Top 11 Best Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates (& How to Find More!)

Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates

Dwarf Gouramis are show-stealers. Small but intelligent and brightly colored, they can often be the centerpiece of a smaller tank. Still, you’ll need to populate the rest of the water column, which means finding the best Dwarf Gourami tank mates. So, let’s dive into some of the best, and you can decide which are best to cohabitate with your fish!

1. Zebra Danio


  • Size: 2″
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallon(Long)
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

The Zebra Danio is an excellent mix with most fish, but they make a welcome companion for Dwarf Gourami in particular. A school of six or more of them will add some life to a tank, and their neat but dull colors will keep them from being a show-stealer.

Zebra Danios are among the easiest fish to keep, and the only modification you might need to make to your routine is a bit more flake. They also need a tank with some length to swim. Their darting movements mean they need more than first meets the eye.

Danios have virtually no downsides. They’re a commonly used dither fish in peaceful community tanks, and they’re much more interested in their schooling than anything else. The same goes for the Glo-fish varieties, which are a lot brighter but act identically.

Zebra Danios make a great choice for a Dwarf Gourami keeper. Just be aware that you can’t keep them in a 10-gallon tank despite their size; they need a long run to remain healthy.

2. Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

  • Size: 1 ½”
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

Neon Tetras are a staple in peaceful tanks. It’s hard to find a tank without them in some places. Their colors are bright, and they shine as they shoal in a tank. More of them just makes for a more impressive display, but you need to ensure you have at least six. Otherwise, their behavior will be altered.

Like Zebra Danio, Neon Tetras are very easy to care for. They have a reputation for being fragile, but it’s mostly large swings in parameters that cause premature deaths. They’ll tolerate most conditions, provided that they’re not extreme, but a sudden swing in pH can take them out.

They’re very peaceful fish, being fine even with centerpiece fish that have long fins like Angelfish. Your Gourami will have no trouble with them, and they’re quick enough to escape its inquisitive mouth.

You should only add your school to a stable tank, but Neon Tetras are readily available and make a great companion for most peaceful fish.

3. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish

  • Size: 1 ½” to 3″
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: Use sinking foods

Corydoras Catfish are another peaceful tank mainstay, and they’re among my favorite fish. They’re cheerful little fish, and watching them rummage through the tank is a delight. And, in a Dwarf Gourami tank, they’re not show-stealers when you want to show off your gorgeous centerpiece fish.

There are many species of Corydoras, separated mostly by their patterns. Some will be smaller or larger than the average 1 ½” to 2″ that the majority of species grow to. Keep them in groups of three or more, and make sure that there are three or more of each species if you’re keeping multiples.

The only special care they require is the use of something that reaches the bottom. Most Dwarf Gourami will hoard the food at the surface, so you need something which sinks more quickly than flake. Both pellets and frozen foods fit the bill.

Corydoras are lively but don’t take away from your Gourami’s flamboyance. They’re also excellent cleaners and make a welcome addition to your tank if you choose to go this route.

4. African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frogs

  • Size: 2 ½”
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: May need to be fed by hand

The African Dwarf frog is a peaceful, small frog that often finds itself in aquaria. They’re lively critters, and they prefer a peaceful tank. That said, they’ll be able to hold their own with any minor aggression issues that your Gourami has in store.

Specialized care may, or may not, be needed. It depends on how your other fish feed since the frogs are almost blind and hunt primarily by smell. Hand-feeding is easy: use a turkey baster and suck up some water with the food, then deposit it in front of them.

ADFs actually live quite a long time when cared for properly, and they’re tolerant of most water conditions. In my experience, “remarkably hardy” is a good way to describe their ability to handle conditions.

They’re a bit different than the usual schooling fish, but if you want to inject some more personality into the tank, they’re a good choice.

5. Fancy Guppy

Fancy Guppy

  • Size: 1 ½”
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

Guppies are often considered the best beginner fish, and they’re compatible with your Dwarf Gourami. They also add a splash of color, and the sheer variety can be boggling if you’re around a good breeder.

Fancy Guppies will eat anything, tolerate most water conditions, and usually aren’t too affected by swings in parameters. They’ve been in aquaria forever and seem to have adapted to the usual dangers in the tank.

There are dozens of types. You can also go the pet store route and grab a bunch of pretty males and see what happens. Your Gourami will eat most fry when the Guppies inevitably breed, so don’t expect their genetic lineage to get too far.

Overall, Guppies are just about perfect if you don’t mind the extra color. They’re simple to take care of, very hardy and are generally a fish that is fit for anyone who can keep a tank running.

6. Angelfish

zebra angelfish

  • Size: 6″
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 Gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Special Care: Observe carefully, single specimen only with Dwarf Gourami

Full disclosure: I love keeping Gourami with Angelfish. My Dwarf Gourami always had an Angelfish companion, but this is something that needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Most will be fine, but observation is necessary.

I also recommend a few things on the Angelfish you choose. Keep it to a single Angel in the tank with your Dwarf Gourami, and avoid Veiltails. Gourami can be a bit nippy, and long fins will cause problems.

Angels get quite a bit bigger than Dwarf Gourami, but their mouths are small enough that they’re not a real threat. If the tank is large enough, they’ll most likely get along, but it may take a couple of weeks to settle.

The good news? Together these fish make for a show-stopping tank. It just requires more skill on the part of their keeper.

7. Mollies


  • Size: 3″ (6″ for Sailfins)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

Mollies are the smartest livebearers, and they make for an entertaining sight with the right fish. Your Dwarf Gourami is a good fit, especially since the fish are similar in size when full grown.

Keep in mind that Sailfin Mollies get much bigger than the usual white and black ones. They’re a different species and will require a tank of at least 55 gallons to keep an adequate school when they’re fully grown.

Mollies require no special care. Ideally, they’ll be in brackish water, but the majority of them are kept in freshwater aquaria with no complications. They’ll breed freely, but the fry are most likely to end up as food with a Dwarf Gourami in the tank.

Mollies are a delightful addition, and they show a lot of personality for being livebearers. Try them out if you want something of good size but without the colors to take the glory from your Gourami.

8. Swordtails


  • Size: 5 ½”
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

For something big and flashy, there are always Swordtails. They’re the largest of the common livebearers, and they’re peaceful enough to co-exist with most fish. Think of them as overly large guppies and you’re on the right track.

Swordtails are easy to care for, falling into the “no special care needed” category. Feed enough for everyone, perform water changes, don’t swing the pH. If you can follow the basic rules of keeping aquaria, they’ll thrive.

Swordtails are very active. Make sure that you have a hood on your tank to prevent jumping and that there’s enough room for everyone. Too small of a tank, and these schooling fish will intimidate your Gourami.

Swordtails may not be the right pick for everyone, but they’re simple to keep. Their temperament lends them well to existing alongside your Dwarf, so take a look if you have a large enough tank to keep a school of them.

9. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

  • Size: 2″
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

Harlequin Rasboras are another of the seemingly endless peaceful schooling fish. They’re a beautiful sight, however, without taking attention away from the bold coloration of most Dwarf Gourami.

They should be kept in groups of 8 or more to preserve their schooling instinct. Most schooling fish act oddly when they’re in smaller groups, and they can become nippy or overly timid. Rasboras seem to require a couple more members than most schooling fish.

The good news is that they’re one of the most common fish in the aquarium trade. Most big box stores and local fish stores carry them. Ready accessibility is never a bad thing, especially when you’re trying to get a tank filled.

They’re a respectable choice for companions. Try giving these little ones a shot if you think they fit the image you have in your head.

10. Betta

Betta Fish

  • Size: 2 1/2″
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: Not always compatible

You can actually house most Betta with Dwarf Gourami, creating a double showpiece tank. However, you’ll have to be alert to their behavior as some Betta are much more territorial than others.

I’ve actually never seen a Betta too aggressive for a Dwarf Gourami, but anecdotes online assure us it does happen. All fish can be a bit aggressive as they get settled, but you’ll need to take action if they’re still antagonizing each other after a week or so.

Bettas are simple to care for. Truthfully, most fish are much more demanding than a Betta. Fortunately, they thrive in the same conditions as a Dwarf Gourami, so you don’t need to make any special accommodations. Care is quite similar due to the closeness of the species.

They can be a show-stealer, but watching a Betta and Dwarf Gourami in the same tank is undoubtedly a smorgasbord of color. It’s worth consideration, as long as you have the ability to remove the Betta if it proves to be a problem.

11. Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gourami

  • Size: 4 ½”
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Special Care: None

Pearl Gouramis are another small labyrinth fish, and they’re compatible with other small Gouramis like your Dwarf. Their unique coloration and intelligent behavior make them a favorite. After all, the only thing better than one Gourami is more!

Their care requirements are virtually identical to that of Dwarf Gourami. You won’t have to make any modifications to your current regimen as long as the tank can handle the additional bioload.

Pearl Gourami need a bit of space. I’d recommend at least a 30 gallon for just them and a Dwarf. They’re prone to illness in smaller tanks but are generally hardy as long as water parameters are stable.

It’s a respectable choice and a massive difference in color from your Dwarf Gourami. They’re beautiful, intelligent fish and have a way of winning people over; why not see if they’re right for your tank?


As you can see, Gouramis do quite well with schooling fish and those which are similar in size. As long as the fish in question is peaceful, you’re likely to find them compatible. The above are just some suggestions, and every case is going to be a bit different. It’s just a matter of finding the best Dwarf Gourami tanks for your fish in particular.

So, which looks like the right buddy for your Dwarf Gourami?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top