Honey Gourami Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates and More! (2024)


Honey Gourami Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates and More! (2024)

The Honey Gourami, otherwise known as the Sunset Gourami, is a beautiful freshwater fish ideal for beginner and expert fish keepers alike! This fish is commonly found in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Northern India. Honey Gouramis, or Trichogaster Chuna, belong to the popular Gourami family. They are also sometimes known as the Red Honey Gourami and the Red Flame Gourami.

Honey Gourami Care and Information

The Honey Gourami is typically found in slow-moving rivers and poorly oxygenated waters. In the wild, they can be found free swimming through slow moving water. Similar to Betta Fish, Gouramis are a labyrinth fish, meaning they have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the surface of the water.

Honey Gouramis typically are peaceful fish, especially compared to dwarf gouramis. While they are often confused with the dwarf gourami, honey gouramis are actually a different species! This is one of the main differences in the honey vs. dwarf gourami comparison. Honeys tend not to be aggressive fish, but the males can be aggressive when kept with each other in a smaller than the minimum tank size.

Typical Behavior

Sunset Gourami are not a schooling fish, and will do fine kept as a single honey gourami or in a group with others in a community tank. They are known to swim near the surface of the water, but also spend time in the middle of the water column. They are generally timid and shy fish, so they may take a while to get comfortable in your tank.

Honey Gourami Appearance

The Honey Gourami’s body is narrow with small dorsal and anal fins. They also have narrow and thread-like ventral fins.

The males and females display the same color at first, but the males will later develop Honey-yellow or orange-black coloration as they get older. When the male is in breeding time, it turns a dark amber color and will darken on the underside of its body.


Honey Gourami Life Span

The Honey Gourami has a typical life span of 4 – 8 years. This will depend on how well taken care of your fish is! Specifically, making sure to keep high water quality in your tank with a varied diet and stable water parameters are important to ensure a long life.

How Big Will my Honey Gourami Grow?

The Sunset Honey Gourami is a smaller fish that grows up to 2-3 inches in length. The males are usually 2 inches long while the females are usually 3 inches long.

Male vs. Female Honey Gourami: How to Tell Them Apart

The female Honey Gourami has a more rounded belly compared to male honey gouramis. One of the clearest ways to tell the sexes apart is the dark blue throat of the male honey gouramis when they are interested in mating. As mentioned before, the female is also typically larger than her male counterparts. This is how you can easily identify a honey gourami male vs. female in your aquarium.

Best Honey Gourami Tank Mates

As Honey Gouramis tend to be peaceful fish, there are many suitable tank mates to keep them with. Some of my favorites include other peaceful fish such as cory catfish, dwarf gouramis, and assorted livebearers. Other fish options include:


Water Conditions

Honey Gouramis are a hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. To ensure a longer life span and healthy living, you as a fish keeper will need to provide them with adequate water conditions.

Factors such as temperature, pH, and oxygen level will have to be considered for your fish. Since they are surface swimmers, they could jump out of the water if it isn’t suitable for them.

Temperature for Honey Gouramis

The water temperature for Honey Gourami should be 71 – 82°F. Try to maintain this temperature in your tank for the fish to thrive. In many environments, it is recommended to use an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature at the recommended setting.

pH Level

The pH level of the tank of the fish should be 6.0-7.5, which is a little bit acidic, similar to their native waters in south Asia. Most importantly, ensure the stability of your water parameters to keep these fish healthy. Massive changes in tank water are more threatening than your metrics being slightly out of range for most tropical fish.

Tank Setup

    • The tank should also be well aerated with an aquarium air pump so the fish can get sufficient oxygen.
    • Honey Gouramis prefer living in an environment similar to their native homes, so if you keep floating plants in their aquarium, they can live with comfort. A sand substrate will be better instead of keeping rocks and stones in their aquarium.
    • Honey Gourami are diurnal fishes, so they are active during the day. Therefore, you can arrange a LED light for their aquarium.

Tank Size for Honey Gouramis

A minimum of 10-gallon tank is required for the Honey Gourami to live its best life! Aim for 2-inches of fish per gallon of water, which also means you could add a few other small fish as well. You can keep your fish in a smaller tank during their juvenile stage and transfer them as they grow bigger.

Live Plants for Honey Gourami Care

Honey gouramis love to live in a tank that replicates their natural habitat. It is easier to keep stress levels down and to promote full-color development by keeping these fish happy.

Some Honey Gouramis can feel unsafe and stressed in aquariums without plants. This can have an impact on their overall health and lifespan. So, a few plant recommendations:

  • Hornwort
  • Water wisteria
  • Duckweed
  • Amazon sword
  • Pondweed


What should I feed my Honey Gouramis?

Honey Gouramis are omnivorous fish in nature and eat a lot of insects in their natural environment. So, endeavor to add protein-rich foods to their diet. Feeding time should include meaty foods in addition to algae-based flakes, freeze-dried options like bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp. Live food is also a great option for these easy fish.

How often do Honey Gourami fish need to be fed?

The Honey Gourami are small fishes that grow to a maximum length of 3 inches, which means they have a little stomach. Feeding them 1 to 2 times a day is okay and that will enable them to grow faster and play a lot.


How to Breed Honey Gouramis

Breeding Honey Gouramis is quite easy. All you need to do is provide the optimal setup and let nature take its course.

  • Try to use a breeding tank because you’ll need to remove the females at some stage of the cycle. A 15-gallon tank or a larger one will be needed. We also suggest a sponge filter for your breeding tank.
  • Set the water temperature slightly higher than normal to initiate the process. 78°F to 82°F is a good range.
  • Like the closely related Betta, Honey Gouramis are bubble nesters. The male will build a bubble nest, and soon after display its courting colors.
  • Once the business is done, the Honey Gourami eggs will be laid and fertilized during a spawning session.
  • The male will then take care of them until the eggs hatch – this is why you should remove the female once spawning is finished.

How to tell if Honey Gourami is pregnant?

Honey Gourami does not get pregnant, they become gravid – they swell with eggs. To confirm, check for swelling in the female’s belly, they grow bigger as they grow. Another way of confirming is to check for bubble nests in the tank. The males build this before mating.

What to feed Honey Gourami fry?

Live food is best, we suggest infusoria, liquid fry food, and baby brine shrimp. Ensure to overfeed them and keep the water quality and water chemistry pristine by using frequent water changes.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Honey Gourami

How Many Honey Gouramis Should Be Kept Together?

While Honey Gouramis can be kept alone, crowding can be an issue with these fish, so it is best to keep at least four of them in a group. Crowded conditions increase the chances of breeding as males will fight for dominance and females get more attention from the males.

Can Honey Gouramis be kept with other Gourami species?

Gouramis are peaceful species but the males can attack each other especially if they are of the same species. Other small breeds like the dwarf gourami are likely the best kings to keep them with. Be sure not to include too many males, and check out our section above for other good tank mates.

What do Male Honey Gouramis look like?

The male honey gourami can be more colorful, with a bright orange body and a long blue stripe that goes from his head to the caudal fin. The female fish are much paler in comparison, with a light brownish coloration.

What else is there to know?

If you still have questions or would like to show off your fish, be sure to join our Facebook Group!


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