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How Many Gouramis Should Be Kept Together? Group Dynamics

I’ve always loved gourami fish, and I’ve had many different types, and now I want to talk about how many of them should be kept together in the same tank.

Quick Answer

Gouramis are often fairly aggressive and territorial fish, especially dwarf gouramis. In terms of dwarf gouramis, you should not keep two males together, although you can keep one male with multiple females. You should aim to keep at least one male for every few females.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about gourami fish and how many of them can be kept together. We’ll take a closer look at several of the main species.

How Many Gouramis Can You Keep Together?

So, how many gouramis you can keep together really depends on the type that you have. There are about eight different types of gouramis that people might have in their home aquariums, so let’s take a quick look at each of them.

Group of pearl gourami

Dwarf Gourami

The dwarf gourami is not the largest of fish, and as long as you keep multiple females for each male, they should do just fine in a group.  However, they can be very territorial and aggressive, so you should not keep two males together alone.

If you do have two males together, you should have at least two females for each male, or in other words, two males and four females.

This should help prevent competition over mating from occurring. On that note, a single dwarf gourami meets about 10 gallons of tank space, with each additional fish also requiring 10 more gallons, or to be safe, up to 12 more gallons for each additional fish.

Honey Gourami

We then have the honey gourami, which is a relatively peaceful fish, one of the more peaceful types of gouramis. It’s actually one of the more peaceful aquarium fish in general, which means that they can be kept in groups. 

Although it is not recommended to keep two males together alone, it is more likely that they’ll be peaceful than two male dwarf gouramis, or other types of gouramis.

That said, it is still recommended to keep at least two females for every male if you plan on having a community tank. Because honey gouramis are fairly small, they don’t require all that much tank space.

They usually only grow to around an inch in length, which means that 5 gallons per fish should be more than enough. If you have a group of four honey gouramis, a tank of around 20 gallons should be more than enough.

Sparkling Gouramis

Sparkling gouramis are also relatively small and peaceful fish. They can be somewhat aggressive if they are kept in small spaces and if there are not many of them, which means that they should be kept in groups of six or more fish. 

As long as they are kept in relatively large groups, they shouldn’t really display any aggression. For a group of 6 sparkling gouramis, a tank of around 20 gallons should do just fine.

Pearl Gourami

We then have the pearl gourami, which can easily grow to around 5 inches in length. Each pearl gourami should have between 10 and 15 gallons of tank space. What is convenient about these fish is that they are relatively peaceful, so they can be kept in small groups or pairs.

However, if you plan on keeping them in pairs, it should be a male and a female, as two males will likely still display aggression to each other. 

Just like with the other species on this list, if you plan on keeping multiple males in the same tank, you should have at least two males for every female. If you have a pair of these fish together, giving them around 30 gallons of tank space should suffice.

Opaline Gourami

Next on the list we have the opaline gourami, which is one of the larger types, as they can grow up to five inches in length. This type of gourami can be quite aggressive, especially when it comes to the males.

Therefore, it is not at all recommended to keep several males together, and if you do have several males in the same tank, you should have at least three females for every male.

Furthermore, because they are fairly large fish, they need a good deal of tank space. Ideally, each opaline gourami should have between 10 and 15 gallons of tank space, with each additional opaline gourami also having at least 15 gallons of space.

Moonlight Gourami

We then have the moonlight gourami, which is actually one of the larger ones that people have in home aquariums, as they can reach up to six inches in length. The moonlight gourami is a relatively convenient fish to have at home, because it is relatively peaceful.

This is one of the few types of gouramis where you may be able to keep two males together in the same tank without any additional fish, although it’s still technically not recommended.

If you are keeping pairs together, it’s always recommended to have both a male and a female, just to avoid any possible aggression. Because moonlight gouramis can grow to up to six inches in length, it is recommended that each fish have at least 15 gallons of tank space, if not more.

Paradise Gourami

Another relatively large type of gourami fish is the paradise gourami, which can grow up to six inches in length. 

This type of gourami is generally quite aggressive and territorial. In fact, this is one of the more aggressive and territorial types of gouramis out there. This means that in no circumstances should you keep two males together, especially not without any females.

However, they are so aggressive that in many cases, it may not matter how many females you have in comparison to the males. 

The males may still fight with each other no matter what. Therefore, if you plan on keeping multiple paradise gourami together, you should have one male and multiple females. Due to their relatively large size of roughly 6 inches in length, you should also consider having at least 15 gallons of tank space for each fish.

Chocolate Gourami

The last common type of gourami that people often have in home aquariums is the chocolate gourami, which can grow to around 2.5 inches in length. The chocolate gourami is one of the more calm and relaxed types of gouramis, even to the point of being shy.

They like being kept in small groups or in pairs. The chocolate gourami doesn’t mind being together with other males, although it’s still recommended to keep a male and a female together. Because they’re not overly large, two fish can do just fine in around 20 gallons of water.

Keeping the Peace Between Gouramis

As you can see, these fish can be somewhat territorial and aggressive. Although, there are some tips you can follow to ensure that the peace is kept between them.

  • If you want to ensure that the piece is kept between various gouramis in your fish tank, make sure to provide them with more than enough space. If you want to stay on the safe side of things, take your recommendations I provided you with above and add another gallon or two.
  • Your best bet at avoiding any kind of territoriality or aggression between your gouramis is to keep a single male with multiple females, and if possible, don’t keep multiple males in the same tank. It’s not a deal breaker, but if you keep multiple males together, the chances of aggression happening are much bigger.
  • Always provide guarantees with more than enough hiding spaces and decorations in the tank. If you manage to break the tank up into smaller sections using various plants, rocks, and decorations, it will make each gourami feel like they have their own territory.
  • Also make sure to provide each gourami with more than enough food to keep them satiated. Competition often happens over food, but if they feel full, they won’t feel the need to attack each other for said food.


There you have it folks, you should now know everything there is to know about keeping the relatively aggressive gourami fish together with the same of its kind.