan Maurer
    • Scientific name: Trichogaster leeri
    • Also known as: Leeri Gourami, Lace Gourami
    • Adult size: 4 inches (10 cm)
    • Lifespan: 8 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.5 to 8.5
    • Hardness: 5 to 30 dGH
    • Temperature: 74 to 82 F/24 to 28 C
    • Tankmates: Can be kept with all community species

    Pearl Gouramis are possibly the hardiest and easy to care for of the Gourami family. They are highly adaptable and do well with a wide range of water conditions as well as tank mates. The males are larger and more colorful than the females. When ready for breeding, the males becomes much brighter. Males also have longer dorsal and anal fins. They are native to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Gouramis are popular freshwater aquarium fish that comprise the family Osphronemidae. They are all native to Asia. As labyrinth fishes, gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ that allows them to gulp air at the surface and breathe atmospheric oxygen. This organ allows Gouramis to inhabit warm, oxygen-poor water in their natural environment.