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Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Honey Gouramis, a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Honey Gouramis, including their profile, coloring, aquarium setup, breeding, diet, feeding, and compatibility with other species. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide will provide valuable insights into caring for these charming fish.

Honey Gourami Facts

Fact Detail
Scientific Name Trichogaster chuna
Common Names Honey Gourami, Sunset Honey Gourami, Fire Honey Gourami, Gold Honey Gourami, Honey Sunset Gourami
Native Region Bangladesh, India
Adult Size Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Lifespan 4-8 years
Aquarium Size Minimum 20 gallons
Water Temperature 72-82°F (22-28°C)
pH Range 6.0-7.5
Diet Omnivorous
Behavior Peaceful and shy
Breeding Bubble nest builder
Compatibility Good with other non-aggressive small fish

Honey Gourami Profile

The Honey Gourami, scientifically known as Trichogaster chuna, is a small, peaceful freshwater fish native to the rivers and lakes of Bangladesh and India. These fish are part of the Osphronemidae family and are known for their vibrant colors and ease of care. They typically grow up to 2 inches in length, making them a perfect addition to small to medium-sized aquariums.

Honey Gourami Coloring

Honey Gouramis are admired for their stunning coloration. Males display a vibrant honey-orange color, especially during the breeding season, while females tend to have a more subdued hue with a silvery-grey appearance. The intensity of their color can change based on their mood, health, and environment.

Honey Gourami Aquarium Setup

Setting up the right environment is crucial for the wellbeing of Honey Gouramis. These fish prefer a well-planted aquarium with ample hiding spots and a gentle flow of water. It’s also important to cover the aquarium, as Sunset Honey Gouramis are known to jump.

  • Tank Size and Conditions

For one Honey Gourami, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended. For two, 20 gallons is ideal. This size provides ample space for swimming and territory establishment, which is crucial for their wellbeing. The ideal water temperature for Honey Gourami ranges from 72-82°F (22-28°C), with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Soft to moderately hard water is best suited for these fish. It’s also essential to have a gentle filtration system that does not create strong currents, as Honey Gouramis prefer calm waters.

  • Decoration and Plantation

Decorating the aquarium to mimic their natural habitat is key to keeping Honey Gouramis healthy and happy. They thrive in a well-planted tank with both floating and rooted plants. Plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Water Wisteria provide hiding spots and a natural feel. Including driftwood and caves can also offer additional shelter and help create a more complex environment. However, it’s important to leave enough open space for swimming.

  • Lighting and Cover

Lighting should be moderate to replicate their natural living conditions in shaded areas. Using floating plants can help diffuse the light, creating a more comfortable environment. Since Honey Gouramis are known jumpers, having a well-fitted tank cover is crucial to prevent them from jumping out of the tank.

  • Water Quality and Maintenance

Maintaining high water quality is vital. Regular water changes, about 25-30% bi-weekly, are necessary to keep the water parameters stable. Testing the water regularly for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates helps in identifying and rectifying any issues promptly. A consistent maintenance schedule ensures a healthy environment for the Honey Gouramis.

Honey Gourami Breeding

Breeding Honey Gouramis can be a rewarding experience. They are bubble nest builders, where the male constructs a nest of air bubbles at the water’s surface. Optimal breeding conditions include a separate breeding tank with subdued lighting, a slightly higher temperature, and plenty of plant cover.

Breeding Environment

Creating an ideal breeding environment is crucial for the successful reproduction of Sunset Honey Gouramis. Start with a separate breeding tank, ideally around 10-15 gallons, to ensure a controlled environment. The water should be slightly warmer than their regular habitat, around 79-82°F (26-28°C), with a lower water level of about 6-8 inches to facilitate easier bubble nest building and fry access to the surface.

A gentle filtration system, like a sponge filter, is recommended to keep the water clean while ensuring minimal disturbance to the nest. The pH should be maintained between 6.5 and 7.0, with soft to moderately hard water. Adding live plants, especially floating varieties, provides cover and mimics their natural breeding environment. Dim lighting helps in creating a calm and conducive breeding atmosphere.

Spawning Process

The spawning process of Honey Gouramis is a fascinating display of natural behavior. It begins with the male building a bubble nest under leaves or floating debris. The male entices the female by displaying his vibrant colors and performing a courtship dance. Once the female is ready, she will approach the nest and spawning occurs beneath it. The male wraps his body around the female, and as she releases eggs, he fertilizes them.

The male then collects the eggs in his mouth and spits them into the bubble nest for protection. The female may lay between 100 to 200 eggs. After spawning, it’s advisable to remove the female from the tank as the male becomes very protective of the nest and may become aggressive. The male continues to guard the nest and tends to the eggs until they hatch, which typically occurs within 24-36 hours. After the fry become free-swimming, usually within 3-4 days, it’s safe to remove the male as well.

Post-hatching care is essential for the survival of the fry. Initially, they can be fed infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food. As they grow, they can be gradually introduced to micro worms and eventually crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp. Regular water changes and maintaining optimal water quality are vital during this stage. The fry are delicate and require a stable environment to thrive.

Honey Gourami Diet & Feeding

Sunset Gourami are omnivores and have a diverse diet. They feed on a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. It’s essential to provide a balanced diet to ensure their health and color vibrancy. Feed small amounts two to three times a day, ensuring not to overfeed as this can lead to health problems and water quality issues.

Honey Gourami Compatibility

Honey Gouramis are peaceful fish and do well in community tanks. They are best paired with other non-aggressive fish of similar size. Ideal tank mates include tetras, rasboras, guppies, mollies, zebra danios, cory catfish, and dwarf corydoras. It’s important to avoid housing them with large or aggressive species to prevent stress and potential harm.

Honey Gourami Behavior

Honey Gourami is known for their peaceful and shy nature. They often exhibit interesting behaviors such as surface skimming and hiding among plants. Understanding their social interactions is crucial for maintaining a harmonious aquarium. They communicate with subtle body movements and can become stressed if housed with boisterous or aggressive fish.

Honey Gourami Health Issues & Diseases

With proper care, Honey Gouramis can live up to 4-8 years. Common health issues include bacterial infections, parasites, and fin rot, often stemming from poor water conditions. Regular water changes, a balanced diet, and monitoring for signs of stress or illness are key to keeping your Honey Gourami healthy.


In conclusion, Honey Gouramis are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. Their vibrant colors, peaceful nature, and ease of care make them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. By providing the right environment, diet, and compatible tank mates, you can ensure a healthy and vibrant life for your Sunset Honey Gouramis. Happy fishkeeping!