Although the species of gourami fish may not be the most popular types of fish species among hobbyists, these freshwater species are extremely diverse and can be beautiful additions to any aquarium.
In fact, they are one of the few types of fish that can live in both fresh and saltwater environments. Most of these fish grow to be less than a foot long and are easy to keep as pets because they are generally peaceful and easy-going with their tank mates.
Gourami fish come in many different shapes and sizes, with many different personalities to match. Not only that, but they also have various colorations and markings as well, so you can get one that looks as unique as possible if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’ve never had gourami fish before or if you’re just getting started with this type of pet, make sure to check out the following 17 most popular species of gourami fish with pictures!
Popular species of gourami
Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminckii)
Also known as the kissing fish, the kissing gourami is a freshwater species of fish found in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. Native to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, it can also be found as far west as Thailand and Malaysia.
The Kissing Gourami is an egg-laying species of fish that typically lays around 100 eggs at one time. The Kissing Gourami reaches 2 inches in length and 0.25 inches in width. It has been known to live up to 10 years. Males are generally larger than females and exhibit a more intense coloration.
The Kissing Gourami has been known to live up to 10 years with males usually being larger than females with more intense coloration.
It has also been described as the most brightly colored gourami out of all species of gourami, which makes this type popular among hobbyists who want something different from their usual tank mates.
Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii)
Pearl Gourami originate from the Indian Ocean. They can be found in waters with a temperature of 28°-30° C (82°-86° F). These fish are known to live in freshwater with a pH range of 6.5 – 7.5, but they also do well in brackish water.
Pearl gourami is considered to be one of the most popular species of gourami fish. There have been reports that this species will show aggression towards other species of gourami or towards other species that it encounters.
However, there are some owners who claim that their pearl gourami has not shown any aggressive behavior at all and appears to get along with all other species in their tank.
Moonlight Gourami (Trichopodus microlepis)
Also known as the moonbeam gourami, the Moonlight Gourami is a popular freshwater aquarium fish and is native to Southeast Asia. It prefers shallow water with plenty of plants, but it has been known to live in both deep and shallow waters.
This species can grow up to 8 inches long and has a lifespan of about 10 years. As an omnivore, the Moonlight Gourami will eat almost anything offered to it as long as there is enough algae present in the tank.
They are considered one of the hardiest species and prefer a temperature range between 75°-82°F. Males are more colorful than females and may even have their own territories.
Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
The Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius) is a freshwater fish that can be found in Thailand, Indonesia, and other areas of Southeast Asia. They are often found in community tanks with other peaceful fish because they do not have any predatory instincts.
Their diet should include a variety of live, frozen, and dried foods. When choosing tank mates for the dwarf gourami, it’s best to avoid any aggressive fish or ones that will out-compete the gouramis for food.
Males typically grow to 3 inches while females grow to 4 inches long.
Breeding this species requires hard water conditions and temperatures above 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Breeding pairs need spawning sites where the female lays her eggs on a flat surface such as plants or on top of substrates like leaves or rocks.
Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)
The giant gourami, Osphronemus goramy, is a freshwater fish that is also known as the gourami. They are native to Southeast Asia and can grow up to 20 inches in length and weigh up to five pounds.
One of the most popular species of gourami fish, they can be found in many different colors with red being one of them.
They have large scales which cover their entire body except for their belly, anal fin, dorsal fin, and top lip which are all transparent.
The male has long-flowing fins while the female has short fins (sometimes none at all). A popular species among pet owners because of its bright colors and long lifespan; they live for about 12-15 years.
Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Chocolate Gourami is one of the most popular gouramis. The Chocolate Goursami is a peaceful fish that gets along well with most other fish. They can grow to be 6 inches long and they do well in a community aquarium.
These fish are best kept in an aquarium no smaller than 10 gallons. They are not picky eaters and will eat any food you feed them. In general, it is a good idea to feed these fish two small pellets every day for adults or four per day for fry.
If you notice your chocolate gourami has been laying on its side at the bottom of the tank for a few minutes, then it might be gasping at the surface, which means there might not be enough oxygen in your tank’s water column.
Blue Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus)
Also known as Three Spot Gourami, opaline gourami, or gold gourami, Blue gouramis are typically a bright blue color and can grow to about 10 inches in length. They’re one of the most popular species of gourami fish because they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to care for, and suitable for beginners.
However, they can be a bit aggressive so it’s best to keep them with other peaceful fish or they’ll kill the other fish in the tank. It is also advisable that you only house a male and female together, not multiple males.
The female will get stressed out if there are too many males trying to mate with her. These species of gourami fish prefer warm water temperatures so an ideal temperature range is 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius).
Paradise Gourami (Macropodus opercularis)
Commonly referred to as paradise fish, paradise fish, or paradisefish, the Paradise Gourami is an orange-red colored fish that originates from Malaysia. They are considered to be one of the most popular gouramis and can grow up to three inches in length.
It is best to keep this fish with other colorful types of fish because they enjoy being in a shoal. This fish is omnivorous but will eat plant matter more often than not.
The Paradise Gourami’s population has been declining over the years and they are now a threatened species. As such, it is important to try and purchase captive-bred fish instead of wild-caught ones.
Another thing you should consider when purchasing these fish is how many other colorful types of fish you already have because it could become too crowded for them if there are too many in your tank.
These creatures thrive when there isn’t a significant temperature difference between day and night time temperatures which makes them perfect for subtropical climates.
Snakeskin Gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis)
Snakeskin gouramis are one of the most popular species of gourami in the aquarium trade.
They are easy to care for and require a minimum amount of care. Snakeskin gouramis have a more elongated shape than other species of gourami and their scales give them an appearance that resembles snakeskin.
These fish can grow up to 8 inches long but usually grow between 3-5 inches. When it comes to coloration, they can be any shade from white or yellowish with red, brown, or blue spots on the body and fins; however, there is no significant correlation between fin colors and sex.
The snake skin gourami is a hardy fish with few requirements making it perfect for beginners or those who don’t want anything too demanding.
Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumila)
Also known as Pygmy Gourami or dwarf croaking gourami, the sparkling gourami is a small freshwater fish that can be found in streams and ponds in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The males of the species develop a dark blue coloration on their sides when they reach maturity. They also have a black spot near the tail that gradually becomes larger as they age.
These fish are active during both day and night time hours. They enjoy eating algae off of rocks as well as mosquito larvae and daphnia (a type of tiny crustacean). They also feed on worms, insect larvae, snails, and small insects such as flies.
The sparkling gourami will grow to approximately four inches long when fully grown but most stay around three inches in length throughout their lifetime.
Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens)
Siamese fighting fish, also known as Bettas, are freshwater fish that originate from Southeast Asia. It is one of the most popular breeds of gourami and has a blue body with red fins.
This type of gourami can grow up to 7 inches in length and have a lifespan of 2-3 years. They are very social animals who prefer to be kept in groups or pairs. Male bettas will fight for territory and females will breed once they reach sexual maturity.
These fish need to live in water that is at least 10 degrees warmer than room temperature, so it’s important not to put them in a cold environment. If you want your Betta to live longer than 3 years then keep him away from any chemical smells such as chlorine which can kill them quickly.
Honey gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
Also called the Sunset Gourami or Sunset honey gourami, The honey gourami is a small freshwater fish that originates from Southeast Asia. It has a yellow-orange body with a blue stripe and red fins.
They have a lifespan of five to eight years and grow to an average length of three inches. When breeding this species, it’s best to keep a ratio of one male for every two females.
Breeding should be done in a separate tank because the female will most likely eat any eggs or fry she produces. If you want to add more honey gouramis after breeding, wait at least six months before adding them back into the main aquarium so they can go through a full cycle.
This fish prefers water temperatures between 76°F – 80°F and pH levels between 6.5 – 7.0.
Samurai Gourami (Sphaerichthys vaillanti)
Also known as Vaillant’s chocolate gourami, the Samurai gourami is a freshwater fish that can grow up to 3 inches in length. They have brown bodies and green fins. This type of gourami is peaceful and prefers to live with other types of fish in a community aquarium.
They like to school together with other gouramis and are able to out-compete some larger species for food sources. The samurai gouramis prefer to swim in groups as they are very social creatures.
They need to be kept with similar-sized fish or else they will bully the smaller ones. They enjoy lots of hiding places, such as plants, rocks, caves, and decorative objects.
For the most part, this gourami is easy going but sometimes it might act aggressively if it has been overfed or if there are not enough hiding spots in its tank.
Powder Blue Gourami (Trichogaster Lalius)
The Powder Blue Gourami is a common freshwater fish and a popular variation of the dwarf gourami that can grow up to 12 inches in length. In the wild, they are found in Southeast Asia and India.
They have a beautiful powder blue color which makes them very desirable in the aquarium industry. Powder Blue is one of the more aggressive species of gourami and will be territorial with other members of their species.
If there isn’t enough space in your tank for this type of behavior, then it’s best to avoid getting it at all costs. You should also keep an eye on its water quality as these guys aren’t too keen on living in dirty water.
Lastly, they need some kind of plant matter (usually stem plants) because they eat by sucking prey into their mouth and spitting out the indigestible plant matter.
Licorice Gourami (Parosphromenus deissneri)
Licorice gouramis are a freshwater fish originating in Southeast Asia. They are often found in large groups near the surface of bodies of water or along the edges of the water. Licorice gouramis are carnivores and eat anything from insects to crustaceans and small fish.
They can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, with females being larger than males. The average lifespan is 10-15 years. The species has an ichthyosis condition that causes it to lose scales easily and have blotchy patches on its skin.
Females will lay 3-4 eggs at a time, which hatch after 4-5 days. Licorice gouramis prefer living in soft, acidic water that ranges between 72-86 degrees Fahrenheit (22-30 degrees Celsius).
Thick lipped gourami (Trichogaster labiosa)
The thick-lipped gourami has a green and silver body with black stripes. This species of gourami is one of the hardest and most tolerant species of the genus. The male’s dorsal fin is long and pointed while the female’s dorsal fin is shorter and rounded.
They can grow up to five inches in length and prefer water that ranges between 75°F – 85°F.
This fish has a lifespan of up to five years if it is kept in proper conditions. It feeds on small insects, crustaceans, worms, mosquito larvae, and plankton. You can feed them live or frozen food or even vegetable flakes.