How Many Dwarf Gourami Can I Put in a 10 Gallon Tank?

Written By Lewis German  |  Tropical Fish  |  0 Comments

Dwarf Gouramis are very interesting fish, they are amazing for communities or species only tanks, and are a joy to keep for anyone with an aquarium.

But are you able to fit them in your 10 gallon tank? How many Dwarf Gouramis can you add to a 10 gallon tank? And are there any complications involved in housing Dwarf Gouramis together?

This and more we will answer in this article:

How many Dwarf Gouramis should be kept together?

Gouramis are generally social species, although not quite as social as some of your other aquarium fish, they do prefer to have their own space.

We usually recommend keeping them in pairs or small groups, provided they have enough space to occupy their own territories.

Dwarf Gouramis can be surprisingly territorial at times, and so we usually suggest having plenty of floating plants and floorspace for them to avoid each other.

They do best in 20 gallon long tanks, although it is possible to keep a pair in a 10 gallon tank.

What happens if you add too many Dwarf Gouramis to a 10 gallon tank?

As mentioned, Dwarf Gouramis can be territorial, and they like their own space, so housing too many in a tank as small as 10 gallons may result in disputes, fighting and stress.

Mature gouramis do not typically school like other fish, and much like their cousins Bettas, the males like to find their own area where they can build a nest and raise their young.

Housing too many gouramis in a 10 gallon will also cause the water to quickly foul with ammonia, and become toxic from all the fish waste.

How many Dwarf Gouramis can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Typically we would suggest a minimum tank size of 20 gallons for Dwarf Gouramis, as the larger space is more ideal for them to establish proper territories, and live together with minimal issues.

However, it is possible with lots of live plants and cover, to house a single pair in a 10 gallon tank.

This pair would be preferably a male and female, or 2 females, as male Gourami can be a little more territorial when they are fully grown.

Young Dwarf Gourami are more placid in nature, and you may be able to house around a dozen or so in a 10 gallon tank, but once they grow into adolescents, they will need to be separated, if fighting is to be avoided.

How many male Dwarf Gourami can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Male Dwarf Gourami are a little more territorial than the females, and so we usually recommend just keeping 1 male in a 10 gallon tank if possible. While it is completely doable to house more than 1 male, the likelihood of a fight occurring is higher.

Since the males are the ones who do all the parenting, they need the space to build a nest and raise the young, so it is in their nature to compete for territory.

Dwarf Gouramis can be hard to sex, so housing a pair in a 10 gallon tank is a bit of a gamble, as the likelihood of getting 2 males is fairly high, this is why a 20 gallon tank is better, as 2 males can co exist peacefully in the larger space.

Although male Gouramis can fight, these battles are not normally dangerous, and are nowhere near on the same level as some other labyrinth fishes, like Betta splendens, who take territorial disputes to the death.

How many female Dwarf Gouramis can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

While it is true that female Dwarf Gourami are considerably less aggressive towards each other than the males, they still appreciate their own space just the same, and will still compete for their own areas of the tank.

This is why it is best to just house 1 or 2 females in a 10 gallon tank, as it gives them enough room to be on their own, adding a group could cause stress and fighting, which you would want to avoid, especially in an enclosed space where the fish cannot easily escape each other.

Can I breed Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank?

Accepting that you have a male and female pair, it is entirely possible to breed Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank, although you need to have plans of where you will put the offspring, as once they leave the nest, they will be eaten by the parents.

It is a good idea to have a growout tank for the fry, so that they can reach maturity without being consumed or bullied by their parents, who leave them to fend for themselves after they reach the free swimming stage.

Once they become adults, you need to either move them to a very large tank or tropical pond, sell them to a local fish store or friend, or give them away to someone who will be able to look after them.

What is the best filter for a 10 gallon Dwarf Gourami tank?

Dwarf Gouramis are not excellent swimmers, and are used to living in an environment with very slow water movement and little to no current.

For this reason, adding a strong pump to the tank isn’t a good idea, as the current will blow the fish around the tank, who will struggle and fatigue against the strong force.

It is best to use filters that either output a very weak current, or that output almost no current, such as air powered sponge and box filters, that simply displace water through a set of sponges using air bubbles.

Hang on backs and blades are also good choices, as well as undergravel filters, so long as the force is weak, and does not powerfully drag the water down when it re-enters the tank.

You want to have little water movement, but still maintain a good level of filtration and oxygenation, which makes sponge filters possibly the best choice for Dwarf Gouramis.

10 gallon Dwarf Gourami tank maintenance

Gouramis are fairly low maintenance fish, they are slow moving, have an adaptable diet and tolerate a range of water parameters.

They have quite a low bioload for their size, and are generally peaceful unless they are squoze into a very small space.

Just be sure to provide lots of cover in the form of floating plants, and have filtration that does not output a strong current.

General aquarium maintenance such as water changes, filter cleans and regular feedings are of course a necessity as well.

Can I keep other fish with Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank?

Gouramis can live with other similarly sized peaceful fish just fine, although in a 10 gallon, you are very limited for choice, and we usually recommend upsizing if you want to keep multiple species in the same space.

However, it is possible to house certain other fish with Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon, so long as you choose the right species, and have the right setup.

Here are some examples of fish we would suggest to live in a 10 gallon community with a Dwarf Gourami, although these fish will always do better in a larger tank and we would highly suggest upgrading if possible:

  • Kuhli Loach
  • Rosy Loach
  • Pygmy Corydoras
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Galaxy Rasboras
  • Neon Tetras

Can I keep invertebrates with Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank?

No, we would not recommend keeping invertebrates with Dwarf Gouramis other than snails.

Gouramis are hardcore carnivores and will seek out and hunt any small inverts they can find, actively hunting shrimp, small beetles, and other arthropods.


Cherry Shrimps

You would be lucky to keep Cherry Shrimp with Dwarf Gouramis in a 10 gallon tank, it would be very difficult for them to avoid the Gourami’s hunting instincts, and you may find that their population will quickly diminish soon after being added to the tank.

Amano Shrimp and Bamboo Shrimp may fare better, and will live a little longer than Cherry Shrimp, but be aware that their legs and extremities are delicate and may be pulled on / harassed by an inquisitive Gourami.

These Shrimp also require hard, Brackish water to be kept at their best, which isn’t ideal for Gouramis.



Snails are one of the only invertebrates we would recommend keeping with Gouramis, as their thick shells and docile nature keep them out of harm’s way, however, eggs and soft shelled young may still be preyed upon.

Try to avoid snails which have large extremities, such as apple snails who have long, wavy sensory antennas which could be pulled on. 

Better snails to go with are species like Ramshorns, Malaysian Trumpet snails and Bladder snails which are small and unlikely to be bothered.

Crabs and Crayfish

Large Crustaceans definitely should be avoided as they will make a quick meal out of a slow moving Gourami.

They definitely are not a good idea to add to a 10 gallon Dwarf Gourami tank, unless you want your fish to be caught and eaten.