Honey Gourami: Ultimate Care Guide You Need To Know 2021

The honey gourami (Trichogaster chuna) is a freshwater fish and member of the family Trichogastridae. 

The honey gourami has been introduced to many other countries, such as New Guinea, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. 

It is one of the most popular aquarium fish in North America due to the attractive colors and interesting patterns on its body. 

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about honey gouramis such as their natural habitat, appearance, size, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Honey Gourami Fish – Overview

Honey Gourami Fish
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The honey gourami is a type of dwarf cichlid that has an irregular body shape with large eyes.

They have a lifespan of up to 15 years. 

Honey Gouramis can be housed in community aquariums but need plenty of space, so they don’t see well and should not be kept with smaller fish who are more active than them. 

Honey Gouramis are not schooling fish and will usually spend most of their time at the bottom levels of the tank. 

They like to nibble on plants, so they should be given plenty of live or fake vegetation to feel comfortable in their environment. 

Below is a table that will provide you with a basic overview of honey gourami.

Honey Gourami Care & Things To Know

Honey Gourami Care and Things To Know
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Natural Habitat

Honey Gourami Natural Habitat
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The honey gourami is a freshwater fish native to the Indian and Malayan regions of southwest Asia.

It belongs to the family Osphronemidae, which contains around 75 genera with more than 600 species, most of which are found in Africa or Australasia.

The honey gouramis natural habitat has been reported as being streams filled with pebbles or shingle beds near forested areas where it also lives on land during nighttime hours but returns to water at dawn.

This behavioral pattern allows honey gouramis to fry their eggs by laying them under flat stones in shallow pools along streamsides.

Appearance and Size

Honey Gourami Appearance and Size
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Appearance: honey gouramis have an elongated body shape and their coloration is yellow on the top half of the fish, while they are white below. 

Male Honey Gourami Appearance: Honey gourami males are more colorful than honey gouramis and have a dark blue or black stripe going from the top of their head to their tail.

Female Honey Gourami Appearance: Honey gouramis females, on the other hand, lack any stripes but may have some red coloration.

Size: Honey gouramis grow to lengths of up to four inches.

Honey Gourami Male Size: They are as small as two-and-a-half inches in length.

Honey Gourami Female Size: They are usually about three inches long.


ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

How to tell honey gourami gender?

A honey gourami gender can be determined by physical appearance.

Male honey gouramis have pointed dorsal and anal fins, while female honey gouramis do not.

The male also has a more slender body shape than the female honey gourami.

You can tell the difference between males and females when they are in breeding conditions.

Females have a larger abdomen and males can be seen with their gonopodium extended.

Why is my honey gourami turning black?

Black honey gourami is a symptom of the disease.

The honey gouramis black coloration will begin to disappear during the healing process when the immune system has strengthened and can control the infection.

The honey gourami may still be prone to illness for some time after this point, but the honey gouramis black coloration should have disappeared.

Why is my honey gourami pale?

The reason your honey gourami is pale is that honey gourami is a type of fish that lives in the water column.

The honey gouramis colors will deepen and become more vibrant as honey gourami matures.

But they are not always colorful because honey gourami lives mostly at the top levels of their habitats where there is less light.

Why is my honey gourami turning white?

When your honey gourami is turning white the reason behind this is usually due to stress.

Some honey gouramis are more sensitive than others and can go white at the slightest touch or noise in their environment.

Once they turn back into a deep gold color it is time for them to be quarantined from other fish, as honey gourami do not like being touched by new people once they have turned white.

One way to avoid honey gourami turning white is by having honey gouramis in groups of two or more and only have one new honey gourami introduced at a time – this will minimize the stress on your honey gours’ body. 

Another reason that honey gouramis can turn white, is when the honey gourami has been mishandled and overfed.

Why is my honey gourami swollen?

The reason behind swollen gourami is not always clear. It may be due to a variety of factors such as improper water parameters, an injury, infection, or some other problem that is still unknown.

In most cases, honey gouramis are not generally considered to be “school fish” so the swelling could signify something else going wrong with your honeycomb’s health and it should be monitored closely.

How big do honey gouramis get?

Honey gouramis are usually around 12 cm long and this is the largest size we personally observed.

Lifespan

Honey Gourami Life Span
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The honey gourami lifespan is around five years. If you are considering adding honey gouramis to your tank.

Then they must have a large enough home so that they can grow and thrive without any issues.

This means the honey gouramis need to be paired with other fish of similar size, and the honey gourami tank needs to be at least 75 gallons or larger.

We will be also discussing aqua scaping for honey gourami and the right tank mates you must keep later in this article. Keep scrolling.

Temperament & General Behaviour

Honey Gourami Temperament and Behaviour
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Honey Gourami, like other honey-colored fish species, are considered to be largely peaceful.

It is not unusual for honey gouramis to form shoals with one another and they do well in a community tank set up.

Provided there’s enough room for them to swim freely without being too crowded.

They can also live well with other species of honey-colored fish.

Honey gourami is a very sociable type of cichlid that can be kept in groups, and they may also live peacefully alongside non-aggressive catfish or characins. 

However, honey gouramis are territorial when it comes to mating – so they should be kept in separate tanks at such times.

Honey gouramis can also develop a nasty attitude if they’re not well-fed.

So, it’s important to provide them with a varied diet as honey gouramis are omnivores by nature and will need both vegetables and animals matter sources.

They’ll also appreciate a varied diet of live and frozen foods.

Honey gouramis are schooling fish, but they will school within different groups.

So, honey gourami tank mates should be chosen carefully to make sure that there is enough space for them all in the aquarium (and not too much competition over food).

They’re also very territorial when it comes to spawning – so honey gourami should be kept in separate tanks at such times.

ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

Are honey gourami fishes shy?

The honey gourami is a peaceful fish that can be kept in community tanks.

They are mostly shoaling fish, and they do not like to be left alone.

They shy away from fast movements and do not like to be grabbed or handled.

Are honey gouramis aggressive?

Honey gourami is a generally peaceful species and clean enough to be kept in the same tank as most other types of fish, honey gouramis are school fish.

However, honey gouramis can become aggressive when breeding or defending their fry.

Why is my honey gourami hiding?

The reason sometimes your honey gourami must be hiding is because it is either shy or scared.

If honey gouramis are in a new, unfamiliar tank they may hide from the other fish and try to find their way around.

Why did my honey gourami died?

There are many reasons for dying honey gourami.

First, honey gouramis are still schooling fish and if they don’t have enough schoolmates then they will be lonely and stressed (leading to a poor immune system) – overcrowding can cause this problem too.

Secondly, honey gouramis love to eat anything that’s not a plant so they might die of starvation or malnutrition.

Thirdly, honey gouramis need a stable water temperature and parameters.

They can’t live in acidic waters with low salt content for long periods.

If the honey gourami is caught by predators it will be stressed too and may die because of that.

Fourthly, honey gouramis are vulnerable to honey gourami disease with symptoms like breathing difficulties, red patches on the fins or skin and they need the right cure.

Fifthly, honey gouramis may die because their tank mates big fish eat honey gouramis small fry as well so it’s better not to put honey gourami in community tanks.

Still, many reasons can kill a fish, and all that is common. Read the article below to know all the reasons in detail.

Why is my honey gourami not eating?

The reason honey gourami do not eat food is that honey gourami may be sick.

If you notice any honey gourami not eating food symptoms then it’s time to visit a fish veterinarian as soon as possible because honey gourami could get worse.

My honey gourami is not moving?

If honey gourami is not moving in the fish tank, honey gourami is sick or it can also be because honey gouramis are schooling fish.

If honey gourami stays in a school, honey gourami swims around together with other honey gouramis and zigzags across the tank floor looking for food, not too far from one another but never all that close. 

Honey gouramis can also be seen in the honeycomb position, where honey gourami floats near the surface with its head and tail hanging down while looking over at something else that has caught their interest.

Will honey gourami jump out of the tank?

No, honey gourami won’t jump out of the tank.

However, honey gourami is a very good jumper.

Honey gouramis will often jump out of their tank or aquarium if they’re startled by a loud noise, someone reaching into the water to try and catch them, or even just trying to feed them in an area that they can’t get away from easily.

If you just drop in pellets as food honey gourami may dart out of the way or jump.

When does honey gourami mature?

Honey gourami is sexually mature at around the age of four months.

Honey gouramis can spawn or breed as soon as they mature, honey gourami breeding season is from December to September and honey gourami spawning typically occurs in spring during late April-May.

Why is my honey gourami sitting on the bottom?

Honey Gouramis are not schooling fish but they do prefer to swim around with other honey gouramis.

If you have only one honey gourami in a tank, then it is likely that the honey gourami will be sitting on the bottom of your tank all day waiting for you to walk past.

School/Community

Honey Gourami School Community
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Honey gourami is schooling fish and should be kept in groups.

They will do best if they have lots of companionships, so it is important to make sure that honey gouramis live with other honey gouramis or similarly sized tank mates such as guppies and mollies.

If honey gouramis live with too many honey gouramis, they will be bullied and may become aggressive. 

When in school honey gouramis are peaceful, but they will become aggressive if alone.

Honey gourami is a hardy fish that can tolerate water with high nitrates and low pHs.

This means honey gouramis can be kept in tanks without live plants or heavy filtration such as goldfish aquariums.

ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

Are honey gourami schooling fish?

Honey gourami is not schooling fishes, but they tend to swim together or hang out near each other sometimes.

They like the company of their own kind and do best with at least one honey gourami tank mate.

Feeding

Honey Gourami Feeding
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Honey gouramis are omnivores and enjoy a wide variety of food.

This includes vegetables, fruits, meaty foods like frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp, clams, and other crustaceans. 

All honey gourami should be fed at least twice per day. The amount given depends on the size of the honey gourami.

Vegetable To Feed Honey Gourami

Vegetables honey gourami will eat are green peas, cucumber slices, and zucchini.

They are low in protein content and high in fiber levels which honey gouramis love to munch on for their diet.

These vegetables should be finely chopped or grated so they release more nutrients when honey gouramis eat them.

Green Peas: Honey gouramis love honey peas and they are a great source of protein that honey gourami needs.

Cucumber Slices: Honey Gouramis will eat cucumbers if cut in thin slices, but they should be given sparingly as honey gouramis can develop bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus) if honey gourami eats too much.

Zucchini: A great vegetable for honey gouramis to eat are zucchinis as they will love the taste and it provides enough protein levels that honey gourami needs in their diet.

Fruits To Feed Honey Gourami

Fruits honey gourami can feed on are honeydew melon, kiwi fruit, mangoes, and papaya.

Honeydew melon: honeydew honey gourami can feed on honeydew melon.

Honeydew honey gouramis prefer to eat the honeydew and peeling of the skin because it has higher levels of nutrients compared to other fruits.

Kiwi fruit: Kiwi honey gourami loves kiwi fruit so much. Kiwi honey gourami enjoys eating the skin and honeydew of kiwi fruit.

Papaya: Papaya honey gouramis love to eat papayas, they like it so much that once you offer them one they will not even think about other fruits anymore.

They won’t stop until there is nothing left.

Mangoes: honey gourami love to eat mangoes but they don’t enjoy it as much because honeydew honey gouramis like honeydew more than the flesh of a mango, therefore honey gourami prefer kiwi fruit and papaya over mangos.

Meaty Food For Honey Gourami

There are some honey gourami-specific foods you can feed honey gouramis.

One of them is fish flakes, but this one isn’t so good for honey gourami because it doesn’t have enough nutrients and proteins as other fishes need. 

Frozen bloodworms: Provide frozen bloodworms to honey gouramis as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Blood worms should be defrosted before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Brine shrimp: Feed honey gourami brine shrimp as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Brine shrimp should be rinsed before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Frozen clams: Feed honey gouramis frozen clam as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Clams should be defrosted before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Frozen shrimp: Feed honey gourami frozen shrimp as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Shrimp should be defrosted before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Algae wafers: Provide algae wafer to honey gourami as a treat or for additional protein in their diet. Algae wafers should be crushed before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Frozen shrimp eggs: Feed honey gourami frozen shrimp eggs as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Shrimp egg should be defrosted before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most 

Brine shrimp eggs: Feed honey gourami brine shrimp egg as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Shrimp eggs should be rinsed before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most.

Frozen bloodworms (for fry): Provide honey gourami fry honey bloodworms as a treat or for additional protein in their diet.

Frozen bloodworm should be defrosted before feeding and can be given sparingly once per day at most

Live Artemia: Offer honey gourami live artemia as a treat, to supplement their diet with some protein.

ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

Will honey gourami eat shrimp?

Yes, honey gourami will eat shrimps.

Honey gourami will eat almost any shrimp small enough to fit in their mouths.

They can occasionally be picky, but they should accept what you offer them most of the time.

Will honey gourami eat cherry shrimp?

Yes, honey gourami can easily eat cherry shrimps.

Honey gourami will only eat cherry shrimps if it’s hungry.

The honey gourami may ignore the cherry shrimps at times, so don’t worry too much about feeding honey gouramis besides their daily diet. 

For honey gouramis to properly recognize and accept cherry shrimps as food, honey gouramis have to be used to them.

Will honey gourami eat guppy fry?

Yes, honey gourami will eat guppy fry. Honey gourami is big fish eaters.

They will eat any newly hatched fry and small fishes in the tank.

So, make sure honey gouramis are well fed.

You may want to keep honey-gouramis alone especially if you plan to get guppy fry.

Will honey gourami eat amano shrimp?

You should feed your honey gourami 3 to 5 times a day.

Remember honey gouramis will not eat if they don’t feel safe and secure so avoid excess noises when honey gourami feeding time comes.

Will honey gourami eat snails?

Yes, honey gouramis will eat snails.

You can have honey gourami with snails as long the honey gouramis size is smaller than the snail if you want honey gourami to be the dominant species.

Even if honey gourami is bigger than a snail, your snail itself may not feel in danger.

If honey gourami outgrows snail, honey gouramis may eat your snail.

Snails are good because they will not only keep your tank clean but also serve as honey gourami’s food source and that means honey gourami can grow bigger (provided with the right environment) without being hungry since snails are honey gourami’s food.

Will honey gourami eat their fry?

Honey gouramis are big fans of live foods.

From time to honey gourami females will chase after their own fry.

This is not honey gourami eating honey gourami fry, honey gouramis only eat the dead ones or any leftovers that they can grab from the other tank mates.

Will honey gourami eat platy fry?

Yes, if the platy fry is small enough and if they are unprotected. They can be easily eaten by honey gourami.

How long can gouramis go without food?

The number of days honey gourami can go without eating food is 10 to 11 days.

They are probably the hardiest fish in aquarium hobby because honey gourami can go without food for a very long time.

What to feed honey gourami fry?

At the start, the honey gourami fry will eat most of the foods that you give them.

But there will come a time when honey gourami fry will be picky or special about their food.

So we need to know honey gourami’s favorite and best foods.

Well, honey gourami loves live fish food such as baby brine shrimp or black worms.

What NOT To Feed Honey Gourami

What NOT To Feed Honey Gourami
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A honey gourami diet should be primarily herbivorous and is based on plants.

Honey gouramis will not eat live food or meaty foods like raw worms or crickets.

They have a special organ known as the honeycomb gland which produces enzymes that break down their insect prey’s exoskeleton and honeycomb-like teeth which allow them to consume their prey whole.

Honey gourami does not like to eat honeycomb, so avoid feeding honeycombs or other foods with similar textures.

Honey gouramis will also not eat fish, snails, or crustaceans.

If honey gourami refuses to eat anything else then you should try feeding them with high-quality pellets (e.g.: Hikari) and live plants like Anubias barteri var nana that grows slowly in the aquarium.

Water Temperature/Parameters

Honey Gourami Water Temperature and Parameters
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Honey gouramis are a tropical fish species, so they prefer temperatures that fall within the 20-28°C (68-82°F) range and an environment with plenty of oxygen levels.

The best way to maintain the honey gourami’s optimal water parameters is by maintaining a stable water temperature between 20-28°C (68-82°F) and keeping chlorine levels low.

A good filtration system will also help keep these honey gouramis in top condition.

However, honey gouramis are a tropical fish species and can handle higher temperatures than other smaller species.

Swimming Level

Honey Gourami Swimming Level
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Honey gourami generally swims in the middle ground. However, honey gouramis can also be found among plants on the bottom of the tank or at higher levels near the water surface.

The swimming level of honey gourami is important to consider when it comes to tank mates.

Fish that are smaller than honey gouramis can be a problem for them as they may try and eat honey gouramis.

While fish larger than honey gouramis could potentially bully or outcompete honey gourami in the wild so best not to keep honey gouramis with fish that are larger than them.

Breeding/Spawning

Honey Gourami Breeding
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Honey gouramis are relatively easy to breed as they will just take care of themselves in the right conditions.

They do not need any special honey gourami breeding or honey gourami tank mates, but you can introduce other fish if desired such as egg layers and livebearers.

The honey gourami will lay small eggs on the tank floor and they are usually visible.

The male honey gourami protects the female honey gouramis from other fish that might eat their eggs by swimming in front of them while she is laying her eggs to make sure no one comes near.

He also cleans up any debris that might be in the honey gourami breeding tank.

The honey gouramis will have a protective outer layer for their eggs that are pale yellow and they can lay anywhere from 20-30 eggs at one time.

The honey gourami fry hatch after about three days, but it is best to wait until you see them starting to swim for a few hours before you remove the honey gourami eggs from the honey gouramis breeding tank.

The honey gourami breeding process is slow and honey gourami eggs can take up to a year before they start hatching.

The honey gouramis are prolific breeders and it is not uncommon for honey gourami parents to spawn every other day.

ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

Are honey gouramis easy to breed?

Honey gouramis are generally easy to breed.

The honey gourami eggs hatch after a few days and the fry can be fed with freshly hatched brine shrimp, micro worms, or other infusoria for about three weeks until they start eating flake food on their own.

Tankmates

Honey Gourami Tank Mates
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ADDITIONAL: Some common questions we researched and answered. That will make you understand this section better.

Are platies compatible with honey gourami?

Yes, honey gourami and platies are compatible. However, honey gourami can be aggressive towards its own kind and other fish. Honey gourami may also eat the eggs or fry of platies.

If honey gouramis are in a tank with several platies, male honey gourami will form a hierarchy.

The male honey gourami that dominates the tank will be the only honey gourami that mates with any female honey gouramis.

Honey gouramis and platies are both schooling fish. However, honey gourami and platies prefer to school in different places of the tank according to their species’ size.

Can honey gourami live alone?

Honey gourami is best kept in a school of at least six fish.

It is a shoaling species that likes the feeling of security that comes with numbers.

Even if honey gouramis are brought up alone, they will not adapt to being alone when added to a community tank.

Honey gourami without the company of other honey gouramis can develop stress which may result in many different problems.

Can honey gourami live with shrimp?

Yes, honey gourami can live with shrimps but, honey gouramis tend to eat shrimps and that might not be the right combo for a community tank.

Since they are small in size they might also be eaten by gouramis.

Can honey gourami live with bettas?

Yes, honey gourami can live with bettas.

But, honey gouramis and betta are very different fish that need a very specific setup, with honey gourami requiring more attention to water quality.

So honey gouramis and bettas only should be kept in the same tank if you have time to spare for honey gourami, or honey gourami is your priority over betta.

Can honey gourami live with platies?

If honey gourami and platies are in the same tank, honey gouramis will bully them.

Platies are pretty peaceful fish but honey gouramis are territorial.

They will try to fight off any aggression/threat from other fishes around them.

Can honey gourami live with angelfish?

No, honey gourami can’t live with angelfish.

They are very territorial and this will lead to one fish chasing the other until it dies.

Can honey gourami live with goldfish?

Yes, honey gourami can live with goldfish.

Goldfish’s natural habitat is in cooler water so honey gouramis are a good choice to mix with them because honey gourami will not tolerate high temperatures.

Can honey gourami live with neon tetra?

Yes, honey gourami and neon tetra can live together in the same tank. The honey gourami is a medium-large-sized schooling fish, while the Neon tetra is one of the most frequently seen freshwater tropical fish known for its bright coloration and peaceful nature.

Can honey gouramis kill each other?

As honey gouramis grow up together in a community tank, they may show aggression by chasing and nipping the fins of other honey gouramis in the group.

Honey gourami is schooling fish, meaning they should be kept in groups of 5 or more to feel safe and comfortable with others, but honey gourami nipping and fin-chasing may occur in smaller groups.

Honey Gourami’s Egg & Fry Care

Common Possible Honey Gourami Disease & Cure

The Right Aqua Scaping Ideas For Honey Gourami

The Right Aqua Scaping Ideas For Honey Gourami
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Tank Size

How many honey gourami in 5 gallon?

How many honey gourami in a 10 gallon tank?

How many honey gourami in a 20 gallon tank?

How many honey gourami in a 15 gallon tank?

Water Conditions and Temperature

Lighting/Heating

Filtration

Suitable Plants

Substrate

Final Thing

Read This Next

  • Pearl Gourami
  • Sparkling Gourami
  • Kissing Gourami
  • Chocolate Gourami
  • Paradise Gourami
  • Moonlight Gourami
  • Blue Dwarf Gourami
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Dwarf Gourami Types

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