Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

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Dwarf Gourami

Colisa lalia1.jpg
Dwarf Gourami

Trichogaster lalius

57 Litres (15 US G.)

5.1-6.4cm (2-2.5 ")




6.5 - 7.5

22.2-27.8°C (72 -82 °F)

4-13 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

2-4 years



This animal is available captive bred

Additional names

Dwarf Gourami, Red Dwarf Gourami, Striped Dwarf Gourami, Sunset Dwarf Gourami, Powder Blue Gourami

Additional scientific names

Trichopodus lalius, Colisa lalius, Colisa unicolor, Polyacanthus lalius, Colisa lalia


Found in dense vegetation in slow moving streams, rivulets and lakes in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.


Female is silver with hardly any colour whereas the male is more vividly coloured with more pointed and elongated finnage.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Does well in a peaceful community set up with fish such as Neon Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora, Corydoras etc. However, do not keep a mix of Gourami species together, nor keep Dwarf Gourami with other anabantoids such as Betta splendens as this will bring out their aggressive side. Also, do not keep with other aggressive species such as Cichlids, nor fin nippers such as Tiger Barbs. It is not recommended to keep more than just one gourami in a tank. Even two females can give each other trouble.


Omnivore. Not fussy, will take flake, bloodworm, glass worm, brine shrimp and even catfish pellets.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Provide this fish with a matured spacious tank with a good combination of open swimming space and tall plants in which to hide. Does not appreciate a strong current.


Male becomes territorial, develops a deep purple chest and flares up its dorsal fin when floating plants when a female is introduced. Otherwise it's an excellent community fish.
Gouramis, like Bettas are a labyrinth fish, in that they have a special organ that allows them to breathe air. So they can survive in low oxygenated water. If they are not allowed access to the air then they drown.


A small oval-shaped fish with long ventral fins. The body colour varies as many variants have now been bred. The wild-type is red/orange in base colour with many vertical iridescent blue bands down the body. The fins are orange and speckled with blue iridescent spots.

Special notes[edit]

  • This fish is prone to bacterial infections, constipation and Hole in the Head problems. So regular water changes are essential. This fish is usually not in good condition when seen in the pet shop.
  • Currently most of the Trichogaster lalius are arriving in pet shops with a virus (Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus (DGIV)) in them. This causes lethargic behaviour, darken of colour, tumours and death within a year. This virus is also believed to infect other fish like Swordtails and Mollys, possibly some Cichlids. There is no treatment for this virus.[1]



A pair of DG Spawning under a bubble nest: Female Dwarf Gourami spits water:
Fighting males:


External links[edit]