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Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami

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Trichogaster lalius

Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided.


Colisa lalia, Colisa lalius, Polyacanthus lalius, Trichopodus lalius


Bangladesh, India & Pakistan. Has been introduced to other countries.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males are usually more brightly coloured. Females are fuller-bellied.

Maximum Size

9cm (3.54?)

Water Parameters

Acclimatises to a wide range of water conditions. Wild-caught specimens should be kept in soft, acidic water.


25-28 deg C (77-82 deg F)




No special requirements



A beautiful hardy species that is available in a number of colour strains. Most specimens offered for sale are captive bred, although delightful, more subtly coloured wild-caught specimens are sometimes available. Peaceful towards other species of fish, however, males may become territorial towards other Dwarf Gouramis when kept together in smaller tanks. A well-planted aquarium with a gentle water flow will help them to feel secure.



Offer a varied diet consisting of a good quality flake food, green flake food, and small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, and brineshrimp.



A conditioned pair should be acclimatised to a long, shallow aquarium with the temperature set to 29-30 deg C. There should be a good amount of floating plants, to help when the male constructs his bubblenest. Once the male has finished building this nest, which can be up to an inch thick and several inches across, he will begin courting the female. This is usually in the form of him ?dancing? around the female and flaring his fins. If the female ?accepts? the male, she will swim underneath the bubblenest, where the male will embrace her, wrapping his body around hers. He will turn her onto her side and then her back, at which point, she will release some of her eggs (up to 60), which the male fertilises immediately. The eggs will float upwards towards the nest, and any that stray will be collected by the male and placed into the nest. Once happy that all the eggs are secure, the pair will repeat their spawning/egg collecting actions several times until up to 600 eggs in total have been released. The male then secures the eggs by adding another layer of bubbles beneath the eggs, and it is at this point when the female should be removed. The male will vigorously defend his nest and surrounding territory when the tank is approached. After 12-24 hours, the eggs will hatch, and after another 3 days, they will become free-swimming. The male must be removed from the tank once the fry leave the bubblenest otherwise he will eat them. The fry should be fed on tiny foods such as infusoria or finely powdered fry food for the first week or so, moving on to larger foods as they grow. It is of extreme importance to maintain a warm layer of air between the surface of the water and the coverslides at all times whilst the fry are developing their labyrinth organ, critical during the first few weeks of their life.