Differences Between Male And Female Dwarf Gouramis

Male and female dwarf gouramis

You can distinguish between male and female dwarf gouramis by their physical appearance and behavior. Male dwarf gouramis are large and colorful, while females are small and pale. A male dwarf gourami’s dorsal fin is pointed, while females have rounded fins. Males are also more aggressive than females.

This little guide outlines the subtle differences between male and female dwarf gouramis. So let’s get started.

Things That Differentiate Male And Female Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf gouramis are favorites among aquarists due to their easy care, tiny size, and peaceful temperament.

At first glance, it can be challenging to differentiate between a male and female dwarf gourami due to their similar appearance.

The physical differences are subtle in young dwarf gouramis.

However, as they reach adulthood, specific physical and behavioral differences make it relatively easy to distinguish male dwarf gouramis from females.

Given below are some of the differences between adult male and female Dwarf gouramis.


Male dwarf gouramis have bright colors than females.

Males generally have a blue or black coloration on the face, abdomen, and throat that remains constant.

On the contrary, female dwarf gouramis are duller. They’re primarily silver in color and look more subdued.


Dwarf gouramis are known for their tiny size. Their average size is around 3.5 inches.

In general, male dwarf gouramis grow a little larger than females.

The average size of most dwarf gouramis is around 3 inches, with females being a little smaller.

Body Shape

Males and females of this species differ from one another in their body shapes.

Male dwarf gouramis are slightly shorter and slimmer than females.

Males also have angular bodies than females, who have rounder bodies.

This difference becomes more evident when female dwarf gouramis are conditioned for breeding.

Their belly sticks out due to eggs.

Fin Shape

Another telling sign that differentiates male and female dwarf gouramis is their dorsal fins.

They have significantly different dorsal fins.

Male dwarf gouramis have long dorsal fins that taper to a point.

On the other hand, females have shorter dorsal fins that are rounded.


Male dwarf gourami

You can differentiate male dwarf gouramis from females by their behavior.

Males are more aggressive than females. Male dwarf gouramis are intolerant toward other males.

Hence, keeping two males together in the same tank isn’t advisable.

They will fight with each other till one of them gets injured severely.

Females, on the other hand, are relatively docile and usually don’t get aggressive until the living conditions in the aquarium deteriorate.


Male dwarf gouramis are known for their territorial aggression. Although docile, they’re highly protective of their territory.

They often fight or chase away other fish that try to invade their territory.

Female dwarf gouramis, on the other hand, are less territorial compared to males.

They tolerate each other and can co-exist with other females in the same tank.

Breeding Behavior

Another thing that differentiates male dwarf gouramis from females is their breeding behavior.

Male dwarf gouramis build bubble nests for mating and spawning purposes.

They also take care of the eggs and the young ones till they start free-swimming.

Females, on the other hand, don’t build a bubble nest. Neither do they take care of the eggs once they’re laid.

Can A Male And Female Dwarf Gourami Live Together?

Male and female dwarf gouramis can live together.

It’s the most common way of housing them, especially if you wish to breed them.

Aquarists often keep a pair of dwarf gouramis to brighten their tank.

Male dwarf gouramis are vividly colored compared to females that have pale coloration.

Keeping female dwarf gourami in the tank also helps to bring out the best coloration of the male dwarf gourami.

If you want to breed them, then ensure that your aquarium has enough space for both.

Ideal Ratio Of Male To Female Dwarf Gouramis

Housing the correct number of male and female dwarf gouramis in the aquarium is important.

The number of female dwarf gouramis should always outnumber their male counterparts.

The ideal male-to-female ratio is 1:2. That is at least 2 female dwarf gouramis for each male in the tank.

A harem of female dwarf gouramis with few males can make the tank peaceful.

If you have more males in the tank, they will continuously chase the fewer females in the tank, resulting in stress.

The female dwarf gouramis can feel harassed and start to hide most of the time.

It can lead to appetite loss and weakening of their immune system.

Hence, determining the proper male-to-female ratio is crucial to ensure the attention of male dwarf gouramis is divided.

It will also allow the female dwarf gouramis to rest.

Moreover, any particular female dwarf gourami will not get harassed as males will have the option to choose from multiple females.

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