Gourami and Angelfish: Can They Live Together?




Gourami and Angelfish

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At first glance, housing angelfish and gouramis together may seem like the perfect solution for avid fish enthusiasts.

After all, both angelfish and gouramis are popular freshwater species known for their vibrant colors and playful personalities.

But does housing these fish together work, or is it a recipe for disaster? To answer this question, it’s important to consider a few key factors.

In this guide, I’ll go through the determinant factors that go into successfully housing angelfish and gouramis together.

I’ll discuss tank size, water conditions, compatibility between the two species, and more.

Fish Temperament

Like humans, fish species have different personalities and temperaments, which can make them compatible or incompatible with one another.

And depending on the temperament of angelfish and gouramis, housing these two species together may or may not be a good idea.

Angelfish Behavior

Angelfish are cichlids, a type of fish known to be particularly territorial and aggressive.

However, angelfish aren’t always aggressive and can often be friendly and playful. They can live in schools, in the middle of your aquarium, as they swim around and interact with one another.

But this hardly makes them social creatures. They are known to establish small social structures and fight tooth and nail to protect their places in those ranks.

During mating season, females also often exhibit territorial behavior, aggressively defending their nesting territory from all other fish in the tank.

Gourami Behavior

There are over 100 different species of gourami, each with a unique temperament.

Dwarf gouramis are generally calm fish in nature, while some of the larger gourami species, like the blue and gold, can be semi-aggressive.

Although males will get aggressive with each other at some point, they become scared easily when living with fish that are more aggressive. Thus, it’s best to keep one male with many females.

Gouramis are mostly surface swimmers, but you will see them throughout the entire tank. Plus, they don’t school together like other fish but prefer to live in small groups of five or six fish.

Depending on the species, some male gouramis will build bubble nests to care for the female’s eggs among floating plants, while other male species disregard their offspring and instead opt to eat them.

As for females, they will always tend to eat their fry, so it’s best to remove them from the tank immediately after birth.

Tank Requirements

When you move to a different home or a new city, you need to consider things like space and location in order to ensure that you’re making a good decision. And the same goes for all kinds of fish!

As with you and me, your fish also have specific needs when it comes to housing.

Replicating their natural home is the best way to ensure their health and happiness.

Also, maintaining their ecosystem, feeding them the right kinds of food, and keeping their water clean are all crucial factors to consider.

Angelfish Requirements

These guys are native to the Amazon River in South America, where they dwell in its slow-moving waters.

Angelfish are large and active, so they need plenty of space to swim and explore. To accommodate angelfish in your tank, you’ll need to have a minimum of 50 gallons of water.

In the wild, they enjoy hiding among dense vegetation at the bottom of their river habitat. So in order to replicate this environment at home, you can add plenty of plants and sight barriers such as anacharis, Amazon sword, Java moss, and Java fern.

To maintain proper water flow, you can install a water filter that generates slow water movement. I recommend using undergravel filtration, which helps remove excess food waste and stops the water from becoming toxic.

When it comes to water temperature, angels prefer it to be somewhere between 72-80 degrees F.

If you live in a colder climate, you should invest in a fish tank heater with a thermostat to help regulate the temperature.

As for pH level, these freshwater fish prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.5-7.1. And you should always maintain water hardness at 2 to 10 degrees dH (GH).

Since these fish like to dig and sift through the substrate, you should use a sand or mud substrate at least 2 inches deep.

To mimic the sunlight in their home and keep your fish happy, you’ll need to provide at least 8-12 hours of light per day.

Gourami Requirements

Gourami fish are native to Southeast Asia. They are bottom-dwelling fish that reside in sluggish, shallow bodies of water with low oxygen levels. Due to their labyrinth organ, they have thrived in this sort of setting.

To maintain a gourami-friendly tank, you should ensure plenty of space for them to swim and explore. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons should suffice.

However, large gouramis, such as the Kissing gourami, will need at least 55 gallons. With every additional fish you add, you should increase your tank size by five gallons.

In terms of lighting, they prefer low light levels with at least 8-10 hours of light per day. As for water pH and temperature, gouramis prefer their water to be between 72-82 degrees F and at a slightly acidic pH of between 6.8-7.8

A sandy or muddy mix about 1.5 inches deep for substrate works well for them to dig and sift through, and to mimic the green and murky waters in their natural habitat, you should use some sturdy plants and plenty of tank decorations. Some good choices include Java fern, Vallisneria, and Hornwort.

Diet & Feeding

Gourami and Angelfish

I suppose you and your roommate or partner don’t have the same taste in food, right? Well, angelfish and gouramis are no different.

When you keep different types of fish species, you should ensure that you give each of them the proper diet and feeding schedule. Otherwise, they may not get the nutrition they need to thrive.

Angelfish Diet

Angelfish are omnivores that thrive on a diet of both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they forage for larvae, bugs, rotifers, and smaller fish around roots and rocks at the bottom of the river.

However, these beautiful fish don’t actually eat plants. Rather, they simply nibble the surface of leaves and stems to get the tiny bugs that live underneath.

To replicate this diet at home, you can feed them a variety of foods, such as:

  • Tubifex worms
  • Live water fleas
  • Brine shrimp
  • High-protein pellets or fish flakes
  • Blanched vegetables like spinach and zucchini

To ensure you’re not overfeeding them, you can feed them twice per day, but only enough food so that it’s all consumed within a couple of minutes.

For a breeding couple, you may need to feed them 4 times per day.

Gourami Diet

Some fish are complete carnivores, while others, like the Kissing gourami, stick to an herbivorous diet.

In their natural habitat, gourami feeder fish consume both plants and insects. However, they eat anything they can get their mouths on in the aquarium.

To recreate this diet, you should give these colorful fish a combination of live and frozen foods like brine shrimp and blackworms.

Also, gouramis will like eating vegetables for variety, like cooked peas and lettuce. Fish flakes are also an excellent source of complete nutrition for your fish.

Considering feeding frequency and portion size, you should aim to feed them 1-2 times per day.

To avoid any digestive problems, you should feed them small portions of food at a time and only offer as much food as they can consume within 2 minutes.

How To Make Angelfish and Gourami Successful Tank Mates?

Many fish keepers keep angelfish and gourami species harmoniously in the same fish tank. In fact, Dwarf gouramis make great companions for angelfish due to their shared habitat preferences.

However, there are some basics you need to adjust before putting angelfish and gouramis together, including:

  • Make sure the water temperature is within a comfortable range. Both angelfish and gouramis prefer a slightly warm water temperature, so you should aim for a range of 75-80 degrees F.
  • Maintain slightly acidic soft water with a pH between 6.8-7. If your tank’s pH level is too high or too low, you may need to add a few drops of pH buffer to bring it in line.
  • Adjust medium-powered water filter systems to create a gentle flow within the tank. Angelfish and gouramis prefer calmer waters, so you may need to do some rearranging of your filters and decorations to achieve this.
  • Both species need soft substrate on the bottom of their tank to facilitate burying. For this purpose, you can use fine gravel or muddy riverbed materials like sand or clay pebbles.
  • For adequate sleep patterns and a restful environment, you should use any standard aquarium light for about 8-10 hours per day.
  • To create a natural habitat, add some live plants like Java fern, anubias, or Amazon swords for angelfish, and floating vegetation like Vallisneria and Hornwort for gouramis.
  • Both species will love fish flakes but don’t forget to supplement their diet with live, frozen foods, and vegetables for some variety.
  • To properly calculate your tank size, consider the number of fish you ultimately want to keep. In terms of the order, it’s best to introduce more peaceful gouramis first and angelfish after.

Do Angelfish and Gouramis Fight?

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes your fish will fight. This is simply a part of the risk associated with keeping community tanks.

Even though angelfish are typically considered peaceful pets, they can become quite aggressive during the breeding season.

In addition, both fish nurture their eggs and fry once they have hatched. In particular, male gouramis tend to become extremely defensive when any fish approaches their bubble nest.

To minimize any chances of fighting, it’s important to provide plenty of hiding places and shelter.

Plus, you should closely monitor your fish to look for any signs of aggression, such as flared gills, humped backs, or nipped fins. If you notice these behaviors, you may need to remove one or more angelfish or gourami from the tank.

Will Gouramis Eat Angelfish Fry?

Gourami fish are opportunistic eaters and will pounce on angelfish fry whenever they see them. They view anything that passes by as potential food, regardless of size.

To prevent this from happening, you should remove angelfish fry and place them in another tank as soon as they are born. This will ensure a safe environment for them to grow and develop into healthy adults.

Additionally, you should pay close attention to your angelfish eggs and be prepared to remove them from the tank at the first sign of any hungry gouramis lurking nearby.

Last Words

Keeping fish in community aquariums can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember that not all your favorite fish species will have the same needs and preferences.

By following these basic tips, you can create a comfortable environment allowing both angelfish and gouramis to thrive in your tank!

Do you have any questions about angelfish and gourami? Feel free to comment below, or contact us with any inquiries.

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