Pygmy Gourami – Profile | Care | Tank Mates | Breeding

pygmy gourami

This species is often known as ‘pygmy gourami’ and ‘dwarf croaking gourami’. It’s an in-style aquarium fish, with nearly all of the fish traded produced on an industrial foundation. In this article, I am going to talk about Pygmy Gourami tank size, size, tank mates, and shrimp, care, breeding, and betta, sound, etc.

Pygmy gourami profile

The pygmy Gourami is a petite gem of freshwater aquariums.

With its attractive golden physique speckled with flecks of iridescent purple and fins adorned with blue and green spots, the tiny Trichopsis pumilus is solely gorgeous.

Regardless of its magnificence, the pygmy Gourami stays humble and peaceable in the direction of its tankmates.

Native to the shallow rice patties of Thailand and Cambodia, the pygmy Gourami can survive within the low water stage circumstances with diminished oxygen ranges.

As a result of its tailored shut quarters, the pygmy Gourami solely reaches a complete size of about 1-1\/2″.

Nevertheless, for the very best care, this member of the Belontiidae household needs to be housed in an aquarium at least 10 gallons in measurement.

It may be distinguished from congeners by its small grownup measurement and presence of a single strong darkish mid-lateral stripe on the body, above which is a sequence of darkish blotches forming a second stripe.

In the same however bigger, T. schalleri the higher stripe is an extra variable relying on the temper of the fish, typically fading totally.

Trichopsis species are capable of producing audible sounds through a specialized pectoral mechanism that is exclusive throughout the household Osphronemidae.

The construction contains modified pectoral-fin tendons and muscle groups that are stretched and plucked by the basal portion of the anterior fin rays in the same option as guitar strings.

The pectoral-fins beat alternately, every capable of generating brief or lengthy bursts of sound.

These sounds are produced by each sex, predominantly throughout agnostic and nuptial interactions, and so they differ in temporal parameters, frequency, and stress between the species. Research counsel that

Trichopsis species are capable of settling conflicts without damaging one another bodily by assessing elements comparable to physique weight and size, that are transmitted by each visible and acoustic ‘croaking’ indicator.

Throughout courtship, the feminine produces ‘purring’ sounds with a view to provoking spawning, and they’re the one fish through which that is recognized to happen.

The genus Trichopsis may be identified as follows: dorsal-fin origin markedly posterior to pectoral-fin base; pelvic-fin with a single spinous ray with a filamentous extension, and Four branched rays; 2-4 spinous dorsal-fin rays; 4-8 spinous anal-fin rays; lateral line absent. Its closest family members are thought of to be the genera Betta and Pseudosphromenus.

Like others within the suborder Anabantoidei this species possesses an adjunct respiratory organ generally known as the labyrinth, which allows the fish to breathe atmospheric air to a certain extent.

Comprising paired suprabranchial organs shaped through enlargement of the epibranchial (higher) part of the primary gill arch and housed in a chamber above the gills, it comprises many highly-vascularised, folded flaps of pores and skin which perform as a big respiratory floor.

Its construction varies in complexity between species, tending to be extra developed in these inhabiting harsher environments.

Pure habitat

Pygmy Gourami is native to Southeast Asia, particularly the decrease Mekong River basin in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Saigon, southern Vietnam.

They’re present in quiet waters with heavy vegetation.

Typical habitats embrace canals, swamps, rice fields, small river tributaries, and water-filled ditches. These aquatic environments are heat and stagnant.

Present in all sorts of nonetheless to slow-moving, predominantly lowland habitat, together with swamp forest, peat swamps, floodplains, river tributaries, irrigation canals, paddy fields, and roadside ditches.

Shows a definite desire for sluggish to nonetheless environments with dense growths of aquatic or riparian vegetation.


This species fares finest in a well-planted, shady aquarium with loads of floor cowl within the type of tall stem vegetation, floating varieties, or tropical lilies.

Cryptocoryne spp. are additionally a sensible choice.

Driftwood can be used and different vegetation comparable to Microsorum or Taxiphyllum spp. could also be hooked up to it.

Small clay plant pots, lengths of plastic piping, or empty digicam movie circumstances can be included to offer additional shelter.

The addition of dried leaf litter affords extra cowl and brings with it the expansion of microbe colonies as decomposition happens.

These can present a priceless secondary meal supply for fry, whereas tannins and different chemical compounds launched by the decaying leaves are thought useful.

Because it naturally inhabits sluggish environments robust water motion needs to be averted, with an air-powered sponge filter set to show over gently ample.

Preserve the aquarium well-covered and don’t fill it to the highest because it requires occasional entry to the layer of humid air that can type above the water floor, and is a superb jumper.

Pygmy gourami Lifespan

The common pygmy gourami lifespan is 4-5 years. This depends upon the standard of care you present, in addition to the care they had been in earlier than you obtain them.

This lifespan is correct in step with a lot of the different frequent sorts of gouramis you’ll discover in freshwater aquariums everywhere in the world.


More likely to feed on bugs and different small invertebrates within the wild.

The pygmy Gourami is an omnivore and requires algae-based meals in addition to meaty meals.

An algae-based flake meal, together with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp will present these fish with the correct diet.

pygmy gouramis are omnivores however within the wild, they principally eat bugs and zooplankton.

Due to this, you’ll want to ensure they get sufficient protein for their weight-reduction plan to gas their little bodies and guarantee their health.

A constant quantity of bloodworms, daphnia, and artemia are nice sources of protein that you could give them.

It’s additionally good to combine in some veggies every so often as effectively.

This can assist them to get a balanced diet and canopy the broad dietary necessities that they want with a view to thrive.

A number of house owners merely give their pygmy gourami flake meals with a mixture of protein-rich snacks every so often.

This may work effectively too, you simply must make certain that the standard is top-notch.

With small fish, there’s at all times the potential to overfeed them. Control their measurement and the number of meals they’re consuming particularly once you first get them. Overfeeding can result in quite a few wells being issues.

Captive fish will usually settle for dried merchandise as soon as they’re recognized as edible, however, needs to be supplied loads of small dwell or frozen meals comparable to Daphnia, Artemia, or chironomid larvae (bloodworm) to make sure improvement of optimum color and situation.

Behavior and Compatibility

Greatest maintained in a pair or small group, both alone or with very peaceable, similarly-sized species since a lot greater or extra vigorous tankmates are prone to each intimidate and outcompete it.

Small, education cyprinids are comparable to Microdevario, Boraras, or Trigonostigma spp. make good decisions, as do diminutive loaches comparable to Pangio or Petruichthys.

Some aquarists have reported that this species preys on small freshwater shrimp from genera comparable to Caridina and Neocaridina.

Pygmy gourami Look

The pygmy gourami is surely a gorgeous fish.

There are so many vibrant colors and patterns packed into such a small physique that it’s actually one thing to see!

Other than their ease of care, the gorgeous seems to be of this fish are undoubtedly the principal draw.

True to their title, they appear to be little pygmy bullets after they swim across the tank!

Their bodies are lengthy, skinny, and streamlined.

Their thickest level is correct in the place their ventral fins are situated, and their physique tapers right down to their caudal peduncle reasonably aggressively after that.

Their dorsal fins are skinny and tall and might angle again whereas they swim.

In distinction, their anal fin is reasonably giant in comparison with their body and covers nearly all of the area between their ventral and caudal fins.

The caudal fin of pygmy gouramis has formed a type of like a shell and has an average floor space. Its peak doesn’t exceed the peak of the fish at its tallest level.

Every one of their fins is blue with black spots and a thick darkish purple stripe alongside the sting.

This coloration and sample mixture can create a really mesmerizing impact after they swim. It actually doesn’t get old!

The remainder of their bodies is usually a mixture of blue, brown, and light-weight inexperienced.

There’s typically a darker midline stripe that goes from their pectoral fin to the bottom of their caudal fin.

Above this stripe, there are randomly spaced dots and under it’s often a strong lighter coloration.


The common pygmy gourami measurement is about one and a half inches in size when absolutely grown.

These are fairly small fish that don’t want giant tanks to thrive.

Their measurement is without doubt one of the issues we like most about them.

It actually compliments their “pygmy” look and makes for an enjoyable show when you have just a few swimming around collectively!

Pygmy Gourami Care

Pygmy gourami care is kind of straightforward; it doesn’t matter what your expertise stage is.

These fish are reasonably hardy which suggests the habitat circumstances they want with a view to thrive are reasonably beneficent.

Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless vital to have a radical understanding of what these fish want so you possibly can assure their consolation and health.

Even essentially the most sturdy fish can suffer a shift in water parameters or sickness, so it’s best to at all times take it significantly!

Sexual Dimorphism

Could be difficult to intercourse, however sexually mature males usually exhibit an extra intense color sample and develop longer ventral, anal, dorsal, and caudal fins than females.

Sexually mature people can be sexed by inserting a powerful mild behind the fish, with the ovaries in females clearly seen under the swim bladder.

The one option to differentiate the male from the feminine pygmy Gourami is by illuminating the fish with shiny mild and in search of the ovaries of the feminine.

When able to breed, the male pygmy Gourami builds a bubble nest after which begins to entice the feminine by swimming forwards and backward, flaring his fins, and elevating his tail.

When these habits are observed, the water stage needs to be decreased to six inches.

After spawning, the feminine needs to be eliminated to a separate aquarium because the male could grow to be aggressive towards her.

The male pygmy Gourami will have a tendency of the eggs till they hatch.

After the eggs have hatched carry out frequent water adjustments, particularly throughout the third week, as that is when the labyrinth organ is growing.

The fry needs to be fed infusoria and nauplii.

Pygmy gourami Habits & Temperament

The pygmy gourami is a peaceable and mild fish. They don’t wish to trigger bother and at all times look to keep away from battle each time obligatory.

These fish are reasonably lively and gratifying to look at as effectively.

Since they should regularly go to the floor of the water to get air, there’s at all times at least some motion so that you can witness in the event you watch lengthy enough!

Due to this, pygmy gouramis will spend quite a lot of their time within the high half of your aquarium.

Relying on their consolation stage with the tank and their tank mates, you’ll typically see pygmy gouramis hiding out in no matter vegetation they will discover.

These are small fish, so it’s comprehensible that they may be a bit nervous every so often!

Shoaling is one thing that makes them much more convenient.

Retaining just a few of them collectively offers them a way of security and a few social enrichment that can enhance their high quality of life.

Pygmy gourami Tank Dimension

The beneficial minimal tank measurement for pygmy gourami is 10 to 15 gallons. We suggest 15 gallons since a bit of additional area isn’t a foul factor.

Additionally, the distinction within the footprint of a 15-gallon tank in comparison with a 10 is minimal.

If you wish to maintain a number of pygmy gouramis in the identical tank you’ll want to extend the dimensions (clearly).

Tack on 10 additional gallons for every fish you’ve. This implies 25 gallons for 2 fish, 35 for 3, and so forth.

Pygmy gourami Aquarium necessities

Pygmy Gourami may be stored in a peaceable neighborhood tank, however, you’ll in all probability be dissatisfied.

The wonder and mystique of the pygmy Gourami can solely be loved within the correct aquarium setting.

The fish’s colors are most intense when the fish is stress-free and completely happy.

A 10-gallon or bigger aquarium is beneficial for novice aquarists holding Trichopsis pumila. Skilled aquarists can maintain a number of fish in a 5-gallon nano aquarium.

The black substrate with a number of dwell vegetation is the thought aquascape. A number of rocks, caves, or driftwood completes the aquarium format.

Reside vegetation will not be only for ornament. They absorb vitamins, produce oxygen, and launch algae-inhibiting substances.

Plankton, worms, and different tiny organisms dwell among the many vegetation, creating a relentless supply of dwell meals.

Floating Salvia and water lettuce may be grown in aquariums, offering floor cowl for the fish. Sword vegetation and Vallisneria are beneficial.

Pygmy Gourami and water temperature

Tropical fish thrive underneath steady water circumstances. Room temperature can fluctuate because of heating and air-con cycles.

Chilled aquarium water is particularly worrying to tropical fish. Use an aquarium heater to forestall temperature drops. Set the heater thermostat to 74 – 82°F (22-28°C).

Water Conditions

Temperature: 22 – 28 °C
pH: 5.0 – 7.5
Hardness: 18 – 215 ppm

Pygmy gourami Tap water safety

Distilled and reverse osmosis water will likely be chlorine-free. However chlorinated faucet water is poisonous to tropical fish.

Chlorine disinfectants are oxidizing chemical compounds designed to destroy microbes within the water. Even a hint of chlorine will react with delicate gill tissue, harming the fish.

Use a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine and chloramine.

Copper pipes inside the house typically release copper into the water. Whereas hint quantities are obligatory within the fish’s weight-reduction plan, an excessive amount can poison the fish.

Most water conditioners will detoxify a small quantity of copper, however, some water sources have excessive ranges.

Earlier than utilizing the faucet water, flush the tap for a minute or two. This drains the pipes of water and reduces the extent of copper popping out of the tap.

Pygmy gourami Water filtration

The fish-like slow-moving water. One other good thing about a closely planted tank is that the vegetation sluggish the water motion brought on by a strong aquarium filter.

This implies you should use a high-volume filter and have mild circulation all through the aquarium.

Should you’re utilizing driftwood, the slight yellow tint brought on by tannins can truly stimulate brighter colors in pygmy Gourami.

Activated carbon will take away dissolved organics, which is fascinating.

If you wish to experiment with driftwood and tannins, use activated carbon filtration for a few days every month.

This can permit the tannins to construct up however get uncontrolled.

Should you’ve obtained a bigger aquarium with a canister filter, create a stream-like present within the aquarium.

Some canister filters have adjustable nozzles, so you possibly can create a river-like water circulation sample within the tank.

Pygmy gourami Aquarium lighting

Pygmy Gourami likes subdued lighting. However in addition they like to dwell in vegetation. No downside!

Give the vegetation correct lighting and so they’ll develop and supply shade for the fish.

May you’re utilizing plastic vegetation, simply make sure that the tank has just a few hiding locations and plant cowl for the fish.

Darker gravel may also help to scale back the “brightness” within the aquarium.

pygmy gourami

Pygmy gourami Water circumstances

Though pygmy Gourami can survive in stagnant water, it’s not a good suggestion to neglect your aquarium’s water high quality.

In captivity, tropical fish want clear water freed from poisonous ammonia and nitrite.

The aquarium ought to have water circulation to maneuver water throughout the plant leaves.

This helps diffuse oxygen into the water.

pygmy Gourami may be stored in a large pH vary, however ideally around 6.5 to 7.0. The fish fare finest with a decrease in water hardness and alkalinity (carbonate hardness).

A spread of two to five levels of normal hardness (GH) is right, particularly in the event you’re holding a planted aquarium. Carbonates (KH) will be about 1-2 levels to take care of a barely acidic tank.

In case you utilize distilled or reverse osmosis water to create a tender water aquarium, maintain a detailed watch of the carbonate hardness.

When the carbonates are low (1-2 levels), the pH can grow to be very acidic.

The fish have been present in pH 5.5 waters however for many tenders, acidic aquariums you’ll wish to maintain the pH around 6.0 because of the decrease restricts.

Monitor the pH and carbonate hardness every seven to 10 days.

Partial water adjustments made with distilled or RO water will dilute KH. You could just mix a bit of tap water again into the aquarium to take care of a steady pH.

Pygmy gourami Sexing

Differentiating between the male and the feminine shouldn’t be straightforward however a keen take a look at the feminine when spawning is close to will present you a reasonably swollen stomach.

The stomach is often crammed with eggs. One other eager take a look at the 2 of the sexes will show to you that the males are likely to have barely longer fins.

Pygmy gourami Reproduction

Bubble-nester. Organize a separate tank for breeding functions until the fish are already being maintained alone, setting this up as recommended above.

It ought to have the tightest-fitting cowl you could find (some breeders use clingfilm as an alternative to make sure no gaps) because the fry wants entry to a layer of heat, humid air without which improvement of the labyrinth organ may be impaired.

The pair needn’t be separated previously to spawning. The male could assemble the nest in a tube or canister, underneath a broad plant leaf or amongst fine-leaved floor vegetation, and won’t often tolerate the feminine within the neighborhood till it’s full.

Spawning usually occurs beneath the nest in an ‘embrace’ typical of osphronemids, with the male wrapping himself across the feminine.

On the level of climax milt and some eggs are launched in a cluster or ‘packet’, which the male collects and transports to the nest.

This cycle is then repeated until the feminine is spent on eggs.

Put up-spawning the adults can usually be left in situ, though the feminine is now not actively concerned with the male assuming sole duty for guarding and tending the nest.

The eggs hatch in 24-48 hours, remaining within the nest for an extra 2-3 days till the yolk sac is fully absorbed, whereas the male continues to gather and return any that fall.

As soon as the fry starts to swim freely the male will lose curiosity, however, the adults don’t often eat their offspring.

They require an infusoria-grade meal for the primary few days, after which they will settle for motile meals comparable to microform and Artemia nauplii.

Water adjustments need to be small and common reasonably than giant and intermittent.

What To Put In Their Tank

One of the vital issues it’s best to embrace their tank is vegetation. Of their pure habitat, the pygmy gourami is used to standing our bodies of water with a TON of vegetation.

Not together with sufficient vegetation can result in an absence of enrichment and luxury. Each of those elements will improve their stress ranges and ultimately take a toll on their long-term health.

There is a selection of vegetation you possibly can select that can pair effectively with these fish. Hornwort and water wisteria are two of our favorites.

Outdoors of vegetation, you have the room to be a bit extra versatile.

Pygmy gouramis will respect just a few totally different hiding locations aside from vegetation, however, you wish to make sure that they’ve sufficient room to swim as effectively.

Since these fish won’t spend quite a lot of time close to the underside of the tank you could be a bit versatile along with your selection of substrate as effectively.

Some aquarists suggest darker colors to assist their colors to pop, however, we expect that’s a bit exaggerated.

May you want a sure substrate for the opposite life in your tank it’s best to make that the precedence.

The pygmy Gourami will thrive in an aquarium with a wide range of dwell vegetation and rocks or driftwood amongst which it may well disguise.

An aquarium with darkish substrate or barely tinted water brings out the very best coloration of the pygmy Gourami.

The pygmy Gourami may be stored with a wide range of tankmates of comparable measurement and temperament.

Whereas males may be territorial with one another, the pygmy Gourami turns into timid round different, extra aggressive fish.


Fortuitously, pygmy gouramis don’t have any species-specific ailments that you must fear about.

This makes care rather less difficult and permits you to take into consideration normal health as an alternative to obscure diseases.

A lot of the potential health circumstances that may have an effect on pygmy gouramis are identical circumstances that have an effect on different freshwater fish.

Ich is the primary illness that you must fear about, however, different types of infection or parasites are at all times potential as effectively.

If you wish to cut back the possibilities of your fish getting these diseases then the principal factor to watch is water high quality.

Poor water of high quality (even amongst labyrinth fish) considerably will increase the possibility that your fish will get sick.

It’s at all times good to watch your fish and search for something out of the unusual as effectively.

That shouldn’t be an issue with the pygmy gourami as a result of it’s such a gorgeous and enjoyable fish to look at!

Pygmy Gourami compatibility

The next suggestions apply when holding Trichopsis.

pygmy Gourami are shy and mild
They get together with their very own type
They should be stored with very small, peaceable fish
A lid could also be obligatory if the fish are jumpy.

Good tank-mates embrace small species of tetras, corydoras, catfish, white clouds, and rasboras. You too can combine them with small loaches, swordtails, and celestial pearl danios.

Pygmy Gourami and dwarf shrimp

The pygmy Gourami is a delicate fish. However, there has been a quantity or reported conflicts with small shrimp-like cherries and Amano.

A number of aquarists say Gourami have pecked and chased their shrimp.

These habits might be associated with the tank’s format, hiding locations, and persona of the fish.

May you plan on mixing shrimp and T. pumila, maintain a detailed watch on the fish’s habits.

Pygmy Gourami Tank Mates

By no means put the fish with different extra aggressive fish that can make it disguise more often than not.

This can make it free its coloration and can work to even shorten its lifespan.

Within the tank, it’s best to have a small group of fish with the minimum being at the least 5 or 6.

The tank mates that you must home with the pygmy gourami are; platy, guppy, honey gourami, and pigmy cory.

These are all peaceable fish that won’t harass the pygmy gourami.

If you’re within the enterprise of holding shrimp then the fish could be tremendous along with your shrimp in the identical tank.

Some nice decisions are:

Dwarf gourami
Pearl gourami
Cory catfish
Neon tetras
Ember tetras
Dwarf pencil fish
Small rasboras

The most important factor to search for is a peaceable nature and comparable measurement.

Any aggressive fish may cause issues with pygmy gouramis as a result of they won’t defend themselves.

Additionally, since these fish are fairly small you don’t wish to maintain them with very giant tank mates.

This may typically result in the bigger fish viewing your poor pygmy gourami as a snack!

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