The dwarf gourami is a peaceful, timid species that should be kept in pairs with fish of similar size and temperament. Avoid housing this fish with some of the more active characins and barbs. The dwarf gourami can be kept in smaller aquariums (i.e., 20 to 30 gallons) that are densely planted with clumps of plants, such as Hygrophila and Limnophila on the sides and back of the tank, as well as floating plants like Riccia. Artificial plants commonly available at pet stores can be used instead. Decorate with bog wood, driftwood, and rockwork, leaving plenty of room in the center for swimming. A darker substrate will show off their beautiful colors. The dwarf gourami is particularly sensitive to poor water conditions, so adequate filtration and frequent partial water changes are a must for its continued well being.
An omnivore in nature, this fish accepts a wide range of foods, including small live foods, such as bloodworms, Tubifex worms, earthworms, glass worms and brine shrimp, as well as flake and freeze-dried foods. Supplement with vegetable matter in the form of Spirulina-based foods or parboiled vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, zucchini or peas.
This fish is easy to breed as long as the water conditions are good. Condition the fish on small live foods and reduce the water level (to around 8 inches in depth) and increase the temperature to induce spawning. It is best to isolate a male and female to a separate tank for breeding.
Dwarf gouramis build tall bubble-nests using bits of plants and algae, into which they deposit their eggs. The male guards the brood until they hatch in approximately 24 hours. Once the eggs have hatched, remove both the male and female or they will eat the fry. The fry number around 600 and should be fed infusoria at first, and then finely ground flakes and brine shrimp as they mature.