The Honey Gourami (scientifically known as Trichogaster Chuna) is a species of small tropical fish that belongs to the popular Gourami family. Honey Gouramis are not as popular as Dwarf Gouramis due to the fact that their colourings tend to look bland and boring in a retail environment, and few people know enough about them to know that their colours only start to develop when they are happy and around familiar fish.
When Honey Gouramis are looked after properly and they are housed in an ideal aquarium for their requirements, the colours that they start to develop are stunning. As the name suggests, the most dominant colour that they develop is a beautiful honey shade of brown with the occasional appearance of fiery red and dark blue and black.
Dwarf Gouramis are notoriously known for having the Iridovirus which can be found in more than 25% of Dwarf Gouramis sold in retail stores. While Honey Gouramis do share a few common characteristics with the Dwarf Gourami, their susceptibility to the Iridovirus is not one of them. For this reason alone, we would recommend Honey Gouramis as an excellent beginner fish.
Honey Gourami Tank Setup
Honey Gouramis are a small fish who only grow to around 3 inch in length (2 inch for females) and they are incredibly peaceful and playful fish. While they can easily be housed in a 10 gallon aquarium, we wouldn’t recommend it.
Honey Gouramis get bored very easily so they do require a lot of plants, decorations and places that they can explore. Because of this, we would recommend at least 20 gallons at a minimum.
As we previously mentioned, Honey Gouramis do love busy aquariums in regards to both other fish as well as lots of plants and decorations. Honey Gouramis are incredibly playful, and they have a tendency to become down and depressed if they don’t have any other peaceful fish to play with or sections of the tank that they can explore.
In terms of the water specifications, we would recommend keeping your tank water relatively soft with a pH of around 7. Also keep in mind that Gouramis are labyrinth fish, so make sure you leave plenty of room between the top of the water and the hood of your aquarium for them to get plenty of air.
Honey Gourami Diet
Just like most other Gouramis, the Honey Gourami is an omnivorous fish. They will do well with almost any type of food but as always, we recommend feeding your omnivorous fish a varied diet to not only make sure they are getting all of the nutrition they need but to also keep them happy.
Tropical fish flake foods or pellets are a good base food, but every now and then you can supplement with fresh vegetables, freeze-dried blood worms, algae and occasionally some live food.
In the wild (the slow moving rivers and lakes of South Asia) Honey Gouramis will typically feed on small insects and invertebrates
Recommended Honey Gourami Tank Mates:
Being a small, peaceful fish, it’s important to remember not to keep Honey Gouramis with too many larger, more aggressive fish. Not only will they struggle to compete for food but they will also be constantly intimidated and unable to thrive.
Honey Gouramis love interacting with other peaceful fish, and of course, other Honey Gouramis, so we would recommend keeping at least a small handful of Gouramis as well as other peaceful fish such as tetras, guppies, barbs, small plecos, corydoras and even shrimp and snails.
Other types of Gouramis that make good tank mates include Dward Gourami, Gold Gourami, Pearl Gourami and Blue Gouramis. We wouldn’t recommend keeping Honeys with Kissing Gouramis, Samurai Gouramis or Paradise Gouramis as they tend to grow too big and can be too aggressive.
Honey Gouramis are a very peaceful fish, but we would still recommend keeping more females than males. As with most fish, male Honey Gouramis can sometimes get more aggressive towards other males during spawning.
Breeding Honey Gouramis
Another reason why we recommend Honey Gouramis as a good fish for beginners is because they are easy to breed. To initiate breeding, simply reduce the water in the tank by around 8 inches and increase the temperature by around 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) to around 80.
Male Honey Gouramis will then start to build bubble nests on the surface of the tank and will spend the next few days defending the site. Once the eggs are laid by the females, it’s a good idea to move them to another tank. After the eggs have hatched, move the males to another tank also.
Honey Gourami eggs will typically hatch within 2 days of being laid.