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?

Clown Loach

Vibrant and swift, this Clown Loach shot taken by TomLA shows the popular Botia macracanthus in active swim. Probably hunting for food or a fellow Clown Loach to play with, these loaches are a common site at the corner pet store.


A schooling fish, the Clown Loach is most active with tank mates of the same species. You could combine the Clown Loach with other fish in the loach family. I've done this, and it's worked well. The Clown Loach is a little less shy when he has a buddy. Some facts to contemplate if you're interested in this fun and colorful fish:

  • Minimum tank size: 30 - 50 gallons
  • Survival rate is better if around 2" - 3 1/2" when acquired
  • A peaceful, fun fish
  • The Clown Loach loves finding nooks and crannies in the fish tank

Usually found peeking around the corner of rocks or driftwood, the Clown Loach spends much of the day on the bottom half of the aquarium. Get a strong current of water going though, and watch these guys enjoy swimming against it.

A Clown Loach can slowly grow up to as long as a foot. Bigger than most other loaches, it's something to consider if you're going to stock a few of them.

The Clown Loach would work well in a semi-aggressive fish tank containing other Loaches, Tiger Barbs, Gourami, Plecostomus, or Swordtails.