Honey Gourami Care, Tank Mates: A Complete Guide

Sunset Gourami

It is a species of freshwater fish that has its origins in coastal areas, rich in vegetation, with shallow water, rivers, lakes, and slums in the southeast of the Asian continent, especially in Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Thailand. Scientifically, it is also known as Trichogaster chuna.

In lakes, ponds, small rivers, flooded fields, and even drains, the fish are often found. Many honey gourami habitats, which last from June to October, are prone to seasonal droughts.

The fish normally dwells in waters with plenty of plants and soft, low mineralized water. Honey gourami feeds on insects, larvae and different zooplankton.

General Information

They are often confused with the Dwarf Gourami because their shape and size have similarities. Knowing their scientific Latin names (mentioned above) can help to distinguish between the different varieties when buying and selecting these fish. With smaller dorsal and anal fins, the Honey Gourami’s body is narrower.

The ventral fins are like thread and narrow. Like most fish, there are different colors for males and females. They all initially display a silvery gray to light yellow color with a light brown horizontal stripe in the middle of the body stretching from behind the eye to the caudal peduncle.

Males will develop bright honey-yellow or reddish-orange coloration while females remain this color for life. The ventral side of the fish (face, throat, and belly) becomes dark blue/black while they display a more honey orange coloring on the main body.

The Honey Gourami is Trichogaster’s smallest size fish, typically reaching 1.5′′ for males and 2′′ for females. They were recorded as growing up to 3′′ on rare occasions.

Being a peaceful fish makes them a good addition to a community tank, but they can be somewhat timid, especially if they are housed with fish that plague them. For a smaller aquarium, these fish are very desirable.

The minimum size for a single fish is 5 gallons, but at least a 20-gallon tank is needed by a pair. Make sure they have plenty of plant cover so they have plenty of hiding places. Ideally, place plants on the back of the aquarium, have some floating plants and leave open spaces to swim in the front.

Keeping Honey Gouramies

For good maintenance of a pair of fish of this species, you need an aquarium with a minimum volume of about 20 gallons, with a water whose hardness is between 2 and 30 ° GH (preferably 8), with a water temperature of 24 to 30 ° C and a pH with variations in the range 5.5 – 8 (preferably 7).

The overall shade of the aquarium must be dark in color to bring out the spectacular color of this fish much better.

Place floating plants on the surface of the aquarium and the underwater on the sides and back. Leave the central area dedicated to swimming. Assemble a relief that will provide many spaces where they can retract and hide each fish from the aquarium.

Like all the fish in his family, they prefer very low water levels. Soil does not matter much because it prefers the aquarium’s upper waters, but it has to be a dark wedding, like the whole ensemble.

For beginners, Honey gourami is a good choice. The fish is not aggressive, brightly colored, adapting to different parameters and temperature of the tank water.

This fish is the smallest in its genus, in addition to the above mentioned. Very rarely it grows up to 7 cm (2.8 in.) because, as a rule, males are 1.5 in length, females are 2 in length.

The fish is peaceful once again and is therefore very welcome in any community tank, although the fish is a bit timid. It can also dwell in tiny tanks.

Best Tank Mates for Honey Gouramis

At maturity, a specimen of this species reaches a maximum length of about 13 cm. If this species of fish is harassed, it will cease eating and lose its color if it is placed in the same pool of aggressive fish species as the cichlids. Besides, it is a peaceful fish, ideal for a quiet fish community, which has set its own rules and boundaries.

Males can harass females during mating. If this happens, it is good to separate them, as there is a risk that the male will seriously injure the female and even kill it. It is recommended to have more females with one male in the same aquarium.

Males are territorial to other males of their species. Suitable companions for these fish are those in the families: Danio, Trichogaster, Corydora, Botia, Pisces, Barb, Loricarides and other peaceful species that support neutral water.

Dwarf Gourami, Gold Gourami, Pearl Gourami, and Blue Gouramis are other types of Gouramis that make good tank mates. We wouldn’t recommend keeping Honey too big and too aggressive with Kissing Gouramis, Samurai Gouramis or Paradise Gouramis.

Honey Gouramis are a very peaceful fish, but more females than males would still be recommended. Like most fish, during spawning, male Honey Gouramis may sometimes become more aggressive towards other males.

Honey Gourami


These fish feed on tubifex worms, insects, larvae, crustaceans, but also with prepared food in the form of flakes and tablets, as well as vegetal food, made of finely chopped spinach and milk. It is a robust and resistant fish species that are suitable for beginner aquarists.

As we have shown, males are far more intense than females and have a much higher backbone. The average life of these fish is located somewhere at 8 years, which makes them a locus species. Like all Gourami fish and Gourami Pearlfish, they have tasting cells at the tips of the ventral swimmers.

The Honey Gourami is a wild omnivore that feeds on everything from small invertebrates and insects to zooplankton that they can find. Occasionally, the surrounding vegetation and plants will also be grazed.

Keep this in mind when selecting your aquarium plant type; you need a resilient species! This fish is not an eater of fuss. They love fresh or flake foods in the aquarium.

Try to maintain a well-balanced diet with flakes or pellets as your core diet, then add live foods like bloodworms or brine shrimps.

Also, vegetable tablets are a good way to vary your diet. To give them a good variety, make sure you add both vegetables and meat sources. You should feed them once or twice a day and only feed them enough food to put it in the tank in 2-3 minutes.


Reproduction in captivity of this fish species is relatively difficult because of the hard process of finding and forming a suitable and viable pair. Once this problem is overrun, the rest comes by itself.

The water in the prepared aquarium for this event is reduced to a depth of 10-15 cm and there is no current. Offer the selected breeding pair live food consisting of insect larvae, Artemia nauplii, and Daphnia.

The male will build a sphere-shaped nest (nearly 20 cm in diameter) at the surface of the water in the floating plants. After an active courting, the female deposits between 200 and 300 transparent eggs. Mating can take up to a few weeks.

These eggs float on the surface of the water and are taken over by the male, which puts them in the nest. He’s also in charge of keeping them safe.

At this point, it is time to remove any other fish that would be present in the aquarium, including the female. The juvenile hatches within 20-30 hours of laying eggs.

The juvenile will stay in the nest for 4 to 5 days. You can start feeding them with parsley and infusors. The male can be removed once the juvenile begins to swim on their own. The fry tends to grow very slowly, unlike other fish.

This fish, like dwarf gourami, does not use any plants in its nest, but gourami likes to have its nest under floating plant leaves. We should mention that if they are temporarily unprepared for spawning, the fish males are more tolerant and calm towards females and respect.

While in this case, Trichogaster lalius can even kill his females, if the latter lacks sufficient shelters. The male is standing vertically in front of the female, getting to the nest slowly and getting there.

This will last until the female enters the nest and begins to spawn. The male will collect the eggs that missed the nest carefully after spawning and put them in it.

Is light important to honey gouramis?

Like humans, fish use their senses to perceive and interact with the environment. The sense of vision is one of the most important senses in most fish, and the eye is the means by which visual information is retrieved and transmitted to the brain.

It is important to mention from the very beginning that this discussion refers to most fish species and not all of them. The variety of forms that fish presents when it comes to the sense of vision makes absolute generalization impossible.

The fish eye

The fish’s eye resembles the human eye. Starting from the premise that the human eye is a known subject, the emphasis will fall on differences. The fish’s crystal is spherical and rigid, making distance viewing impossible.

Since water has a low light transmittance, it is easy to understand why fish have not developed a visual system for remote viewing.

Focusing the image and adapting to different luminous intensities is done by moving the lens horizontally. The visual range of fish is approaching 360 degrees.

The luminous intensity

When the light is weak, the lens will be outdoors to allow a larger amount of light to enter, and when the light intensity is high, the lens retracts to close the excess light. Unlike a man whose pupil can expand or contract in a few seconds, the adaptation process at different light intensities is slow.

Half an hour is necessary for the fish to adapt from light to intense light and about an hour for the reverse process. Extinguishing or suddenly lighting up the aquarium light, especially if it is high, is similar to a night-vision driver’s nightmare or daylight-shifting to a room where darkness reigns.

It is easy to understand why such surges represent true optical shocks for fish. We all have noticed that fish hit the glass of the aquarium or hide for a while in the darker areas.

If you find yourself in a period of stress, it is advisable not to feed the fish or maintain maintenance work that may supplement the already existing dose of stress in the first half hour of light.

The sudden start of the lighting system at maximum intensity can lead to retinal damage, some with permanent effects. It is desirable that the luminous intensity should gradually increase or decrease.

The Colors

The presence of cone and Baston cells is evidence that fish can perceive the colors, but only when the light intensity is high enough.

Cone cells are responsible for diurnal vision. They can also perceive colors. Sticks with night clubs or night lights or low light intensity cannot perceive colors, only tones, and contours.

The light of the Aquarium

Before introducing a fish into the aquarium, each aquarist should study the natural environment of the species to be introduced and adjust the light intensity and the illumination period in harmony with it.

In the case of fish that prefer low light intensity or nocturnal fish, areas, where they can stay hidden and can shield from strong light, will be arranged. When the lighting system is composed of several light sources, it is welcome to turn it on and off gradually.

Failure to meet these needs can result in stress, decreased immunity, and fish disease, painful colors, abnormal behavior, lack of reproduction, inappropriate feeding, etc.

Common Diseases that can affect Honey Gouramis

Due to lack of information, due to poor care, inappropriate feeding or other causes, many fish suffer from some diseases and so they die prematurely in the aquarium.

Maintaining the good health status of good fish must be a priority for each of the aquarists, so they will be able to multiply and have a stronger color and a longer life. Below I will briefly present some of the most common diseases of aquarium fish, fresh water.


This fish disease can be detected in the early stages by observing gray-whitish areas on the body or around the mouth. These areas occur in the form of filaments especially in the mouth, which is why it is very often confusing, so treated with a mischievous disease, with another disease, Saprolegnia.

In the late stages of disease evolution, the swimmers can also be affected, then the gills and finally the body of the fish. At this stage, the fish will keep the swimmers close to the body and will not expand them.

This disease is caused by a bacterium and is generally caused by poor water quality. The disease can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, which will be given in an amount of 10,000 units per liter of water, the treatment will then be repeated two days later.

Another treatment is chloromycetin, 10-20 mg / l, with repeat after 2 days or with methyl blue, in which case the instructions on the packaging are followed. This disease especially attacks vivipary species such as Guppy, molly, xipho, platy etc.

Disease Gills

These diseases attack gills and can be detected by strange fish behavior. This behavior can be described by suffocating fish, trying to breathe especially on the surface and the presence of a lethargic condition on the bottom of the aquarium.

Gills will become swollen and discolored. Gill diseases can be caused by bacteria, fungi or parasites in the water, so take action immediately to improve water quality by partial water changes and by improving the filtration system.

The water used to replace the changed water will be declined because chlorine attacks the respiratory system of fish, gills. In cases where the disease is caused by bacteria, antibacterial agents may be used.

While Spot Disease

This disease is caused by Ichthyophthirius multifilis, which is a ciliate. It is one of the most common fish diseases in the aquarium. The disease can be detected relatively easily by the presence of small white spots on the surface of the fish, in that the affected fish will stay close to the surface of the water or the oxygenated areas of the aquarium.

The parasites are fixed to the surface of the body, eyes, gills, swim and twisting they burst the epithelium and enter the tissue where they will feed during the growing period.

When they reach 1 mm (after about 15 days), they break out of the fish and fall into the water where they hang and they will stick to plants, stones, decorations.

In the next 48 hours, the cyst is divisible by about twelve times, resulting in terons. They swim freely in the water, and when they meet a fish he fixes himself.

Fish death occurs after asphyxiation or exhaustion. If within a range of 10 to 96 hours, depending on the water temperature, they do not meet a fish to fix, the terons die.

The grass is treated relatively easily using the salt dissolved in water than introduced into the aquarium. The salt is given as 1 teaspoon to 1.5 liters of water, dissolved in a container and then added gradually to the water. After a week, some water changes are made to restore salinity to normal.


This disease can be sensed by the presence of an abnormally inflamed abdomen, the scales being spaced apart and raised. Often Dropsy females are considered pregnant and are not treated, but a pregnant female will not pick the spaced and raised scales.

Pisces will become apathetic and will not feed. Dropsy is caused by both bacteria and viruses and poor water quality or infected food can cause this disease. In advanced stages, that is, after the kidneys have been affected, the disease becomes incurable.

After the death of the fish, it must be immediately removed from the aquarium so that the other fish do not feed on it and become affected by the disease. Fortunately, this is not very contagious, but it is good for individuals to be separated from time.


Fin-rot is a disease that is manifested by the damage of the fins, in advanced stages, when the swimmers dereoriore completely, fish dies. It is a disease that only affects fish with low immunity, and healthy ones are unaffected by it.

It is caused by bacteria and affects especially stressed fish, those attacked by other fish, whose wounds will become infected and necrotic. In order to treat it, you can achieve partial water change, pH adjustment, antibiotics, or adding salt to aquarium water.

Fungal infections

Spores of fungi are always present in any aquarium, but they will only affect wounded fish or low immunity, especially attacking wounds and gills or skin. Generally, these are secondary infections, taking advantage of the poor health of fish.

They can be identified by the presence of white, filamentous spots, similar to some pieces of cotton wool on the body of the fish. As a treatment fungicide can be successfully used. Most commodity products provide protection against bacteria, so double protection.

Holes in the head

As the name says, the disease is manifested by the development of holes in the head of the fish. Usually, the holes are white and have a yellow mucus inside. Pisces becomes apathetic, loses its color and stops feeding.

This disease is caused by protozoa and is usually a secondary infection. Generally, protozoa live inside the fish body but become dangerous only when water is dirty and food is inadequate.

Affected fish must be isolated and treated in quarantine aquaria. First, water changes and washings of the substrate must be made, then wounds can be treated with antibiotics


Pop-eye is manifested by increasing the eyes of the fish until they seem to jump from the orbits. This disease is caused by bacteria and is installed in aquariums with too little oxygen dissolved in water and with poor water quality.

Affected fish must be isolated and the aquarium must be better maintained. There is no exact cure but the disease can stop from advancing

Some Faq’s about Honey Gourami

Do aquarium plants affect how Honey Gourami grow?

Aquatic plants are more than simple aquarium decorations – they keep fresh aquarium water and provide oxygen to animals and other plants.

Plants absorb ammonium and nitrate from fish excrements and thus cleanse water. At the same time, carbon dioxide is transformed by photosynthesis into oxygen – processes that make life possible in the aquarium. With the help of aquatic plants, these small aquarium ecosystems can have trouble with minimal human intervention!

Fish need aquatic plants and hide from larger, more aggressive fish. This is very important for young fish, who, without proper hide, can feed the bigger fish!

What should be considered to have lush aquatic plants and a stable ecosystem in the aquarium?

Because in order to achieve photosynthesis, plants need light, most are “starved” afterward. Direct sunlight should be avoided. Artificial light sources with a suitable spectrum and indirect sunlight are better suited.

Even in optimum conditions, aquarium plants need time to grow. Thus, after replanting, it can take up to 4-5 weeks to reach a biological balance. Then the little aquatic world stabilizes so much that there is no need for major interventions besides regular water purification.

Whoever wants to do well for the plants in the aquarium, can cut them regularly, depending on the type of plant, and the cut parts can replant them.

Are honey gouramis good at maintaining a tank algae free?

As much other fish do eat algae, the Honey Gourami does that too. But it’s not a fish that will actively clean your aquarium like the Siamese Algae Eater or like shrimps. It does occasionally feed on algae, but only when it doesn’t receive enough food.

Does the Honey Gourami require a lot of water changes?

The most common error beginners aquarists are their need to change all the water in the aquarium and provide a clean Super each accessory.

Fish are taken out, the water discarded and replaced with fresh sand and sets ultra-sterilized container washed thoroughly with chemicals. So far all good and beautiful. But, after a very long time, fish die on the heads, and we wonder what I was wrong with!

Quality water is the key to aquarium success. A great contribution to this is the partial water exchange. The partial (and periodic) exchange of water interferes and stabilizes the nitrogen cycle.

In the artificial aquatic environment created by us, the water parameters need external intervention to balance themselves. Breathing and excretion of fish, food debris, plant decomposition favors an increase in the concentration of nitrates and nitrites in the water.

In nature, this growth is neutralized by the continuous flow of fresh water. In the aquarium decompensation of toxic residues can only be done by partial water exchanges.

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience in my hobby. You will find some really useful tips and information that I have learned along the way.

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