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10 Best Tank Mates for Dwarf Gouramis (With Pictures)

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

powder blue dwarf gourami

Dwarf Gouramis are beautiful and peaceful fish, but their small size and peaceful nature mean that you cannot pair them with all tank mates. Pairing Dwarf Gouramis with large or aggressive fish can lead to a stressful or downright lethal environment.

Just because these creatures are so small and dainty does not mean they cannot have tank mates. Instead, there are plenty of tank mate options for a non-aggressive and beautiful aquarium. Adding tank mates to your Dwarf Gouramis really can elevate your aquarium to the next level.

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The 10 Tank Mates for Dwarf Gouramis

1. Neon Tetra

neon tetra
Image Credit: Kristiana Berzina, Shutterstock
Size: 1.5 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Neon Tetras are great for many community aquariums, including aquariums with Dwarf Gouramis. These creatures are native to South America, but they have been bred for many decades, making them more suitable for many water varieties than other breeds.

They are great for Dwarf Gourami because they’re so small and non-aggressive. You don’t have to worry about them messing with your Dwarf Gouramis. At the same time, they are hardy and require the same water as Dwarf Gouramis. Keep in mind that they need at least five or more to school.


2. Cardinal Tetra

Cardinal Tetra
Image Credit: Montenegro, Shutterstock
Size: 2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Much like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras work great with Dwarf Gourami. Interestingly, Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras are so similar that they are often confused with one another. Still, Cardinal Tetras are slightly bigger.

Even though they are bigger than their Neon cousins, Cardinals are great tank mates for Dwarf Gouramis. They require very similar water environments and love tanks with a lot of plants, which is perfect for Dwarf Gouramis.


3. Chili Rasboras

Chili Rasbora
Image Credit: boban_nz, Shutterstock
Size: 0.75 inches
Diet: Carnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Chili Rasboras are nano fish with slender bodies and red colors. This species is incredibly attractive, yet they are peaceful and require a group of at least 10 or more to school. The red color of these fish makes them gorgeous against powder blue Dwarf Gouramis.

Chili Rasboras are perfect for Dwarf Gouramis because they require the same type of water. This fish originates from Southeast Asia, which is why their condition requirements are so similar.


4. Zebra Danios

zebra danios
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock
Size: 2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Another slender but adorable fish to pair with your Dwarf Gouramis is the Zebra Danio. These little bodies are shiny and eye-catching, even though they are so small. They are super active, which makes them fun to watch when they zoom around. You need to have at least 10 or more in the tank.

Because Zebra Danios have been bred in captivity for so long, they can adapt to many types of water parameters, even though they are accustomed to soft water. Zebra Danios will dart in and out of the planted area, but you need to provide an open swimming area as well.


5. Harlequin Rasboras

harlequin rasbora
Image Credit: Joan Carles Juarez, Shutterstock
Size: 2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Harlequin Rasboras are similar to Chili Rasboras, but they are bigger. They are found in the same environment as the Chili Rasboras and Dwarf Gouramis, meaning that they have the same water requirements.

Even though these fish are a bit bigger than their cousin, they are still really gentle and get along great with Dwarf Gouramis. You will need a more open swimming area for this fish, but they will also appreciate the planted areas.


6. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli loach
Image Credit: Roberto Dani, Shutterstock
Size: 2–4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

If you want a really unique fish to pair with your Dwarf Gouramis, we recommend a Kuhli Loach. They almost look like eels. They need a group of eight or more to be happy, especially if you want them to come out at night!

Kuhli Loaches are very gentle. In fact, they are shy, meaning they won’t pick any trouble with your Dwarf Gouramis. To make sure all the fish are happy, you need to sink some food for these bottom feeders so that the Dwarf Gouramis don’t lap all the food up first.


7. Octoclinus Catfish

otocinclus catfish
Image Credit: Swapan Photography, Shutterstock
Size: 1-2 inches
Diet: Herbivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Intermediate
Temperament: Peaceful

Octoclinus Catfish, otherwise known as Oto Cats, are tiny catfish that school. These little creatures will clean out the tank, all while looking cute in the process. You need a school of five Oto Cats or more. They are fun to watch because they tumble and play much like children.

Though the fish tumble with one another, they are gentle and will not disturb your Dwarf Gouramis. The one downside is that they can be a bit difficult to care for. Many are not fed adequately at the store. Only get an Oto Cat if it is active in the tank and has a round belly.


8. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Size: 1-4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20-30 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

If you like the idea of a small catfish but want one that is a bit easier to take care of, the Corydoras Catfish is a great option. These bottom feeders are non-aggressive, yet they work tirelessly to clean up your tank.

Corydoras Catfish live best whenever they have five or more in the tank. They are also very fun to watch, and they will be gentle and kind with your Dwarf Gouramis. Make sure you have an open area for the Corydoras to swim in.


9. Amano Shrimp

amano shrimp
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Size: 2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

An Amano Shrimp will make a perfect tank mate if you’re looking to spice up the variety in your aquarium. The shrimp are large enough that they won’t be bitten by the other fish, but they will also help you keep your tank really clean.

At the same time, the shrimp will not bother the other fish at all. You will need to add different food sources, such as algae wafers and the occasional bit of spinach.


10. Mollies

sunburst platy
Image Credit: Joan Carles Juarez, Shutterstock
Size: 3-6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Peaceful

Even though Mollies can be quite a bit bigger than Dwarf Gouramis, they are very gentle. They are captive bred too, which allows them to adapt to new waters pretty easily.

Even though Mollies are not very aggressive, they can be aggressive when it comes to food. Sprinkling the food in different locations in the tank will prevent any issues from occurring. Additionally, note that Mollies need open space to swim, so set up the tank accordingly.

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What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Dwarf Gourami?

Dwarf Gouramis are small and peaceful creatures, as you would expect from a creature with the word Dwarf in its name. They can be a bit aggressive to one another, especially the males. Other than that, they are peaceful and can get beat up on by the other fish.

Because they are so small and peaceful, you need to pair them with other small and peaceful fish. Tank mates that are too big or aggressive can easily stress out the Dwarf Gouramis or even eat them.

Plus, you need to select tank makes that need the same water environment. This simply allows both of the fish types to live happily.

Dwarf gourami, rainbow variety, in aquarium, against brown driftwood, with green plants
Image credit: Corneliu LEU, Shutterstock

Where Do Dwarf Gourami Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?

Dwarf Gourami prefer to hide in the lush vegetation. At the same time, they need access to the atmosphere. As a result, you can find your Dwarf Gourami from the mid to top levels of your aquarium. These fish do not frequent the bottom.

Water Parameters

Dwarf Gourami are native to two large and sluggish rivers in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and other similar areas. Their natural habitat has a lot of vegetation with virtually no water movement.

As a result, Dwarf Gourami prefer soft water with low pH. However, these fish can live with different pH levels and hardness in captivity for many years.

The best water parameters for a Dwarf Gourami are a pH of 6.0 to 7.5, a temperature between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and an alkalinity between 4 degrees and 10 degrees dKH.

Size

Dwarf Gouramis only grow to be between 0.5 and 5 inches long. As a result, they have a tank size minimum of about 20 gallons, though 30 gallons will give them a lot of extra space to move around.

Aggressive Behaviors

Dwarf Gouramis Are not known to be as aggressive as most other fish. That being said, the males can be aggressive toward one another. Additionally, Dwarf Gouramis can be more aggressive to other anabantoids, such as betta fish. Aggression against other fish is primarily only seen in males as well.

If you have a lot of females, you will likely not run into any problems concerning aggression. This is especially true if the other fish mates are not aggressive.

dwarf gourami close up
Image credit: Steve Bower, Shutterstock

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The 3 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Dwarf Gourami in Your Aquarium

  1. Bringing tank mates into your Dwarf Gouramis’ aquarium makes the aquarium much more lively, colorful, and fun to look at.
  2. Certain tank mates can even help keep the aquarium clean, such as certain catfish, shrimp, and other bottom feeders.
  3. Adding other types of peaceful tank mates can allow all the non-aggressive aquarium fish to have excellent companions.

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Conclusion

Any one of the fish mentioned above would make great tank mates with your Dwarf Gouramis. They are all small, peaceful, and great in social environments. Select your favorite one, and all your fish should be happy.

Some of the fish you select may require more space than the Dwarf Gourami. If that is the case for your tank, simply create an area of the tank that is densely packed for the Dwarf Gouramis and an open area for the other fish. It is as simple as that!

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Yuriy Chertok, Shutterstock

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