Honey Gourami: Sweet And Easy To Care For

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Today, we’re diving into the world of the Honey Gourami, a delightful little fish that’s sure to add a splash of color and charm to your aquarium.

I have had the pleasure of owning a group of these in the past and they were a pleasure to own.

Honey Gouramis’ are the most peaceful of all gourami fish making them the perfect community fish.

So, if you’re considering adding a new member to your aquatic family, the Honey Gourami might just be the perfect choice.

Let’s explore more about this fascinating species.

Facts and Overview

Scientific NameTrichogaster chuna
Common NameHoney Gourami
Size2-3 inches
Lifespan4-8 years
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons for one
Care LevelEasy
pH Level6.0-7.5

Origin and Habitat

The Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna) is a freshwater fish species that originates from South Asia, specifically India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

This species was first described in 1822 by Francis Buchanan, also known as Francis Hamilton.

Interestingly, the male and female Honey Gourami were initially mistaken for two different species.

In their natural habitat, they are typically found in rivers, ponds, and lakes that have thick vegetation and soft, poorly mineralized waters.

They prefer to inhabit the middle and upper areas of the water column, but they can be found in all parts of the water column.

In India and Bangladesh, they are common in the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems.

Female Honey Gourami
Female Honey Gourami

Appearance & Size

Honey Gouramis are small, typically reaching a size of 2-3 inches when fully grown.

Their compact size makes them a perfect fit for a variety of tank sizes, from smaller desktop aquariums to larger community tanks.

Their bodies are compressed and oval-shaped, a common trait among gouramis, which gives them a unique and distinctive silhouette in the water.

This body shape, combined with their small, upward-facing mouth and pointed snout, allows them to navigate and feed at the water’s surface with ease.

The coloration of these fish is one of their most appealing features.

Males are generally more colorful than the females, boasting a vibrant honey-yellow to orange-red color.

This coloration becomes even more intense during the breeding season, making the males a truly stunning sight to behold.

Females, on the other hand, are usually paler, with a more subdued silver or golden hue.

However, they still possess a certain charm and elegance, and their softer colors can provide a beautiful contrast to the more vibrant males.

Both males and females have a thin, dark line that runs from the snout to the tail, adding an extra touch of contrast to their overall appearance.

Their fins are relatively small and rounded, with the dorsal and anal fins extending almost the entire length of the body.

Honey Gourami Care
Male Honey Gourami in breeding colors

Temperament & Behavior

Honey Gouramis are known for their peaceful and calm temperaments.

They are not aggressive and tend to keep to themselves, making them excellent additions to community tanks.

This peaceful nature makes them a joy to keep, as they’re unlikely to cause trouble or stress for their tank mates.

Despite their generally calm nature, they are also quite curious and active.

They love to explore their surroundings and are often on the move, swimming around and investigating every nook and cranny of their tank.

This makes them not only peaceful companions but also engaging and entertaining to watch.

Honey Gouramis are also surface dwellers and bubble nest builders.

Males, in particular, will spend a lot of time at the surface of the water, building and tending to their bubble nests.

This behavior is especially prominent during breeding season, but you might observe it at other times as well.

It’s a fascinating behavior to watch and one of the many things that make these fish such interesting pets.

Despite their active and curious nature, Honey Gouramis also appreciate having plenty of hiding spots in their tank.

They can sometimes be a bit shy, and having places to retreat to can help them feel safe and secure.

So, while you’ll often see them out and about exploring, don’t be surprised if they also spend some time hiding among the plants or decorations in their tank.

Tank Size Honey Gourami

Tank Requirements

Honey Gouramis are relatively easy to care for, but they do have specific requirements for their tank environment to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

A minimum of a 10-gallon tank is recommended for a single Honey Gourami, although they’ll appreciate more space if you can provide it.

More space allows them to explore and swim freely, which is beneficial for their overall well-being.

I had my group of 5 in a 20 gallon tank.

The water temperature should be kept between 72-82°F, with a pH level of 6.0-7.5.

These tropical fish thrive in slightly warm water with a mildly acidic to neutral pH, which mimics their natural habitat in the waters of South and Southeast Asia.

As for the tank decor, they prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots.

They appreciate floating plants, as they often build bubble nests at the water’s surface.

A soft, dark substrate can help mimic their natural habitat and make their colors pop.

Here’s a quick overview of the tank requirements for Honey Gouramis:

Tank RequirementDetails
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons for a single fish
Water Temperature72-82°F
pH Level6.0-7.5
SubstrateSoft, dark substrate
DecorWell-planted with plenty of hiding spots

What To Feed Honey Gourami

Honey Gouramis are omnivores, which means they eat a mix of plant-based and meat-based foods.

Their diet in the wild consists of small insects, larvae, and algae, but in an aquarium setting, they can thrive on a well-balanced diet of commercial fish food and occasional treats.

A high-quality flake or pellet food should form the basis of your Honey Gourami’s diet.

These foods are specially formulated to provide the right balance of nutrients that your fish needs to stay healthy.

Look for a food that’s high in protein, as this is an essential nutrient for these fish.

In addition to flake or pellet food, Honey Gouramis also appreciate the occasional treat of live or frozen foods.

Brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms are all excellent choices that can add variety to your fish’s diet and help keep them healthy and vibrant.

These foods can be offered a few times a week in place of their regular food.

Honey Gouramis also enjoy nibbling on plant matter, so including some vegetable-based foods in their diet can be beneficial.

Blanched vegetables like peas, spinach, or zucchini can be a great supplement to their diet.

Here’s a quick breakdown of a balanced diet for them:

  • High-quality flake or pellet food: Daily
  • Live or frozen foods (brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms): A few times a week
  • Vegetable-based foods (blanched peas, spinach, zucchini): Occasionally

Remember, the key to a healthy diet for your Honey Gourami is variety.

A diverse diet will ensure your fish gets all the nutrients it needs and will also keep it interested in its food.

Always remove any uneaten food from the tank after feeding to maintain water quality.

Tank Mates

Honey Gouramis are peaceful fish that can coexist with a variety of tank mates.

Their calm demeanor and non-aggressive nature make them an excellent choice for community tanks.

Even so, it’s essential to choose tank mates that are also peaceful and won’t bully or stress out your Honey Gourami.

Small, peaceful fish that swim in the middle or bottom layers of the tank make the best companions for Honey Gouramis.

This allows the gouramis to have the upper part of the tank to themselves, which they prefer.

Here are some suitable companions:

  • Neon Tetras: These small, colorful fish are peaceful and active, making them a great match for Honey Gouramis. They tend to swim in schools, adding a vibrant, dynamic element to your tank.
  • Cardinal Tetras: Similar to Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras are peaceful, active, and enjoy being in groups. Their bright red and blue stripes can add a splash of color to your aquarium.
  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom dwellers are peaceful and hardy, making them excellent tank mates for Honey Gouramis. They also help keep the tank clean by scavenging for leftover food.
  • Dwarf Gouramis: Dwarf Gouramis share a similar temperament with Honey Gouramis and can coexist peacefully with them. Just make sure your tank is large enough to accommodate multiple gouramis.
  • Harlequin Rasboras: These small, peaceful fish are easy to care for and get along well with Honey Gouramis. Their striking coloration can also add visual interest to your tank.
  • Zebra Danios: Known for their active swimming and peaceful nature, Zebra Danios can make excellent tank mates for Honey Gouramis. They’re hardy and easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner aquarists.
  • Platy Fish: Platies are peaceful, active, and come in a variety of colors, making them a great addition to a community tank with Honey Gouramis.
  • Mollies: Mollies are peaceful and adaptable fish that can get along well with Honey Gouramis. They’re also livebearers, which can add an interesting dynamic to your tank.
  • Guppies: Known for their vibrant colors and peaceful nature, Guppies can coexist well with Honey Gouramis. They’re also small and easy to care for, making them a popular choice for community tanks.
  • Cherry Barbs: These small, peaceful fish are known for their vibrant red color and active behavior. They can make a great addition to a Honey Gourami tank.

Remember, while these species are generally good tank mates for Honey Gouramis, each individual fish’s temperament can vary.

Always monitor your tank to ensure all inhabitants are getting along well.

Avoid adding any aggressive or overly active species that might stress out your Honey Gourami.


Breeding Honey Gouramis can be an exciting and rewarding experience for any fish keeper.

They are bubble nest builders, which means the males create a nest of bubbles at the water’s surface where the eggs will be deposited and cared for.

The male will develop a black throat and underbelly when he is ready to breed.

He will then start building his bubble nest, usually among floating plants or in a secluded corner of the tank.

He creates this nest by gulping air and releasing it at the water’s surface, forming a cluster of bubbles.

This behavior is fascinating to watch and is a clear sign that your Honey Gourami is preparing for breeding.

Once the bubble nest is ready, the male will begin to court the female.

This courtship usually involves a lot of showing off from the male, who will display his most vibrant colors and swim around the female in an attempt to impress her.

If the female is receptive, she will allow the male to wrap his body around hers in a mating embrace.

During this embrace, the female will release her eggs, which the male will then fertilize.

The fertilized eggs will float up into the bubble nest.

After spawning, the male takes on the responsibility of guarding and tending to the eggs.

He will diligently maintain the bubble nest, adding new bubbles as needed and removing any debris or unfertilized eggs.

This parental care is another fascinating aspect of Honey Gourami breeding behavior.

The eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours, depending on the water temperature.

Once the fry are free-swimming, usually a few days after hatching, it’s important to separate them from the adults.

Adult Honey Gouramis, including the caring father, may see the fry as food and eat them.

The fry can be fed infusoria or finely crushed flake food until they are large enough to eat regular food.

As they grow, you’ll start to see them develop their characteristic Honey Gourami colors, which is a rewarding sight for any fish keeper.

Why You Should Consider These Fish

If you’re looking for a peaceful, easy-to-care-for, and visually appealing addition to your aquarium, the Honey Gourami is a fantastic choice.

Their vibrant colors and curious nature make them a joy to watch.

They’re also a great choice for community tanks due to their peaceful temperament.

Their care requirements are not overly demanding, making them suitable for both novice and experienced aquarists.

The Honey Gourami is a delightful little fish that can bring a lot of joy and beauty to your aquarium.

So why not consider adding one (or a few) to your aquatic family? You won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for honey gouramis?

A single honey gourami should be kept in a tank of at least 10 gallons, but a larger tank is always better. If you plan to keep more than one honey gourami, it’s best to have a tank that can accommodate at least 4-6 of them.

What do honey gouramis eat?

Honey gouramis are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. It’s important to provide a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding.

Are honey gouramis peaceful fish?

Yes, honey gouramis are peaceful fish and can be kept with other small, peaceful fish. They are not aggressive and prefer to swim in the middle and upper levels of the tank.

How long do honey gouramis typically live?

Honey gouramis have a lifespan of around 4-5 years if kept in good conditions.

Can honey gouramis be kept in a community tank?

Yes, honey gouramis can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish that are similar in size. However, it’s important to avoid keeping them with aggressive or larger fish that may bully or harm them.

Photo of author


Irma Bense is the founder of BetterFishkeeping.com. She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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