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Gourami and Paradise Fish

Gourami and Paradise Fish

includes gourami and paradise fish species

Gourami and Paradise Fish are tropical, freshwater fish that vary greatly in size, depending on species and feeding habits. Originating in Southeast Asia, they are ideally suited for community aquariums.

Gourami and Paradise Fish

Gourami and Paradise Fish Facts

Average Adult Size 2 to 24+inches long, depending on species
Average Life Span depends on species
Diet omnivore
Minimum Aquarium Size 5+ gallons, depending on species
Water Temperature: 72-78°F


A well-balanced Gourami or Paradise Fish diet consists of:

  • Food may be pellets, freeze dried, frozen or live coral.
  • Avoid exclusive food which is not nutritionally complete.


Things to remember when feeding your Gourami or Paradise Fish:

  • Depending on species and size, feed small amounts two to three times daily, no more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen food before feeding.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plants, rocks and decor for hiding places, caves and plenty of room for swimming.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Petco provides free water testing.


  • Gouramis and Paradise Fish have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe oxygen from the water's surface like a betta.
  • Unique sensing and feeling organ in the pelvic fin.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Daily:check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
  • Weekly:check water quality at least once a week.
  • Monthly:change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
  • Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


  • Compatible with same size or larger freshwater fish, especially peaceful bottom dwellers.
  • May become aggressive toward same species in smaller aquarium.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Healthy appetite
  • Bright, even coloring
  • Fins completely intact and undamaged

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • erratic swimming
  • labored breathing
  • frayed fins

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Fin rot Symptoms or Causes Frayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens. Suggested Action Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
Health IssueIch Symptoms or Causes White spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly. Suggested Action Quarantine fish immediately; use a commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks.


Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on Gourami or Paradise Fish and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control at for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.