Blue Gourami are strikingly beautiful freshwater fish that are a delight to keep in an aquarium. They are highly popular in the aquarium community, mainly because they are very easy to look after.
If you are looking for a fun and exciting species of fish for your first-ever aquarium, then these fish are a great option. However, they have certain care requirements and guidelines that you should keep in mind before you bring them home.
Therefore, you should conduct thorough research before buying them, and even if they are hardy and low-maintenance, they will start to suffer and get stressed when they are subjected to improper or poor living conditions.
This guide outlines the entire spectrum and instructions of caring for Blue Gourami. Moreover, you will be able to learn more about their habitat, water requirements, diet, tank mates, breeding, and much more.
Blue Gourami belong to the Osphronemidae family and have the scientific name Trichogaster trichopterus. They are a vibrant and beautiful species of fish that add a splash of color and beauty to your aquarium.
They are also considered to be the most resilient and adaptable species among the Gourami family, which have several types of fish.
|Life Span||About 5 years|
|Color Form||Various shades of blue|
|Compatibility||Peaceful and similar sized species|
|Tank Setup||Freshwater with live plants and hiding places|
|Minimum Tank Size||20 gallons|
These fish thrive well in captivity, provided that you keep them in proper conditions. Blue Gourami have a diverse distribution in the wild, and they are native to the waters of Southeast Asian countries.
Moreover, they are found in lowland marshes and swamps, which also makes them used to lots of vegetation.
As mentioned above, these fish are hardy and aren’t picky when it comes to care guidelines. However, they have a unique body that requires a different and carefully maintained habitat.
When they are subjected to quality care and proper water conditions, Blue Gourami can be expected to live up to five years. This lifespan is quite impressive and helps you bond with your fish for a long time.
Although there is no exact science in determining the lifespan of these fish, there are several factors that come into play, including genetics, environmental factors, and a bit of luck as well.
If you subject your Blue Gourami to poor water conditions, a small tank, and a poor diet, they will be at a higher risk for several health issues, which can also reduce their lifespan.
Blue Gourami are quite fascinating and colorful, and their profile is similar to other species of the Gourami family. They have a long and flat body with large rounded fins.
Moreover, their anal fin is quite long, and their pectoral fins look like needles. One of their most noticeable features is their silvery-blue color.
The color of Blue Gourami can change many shades, depending on their age, stress levels, and which stage of breeding they are on. Most of the species you will find have a slight marble-like appearance with light blue shades.
Plus, you will also find flecks of yellow at certain spots on their fins.
Another thing that you would instantly notice is the two dark spots that are present on their body. One spot can be found in the center of the body, whereas the other is located where the body meets the tail.
These fish are also referred to as the Three-spot Gourami, although they only have two spots on their bodies.
The reason for this is that the spots look exactly like the fish’s eyes, hence the Three-spot Gourami. There are very slight differences between the male and female fish. The females have a shorter and rounded dorsal fin, whereas the males have a long and pointy one. The females also tend to swell up during the breeding season.
The average size of Blue Gourami is between five and six inches when they grow up to reach full maturity. The females are slightly larger than the males, but this difference is really minute and unnoticeable.
If you want to see your fish growing to their full size, you will have to introduce them to quality care and a balanced diet. Moreover, you should prefer buying them from reliable and experienced sellers, so that you’re sure they’re healthy and have better genes.
Blue Gourami Care
We would like to reiterate that caring for Blue Gourami isn’t actually difficult. As compared to other freshwater species, these ones are low-maintenance. This is mainly because of their hardiness and adaptability.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can just let loose and care for them in any way that you like. If you start winging it, you will expose them to stress and diseases. These fish have unique preferences and instructions that you should know about.
Let’s have a look at the important components of Blue Gourami one by one.
Let’s begin with the tank size, which is an important factor when you are putting any species of freshwater fish in your aquarium. If you have juvenile species, you can make do with a 20-gallon tank since they are only a few inches long. If you have a single adult in the tank, then this size would be sufficient.
However, we suggest that you should get a tank with a capacity of 30-35 gallons, especially if you have several adult Blue Gourami. This tank size would provide your fish with enough space to move around comfortably.
If you are looking to keep a group of these fish together, you will have to increase the tank size significantly. Although they aren’t exactly large fish, Three-spot Gourami likes to explore the entire aquarium.
Therefore, you need to provide them with suitable space for swimming. So, you will have to increase the tank size by 10-15 gallons for every Blue Gourami that you add.
Blue Gourami are quite resilient and adaptable to a range of water parameters. Having said that, you will have to adhere to the recommended water parameter to ensure that they are healthy and move around comfortably.
As an aquarium owner, your goal should always be to mimic the natural habitat of the fish that you are planning on keeping, including Blue Gourami. By familiarizing yourself with their natural habitat, you will be able to prolong their lifespan and help them grow properly.
When it comes to water parameters for Blue Gourami, you should maintain a water temperature between 72°F and 82°F. Moreover, the pH levels should be set between 6.0 and 8.0, since these fish prefer neutral waters.
Lastly, the water hardness should be maintained between 4 to 18 dKH.
By maintaining these water conditions, you will be able to provide your Blue Gourami with a homely and familiar environment that they can comfortably inhabit. To ensure that the conditions are consistent, you should get yourself a thermometer, as well as an accurate and reliable water testing kit.
You should set up the water testing kit and use it to monitor the water parameters regularly so that you can quickly detect and fix any anomalies rapidly.
You should inspect and replace the water partially after every few weeks so that the ammonia and nitrate levels are also balanced.
What to Put in Their Tank?
Blue Gourami are used to slow-moving waters that are rich in vegetation, and they are also found in backwater areas where seasonal flooding is quite common. Therefore, when you are setting up the tank for them, make sure to consider all these factors.
First of all, you should add a dark-colored substrate to the aquarium, regardless of the texture or type of substrate you choose. Either sand or gravel will do best because these fish don’t go to the bottom of the tank that much.
The logic behind adding a dark-colored substrate is that it will provide a nice contrast to the Gourami’s bodies, and their colors will pop out against it. This would make your tank look even more beautiful.
Another thing you need to add to the tank is live plants, as they have those in the wild too. You can choose from several different types of live plants for the tank, but make sure that they don’t inhibit their path to the surface.
Blue Gourami are known as labyrinth fish, which means that they have a unique organ responsible for allowing them to breathe oxygen from the surface of the water. Therefore, they will come up from time to time to breathe fresh air, and floating plants would hinder them from doing so.
Other than plants, you may also add rocks and driftwood to the aquarium, as it would closely replicate their natural environment. Plus, it would also give them places for hiding and shelter from time to time.
Also, you should maintain a low water flow in the aquarium, as Three-spot Gourami don’t prefer strong currents. Therefore, you can maintain a moderate water flow and add a couple of air stones to facilitate oxygenation in the water.
Another thing you should be particular about is strong filtration. Although these fish aren’t waste producers, a large group of Blue Gourami can cause a large bioload. This would also result in higher levels of ammonia and nitrates, which is why you should invest in a quality filtration system.
Blue Gourami are vulnerable to all of the diseases that affect freshwater fish. They are likely to suffer from Ich, a contagious parasitic infection that causes the development of white spots on their bodies. Apart from this, they can also encounter skin flukes, fungal problems, dropsy, and a condition called Velvet disease.
Luckily, you can easily treat these conditions by maintaining proper tank conditions. If you want to identify any signs of disease, monitor the color of their bodies. If they are dulling out, it may be a sign of metabolic stress caused by disease.
Make sure to check the water conditions and also perform regular water changes. If you have a diseased Blue Gourami in the tank, isolate them to another tank immediately, and use over-the-counter medication to restore their health.
What Do Blue Gourami Eat?
Blue Gourami aren’t picky eaters, and they are natural omnivores that enjoy eating most foods. They usually thrive on balanced algae-based dry flakes or pellets.
Moreover, you can give them some extra nutrition by giving them high-quality foods from time to time. They enjoy live, frozen, and freeze-dried snacks. Some of the suitable choices include brine shrimp, tubifex worms, and bloodworms.
Behavior & Temperament
Blue Gouramis have a naturally peaceful temperament, but you might notice them fighting against each other in groups and pairs. Out of the species, the male ones exhibit territorial instructs, especially if you have them crammed in smaller tanks.
Apart from this, they can also be aggressive towards females after breeding. Otherwise, they are quite easy-going and get along well with other species too. They usually explore the tank and eat up any algae they find.
Since they are labyrinth species, they are usually found near the surface of the tank, so you will see them breathing atmospheric air from time to time.
Blue Gourami Tank Mates
Blue Gourami can thrive in a community tank because of their peaceful and easy-going nature. However, this doesn’t mean that you can pair them up with just about any species. To start with, avoid any tank mates that are smaller than the fish since they might get eaten up.
Moreover, you should avoid any species that are much larger than the Blue Gourami, since it may intimidate them and cause them to get stressed.
Here are some suitable tank mates for the Blue Gourami:
Blue Gouramis are pretty fascinating to watch, especially when they are breeding. You should keep them in a separate tank when they are ready for breeding so that you can maintain the parameters. Make sure to create a similar environment to the main tank.
However, you should tweak the settings to make the water softer and more acidic. When these conditions are met, the male will create a bubble nest by blowing bubbles out of their mouth, and the bubbles will collect on the surface.
Then, the male will swim around the tank to impress the female, and following their mating process; the female will release her eggs. The male will fertilize them, and the eggs will float up to the bubble nest. You can remove female Gourami at this point while males will continue to guard the nest.
The eggs hatch in three days, and when the babies are swimming freely, you can start feeding them with infusoria and nauplii, which is also known as crustacean larvae. Additionally, you can give them powdered fry food.
Are you just as fascinated by Blue Gourami as we are? If so, then you can quickly bring them to your home aquarium because they are really easy to care for.
Moreover, your commitment to their care impacts whether they will thrive and live longer or not. As long as you follow the care guidelines mentioned in our guide, these fish will continue to live healthily and happily.