Blue Gourami: A Comprehensive Care Guide for Beginners

Welcome to the world of blue gouramis, a vibrant and hardy species that can add a splash of color to your aquarium. Also known as Trichogaster trichopterus or the three-spot gourami, these fish are native to Southeast Asia and have a wide distribution in regions such as China, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Laos.

As freshwater fish, blue gouramis are part of the Osphronemidae family. Although they can be territorial at times, they are mostly peaceful creatures, making them suitable for a variety of tank setups. Their captivating colors and lively personalities are sure to make a wonderful addition to your aquarium.

Species Profile

Blue Gourami is a popular freshwater fish known for its stunning appearance and easy-care requirements. It comes from Southeast Asia, belonging to the Osphronemidae family, giving your tank a beautiful and vibrant atmosphere.

Property Information
Scientific Name Trichogaster trichopterus
Common Names Blue Gourami, Three Spot Gourami
Distribution Southeast Asia
Size 4 inches (10 cm)
Lifespan 4-6 years
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Mostly Peaceful
Minimum Tank Size 20 gallons (75 liters)
Temperature 72-82°F (22-28°C)
pH 6.0-7.5
Water Hardness 5-28 dKH
Care Level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Moderate
Water Type Freshwater
Breeding Bubble nest builder
Breeding Difficulty Moderate
Compatibility Community tank

When planning to add Blue Gourami to your tank, remember to provide them with suitable water conditions and compatible tank mates, ensuring a lively and healthy aquatic environment. Their attractive colors and peaceful nature make them a great addition for both new and experienced aquarists.

Blue Gourami Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Blue Gouramis (Trichopodus trichopterus) are captivating freshwater fish originating from Southeast Asia. Their natural habitats can be found in countries such as China, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines. They are particularly prominent during the rainy seasons.

Size and Shape

As a Blue Gourami owner, you can expect your fish to grow to around 5-6 inches in length. Interestingly, female Blue Gourami fish are usually the same size as males or slightly larger. When observing these creatures, you’ll notice that male and female Blue Gouramis have subtle differences. Females often have shorter, rounded dorsal fins and may appear rounder or fuller during the breeding season.

Color and Markings

The Blue Gourami is also known as the Three-Spot Gourami due to its unique markings. It has two visible spots on its body: one in the center and another near the caudal fin. The fish’s eye serves as its third spot. These cool-hued fish are admired for their stunning blue coloration, making them an attractive addition to your aquarium.


Your friendly Blue Gourami can be a long-lasting companion, as these fish are known to have a lifespan of around five years or more when properly cared for. By ensuring optimal tank conditions, a balanced diet, and a nurturing environment, you’ll maximize the lifespan of your Blue Gourami, adding beloved aquatic beauty to your home for years to come.

Diet and Feeding

Blue Gouramis are omnivores that enjoy a varied diet. To keep your Blue Gourami healthy and happy, it’s essential to provide them with a mixture of plant-based and protein-rich foods.

When feeding your Blue Gourami, offer them high-quality flake fish food as a staple in their diet. Additionally, you can provide live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae as a source of protein, which can help maintain their vibrant color and overall health.

It’s also important to include plant-based foods in their diet, such as algae or spirulina. Algae can be naturally present in your aquarium, but sometimes it’s not enough for your Gourami’s needs. Supplement their diet with spirulina flakes or tablets for an extra boost of plant nutrients.

Feed your Blue Gourami a small amount of food 1-2 times a day, ensuring that they can consume everything within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health issues, so make sure to adjust the quantity accordingly based on your fish’s needs.

Behavior and Temperament

Blue gouramis are generally peaceful, making them a great addition to your aquarium. They do, however, have unique personalities which can sometimes be comical to observe, especially when they’re young. They tend to be more active during the day and enjoy exploring their tank.

At times, they may display mild aggression, especially during mating or if the tank is overcrowded. To avoid such behavior, it’s essential to maintain proper tank conditions and ensure an appropriate number of tank mates. Remember to provide plenty of hiding spots and plant coverage, as this can help reduce stress levels and curb aggression.

As a curious species, blue gouramis enjoy interacting with their environment. They may nibble on plants or investigate new objects added to the tank. Engaging their intellect and natural curiosity can significantly improve their quality of life, so don’t be afraid to think of creative ways to provide entertainment for your fish.

Care and Tank Requirements

Caring for the beautiful Blue Gourami and providing a suitable environment for them is crucial to help them thrive in your tank. In this section, we will cover all the necessary requirements for your Blue Gourami aquarium, focusing on tank size, water parameters, tank setup, and filtration.

Tank Size

Blue Gourami can grow up to 4-6 inches in size, and they require sufficient space to swim and explore. It is recommended that your tank should be at least 30 gallons in size. As they are a social species, it is important to maintain an appropriate tank size for a group; if you plan to keep more than one, add 10 gallons per additional Blue Gourami.

Water Parameters (Temperature and pH)

Blue Gouramis prefer stable water conditions to keep them healthy. Maintain the following water parameters in your aquarium:

  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C); a reliable and adjustable heater is essential to maintain these temperatures.
  • pH: 6.0-8.0; use a proper pH test kit to ensure the water stays within this range.

Regularly monitoring and adjusting these parameters will help keep your Blue Gouramis happy and healthy.

Tank Setup and Decorations

Blue Gouramis enjoy densely planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots. Here are some recommendations to set up their ideal environment:

  • Use live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Vallisneria to create natural cover and hiding spots.
  • Provide floating plants as they give extra shade and help diffuse direct sunlight.
  • Introduce rocks, driftwood, or hiding caves for additional shelter and resting areas.
  • Maintain a soft substrate such as sand or fine gravel for their comfort.

Remember to leave ample swimming spaces for your Blue Gouramis and keep the decor free from sharp edges to prevent injury.

Filtration and Aeration

A high-quality and efficient filtration system is vital for keeping the water clean and well-oxygenated for your Blue Gouramis. Opt for a canister filter or a hang-on-back filter that can handle the tank size. Additionally, ensure that your filtration system has both mechanical and biological filtration components to remove waste particles and promote beneficial bacteria.

Blue Gouramis are labyrinth fish, meaning they can also breathe air from the surface. Provide them with sufficient surface area for oxygen exchange, so they can access the air whenever needed. Incorporating an air pump or sponge filter can assist in maintaining adequate oxygen levels within the tank.

By following these guidelines and maintaining a stable environment, you will create the perfect home for your Blue Gouramis to flourish.

Suitable Tank Mates

When you’re looking to set up a community tank, it’s crucial to select the right tank mates for your Blue Gouramis, as they can be territorial. To make your aquarium a peaceful and harmonious environment, follow these guidelines on choosing compatible pals for your Blue Gouramis:

  • Opt for tank mates that are of a similar size to your Blue Gouramis. This will help maintain a balanced atmosphere and avoid potential friction or aggression.
  • Steer clear of smaller fish, as there’s a risk that the Blue Gouramis may see them as prey. At the same time, it’s wise to avoid much larger fish, as they might cause your Blue Gouramis to become skittish.

With these considerations in mind, some tank mates that make great companions for your Blue Gouramis include:

  • Larger Tetras
  • Peaceful Catfish
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Various Loach species, like Clown Loaches

By following these recommendations, you can create a tranquil and happy home for your Blue Gouramis and their new friends.

Breeding Process

To start breeding blue gouramis, set up a separate tank with specific water parameters to encourage spawning. The water should be slightly softer and more acidic than their primary tank.

Next, allow your male blue gourami to create a bubble nest on the surface of the water by blowing bubbles out of his mouth. This will be your indicator that the breeding process has begun.

Introduce the female to the male, and once they perform their mating ritual, she’ll release her eggs, which the male will then fertilize. The fertilized eggs will collect in the bubble nest.

After the female has deposited her eggs, remove her from the tank, leaving the male to take care of the nest and eggs. The eggs will hatch in about three days, and the fry will become free-swimming.

To ensure the growth and health of the fry, provide suitable food like infusoria, nauplii, or powdered fry food.

Lastly, make sure to regularly change the water in the following weeks to maintain clean, oxygenated water. This is crucial for the development of the fry’s labyrinth organ. Good luck with your blue gourami breeding journey!

Common Diseases and Treatments

Beware of fungal infections that could affect your Blue Gouramis, such as mouth rot, mouth fungus, and flesh decay. To prevent and treat these ailments, maintain proper water quality and regularly replace the water in your tank. If you notice early signs of infection, give your fish a bath and add antifungal solutions to the water.

Ich and hole-in-the-head disease are other common issues you may encounter. Both diseases are caused by parasitic infections. Keep an eye out for white spots on your fish’s body (indicative of Ich) or deep pits around the head and lateral line (symptomatic of hole-in-the-head disease).

In case you observe these symptoms, act promptly: isolate the affected fish and treat them with medications specifically designed for these diseases. Furthermore, monitor your tank’s water conditions, ensuring optimal parameters for your Blue Gourami’s health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do they eat?

Blue Gouramis are omnivores and enjoy a varied diet. You can feed them high-quality flake foods, frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Providing them with different food sources will keep them healthy and happy.

Do they need to be in pairs?

While Blue Gouramis can live alone, they generally do well in pairs, especially when setting up a breeding tank. However, avoid having two males together as they tend to fight for territory. A male and female pair can coexist peacefully in a well-maintained tank.

How many should be kept together?

You can keep multiple Blue Gouramis together in a community tank, as long as there is enough space and hiding spots for each fish. A good rule of thumb is to have one Blue Gourami for every 10 gallons of water. Make sure to monitor their behavior and adjust the setup if necessary to prevent aggression or territorial issues.

Are they peaceful?

Blue Gouramis are generally peaceful fish, but males can show signs of aggression towards other fish with similar size, bright colors, or long fins. Make sure to choose tank mates with similar size and temperament to ensure a harmonious environment for all fish in the tank.

What is their ideal tank size?

A single Blue Gourami should have at least a 10-gallon tank. However, if you plan to keep a community tank or multiple gouramis, it’s recommended to start with a 20-gallon tank. This provides ample space for them to swim and establish territories, reducing the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

What is their lifespan?

Blue Gouramis have an average lifespan of around 4 to 6 years, but with proper care, they can live for even longer. Maintain a clean tank with stable water parameters, provide a varied diet, and ensure the fish feel safe and comfortable to help extend their lifespan.