Aquariums are generally kept in the most relaxing parts of the house. One of the best things about keeping an aquarium is the soothing effect it has.
So, if you’re looking to welcome this effective stress-buster into your household you should ensure that its inner-environment is harmonious too.
In this article, we will discuss if gouramis and guppies pair well together and can live as good tank mates.
We will also go over all the important guidelines to follow and how to ensure good lives for both the fish.
Can Gouramis Live with Guppies?
Gouramis and guppies share a lot of traits. They are both known to be peaceful species that prefer tropic aquarium spaces and can easily adapt to varying environmental conditions.
This makes them a favorite among new as well as seasoned aquarium enthusiasts.
Both of these are hardy and sold as community fish. This means that they get along with most other fish too. Their similar feeding habits and tank requirements further make them a good pair for your aquarium.
However, there have been some rare complaints of guppies being bullied by gouramis. This is mostly due to the difference in their anatomical sizes as well as cramped tank space.
So the final verdict is; gouramis can live well with guppies but there are certain factors you need to be careful about before bringing them in.
Know About the Gourami Fish
The gourami is a kind of freshwater fish from the Osphronemidae, Anabantidae, and Helostomatidae families.
There are large fish, typically about 12 inches, but can grow up to be over 28 inches in size (the giant gourami). Thus, they need a relatively large tank space.
The gourami males are bigger and more brightly colored with longer fins than their female counterparts. This makes them the perfect, gorgeous addition to your aquarium.
Their relaxed and slow-moving nature ensures they pair well with similar-sized or smaller fish. Remember that the gourami does best in male-female pairs or singly.
There are many different kinds of gourami you can pick out, varying in sizes and colors. Most of them have a similarly shaped body though, with a labyrinth lung-like organ to breathe in oxygen from the air.
The most popular types of gourami include:
- Paradise gourami
- Sunset gourami
- Powder blue gourami
- Giant gourami
- Pearl gourami
- Snakeskin gourami
- Opaline gourami
Know About the Guppy Fish
Among the most popular community aquarium fish, the guppy belongs to the Poeciliidae family. These are small fish, ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 inches.
The guppy has a calm temperament and makes an absolutely gorgeous addition to aquariums.
They add vibrancy, are easy to care for and come relatively cheap. This makes them the perfect fish for novice aquarists.
Guppies also breed well in captivity, so be prepared for large populations of fish. They are active swimmers, so you will rarely ever see them not moving about.
Guppies are social fish and prefer being in groups or around other, non-aggressive fish.
The females are usually found to be grey while the males are more attractive with stripes, splashes, and spots of color dotting their little bodies.
These fish are sexually dimorphic making it easy to tell the males and females apart.
The guppy has a lifespan of about 2 years and requires a tank will freshwater, plant-life and substrates. There are over 300 varieties of guppies coming in every color imaginable.
They even have different kinds of tails, from fan-shaped to spades, rounded, and even double-sworded.
Some of the most popular kinds of guppies include:
- Snakeskin guppy
- Endler guppy
- Red-eye guppy
- Sunset guppy
- Grass guppy
- Mosaic guppy
- Moscow guppy
Guidelines to Keep Gouramis with Guppies
We already established that gouramis can live with guppies as long as proper care and requirements are met.
Let us now discuss what these requirements are and how to best fulfill them to ensure both of your fish live healthy lives.
The first thing to consider is that both the fish need ample space to swim around in.
To determine the right tank size for your gouramis and guppies to peacefully coexist, you will need to consider multiple factors like their different sizes, the number of fish you want to keep, and even their genders.
Guppies are smaller in size so usually require tanks of about 10 gallons at maximum. On the other hand, gouramis are bigger and need at least a 20 gallons tank.
A good rule to follow is to add one gallon of water for every one inch of your fish. So for smaller gouramis of 8 to 12 inches, a 15-gallon tank would work.
But, if you’re picking out bigger gouramis; you might need to up the size to 30 gallons. Even your guppies will love the extra swimming space so it works out well for both!
Be sure to also increase your tank capacity based on the number of fish you introduce into it.
If you have more males, give them ample space of their own or they might get aggressive with each other (and even with the smaller guppies). Try to install an aeration fan as well, your gouramis will thank you for it.
Since gouramis and guppies both fare well in freshwater environments, there are certain water conditions you will need to maintain.
Guppies thrive best in hard water so it’s best to use un-boiled tap water that has been left in an open container overnight.
However, you will need to keep your tank chlorine-free as it can cause health risks and even death for guppies. So be sure to dechlorinate your tap water before pouring it into the tank.
On the other hand, gouramis enjoy shallow waters as it allows them to breathe at the surface through the lung-like labyrinth. Other than that, they are highly adaptable and can survive in a variety of conditions.
The best water parameters to maintain for a community tank having both fish are:
- Water temperature ranging from 72*F to 80*F.
- Water pH to fall between 6.8-7.8.
- Water hardness to be 8 to 12 dGH
- Water alkalinity of 0 ppm (no ammonia or nitrate/nitrite substrates)
For the best care of your guppies, regular water changes is a must.
Just like other pets, your fish will also excrete metabolic waste which can accumulate in your aquarium water and make the overall environment unhygienic.
If your community tank has low stock feeds, you can get away with changing around 30% of the water every week. But, for highly stocked tanks, changing at least half of the water per week is necessary.
Additionally, you can use water conditioners to remove any chlorine traces of heavy metals from the aquarium water.
Proper, timely feeding is a key part of good aquarium care. Not only does it provide nourishment to the fish, but it will also help you determine if any of them are sick, lethargic, or depressed.
As all aquarium species are extra lively and active during feeding time, you can easily pick out any fish that isn’t keeping up with the rest.
Your gouramis and guppies share similar feeding habits as well as the type of food. This makes feeding time easier and more manageable for new aquarists.
Guppies are heavy feeders and enjoy munching on a variety of foods including:
- Vegetable flakes
- Raw vegetables
- Frozen food
- Spirulina tabs
- Chopped earthworms
Gouramis are also omnivores and prefer:
- Shrimp pellets
- Tropical/vegetable flakes and granules
- Live worms
- Frozen vegetables
The best feeding guidelines to follow for both your gouramis and guppies are:
- Alternate the ingredients to ensure they can benefit from various nutrients and components.
- Feed once, or at maximum twice, a day.
- Do not let the feeding time exceed 90 seconds.
- Avoid overfeeding at all costs.
Both your gouramis and guppies love small nooks and corners for hiding spaces.
To make sure the tank is best suited to their living conditions, you will need to add in live plants to resemble their natural environments.
These are some of the live plants your fish will like best:
- Guppy grass
- Java Moss
Will the Gouramis Eat Guppy Babies?
Another major factor to consider is whether the large gouramis will eat the little guppy fry. This is particularly important if you’re planning on breeding your fish.
Depending on the tank conditions, and the nature of your gouramis, they can definitely eat the guppy fry. However, the important thing to note is that even the guppies themselves will sometimes eat their own fry.
This can be a good thing as it will prevent your tank from getting overly populated.
If you want to protect the fry, it’s best to keep them in a separate container. You can also invest in breeder nets to ensure the guppy fry isn’t eaten.
Other Tank Mates for Gouramis and Guppies
Gouramis and guppies are both friendly, community fish that don’t mind the company of other aquarium pets.
They are similar requirements when it comes to tank mates. Anything you introduce to the tank with your gouramis and guppies should be non-aggressive, small, and not try to make them its food.
Most other community fish make for good tank mates. Some of them are:
You can even consider adding shrimp and certain kinds of snails to your aquarium with gouramis and guppies.
This will create quite an exciting tank for your household while also creating a harmonious environment of co-existence among the fish.
At the End
Gouramis and guppies tend to get along well and most of the time, you won’t need to worry about keeping them together.
There are chances of the males showing signs of aggression but they can easily be dealt with by separating them and letting them form pairs with the females.
So, if you’re interested in getting both gouramis and guppies for your tank, do it now! Both the fish will thrive living together and you will create a beautiful little ecosystem within your home.
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