Flame Dwarf Gourami

A great shot by Chaos Kitten, this Flame Dwarf Gourami swims through driftwood and aquatic plants on it's quest for tropical fish food. A color variation of the Dwarf Gourami, Colisa lalia, the Flame Dwarf Gourami will grow to about two inches long.


Probably best kept in pairs, this non-aggressive, peaceful fish is usually found minding it's own business. I've kept a pair of Flame Dwarf Gourami in my freshwater aquarium. They were usually the last to eat and let the fish food drop to the bottom of the tank before eating. You don't need a huge aquarium to hold this fish. The Dwarf Gourami is one of the best fish for a smaller sized aquarium 10 gallons or larger. Vibrant colors and gentle attitude make it an easy fish to keep. A few other things to consider regarding the Dwarf Gourami include:

  • Water temperature between 73-82 F degrees
  • Creates a bubblenest for breeding
  • A mid-level fish dweller
  • The dorsal fin of the male Flame Dwarf Gourami is pointed, while the female's fin is rounded.

The Flame Dwarf Gourami enjoys a well planted fish tank. Floating plants are especially appreciated. My tank had tiger barbs and a few other semi aggressive fish. The Flame Gourami was definitely the shy one and would avoid the others.

A bubble nest builder, you can breed this fish by taking the level of water in the aquarium down to around 7 inches. Turn the heater up to between 83-86 F, and spawning should occur. After spawning, the female Dwarf Gourami should be removed. The eggs are watched over by the male. After the fry are free swimming, remove the male, or the fry may become his lunch. A tropical fish food specifically for small fry should be fed.

An enjoyable and vibrant fish for the community fish tank, the Flame Dwarf Gourami would add a nice shade of color to any aquarium. What's your experience with this fish?

29 thoughts on “Flame Dwarf Gourami”

  1. My flaming gourami is slightly aggressive. He would take food out of the serpae tetras’ mouth.

  2. Hi Dawn,

    I’ll bet those tetras have learned to avoid your Flame Gourami!

    My Flame Dwarf will chase my bigger Gold Gourami during feeding time.

  3. hi l want to know if my dwarf gourami will still have babies???
    do l need a other tank for them or will they still do it in the same tank????
    the other fish l got am : 4 molly’s and 2 sucker loach and 3 female guppies and a male guppy.

    will they still have babies ???????????

    please let me know.. l will come and have a look each day ok


  4. I got 1 male and 1 female dwarf gourmai about a month ago. The female is not aggresive and is active going wherever she wants. My tiger barbs give her room even though she is not aggresive. However, my male dwarf gourami just sits in the upper corner of the tank. It doesnt even move during feeding time. The only time it moves is when the female comes close and it runs to another hiding spot.

  5. Terry.. Sure they can breed, but you’ll need a seperate tank. Search for “breeding gourami” to learn more.

    Chris, It could be sick and need a general medication, or just need more hiding places to feel comfortable. That’s a problem if it NEVER eats.


  6. Hey i might be getting a 29 gallon tank, the kit with with the filter and heater and stuff, and i want to get this fish, i currently have one female guppy and 4 baby ones do u have any idea if i should get a male or a female, i am also planning on getting mollies, swordtailes, a few tetras(small ones) should i get plants and if so which types thanks

  7. Hey Anthony,

    It won’t really matter if you get a male or female. All the fish you mentioned there are compatible, so that’s good.

    Yes. Definitely get plants. Now I prefer live plants, and will be doing a post on some I recently purchased. I like swords, and grass type plants. You can also get fake plants, but your fish need some type of environment to feel at home.


  8. Thanks Fish tank, my guppy had to more fry bnut there hastn been a male there for over 4 months suprised me when my mom told me,
    I also wanted to know if barbs or white coulds could go with these fish and im probably gonna get live plants and i really want to get like the plants which are like grass but have no idea on how to vclean it when doing the water change with gravel sucker

  9. i have a dwarf gourami male and female and it has actually killed one of my honey gourami i think.it was either him or a mad female molly, but he’s my favorite fish (rather then clown loaches) and is my biggest eater and will everything.

  10. i have a flame dwarf gourami he hides from the other fish and in also have a ranbow kind of gourami but i dont know what it is called but what can i do he only comes out to set food he is beatiful please right back ….. Zella

  11. hi my name is alexandra i have a flamed gourami and a nother kind of gourami and a couple mollies a guppy a clown loach and glow fish my flamed gourami is scared of the other fish and will hide with the clown loach i dont know what to do please right back……………… alexandra***************************

  12. hi my flamed gourami is hiding and is mainly staying at the bottom of the tank i got him from a pet store called petco i dont no if he is sick or should i put more plants in there or something i dont have any aggresive fish but i do have another rainbow gourami but i dont know the name of the breed he is well if you could give me advise please right back

  13. hi

    i have got a biorb 60ltr and i have got 12 cardinal tetra and 6 glowlight tetra.

    i then baught a pair of dwarf gourami’s and my femail was hanging around my heater, and the next day, i found her dead.

    so i baught another pair, male and femail, so i now have 2 male and 1 femail. the second femail, is also hanging around my heater, but all my other fish are swimming happily with no problems what so ever.

    the femail keeps having a SLOW swim, and it isnt eating no food.

    what shall i do????

  14. Hi Tayne,

    How long after you bought the fish did they die? Sounds like they may have already been sick? Some fish stores have a 15 day return policy in the states if the fish dies. They do go through a bunch of stress.


  15. Hi have a 40 gal tank with about 15 fish. I have a Blue Gourami and a 4 Mollies. Recently the Molly has been biting the Gourami and the Gourami tries to swim away but eventually gives up. It happens all the time, not just during feeding time. I checked the ph, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and the filters. All were fine the only unusual thing was some fungus that I got rid of after the attacks start but they are still going on. Is it possible that one of the Mollies is pregnant or can you think of anything. What should I do?


  16. Hi Steve,

    Does your Gourami have a hiding spot? I can only speak from experience, but my gold gourami is the most timid fish in my tank. How many male/female mollies do you have? That might have something to do w/ it.

    You said you have 15 fish. Are the other fish smaller? The tank isn’t crowded?

    I wouldn’t think tank conditions.. ph, nitrate, etc. would change if a fish is aggressive or not. Is your gourami healthy? Eating ok..etc?

    Try rearranging everything in the tank. You may have to isolate the bully fish if things don’t work, and you’re able to.

    Hope some of those suggestions help.


  17. Hi

    I have two similar dwarf. a week after i bought them, they begin to lost their top fin color.although i feed them with a special kind of food (color food), the problem is still unsolved.do you know what can i do for them? thanks.

  18. My gourami doesnt eat very well. It occasionally eats a flake that falls down to the bottom. Im concerned and when i put in brine shrimp, it didnt even notice it. Any suggestions?

  19. I always find it funny when gourami are described as “timid”, “peaceful”, or “shy” on these websites because mine seems to think he’s a cichlid. He is the undisputed ruler of the tank, and doesn’t hesitate to chase after and nip any fish that forgets it. He charges over and flares at anyone who looks into the tank, which is both amusing and a good way for guests to get a look at him.

    He’s quite content in his role of “tank king” and it’s very funny to watch the other fish give him a wide berth wherever he goes. I’d love to get another one, but I think I’d have to find one of these “shy, timid” types in order for them to get along!

  20. Hey, I have 2 flame gourami fish and one looks like its about to have babies. We had 4 but they killed 2 off. If my fish are pregnet can the temputure be at 78-80 degrees F.

  21. I want to get 1 or 2 dwarf gouramis for my 29 gallon. As of now I have 2 mollies and 3 platys. I plan on getting 5 marble hatchets, 4 kuhli loaches and 2 or 3 otos. I’m not sure if the gouramis will be fine or if my other fish will be fine. They seem like all the fish would e fine but I’ve heard gouramis can be aggressive or the mollies will be aggressive towards the gourami. Any help would be great thanks 🙂 Kris

  22. If the Flame Dwarf Gourami lets the food settle to the bottom before it eats, would it be better to get food that sinks to the bottom.

  23. I have two male flame dwarf Gouramis (at least I think they are both male). The slightly bigger one has been recently chasing after the other one and even biting at it’s tail. This morning I found the smaller one with a small chunk of it’s tail gone. Should I separate them, and if so, how long?

  24. we have one pearl gourami and two dwarf gouramis the pearl and one dwarf gourami always swim together they have quite big bellies and the third dwarf is skinny but yesterday it got half of the bottom fin bitten off he/she couldnt swim it fell to the bottom and died this morning what des this mean are the pearl and dwarf mates and is one pregenant why did this happen? pleaseeee answer 😉

  25. hi we recently got 3 dwarf gourami’s given to us and we also have a flame dwarf gourami it seems that the 2 females we had given to us are pregnant but we dont know if the male we were give got them pregnant will the pregnant ones still be able to lay their eggs if the male didn’t get them pregnant? or will we loose them?

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