Pros and Cons of Gouramis for Beginners

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When setting up a home aquarium, choosing what type of fish you keep is essential. This dictates the water temperature, how much maintenance is needed and even how much money you invest. Since the dwarf gourami is one of the most talked-about fish for beginners, here is a list of their pros and cons.


Easy to feed

Gouramis are not picky when it comes to food. They will be happy and healthy with flake or pellet food which makes them a favorite among home aquarists, as it keeps the bottom line down. Gouramis also like to graze, so be warned that any aquatic plants in the tank might have a bite or two taken out of them, but it’s healthy for the fish.

Good community fish

Gouramis are social fish and they get along with other fish mates in the tank. Since they are herbivores and not aggressive, they also do not cause trouble for smaller fish. However, keeping four or five gouramis is a good idea as they do like to school together. Gouramis also get along with another popular home aquarium fish, the tetra.

Entertaining personality

Photo of Gouramis swimming by statue

Kev Costello on Unsplash

If you are looking for a fish with personality, then look no further. Gouramis have their own personalities that you will enjoy. They will recognize and know who are after a while and they will react to seeing you. Depending on their mood, they will swim up to greet you or they might ignore you. They can sense when it is feeding time and go up closer to the surface when they want to be fed or they’ll stay down when they don’t want anything.

fish products


High maintenance environment

Gouramis are grazers which means they create high bio-waste. This will make their water dirty and their tank will have to be cleaned on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your tank, this can be a frequent, tedious job. The quality of their water will also be important. However, since they are freshwater fish that means no mixing your own salt water.

Warm water preferences

Gouramis also prefer warm water, the same as their aquarium counterparts, tetras. This means a heater will need to run continually in order to keep their water at the desired temperature of 75–80° F. Running a heater could lead to higher energy costs.

Dwarf gouramis or regular gouramis

Gouramis, like other fish, come in many shapes, sizes and colors. For a beginner it is easy to get one gourami mixed up for another. The dwarf gourami is the ideal fish you want for a home tank; however, sometimes a dwarf can be mistaken for a regular gourami. You can mistakenly purchase a baby gourami and as time passes, it outgrows the tank, which means you either have to replace your fishy friend or buy a new tank. Talk to a breeder or pet store to make sure you’re buying the right-sized gourami for your tank.

Keeping fish can be a fun and rewarding experience and the gourami is a great starter fish for a beginner. Just like any other pet, gouramis appreciate regular upkeep, love and affection.

About the Author

Elmer Acevedo Garcia

Animals of any kind are a passion, especially dogs! My adopted children Luna is a mixed 12 lbs sassy mutt and Nova, is a petite Australian Cattle Dog. When we’re not napping, you can catch us out in the mountains getting lost on a hike.... Learn More

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