Introduction to Dwarf Gourami

The dwarf gourami is a beautiful aquarium fish which is also called Blue Dwarf Gourami, Sunset Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Neon Dwarf Gourami etc. It originates from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. It has now been widely distributed outside of its native range with feral populations found in Singapore, the United States and in Colombia. They occur in waterways and paddy fields of the slow-moving streams, rivulets, rice fields, irrigation channels, ponds, ditches, swamps and other agricultural lands with thick vegetations. They are often found together with other Colisa species. In the river plains of northern India they are one of the most common food fish.

Dwarf Gourami’s Overview

The Dwarf Gourami is one of the most popular aquarium fish. It is considered Labyrinth Fish because they breathe directly from the air. It has somewhat compressed body with relatively large rounded or curved fins. Male is slightly larger than the female and has a bright orange-red body with turquoise blue vertical stripes that extend into the fins while Female`s body has duller silvery blue-gray color with very faint yellowish vertical stripes. The dorsal fin of the male is pointed while in the female it is rounded. The Dwarf Gourami is omnivorous and in the wild they feed on small invertebrates, algae and other aufwuchs. In captive condition they generally eat all kinds of live, fresh and flake foods along with freeze-dried bloodworms, Tubifex and brine shrimp.  The male can reach about 8.8 cm in length while female grows up to 6 cm in length. The dwarf gourami can live up to 7 years with proper care.

Scientific Name: Colisa lalia

Common Name: Blue Dwarf Gourami, Sunset Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami, Neon Dwarf Gouramis

Origin: India

Adult Size: 8.8 cm

Behavior: Peaceful

Tank Level: Middle to top

Minimum Tank Size:  5 gallons

Diet: Omnivore

Breeding: Egg layer

Care level: Easy

Water pH: 6.0-8.0

Water Hardness: 4-10°dGH

Water Temperature: 77°F – 82°F

Water Movement: Moderate to normal

Lighting:  Moderate – normal lighting

Lifespan:  5-7 years

Background of Dwarf gourami

The Dwarf Gourami is a very beautifully appointed fish that makes a striking display in the aquarium. It is adored by aquarists for its sparkling, almost translucent blue coloring accented with fine stripes of red or dark orange. With this pretty striping, Dwarf Banded Gourami is another common name for it. It was originally named Trichopodus lalia (previously known as Colisa lalia) in 1822 by Hamilton and Buchanan, from specimens of the Gangetic provinces of India. It belongs to the family Osphronemidae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. This species is listed on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern (LC).

Feeding Dwarf gourami

The Dwarf Gourami is omnivorous and in the wild they feed on small invertebrates, algae and other aufwuchs. In the aquarium they generally eat all kinds of live, fresh and flake foods along with freeze-dried bloodworms, Tubifex and brine shrimp. To maintain good health, their diet should be supplemented with live foods such as white worms, blood worms, brine shrimps and quality flake or pellet food. Vegetable tablets can also be offered as well. Generally feed should be offered once or twice a day.

Housing Dwarf gourami

Dwarf Gourami is a good community fish and it has long been recommended as a good choice for the beginner. It requires at least a 5 gallon tank but a larger 10 gallon aquarium is recommended. The aquarium should have plenty of vegetation including floating plants that cover part of the surface of the water. The plants also provide plenty of places to hide. They are usually found swimming on the middle to top regions of the aquarium because gourami is labyrinth fish. The tank should have good water chemistry with pH of 6.0-8.0, hardness of 4-10 dGH and water temperature is between 77°F and 82°F. A regular weekly water change is strongly recommended to keep your fish healthy. The tank should also have an efficient filtration system. In this case air stones are also recommended as they prefer well oxygenated water. It is a good community fish that can be kept with other peaceful fish. Suitable tank mates include peaceful cyprinids such as the Harlequin Rasbora, Trigonostigma heteromorpha and many of the other rasboras, Kuhlii Loach and its relatives, many of the Tetras, smaller catfish like Corydoras species and smaller Rainbowfish. Some of the peaceful barbs also work well but it should not be kept with those fishes that are notorious fin nippers like Tiger Barbs, Clown Barbs, guppies, as well as other anabantoids, including Bettas.

Breeding Dwarf gouramis

The Dwarf Gourami can breed in captive condition.  The male gourami builds a floating bubble nest in which the female lays eggs. The water level of the tank should be reduced to 7–10 cm during spawning and the temperature should be approximately 82 °F. The aquarium must be planted with suitable plant species like Ceratopteris thalictroides, Limnophila aquatica,Riccia fluitans and Vesicularia dubyana. To build a bubble nest the male uses bits of vegetation in its nest. In nature it adds leaves, twigs, roots, peat fibers, and other debris to build a nest. The spawning session lasts for two to four hours and the female produces 300 to 800 eggs. After spawning the female should be moved to a different tank. The male picks up eggs in his mouth and put them in bubble nest and continues to guard the eggs until they hatch. The eggs hatch in about 12-36 hours, but the fry stay in the bubble nest and continue developing. In about 3 days fry become free swimming and leave the nest. At this time the male should be removed to prevent eating the young. Free swimming fry can be fed with infusoria or a liquid fry food until they are large enough to eat baby brine shrimp

Sexing Dwarf gourami

It is easy to make differences between the male and female. The male is much more colorful while females are usually gray. The dorsal fin of male is pointed while in the female it is rounded or curved. The male also has a smaller belly than the female.

Dwarf Gourami for sale and where to buy

The Dwarf Gourami is one of the most ubiquitous freshwater species in the aquarium hobby and is a much more popular fish. In its native region the Dwarf Gourami is utilized as food and is sold fresh or dried. It is one of the most common fish species in the river plains of northern India.  You can purchase several different color variations including Blue Dwarf Gourami, Neon Dwarf Gourami, Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, Sunset Dwarf Gourami and Flame Sunset Dwarf Gourami. To buy your favorite one from home look below online vendor and ask them details about your fish that I would recommend from.