Honey Gourami: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

Photo of author
Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

The Honey Gourami is a strikingly beautiful species of freshwater fish. Their attractive appearance makes them an ideal choice for aquarium owners looking to lively up their fish tanks.

One of the best things about Honey Gourami is that they are easy to care for, and they can even be looked after by beginners who have just bought their first aquariums. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.

If you are looking to own and care for Honey Gourami, you have come to the right place. We have created a highly useful guide for you to find out how you can care for your Honey Gourami while also considering their habitat, water requirements, diet, breeding, tank mates, and much more.

Species Overview

The Honey Gourami is a species of Gourami fish, and they belong to the Osphronemidae family. They have the scientific name Trichogaster chuna.

Honey Gourami are often referred to as the Sunset Gourami, Red Flame Gourami, and the Red Honey Gourami. The various names of these fish are a reference to their color, which is a bright shade between orange and red.

Honey Gourami originate from the slow-moving waters of the rivers and lakes in India and Bangladesh. They prefer spots with thicker vegetation in the water, and they tend to stay in the middle or top levels.

Life SpanUp to 8 Years
Color FormVarious
Care levelBeginner
CompatibilitySame species and peaceful small fish
Size3 Inches
Tank SetupLow current with lots of vegetation and hiding spaces
Minimum Tank Size10 Gallons

They have a labyrinth organ in their bodies, which allows them to breathe air from the water’s surface. Since the waters they inhabit are low in oxygen, the labyrinth allows them to inhale the required amount of oxygen.

Thanks to their bright color, Honey Gourami are a popular feature in freshwater aquariums.

Although they are found in Asian waters, they have a high demand all over Europe and the United States. Most of the Honey Gourami are bred in tanks and sold to aquarium owners.


On average, Honey Gourami have a lifespan that lies between 5 and 8 years. Their lifespan mostly depends on their living conditions, as well as how you take care of them.

Although these fish are easy to take care of, you still have to be very careful with them. Honey Gourami are used to living in low oxygen water conditions, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t die.

If you want your Honey Gourami to live a long, happy, and healthy life, you can follow the care instructions in our guide.


Honey Gourami are quite distinguishable from other species of fish, especially due to their bright coloring.

There is a difference between the appearances of adult males and females. Adult males have a lighter shade of orange and yellow, but their throats have a blueish silver tinge.

Moreover, their fins have a light yellow shade, with their tips being a deep orange color. On the other hand, the adult female Honey Gourami has a silver body with light gray fins. Baby males also have this color at birth, but their color changes as they mature and start mating.

Both males and females in the Honey Gourami species have slim and slender bodies, while their faces are slightly tilted upwards.

The fins of Sunset Gourami are different from the other species. Their anal and dorsal fins are further away from their mouth and meet at the base of the caudal fin. They also have unnoticeable and small pectoral fins, and their ventral fins are quite long.


The female Honey Gourami reaches a length of 2 inches as they grow up. On the other hand, the males are smaller than the females, measuring 1.5 inches long as they grow. Since they are quite small in size, you don’t require a larger fish tank for them to grow.

Honey Gourami Care

Honey Gourami are pretty easy to take care of since they can endure and survive in several different water and tank conditions.

However, you should always aim to offer your Honey Gourami quality care and a suitable habitat that feels like home to them. You don’t have to test their endurance by subjecting them to tough conditions.

Tank Size

According to aquatic experts, you should have a 10-gallon tank if you want to keep a Honey Gourami. If you want to add more of them, you will have to increase the tank size by 5 to 10 gallons for every fish you add.

So, you need a 10-gallon tank for a Honey Gourami and a 15 or 20-gallon tank for a pair.

If you don’t give your Honey Gourami enough space, they might start to fight over their territory. Even if you get infant fish, you don’t need a bigger tank once they grow in size because their maximum size is 3 inches.

Water Parameters

Since Honey Gourami have an easy care routine, they also provide you with some relaxation when it comes to water parameters. Not only does this lighten your load, but it also makes them more compatible with other species of fish.

Ideally, you should maintain the water temperature of the fish tank between 72-82°F and set the pH levels between 6 to 7.5. Additionally, the water hardness should be between 4-10 KH.

Make sure to test the water inside the tank from time and time so that you can maintain the water conditions. Plus, changing the water partially every week is also beneficial to keep the water quality high.

One thing you should consider is that room temperature and water temperature are two different things. Since Honey Gourami use their labyrinth organ to inhale oxygen from the surface of the water, it can get damaged if the room is much colder than the water.

Therefore, you should also try to keep the room temperature closer to the water temperature so that your Honey Gourami doesn’t have trouble breathing.

What to Put in Their Tank?

As mentioned above, Honey Gourami are low-maintenance fish and can endure several conditions. However, since they prefer an environment with vegetation, you should place quite a few plants in their fish tank too.

Plants are particularly important if you have Sunset Gourami, who get stressed if they stay in a tank without any plants. Plus, it also has a positive impact on their growth and lifespan.

Therefore, you can pick out plants like water wisteria and hornwort for your fish tank. While doing so, make sure you leave enough room for Honey Gourami to swim to the surface since they need to breathe from the surface.

Apart from plants, you can also add decorative accessories and hiding places to the fish tank. You have complete discretion to choose these as per your liking.

Common Diseases

There aren’t any specific diseases that are relative to the species of Honey Gourami, which is quite a relief. However, they can get sick and infected with several other diseases, especially if their water quality and diet aren’t maintained.

To ensure that your fish are healthy, keep checking on them from time to time and check if anything seems unusual.

If you notice that they are lethargic or behaving out of the ordinary, they may be ill. Plus, if there are any spots or wounds on their body, they may be suffering from a disease.

Since Honey Gourami fish are so bright and colorful, you should be able to quickly observe any problem with them.

What Do Honey Gourami Eat?

In their natural habitat, Honey Gourami are used to eating insects, as they are omnivores. Therefore, you have to feed them with foods that are rich in proteins.

For more nutrients, you should feed them algae-based flakes, which are easy to source and also fulfill their dietary requirements.

Once in a while, you can also feed your Honey Gourami with freeze-dried foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and many others. This would keep them well-fed with protein and energy.

Moreover, you can mix around food options for your fish, as long as their nutritional requirements are being met.

You should feed your Honey Gourami only twice per day, and this is quite convenient for you to fit in your busy schedule. When you are feeding them, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat.

If your Honey Gourami takes a few minutes to eat all of the food that you put into the fish tank, this would mean that you are overfeeding them.

Behavior & Temperament

Honey Gourami are peaceful and active, and this allows them to cohabit the aquarium with other species. Although they don’t stir any trouble or fight with other fish, they may swim over to spectate if other fish are fighting.

Also, Honey Gourami are known to be generally passive. If another fish species or larger fish try to intimidate them, they will dash over to the nearest hiding space.

Due to their labyrinth, these fish will be mostly found at the top level of the aquarium. Moreover, they are shoaling fish and prefer living with their own species. Therefore, if you are getting a new aquarium, try to get more than one Honey Gourami and keep them together.

Keeping the fish together would make them happier and more comfortable in their environment. On the other hand, if you leave them with larger fish, they will spend all their time in hiding.

Honey Gourami Tank Mates

Since Honey Gourami are a peaceful species, their ideal tank mates should be other species of fish that are peaceful and about the same size as them.

If you already have a tank with large fish and place Honey Gourami in them, the larger fish might try to prey on them. Also, these fish don’t fight back, so you shouldn’t keep them with any kind of aggressive fish.

When it comes to pairing your Honey Gourami with other fish, here are some of the most suitable options:

These are only some of the fish species that you can pair up with your Honey Gourami. Basically, you can add any fish species that are peaceful and also aren’t more than 3 inches long.

When you put new fish with your Honey Gourami, you should monitor their relationship for a little while in order to see if they get along well.

Even if you add several Honey Gourami fish, make sure that there aren’t too many males in there, as they tend to get aggressive around each other.


Just as you can easily take care of Honey Gourami, you can also breed them easily in your home aquarium, provided that you maintain the right conditions for them to breed.

Ideally, you should have a breeding tank because the parents have to be removed several times during the breeding process. You can get a 15-gallon tank for this purpose.

To get your Honey Gourami to breed, make sure that the water temperature is higher than normal, i.e. 78-82°F. You should also keep the water level shallower than you normally have in your tank.

The presence of plants in your tank plays a major role in the breeding process since the male will create their nest around them and impress the female. Once you see the male bumping into the female, you can deduce that the mating has begun.

Once this happens, the female releases her eggs for the male to fertilize. You can remove the female from the tank when this happens because the male gets very aggressive while defending the nest.

When you see the fry hatched and swimming independently, you can feed them foods like artemia and brine shrimp to help them stay healthy and grow.

The baby Honey Gourami starts to grow quickly, so if you have a tank that isn’t big enough to accommodate all of them, make sure to move them to another tank. Alternatively, you can get a bigger tank where you can accommodate all of them.

Final Thoughts

Honey Gourami is one of the most popular and desirable freshwater fish out there. Plus, they look quite majestic swimming around in the aquarium.

They are very easy to take care of since they are low-maintenance and peaceful species, it is also easy to take care of their habitat, water conditions, diet, and much more. Not only that, but you have a wide variety of tank mates to choose from.

If you are still considering keeping Honey Gourami in your fish tank and breeding them, you should go ahead with the decision right away. If you follow the instructions we have laid out for you, there won’t be any problem for you.

Plus, if you maintain the water conditions and provide your fish with enough vegetation, you will have some very happy and active fish in your home.