Honey Gourami Care Guide: Simple Steps for a Thriving Pet

Honey gouramis are stunning freshwater fish that are sure to catch your eye. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also a fantastic species for aquarium enthusiasts of all experience levels. As colorful and peaceful community fish, they make a great addition to your aquarium.

Caring for honey gouramis doesn’t have to be daunting. They can thrive in a range of conditions, making them an excellent choice, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fishkeeper. In this guide, we’ll help you develop the essential knowledge needed to keep your honey gouramis happy and healthy in your home aquarium.

So, let’s dive into the world of honey gourami care together!

Species Overview

Hello there! In this section, you’ll find a quick overview of the Honey Gourami (Trichogaster Chuna), an attractive and popular tropical fish. Carefully review the table below for the essential information on their characteristics and care requirements.

Property Information
Scientific name Trichogaster Chuna
Common names Honey Gourami, Dwarf Fire Gourami, Red Flame Honey Gourami, Sunset Honey Gourami, Honey Dwarf Gourami
Distribution South Asia, India, Nepal, Bangladesh
Size Males: up to 3 inches, Females: around 2 inches
Lifespan 4 to 8 years
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum tank size 10 gallons (single), 20 gallons (pair)
Temperature 72-82°F
pH 6.0 to 7.0
Water hardness Soft to moderately hard
Care level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Gentle to moderate
Water type Freshwater
Breeding Egg layer
Breeding difficulty Moderate
Compatibility Community with peaceful, similarly sized fish

Remember to always provide a comfortable environment for your Honey Gourami, including proper tank size, water parameters, and compatible tank mates. They’re a delightful addition to your aquarium community, and with the right care, they’ll thrive and showcase their beautiful colors.

Origins and Natural Habitat

Honey Gourami (Trichogaster Chuna) is a small tropical fish from the Gourami family. These freshwater species have their origins in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, where they inhabit various types of water bodies. The first sighting of Honey Gourami dates back to 1822 by Francis Buchanan, also known as Francis Hamilton.

In their natural habitats, you will find Honey Gouramis in water with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0, temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C), and soft to hard water hardness (GH). The fish can adapt to different environments, making them a wonderful choice for your aquarium.

For a single Honey Gourami, a 5- or 10-gallon tank is suitable, but if you plan to keep a group of three, a 20-gallon aquarium is more appropriate. The essential tools for maintaining a healthy tank include an algae scraper or pad, water conditioner, and a balanced fish food diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, live, or frozen foods.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Shape

Honey Gouramis are small, flat, and oblong-shaped fish that usually grow to an average length of 2 inches (5 cm). Their unique body shape features a sail-like dorsal fin and a lengthened torso, making them perfect for small to medium-sized aquariums. The modified ventral fins act like long, trailing whiskers, a characteristic they share with many other gouramis.

Color and Markings

Your Honey Gourami will display a beautiful bright orange-yellow hue with a hint of blue on its body. Its tail fin is almost transparent, adding an enchanting dimension to its appearance. Keep in mind that the intensity of their colors may change depending on their mood, stress levels, and overall health. So, make sure to provide them with a comfortable and stress-free environment to thrive in.

Lifespan

Honey gouramis have a relatively short lifespan, typically living for around 4-8 years. To ensure your fish live as long as possible, maintain their ideal living conditions. Keep the water temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C), and maintain a pH of 6.0-8.0. Also, provide a balanced diet that includes quality pelleted food and occasional live or frozen food like brine shrimp. By providing proper care, you can help your honey gouramis thrive in your aquarium.

Tank Setup

Caring for your honey gourami starts with setting up the perfect tank environment to replicate their natural habitat. In this section, we will cover the ideal tank size, water parameters, heater and filtration requirements, and the best decorations and plants to create a comfortable home for your honey gourami.

Tank Size

A minimum 10-gallon tank is suitable for one or two honey gouramis, but if you’re planning to keep more or have a community tank, consider a larger tank. Always remember that providing ample space for your fish to swim and explore contributes to their overall well-being.

Water Parameters

Honey gouramis can tolerate a range of water conditions. Maintain a pH level between 6.0 and 8.0 as well as a temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C). Soft to moderately hard water is preferred, and you should keep their tank water relatively soft to ensure their comfort.

Parameter Ideal Range
pH 6.0 – 8.0
Temperature 74 – 82°F (23-28°C)
Water Hardness Soft to moderate

Heater and Filtration

Installing a heater and a filter in the tank is crucial for honey gouramis. A heater helps maintain a stable temperature within the recommended range, while a good-quality filter keeps the water clean by removing harmful chemicals such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. Make a habit of checking the water parameters regularly with an aquarium test kit to ensure your honey gouramis stay healthy.

Decorations and Plants

To create a natural-looking environment for your honey gouramis, opt for a fine gravel or sand substrate. Add plenty of live plants, such as Java moss, Water Wisteria, and Anubias, which can help mimic their natural habitat. Decorate the tank with a combination of caves, driftwood, and other hiding spots, as gouramis enjoy having places to retreat to. Remember that gouramis are labyrinth fish, so ensure there is enough space between the water’s surface and the tank lid for them to access air.

Honey Gourami Diet

Preferred Foods

Honey Gouramis mainly thrive on a diet that consists of a variety of high-quality foods. In their natural habitat, they feed on small insects and invertebrates. To mimic this, be sure to provide your Honey Gourami with a balanced diet that includes:

  • High-quality pellets or flakes: These should be designed specifically for gouramis or tropical fish.
  • Live or frozen foods: Examples include brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These are a great source of protein and help encourage their natural hunting instincts.
  • Vegetables: Small amounts of boiled or blanched vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or peas can be given as occasional treats.

Remember that a diverse and balanced diet is paramount for keeping your Honey Gourami healthy and happy.

Feeding Schedule and Frequency

Consistency is key when it comes to your Honey Gourami’s feeding schedule. Feed them at the same times each day, ideally once in the morning and once in the evening. Providing smaller, more frequent meals is preferred over larger, infrequent meals, as it is closer to their natural feeding habits.

Only offer as much food as they can consume within 2-3 minutes per feeding. Overfeeding can lead to water pollution and potential health issues for your fish. If you notice any uneaten food after this time, remove it from the tank to ensure water quality is maintained.

By following these guidelines, your Honey Gourami will enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, and you’ll keep their environment clean and stable.

Behavior and Compatibility

General Personality

Honey Gouramis have a peaceful and friendly temperament, making them an excellent addition to your community aquarium. They mostly occupy the middle and upper areas of the water column. These fish are not very aggressive, and they even exhibit some shyness, especially when first introduced to a new environment. It’s essential to provide plenty of hiding spots, such as plants and decorations, to help them feel secure and comfortable in their home.

Suitable Tank Mates

When choosing tank mates for your Honey Gourami, it’s crucial to select similarly peaceful species. Some suitable companions include:

  • Tetras: Small schooling fish like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Rummy Nose Tetras are great options, as they won’t compete with the Honey Gouramis for territory and provide beautiful, active movement in your aquarium.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin Rasboras and other similar species also make excellent tank mates due to their non-aggressive nature and compatibility with the same water parameters as Honey Gouramis.
  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom dwellers are a friendly and active addition to the tank, helping to keep your aquarium clean as they scour the substrate for leftover food.

Remember to avoid larger or aggressive fish, as they could prey on or intimidate your Honey Gouramis, causing stress and potential health issues. It’s essential to ensure a harmonious environment for all inhabitants for their overall success and well-being in the tank.

Breeding Honey Gourami

Breeding Tank Conditions

To encourage breeding in your honey gouramis, set up a separate breeding tank with shallow water around 8 inches deep. Increase the water temperature to around 80°F (27°C) and maintain a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Ensure that the water is soft, with a hardness of 2 to 10 dGH.

In the breeding tank, include fine-leafed plants, like Java moss, where male honey gouramis can build their bubble nests. Also, add some floating plants to create a calm environment for breeding and reduce stress.

Mating Process

Once the breeding tank is ready, introduce a healthy male and female honey gourami pair. The male will begin by building a bubble nest on the surface of the water among the plants. During this time, he may become more aggressive and protective of his territory, so it’s crucial to monitor their behavior closely.

When the bubble nest is complete, the male will court the female by swimming around her and displaying vibrant colors. If the female is receptive, they will begin the breeding process. The male will wrap himself around the female, fertilizing her eggs as she releases them. The eggs will then float up into the bubble nest.

Raising Fry

After the eggs are secured in the bubble nest, the male assumes responsibility for their care. He will guard the nest, ensuring that the eggs remain in the bubbles. The female can be removed from the tank at this point, as the male may become aggressive towards her.

The eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours, and the fry will emerge. They will feed off their yolk sacs for the first couple days. It’s essential to provide a highly nutritious diet, such as infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp, for the fry as they grow.

During this time, monitor the water conditions carefully, performing water changes as needed to maintain cleanliness. As the fry grow and become more active, you can gradually increase the water depth in the tank. Once they’re large enough, you can introduce the young honey gouramis to the main tank or a larger grow-out tank.

Common Health Issues


Honey Gouramis are generally hardy fish, but like any other species, they can face some common health issues. Understanding these potential problems can help you keep your fish healthy and happy. Here are a few health concerns you should be aware of:

Ich: Also known as white spot disease, Ich is a parasitic disease that can affect honey gouramis. It manifests as small white spots on the fish’s body and fins. To treat Ich, you should gradually raise the temperature of your aquarium to around 82°F and add a medicated treatment recommended for Ich.

Fin Rot: Fin rot is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection and results in fraying or disintegrating fins. To prevent fin rot, maintain good water quality and a stress-free environment for your fish. If you spot any signs of infection, promptly treat your aquarium with an antibacterial or antifungal product specifically designed for fin rot.

Bacterial Infections: Poor water quality and overcrowding can lead to bacterial infections in honey gouramis. The symptoms of bacterial infections include lethargy, loss of appetite, and swollen areas on the body. To treat bacterial infections, use a broad-spectrum antibiotic recommended for fish and ensure that water quality is improved.

Dropsy: Dropsy is a condition in which the fish’s body swells up due to fluid retention. This can be caused by several factors, including bacterial infections, parasites, or kidney failure. Dropsy is difficult to treat, but improving water quality and providing a healthy diet can help prevent the condition.

To maintain good health for your honey gouramis, remember to keep your tank clean, provide high-quality food and proper tank conditions, and closely monitor your fish to detect any early signs of illness. Acting quickly can make all the difference in ensuring the well-being of your aquatic friends.

Quick Tips for Success

Taking care of honey gouramis can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience with the right knowledge and techniques. Here are some friendly pointers to set you up for success while caring for these peaceful fish:

  • Tank size: Make sure to provide an appropriate tank size for your honey gouramis. A single gourami can live comfortably in a 5- or 10-gallon tank. If you plan to keep a group of three gouramis, a 20-gallon aquarium would be a better choice.
  • Water parameters: Honey gouramis thrive in a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0, with temperatures between 74-82°F (23-28°C). It’s essential to maintain stable and suitable water conditions for their well-being. Ensure to monitor these parameters regularly using aquarium test kits to keep ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels in check.
  • Filtration and heating: Equip your tank with a reliable filter and heater to maintain water quality and stable temperature. This will help create a stress-free environment for your fish.
  • Tank environment: Honey gouramis are not schooling fish but will do fine individually or in groups within a community tank. They enjoy swimming near the surface of the water and in the middle of the water column. Keep this in mind while setting up their habitat.
  • Tank decorations: Create a comfortable environment for your honey gouramis by including live plants, hiding spots, and floating plants. These will not only provide a visually appealing tank but also offer a sense of security and territories for the fish.
  • Feeding and diet: Offer your honey gouramis a balanced diet consisting of flake food, freeze-dried, and live or frozen foods, such as bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Providing them with a varied diet helps ensure that they receive proper nutrition.

With these quick tips in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a successful and enjoyable experience caring for your honey gouramis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ideal water parameters for honey gouramis?

Honey gouramis can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. Ideally, you should maintain a pH of 6.0-8.0, temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C), and soft to hard water hardness (or GH).

How can I differentiate between male and female honey gouramis?

Males are typically more colorful and slimmer than females. They often display a bright orange-yellow color with a dark blue-black stripe running along their body. Females are lighter in color, usually with a silver or pale yellow hue, and a rounder body.

What are the breeding requirements for honey gouramis?

To breed honey gouramis, you’ll need a separate breeding tank with plenty of floating plants and hiding spots for the fry. Set the water temperature to the upper range of their preferred temperature (around 82°F/28°C) and maintain a slightly acidic pH level. Feed the breeding pair a high-quality diet, and monitor them closely for signs of spawning, such as the male building a bubble nest.

How many honey gouramis are suitable for a 15-gallon tank?

For a 15-gallon tank, we recommend keeping a small group of 4-6 honey gouramis. This should provide enough space for them to swim freely and interact without getting overcrowded.

At what temperature should the aquarium be maintained for honey gouramis?

Maintain the aquarium temperature within the range of 74-82°F (23-28°C) to ensure the comfort and health of your honey gouramis.

What tank mates are compatible with honey gouramis?

Honey gouramis are peaceful fish that can coexist with other calm and non-aggressive species. Some good tank mates include small schooling fish like neon tetras, rasboras, and corydoras catfish. Avoid aggressive or fin-nipping species, as they can stress out your honey gouramis.