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Dwarf gourami (trichogaster Ialius): Origin & care

  1. Origin
  2. Diet
  3. Habitat  
  4. Coloration & Size
  5. Care
  6. Tank size
  7. Feeding
  8. Breeding
dwarf gourami blue

Dwarf gourami origin

Dwarf gourami are a popular species of fish among aquarists, but few may know where they actually originate from. The dwarf gourami is native to several countries in South and Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This fish species prefers shallow, slow-moving bodies of water, such as ponds and canals, which are abundant throughout their range. As an omnivore it feeds on both plant matter, such as algae and small insects. With its vibrant colours and small size these beautiful fish have become a popular option for home aquariums all over the world.

Dwarf gourami diet in the wild

Dwarf gourami have varied diets in the wild, but theirs is usually omnivorous based. The main species of prey dwarf gourami feed on are a variety of aquatic insect larvae, and some small crustaceans. Additionally, gourami will feed on algae and other plant matter which can be found in their natural habitats.

Dwarf gourami habitat  

Dwarf gourami prefer slow-moving still waters, with plenty of hiding spots and vegetation like reeds and floating plants, which they use both as protection from predators and to breed. The females tend to congregate around the edges of these habitats, while males often remain more spread out in the middle. Temperature is also important for dwarf gourami: cool or warm water is fine, but sudden or drastic changes in temperature can be harmful for them.

Dwarf gourami coloration & size

Dwarf gourami fish come in a variety of striking colors, including powder blue, light yellow, and pink. Their size is quite modest—the adult male is usually only around 3 inches long. It’s possible to house multiple males in the same tank without any problems or aggression since they have limited territorial habits. Dwarf gourami are also great community fish since they enjoy being with other small species and generally maintain non-conflicting behavior.

Dwarf gourami care  

Since the water in the dwarf gourami habitat tends to be slightly acidic, try to keep a PH of 6.5-7.0 and make sure tank temperatures range from 76-82F. A substrate with fine grains can help simulate the submerged plant matter they feed on in nature, as well as give necessary shelter within the aquarium. Avoid keeping Dwarf Gouramis with larger or more aggressive fish, whereas smaller peaceful tankmates like Tetras tend to coexist well. The addition of live plants improves o2 levels and gives them places to hide and explore.

Interested in keeping dwarf gourami? Check out this video from Girl Talks Fish comparing them to a Betta fish:

Dwarf gourami tank size

Dwarf gourami usually grow up to two to three inches in length, but their overall size doesn’t mean they need an overly small tank. In fact, the best tank size for an individual or pair of dwarf gouramis is generally between 10 and 20 gallons, with larger tanks recommended if more than two are kept together.

Furthermore, because these fish love to swim around, the tank should have plenty of swimming space with some hiding spots here and there for them to hide out in during times of stress or sleep.

Dwarf gourami feeding  

Dwarf gouramis primarily subsist off of store-bought food pellets and flakes, as well as live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and blood worms. Keeping frozen versions of these foods on hand is an easier alternative. Their diet should also be supplemented with fruits and vegetables like spinach, zucchini, and lettuce, which can be tied to a rock or just left in the tank for them to eat. A critical aspect of keeping dwarf gourami healthy is providing a balanced diet full of high-quality sources of protein.

Dwarf gourami breeding

The first step to successfully breeding these dwarf gourami is to create a conducive environment in the tank. Make sure the water quality and temperature are within optimal ranges for the subspecies, and provide plenty of vegetation such as low-growing plants or mossy decorations along the bottom of the tank, which mimic the dwarf gouramis’ natural habitat and encourage spawning.

Also consider increasing oxygen levels with air stones and performing regular partial water changes. Once conditions are ideal, watch for courtship behavior from your male fish – it’s often quite intense! If things go smoothly, you can enjoy witnessing an incredible cycle of life unfold: from egg laying, to fry hatching and finally new baby fish swimming around your tank.

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