Keeping gourami tank mates can be tricky because the gourami fish itself isn’t particularly aggressive, so you’re more likely to end up with peaceful fish in your tank as opposed to feisty ones. For many freshwater aquarium owners, gourami fish are the most popular and rewarding fish they can keep.
They are fairly easy to care for, hardy, come in many different varieties, and are exceptionally beautiful! One of the biggest concerns people have with gouramis, however, is finding tank mates that will be compatible with them.
Gouramis are both hardy fish that do well in community tanks and prefer planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and driftwood branches or rocks they can climb on. Although they are peaceful fish, they don’t tend to mix well with other species of gouramis, so it’s best to stick to the following gourami tank mates when deciding what fish to add to your gourami tank!
If you’re hoping to keep a gourami in your next freshwater tank or pond, here are 15 of the best gourami tank mates you can keep!
Popular gourami tank mates
Panda Corydoras (Corydoras panda)
The panda corydoras is a species of catfish that is native to South America. They are not too aggressive and get along well with other peaceful species. They are nocturnal, meaning they will come out at night when the lights are off to scavenge for food. They also need to be in schools of 10-20 fish in order to feel safe. When choosing tank mates make sure you consider their needs and behaviors before adding them to your community tank.
Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)
If you are looking for a small fish to keep in the same tank with your gourami, then consider adding a few glowlight tetras. These beautiful little fish will provide an attractive contrast to the larger gouramis as well as help keep the tank clean. They are generally peaceful and can be found at most pet stores or online.
However, they do need to have aquarium plants because they enjoy hiding among them. When keeping this type of fish, it is important that you have some floating plants because they love resting on them when they’re feeling tired from all their swimming around. They also like staying close to the surface so if you don’t have any floating plants make sure that you have some tall ones too because these types of tetras can jump out of the water and onto your floor!
Khuli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)
The Khuli Loach is a hardy fish that can tolerate many water conditions and prefers calm waters. It is a peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that will not bother other fish and should be kept in groups of three or more.
They are good scavengers but also like to nibble on plants. They grow to an average size of four inches long. Khuli Loaches will do well with any type of substrates such as sand or rocks. These fish need at least two gallons per loach and prefer tanks with plenty of caves.
Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
The Harlequin Rasbora is a small freshwater fish that can be kept in a 10 gallon tank with other peaceful fish. The Harlequin Rasbora should not be kept in the same tank as other small schooling fish because they will often pick on them. A Harlequin Rasbora’s diet should consist of flake foods, freeze-dried or frozen bloodworms, and live worms or feeder fish.
The Harlequin Rasbora usually grows to about 2 inches (5 cm) long. If you have a big enough tank for this fish, it is worth adding it to your aquarium!
Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.)
The Bristlenose Pleco is an excellent tank mate for the gouramis. They grow to about six inches in length and, like most plecos, prefer a well-planted aquarium. Bristlenose Plecos are only mildly territorial so you can house them with other non-aggressive fish, but they will eat plants if given the chance. Bristlenose Plecos will also tolerate brackish water, making them ideal companions for livebearers or killifish that need saltier water than what is provided by tap water.
Their bristles serve as great protection from predators when the Bristlenose Pleco feels threatened. Lastly, this pleco gets along best with larger tanks of at least 40 gallons because of their size (note: this statement should be followed by more information about the fish’s care requirements).
Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica)
The Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica) is a freshwater shrimp that can be kept in a freshwater tank with a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0 and a temperature range of 70 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Amano Shrimp will scavenge for food and eat just about anything it can find, so this would make the shrimp an excellent addition to any tank with fish or other invertebrates that may drop food on the floor of your tank.
The Amano Shrimp does not need much space at all, as long as there are live plants in the aquarium for them to hide among. They also prefer to stay close together, making them good additions to smaller tanks as well! They also do not need any additional protein sources such as brine shrimp or tubifex worms.
Mystery Snail (Pomacea bridgesii)
Mystery snails are a type of freshwater snail. They are classified as herbivores and scavengers, so they will eat algae and other aquatic plants along with dead fish, insects, and crustaceans.
They have a reputation for being messy fish tank inhabitants, but many people also consider them to be beneficial because they eat algae that would otherwise coat the tanks walls. However, this is not to say that mystery snails should be introduced into tanks without careful consideration.
In some cases, they can become pests due to their voracious appetite and their potential ability to reproduce quickly. Generally speaking, though, these creatures make good tank mates for gouramis as long as you keep your water conditions stable enough for them to thrive.
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
The Cherry Barb is a small, aggressive fish that enjoys the company of other Cherry Barbs. They can become territorial and aggressive to anything that enters their territory, so they are best kept in groups of five or more. They should be housed with live plants to give them something to do.
For this reason, the Cherry Barb is a poor choice for those who have an extremely limited amount of space in their aquarium. If you want to keep one as a pet, it’s best if you pair it with another similarly-sized fish. It’s also important not to overfeed them because they’re prone to getting fat and slow when given too many foods that contain high levels of fats and sugars.
Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp.)
Otocinclus catfish are a peaceful and hardy fish that will do well in a community tank. They are bottom dwellers and scavengers, which means they will keep your tank clean by eating any leftover food or other debris on the floor of the tank. Oto’s also appreciate soft substrates, as they like to bury themselves in them to create dens for sleeping.
As you can imagine, this makes them perfect companions for gouramis who enjoy digging and sifting through sand. These little guys can grow up to 3 inches long and live up to 8 years. Because of their size, it’s not recommended you have more than one oto per 10 gallons of water. In addition to keeping your tanks cleaner with their efficient cleaning abilities, otos also help keep down algae because they eat algae spores before they get a chance to grow.
Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus, Hastatus, Habrosus)
Pygmy Corydora are one of the most popular catfish that you can keep in a freshwater aquarium. Pygmy Corydoras are also one of the best gourami tank mates. These small catfish are only about an inch and a half long, so they won’t get in the way of any other fish in your tank.
They’ll also eat some algae to help keep your tank cleaner and they will not bother any plants, so you don’t have to worry about them uprooting anything. Like all other species of corys, they prefer schools and should be kept with at least 3-4 others. If you’re looking for another good gourami tank mate, then pygmy corydoras are great because they require minimal maintenance!
Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
The Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is a peaceful fish that is native to the Amazon River basin in Brazil. The Ember Tetra is typically found in small schools and prefers a heavily planted environment with plenty of covers. In captivity, the Ember Tetra can grow up to three inches long, with males being more colorful than females.
They are considered to be hardy fish and will not require much work on your part to maintain their health. However, it’s still important to do regular water changes because they are sensitive to dirty water. Like most other tetras, this species does best in soft or slightly acidic water and you should keep them at an ideal temperature between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-27 degrees Celsius).
Molly fish (Poecilia sphenops)
Mollies are a very popular freshwater fish because they are easy to care for. They can survive in both acidic and alkaline water, they are generally peaceful with other fish, and they can easily be kept in smaller tanks. The main downside of mollies is that they do not live as long as some other types of fish, often living only for two to three years.
However, this is offset by their ease of care and the fact that there are many varieties to choose from. Males will display colors on their dorsal fin when looking for females during mating season. In addition to being one of the best gourami tank mates, Molly fish make good companions for any tank containing guppies or platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus).
Ghost Fish (Glass Catfish)
The ghost fish is one of the best gourami tank mates you can keep. This is because it has a peaceful nature and does not bother with aggression towards other fish. Another benefit of the ghost fish is that they will feed on any leftover food that may be found at the bottom of your tank.
Another great thing about these fish is that they do not grow very large, so they won’t outgrow your aquarium or make it hard for other fish to swim around comfortably in your aquarium.
Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
The neon tetra is a very popular fish to keep in a freshwater aquarium. The neon tetra has many different color variations, but they are all generally silvery-blue with a bright red or orange stripe running vertically down their body.
They also have an iridescent blue line that runs from the eye to the base of their tail. One downside of keeping these fish as tank mates for your gouramis is that they will eat any leftover food you may have accidentally left in the tank.
Another downside to keeping them as tank mates for your gouramis is that they will eat any leftover food you may have accidentally left in the tank.
They also prefer cooler water temperatures and this can be an issue if you need to regulate your gouramis’ water temperature too.
Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
A cardinal tetra is an appropriate tank mate for gourami because both species are schooling fish. Both fish require the same water temperature, pH levels, and oxygen levels.
The only difference between the two species is that a cardinal tetra has more vibrant colors than a gourami. However, it’s best to not keep these two fish together if you want your aquarium to be peaceful.
Cardinal tetras are aggressive when they’re in groups, feeding, or when mating and will bully any other fish around them. If you plan on keeping one of these fish with a gourami, it’s best to keep them in separate tanks or only have one of each type of fish at a time.