Do Dwarf Gourami Need a Heater?

Written By Lewis German  |  Tropical Fish  |  0 Comments

Dwarf Gourami fish

Dwarf Gouramis are great for those smaller peaceful community tanks, they add a different shape and level of movement to the tank, as well as being fairly easy to take care of, especially for beginners.

But do you need a heater in order to keep Dwarf Gourami in your aquarium? What temperature do you need to keep them? And in what ways are Dwarf Gouramis affected at different temperatures?

To find out, continue reading this article;

Can Dwarf Gouramis live in cold water?

In some instances, Gouramis may be kept in cool water, as they are adapted to withstand temperature change in the sometimes shallow marshes and slow moving streams where they are found.

However, while they are sometimes tolerable of cooler water, this does not make them coldwater fish by any means, and in an unheated tank, they may struggle to live healthy long lives.

Dwarf Gouramis are tropical species, and should be kept above 20C / 68F at all times to promote good health and welfare.

Can Dwarf Gouramis live in a tank without a heater?

For some people, the room may be warm enough year round to allow for the absence of a heater.

However, we still recommend one even to these people, as it gives you better control over the fish’s environment, and allows you to respond to change.

Sometimes increasing the temperature can assist in digestion, fighting off disease, or can be increased to induce breeding.

Using a heater brings several benefits to your aquarium outside of simply keeping it warm enough, and it is always better to have one on hand just in case it is needed.

How long can Dwarf Gouramis survive without a heater?

The ambient outside temperature will influence how long your Dwarf Gouramis may go without a heater.

During the height of summer they may be just fine without one for many weeks, but during winter, where cold drops in temperature are frequent, it may only be a number of hours before the fish begin to feel the effects.

It all depends on the severity of the temperature difference, but typically we would suggest to avoid letting your tank drop below 20C / 68F for any longer than 48 hours.

While they can survive a couple degrees below this, their immune system and digestion will be negatively affected, and they may become vulnerable to health problems.

Why do Dwarf Gouramis need a heater?

Dwarf Gouramis need a heater because they are tropical fish.

They are found in some of the warmest areas within South Asia, where the days can be extremely hot, reaching 28C / 82F frequently.

Dwarf Gouramis have evolved to survive in these conditions, and when taken outside of their normal temperature range, they begin to suffer from health issues.

It is important when keeping Gouramis in captivity that you mimic their natural habitat, as it is the best way to provide optimal care for your fish.

What temperature should a Dwarf Gourami tank be?

Dwarf Gouramis can be quite tolerable when it comes to temperature, but they do have preferences, and it is best to aim for these when keeping them.

Generally, it is recommended to keep Dwarf Gouramis anywhere from 22C / 72F to 27C / 80F.

From our experience, we like to keep them at around 24C / 76, here they seem to be the most comfortable, showing their most brilliant colours and expressing very good appetites, while staying calm and mellow.

When it comes to breeding, you can of course keep them at higher temps, but be aware that they can become more territorial, especially the males.

Types of aquarium heaters for Dwarf Gourami tanks

You may use any type of aquarium heater for your Dwarf Gourami setup, so long as it fits your tank size and situation.

There are a few factors to take under consideration before purchasing the right heater.

Tank size / design, water movement, and location can all affect how temperamental your tank can be when it comes to preserving heat.

For the majority of tanks, we suggest using glass aquarium heaters as they are the most versatile, coming in all different sizes.

To choose the right size is simple, all you need to do is correlate the wattage to the literage of your tank. 

For example, if your Dwarf Gourami tank holds 100 litres, then you ideally want to use a 100 watt heater or something close enough.

Placement of glass heaters is also fairly simple, either stick them to the back of the tank using sticky buds or suspend the heater, fully submerged in the tank or sump filter, at a 45 degree angle.

FAQs about heating Dwarf Gourami tanks

How do you test the water temperature in a Dwarf Gourami tank?

There are all different types of tools you may use to test the water temperature in your Gourami tank, some common pieces of equipment include glass thermometers, tape, thermometer pens or even metal cooking probes.

But we suggest going for digital thermometers if you can, as they are by far some of the most accurate and reliable of all aquarium thermometers.

Submersible digital thermometers are excellent, as they can be set up within the tank, and will constantly display the current water temperature, allowing you to react to any change as soon as it happens.

Do Dwarf Gourami fry need a heater?

Baby Dwarf Gourami absolutely need to be heated if they are to thrive, in some instances it is possible for them to live in cool water, but for the maximum survival rate, you want to keep the fry at around 24C – 25C (75F – 77F.)

Newly hatched Dwarf Gouramis are extremely tiny, about the size of a pinhead.

They are highly vulnerable to change in the water property, and lack the fat reserves to deal with cold temperatures. 

It is important that in this early developing stage, they are kept in a very stable environment, which using a heater can help you to achieve.

What happens to Dwarf Gouramis if the water is too cold?

Gouramis are not adept at living in cold water, and although they can withstand a couple degrees outside their normal range, extreme temperature drops for long periods of time can lead to their death.

As the water begins to cool down, the fish will begin to slow its bodily processes, its metabolic rate will slow down and it will become less active.

Over time it will become very lethargic, and if exposed to temperatures too cold for too long, the Gourami will eventually suffer from organ failure, as their bodies are not designed to function at such low temperatures.

Unless the water warms back up to the safe range, the fish will die.

What happens to Dwarf Gouramis if the water is too warm?

On the opposite side, Dwarf Gouramis can also become too hot, and being in water that is above their normal range creates its own host of issues for the fish.

The first being that it causes the metabolic rate to speed up, leading to increased activity levels and increased hunger.

At high temperatures, Gouramis can lose weight very quickly as they burn off fat exceedingly fast.

This can pose a great issue in community tanks, as Gouramis aren’t always the first to get to food, and constantly missing out on meals at a warm temperature can cause your Gourami to lose a dangerous amount of fat reserves very quickly.

At higher temperatures your Gouramis may also become more irritable and aggressive, bickering and fighting over territory much more often.

If the temperature continues to increase the fish will eventually become highly stressed, they will lose colouration and may be seen breathing rapidly.

They will start to become lethargic and if exposed to temperatures above 32C / 90F for too long, they will succumb to organ failure and will eventually die unless something is done to reduce the heat.