Are Dwarf Gourami Hardy Fish?

Dwarf gouramis will appreciate a well-planted aquarium.
Dwarf gouramis will appreciate a well-planted aquarium. (Image: Images)

One of the smaller members of the gourami family, the dwarf gourami is a hardy fish with striking coloration. Since it is able to breathe surface air, it can survive in low-oxygen water. Dwarf gouramis are ideal for a small tank and the beginner aquarist. These easy-to-care-for fish are sure to brighten up a small community aquarium.

About Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf gouramis are a small member of the gourami family, reaching less than 4 inches in length. The common dwarf gourami has a blue body with striking red-orange vertical stripes, but you can find them in several color varieties, including blue, neon, powder-blue and flame sunset. Dwarf gouramis are native to the rivers of northern India.

Labyrinth Fish

One of the things that make dwarf gouramis hardy fish is its ability to breathe surface air. Labyrinth fish, which include all gouramis and bettas, have a special organ called a labyrinth in their heads. This organ allows them to absorb oxygen from the air as well from the water. You will often see your little gourami swimming to the top of the tank to take a breath of fresh air. This allows him to live in water that doesn’t have very much oxygen in it.

Aquarium Setup

Gouramis are easy to care for and are ideal for beginners. One gourami requires a tank of only 10 gallons. However, if you want to keep him with other peaceful community fish, like tetras or guppies, opt for a tank of at least 20 gallons. Since he’s a tropical fish, he’ll need a heater in his tank to keep it in the upper seventies Fahrenheit. He is also a little shy, so keep the tank in a quiet spot in the house. While he’s generally peaceful, he can be aggressive if kept with other male gouramis. Give him a well-planted tank and do regular water changes to keep your little guy healthy. Dwarf gouramis can live up to 4 years if taken care of properly.


Dwarf gouramis are omnivores and not picky eaters. While your fish can live on flake food alone, this can make his lovely colors dull. Feeding him live brine shrimp or freeze-dried bloodworms from time to time will keep his colors brilliant. He’ll also happily munch on any algae on the surfaces of the tank.

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