How Many Gouramis Should Be Kept Together? A Full Guide

Among many fish types, gouramis stand out due to their beautiful and vibrant colors – which is why many fish keepers love to have them in their tanks. 

But is raising them as straightforward as some other typical species we know? How many gouramis should be kept together? What should their owners do to foster their growth and future development?

Our inclusive article will delve into all those questions, delivering excellent tips and advice from experienced owners to help you deal better with your pet fish. Curious as to what we are going to discuss? Then click here and keep scrolling for more!

How Many Gouramis Should Be Kept Together?

Group of Gouramis

The rule of thumb is that every inch of the fish requires one gallon for optimal convenience; use it to calculate the number of fish you can keep. 

Here’s an example: a tank of 18 gallons can sustain about six pygmy gouramis, but six kissing gouramis demand a tank of at least 60 gallons.

One lesser-known fact about these fish is that they are all social creatures. 

What does that mean? It means they will thrive and grow better in a circle of peers, exchanging food and joining groups to protect each other. 

Isolation periods that last longer than necessary will inevitably cause them boredom and stress issues – sounds familiar, right? That is no different than our human society!

Hence, according to experts’ and professionals’ perspectives, you should keep at least four gouramis in the same tank (six to seven will be even better, but four can be a pretty ideal starting point). Any number lower than that – though not deadly dangerous – would slow down your fish’s future development. 

For limit-sized tanks that cannot accommodate four gouramis, at least try to keep them in separate pairs. Overall, the main takeaway here is: never leave them alone! 

Also, remember that there are several types of gouramis with different sizes, so how many you can squeeze into one tank also depends on their species. 

What To Do If The Gourami Fishes Start Fighting Each Other?

What To Do If The Gourami Fishes Start Fighting Each Other?

Despite being social creatures that like making friends, these fish can also get pretty rude to their peers and companions. (especially males). 

Thus, intense, aggressive behaviors happening in your tanks sometimes are inevitable. What should you do in that case? 

1. Do Not Stop Them

At times, the fish must settle their ranking in the aquarium and establish an official order. So let them battle; do not stop them! While we understand you might feel upset seeing them distressed, they often calm down only two days after asserting their dominance. So no worries!

2. Add Some Plants and Decorations to The Tanks

Gourami fishes are famous for being aggressive, but not all of them are so; some are pretty tame and easily become bully targets. 

To protect them against their stronger rivals, you can add many plants and decorations to the aquarium, giving these fish a safe place to hide and safeguard themselves.  

Caves, driftwood, and rocks are wonderful examples of great hiding places for the fish, spreading out their rivals’ aggression. Tall plants with dense stems are even more highly recommended, which are both secure and help reduce visibility. 

Not to mention, there are also some aesthetic benefits involved; thanks to them, your tank will look much better than ever!

3. Add A Bigger and Stronger Fish Into The Tank

This strategy doesn’t always work, but you can turn to it if the previous two fail to decrease the tension among your gourami fishes. Make sure this new fish is stronger and more dominant, not hesitating to show others who the boss is! 

Their transparent strength and power will threaten others, changing the group’s dynamic in ways you can never expect. As a result, the atmosphere will become calmer and much less hostile! 

4. Use Tank Dividers

And what if all our suggestions are nothing on your fish? Your last choice is to keep these fish separate from each other. One fast way to pry them off each other is to buy tank dividers. Slot them into the tank and give your fish time to calm down!

Still, remember that it’s only the last resort. You cannot keep buying tank dividers every time there are conflicts. Also, these dividers are quite an eye sore to the beautiful visual of your aquarium! 

Tips for Gourami Breeding

Tips for Gourami Breeding

Of course, like any other animals and creatures, gourami fishes do not fight all the time; keeping them in groups (especially males and females in the same place) can make them mate and lay eggs too. Here are some tips to ensure successful results: 

1. Get Them Into Shape

Before adding the fish to a breeding tank, condition the female and male gourami fish with nutritional foods for about one or two weeks to get them in peak breeding shapes. 

Most of them are omnivores, meaning varied diets of commercial flakes, pellets, frozen foods, or live foods are fine. Certain types thrive best on vegetables, so you can sprinkle in fresh vegetation, too.

2. Add The Female Into The Tank First

Once the fish has been properly conditioned, put the female one in the tank first. Give her several days to familiarize herself with the new environment before adding her supposed mate. 

Ideally, waiting until she is gravid (the eggs are full) will be better – before throwing in the male. You can speed up that process by feeding her constantly meaty foods (ex: blood worms).

3. Add The Male Into The Tank

When you put the male into the tank, his mate will start building a bubble nest – only if she falls under the bubble-nesting categories, of course. (Cases of bubble-nest fish are gold, moonlight, opaline, platinum, and pearl gouramis, among others). She will blow some bubbles, gathering them into huge nests on the water’s surface.

After the eggs are laid, the fish will place these eggs into the nest and wait until hatching. 

Other gourami fishes are not bubble-nest, however.

Chocolate gouramis are an example; they are mouthbrooders, gathering eggs in their big mouths and keeping them there until hatching. Meanwhile, kissing gouramis are neither mouthbrooders nor bubble-nest, scattering the eggs during vegetation and leaving them to hatch by themselves. 


How many gouramis should be kept together? What should we do when they fight? Are there any tips for successful gourami breeding?

Our article has addressed every question above with detailed guidelines and explanations. Keep them in mind, and write to us should there be any trouble!