How many dwarf gouramis should be together?

Quick Answer

The recommended number of dwarf gouramis to keep together is 2-6. Dwarf gouramis are semi-aggressive and territorial, so keeping too many in a tank can lead to fighting and stress. The ideal dwarf gourami group size depends on tank size and aquascaping to create plenty of broken sight lines and hiding spots. In a heavily planted 30 gallon tank, 6 dwarf gouramis is reasonable. Smaller groups of 2-4 are best for 20 gallon tanks.

How Many Dwarf Gouramis for a 10 Gallon Tank?

A 10 gallon tank is too small for dwarf gouramis. These fish need at least a 20 gallon tank, ideally 30 gallons or more. A 10 gallon tank doesn’t provide enough swimming space for active dwarf gouramis. It also makes it extremely difficult to aquascape a heavily planted environment with visual barriers.

Keeping dwarf gouramis in too small of a tank increases aggression and stress. The close quarters force constant interaction between gouramis, leading to excessive chasing, fin nipping, and fighting. This negatively impacts health and quality of life.

Some aquarists insist on keeping dwarf gouramis in 10 gallon tanks, but it almost always ends badly. The gouramis become reclusive and timid or increasingly aggressive. Health suffers from the stress.

If keeping dwarf gouramis in a 10 gallon tank, house only one. But consider upgrading to at least a 20 gallon tank as soon as possible. The gourami will be much happier with more room and possible tank mates.

Ideal Tank Size

– 10 gallon – None, too small
– 20 gallon – 2-3 dwarf gouramis
– 30 gallon – 4-6 dwarf gouramis
– 40+ gallon – 6-8 dwarf gouramis

How Many Dwarf Gouramis in a 20 Gallon Tank?

A 20 gallon tank can comfortably house 2-3 dwarf gouramis. This allows each gourami to establish their own territory while reducing aggression. Make sure the tank is densely planted to obstruct sight lines and create hiding spots.

Introduce all dwarf gouramis to the 20 gallon tank at the same time. Adding new gouramis later can disrupt the hierarchy and lead to fighting. A 20 gallon tank doesn’t provide much extra space for newcomers.

Choose dwarf gourami varieties with different color morphs when keeping multiple together. This makes it easier for each fish to identify their territory and reduces confusion. For example, house a standard blue dwarf gourami with a sunset orange dwarf gourami.

Sometimes 4 dwarf gouramis in a 20 gallon tank works out fine. But be prepared to remove bullies or victims if aggression arises. Have a backup plan in place in case the gourami dynamics don’t work out. Don’t overstock the tank and risk unstable living conditions.

20 Gallon Stocking Ideas

– 2 dwarf gouramis + school of small tetras or rasboras
– 3 dwarf gouramis + few small bottom dwellers like cory cats
– 2 dwarf gouramis + snails and shrimp

How Many Dwarf Gouramis in a 30 Gallon Tank?

You can keep 4-6 dwarf gouramis in a 30 gallon tank if it’s properly aquascaped. The bigger footprint of a 30 gallon provides more territory for gouramis to claim. Densely plant the tank to obstruct sight lines and reduce aggression.

Aim for group sizes of 4-5 dwarf gouramis in a 30 gallon. This allows them to establish a hierarchy while reducing outright bullying of lone individuals. Mix color morphs to minimize confusion over boundaries.

Adding 6 dwarf gouramis to a 30 gallon tank is possible but pushing the limits. Closely monitor for trouble like chased fish hiding in corners. Be prepared to remove extra aggressive gouramis. Make sure weaker fish are getting food.

For best results, introduce all dwarf gouramis to the tank at the same time. A 30 gallon leaves minimal extra space for adding new gouramis later. This risks disrupting the pecking order and harmony of an established community.

30 Gallon Stocking Ideas

– 5 dwarf gouramis + few cory cats or khuli loaches
– 4 dwarf gouramis + school of small tetras + snails/shrimp
– 6 dwarf gouramis + otocinclus catfish

How Many in a 40, 55, or 75 Gallon Tank?

Larger tanks allow for bigger groups of dwarf gouramis. Aim for the following numbers:

– 40 breeder tank – 6-8 dwarf gouramis
– 55 gallon tank – 8-10 dwarf gouramis
– 75 gallon tank – 10-12 dwarf gouramis

These group sizes work well in larger aquariums that are meticulously aquascaped. Plant the tank very densely with gaps in vegetation to create distinct territories. Use hardscape like rock formations and driftwood to break up lines of sight between the gouramis.

Supplement open areas with floating plants. Floating plants provide overhead cover and diffuse light, reducing aggression. They also give timid gouramis a place to hide near the surface.

Always quarantine new dwarf gouramis for 2-4 weeks before adding them to an established community tank. This prevents introducing diseases. Observe quarantined fish closely for signs of bullying or illness before combining them with other gouramis.

Other Factors Affecting Dwarf Gourami Group Size

Tank size plays a major role in how many dwarf gouramis can coexist, but other factors influence compatibility:

Aquascaping & Tank Setup

Tanks with more hiding places, broken lines of sight, and defined territories support larger dwarf gourami groups. Generously plant the tank and use hardscape to create visual barriers. Provide both open swimming space and thick vegetation for retreating.

Individual Personality

Dwarf gourami temperaments vary. Some are peaceful while others are overtly aggressive. Monitor fish interactions closely. Remove bullies and at-risk individuals if needed. Don’t exceed 6 gouramis if dealing with extra aggressive fish.

Gender Ratio

Male dwarf gouramis tend to be more aggressive. A mix of males and females helps diffuse fighting. Female gouramis also act as distractions during breeding displays. But too many males will still clash regardless of females present.

Tank Maintenance

Perform regular water changes and filter maintenance. Dirty, low quality water stresses fish and increases aggression. Maintain 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and low nitrates for healthiest dwarf gouramis.


Feed a high quality varied diet to reduce aggression over food competition. Make sure all dwarf gouramis are actually eating. Supplement with blanched vegetables for fiber.

Compatibility With Other Fish

Dwarf gouramis become more aggressive when housed only with others of their kind. Adding peaceful schooling fish like small tetras and corydoras cats diffuses aggression. But don’t overstock.

Signs of Aggression in Dwarf Gouramis

Even in optimal tank conditions, dwarf gouramis may squabble sometimes. It’s normal for them to occasionally chase or lip lock over boundaries. But consistent bullying or injury points to overcrowding issues.

Watch for these signs of problematic aggression:

– Nipped fins with damage or infection setting in
– One gourami constantly hiding or showing excessive stress colors
– Skittishness when approaching food, even in starving fish
– Rapid gilling or gulping at surface indicating difficulty breathing
– Clamped fins from constant harassment
– Loss of color from being bullied
– Bent spines or skeletal deformities in young, growing fish

Remove any victims showing these symptoms to a quarantine tank. Treat any health issues like fin rot. Either rehome extra aggressive gouramis or return them to the store. Reducing group size often relieves aggression issues.

Maximizing Dwarf Gourami Health in Groups

Crowding dwarf gouramis together in too small of a tank inevitably leads to disease outbreaks. But maintaining optimal conditions in a well-run aquarium prevents most health problems:

– Perform 25% weekly water changes to reduce nitrates and replenish minerals.
– Provide strong filtration capable of handling the fish bioload.
– Use a calibrated heater to keep water temperature steady at 76-82°F.
– Feed a high quality pelleted and frozen diet. Occasionally supplement with veggies.
– Quarantine new dwarf gouramis for 2-4 weeks before adding to a community tank.
– Act swiftly to treat injuries, fungus, fin rot, or parasitic infections. Use a hospital tank for treatment.
– Test water parameters regularly and correct any problems. Target 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and under 20 ppm nitrates.

Mixing Dwarf Gourami Species and Varieties

The most common dwarf gourami species kept in home aquariums are:

– Trichogaster lalius (dwarf gourami)
– Colisa lalia (thick lipped gourami)
– Trichopodus leucopterus (pearl gourami)

These dwarf gourami species can be safely mixed together. They require similar water parameters and have comparable temperaments. Just follow the same stocking density guidelines based on tank size.

The various dwarf gourami color morphs and varieties can also live together without issue. Feel free to mix powder blue, neon, sunset, and other color mutations of the same species. Different colors actually help reduce aggression.

However, avoid mixing dwarf gouramis with larger gourami species. Dwarf gouramis are shy and get bullied by bigger relatives like gold, blue, and kissing gouramis. Only combine dwarfs with fish of similar size and temperament.

Tank Mates for Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf gouramis should not be kept alone in a tank. They are social fish that do best with peaceful tank mates. Good dwarf gourami companions include:

Small Schooling Fish

– Neon tetras
– Ember tetras
– Harlequin rasboras
– Chili rasboras
– Endler’s livebearers
– Guppies

These small, active fish help distract aggressive gouramis. They occupy the upper levels while the gouramis stay low. Just avoid fin-nipping species like tiger barbs. And do not add slow, large fish that may be seen as prey.

Bottom Dwellers

– Corydoras catfish
– Otocinclus
– Khuli loaches
– Snails like nerites

Bottom feeders are excellent tank mates for dwarf gouramis. They help sift the substrate and provide activity at lower tank levels. Shrimp and snails also clean up extra food.

Avoid Aggressive Species

Stay away from territorial fish like other gouramis, bettas, and cichlids. These will not mix well with dwarf gouramis. Also avoid large omnivores that may eat them like cichlids and goldfish.


When setting up a dwarf gourami aquarium, focus first on choosing an adequately sized tank and planting it densely to create territories. Groups of 2-3 dwarf gouramis work well in a 20 gallon tank, 4-6 in a 30 gallon, and up to 10 in larger aquariums. Mix color varieties and include plenty of small, peaceful tank mates. Maintain clean, warm water and a varied diet. Monitor for aggression issues and be ready to remove any bully or victim fish. Follow these dwarf gourami care guidelines and your community tank will thrive.

1 thought on “How many dwarf gouramis should be together?”

Leave a Comment