Some fish are solitary, while others prefer to live in groups or schools. So, can you keep a dwarf gourami alone?
Dwarf gouramis can’t live alone. They’re social fish who feel secure in a group. You should keep a minimum of 4 dwarf gouramis together in an aquarium. Keeping dwarf gouramis alone can lead to loneliness, stress, depression, appetite loss, weakened immune system, discoloration, and untimely demise.
So keeping a single dwarf gourami isn’t advisable. Let’s understand this in more detail now.
Why Can’t Dwarf Gouramis Live Alone?
Dwarf gouramis are social fish that thrive best in a group.
They’re naturally timid, so keeping them alone can negatively impact their health.
Dwarf gouramis are known to live in large groups in the wild. It makes them feel protected from predators.
Although there is no fear of predation in captivity, dwarf gouramis can’t live alone as they have evolved by living with other fish in their natural habitat.
Given below are seven main reasons why you can’t keep a dwarf gourami alone.
A single dwarf gourami is likely to feel lonely when it doesn’t have company.
Dwarf gouramis thrive best when kept in a group as they get a chance to interact and grow alongside each other.
When a single dwarf gourami is kept in a tank, it can feel alone without a companion and resort to hiding most of the time.
Dwarf gouramis can feel stressed if kept alone. The reason is that they need interaction with other fish to help relieve stress.
Stress can lead to various complications like stunted growth, loss of appetite, heart ailments, weakened immune system, etc.
So it’s essential to keep dwarf gouramis in groups for them to enjoy interacting with others and feel relaxed.
Depression is another problem faced by dwarf gouramis that live alone.
A single dwarf gourami can become sluggish and lethargic due to depression.
Depression can make the dwarf gourami hide more than usual. It will not swim actively in the tank and stay inactive for long periods.
This lack of activity can affect the overall health of your dwarf gourami.
The lack of physical movement can lead to health issues such as muscle stiffness, poor blood circulation, etc.
Physical movement is crucial for proper digestion and metabolism.
If depression persists for a longer duration, it will need proper medication.
Stress is one of the primary reasons for any fish to lose its color.
A single dwarf gourami is most likely to get stressed most of the time.
Stress will eventually lead to discoloration.
Your dwarf gourami will no longer be as bright as other dwarf gouramis that live in groups.
5. Appetite Loss
A lonely dwarf gourami may feel anxious when it sees no one around. This anxiety can cause it to lose its appetite.
It may start eating less than usual, which can result in starvation. This can also lead to weight loss and make it weak.
6. Weakened Immunity
Loss of appetite is dangerous for dwarf gouramis as it weakens their immunity. A weak dwarf gourami can fall sick very often.
It will also become susceptible to diseases, resulting in a shortened lifespan.
7. Untimely Demise
Dwarf gouramis need a stress-free environment to live a healthy and long life.
Being alone will not be fatal to your dwarf gourami immediately. But over a while, it can be fatal.
Your fish will slowly stop swimming, eat less, lose its color, and become weak.
If the same condition continues for a prolonged duration, it will succumb to diseases or injuries.
Can A Single Dwarf Gourami Live In A Community Tank?
Keeping a single dwarf gourami in a community tank is not advisable.
Dwarf gouramis are social fish and thrive when kept in groups of 4 or more.
A dwarf gourami can get stressed if it doesn’t get the company of its kind.
It’s most likely to spend most of the time hiding in a tank populated with other fish species.
This can also lead to bullying from other tankmates.
Dwarf gouramis aren’t aggressive toward other fish species and are known to back down and hide away.
This can lead to undue stress, thus impacting their overall health.
However, if you still choose to house a single dwarf gourami in a community tank, it’s better to choose a male as it will have better chances of survival.
Male dwarf gouramis have more energy than females, which they can use to defend their territory.
Male dwarf gouramis are also more hardy, and the chances of them being harassed are comparatively less than that of female dwarf gouramis.
One thing to remember while housing a single male dwarf gourami in a community tank is that you should have a large tank with ample space for each fish to claim its territory.
This can help to avoid territorial disputes.
You can also house smaller and peaceful bottom-dwelling fish with the dwarf gourami so that the dwarf gourami gets more space at the top of the tank.
How Many Dwarf Gouramis Should Be Kept Together?
Dwarf gouramis are social fish that feel secure when kept in a group of at least 4.
It’s not necessary to keep them in large groups as they aren’t schooling fish.
You can even keep a pair of dwarf gouramis if you have limited space.
While pairing, it’s crucial not to keep two males together in the same tank.
Male dwarf gouramis can become aggressive toward one another unless they have ample space to claim their individual territory.
You can even keep a single male dwarf gourami with three females. This will avoid harassment of a particular female dwarf gourami.