Information, Freshwater fish, Gourami, Labyrinth fish, Species

Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)

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by Jason Matthews



Welcome to the fascinating world of pet fish and their respective species! As a pet fish expert, I am excited to introduce you to the chocolate gourami, also known by its scientific name Sphaerichthys osphromenoides.

This species of fish is well-known for its unique coloration and peaceful demeanor, making it an ideal choice for beginner and intermediate fish owners alike. Whether you are a seasoned pet fish owner or just starting out, the chocolate gourami is sure to captivate you with its beauty and ease of care.


Scientific Name: Sphaerichthys osphromenoides
Common Names: Chocolate Gourami
Life Expectancy: 5-8 years
Adult Size: Up to 5 cm (2 in) in length


HabitatSwampy, slow-moving rivers and streams
OriginSoutheast Asia
Care LevelEasy
Tank LevelMiddle and Bottom
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Water pH6.0-7.5
Water Temperature22-28°C (72-82°F)
Water Hardness5-19 dGH
LightingLow to moderate
Tank MatesCompatible with peaceful fish of similar size

Fun Fact Corner

Did you know that Chocolate Gouramis are also known as Kissing Gouramis due to their unique courting behavior? During breeding, the male will approach the female and nudge her with his snout, in a kissing-like motion. This behavior has earned them the nickname “Kissing Gouramis.”

These fascinating fish are not only unique in their appearance but also in their behavior, making them a delightful addition to any aquarium. So, if you’re looking for a new fish species to add to your tank, consider the Chocolate Gourami!


The chocolate gourami originates from Southeast Asia, specifically from the countries of Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo. They are commonly found in slow-moving, shallow streams, swamps, and rice paddies, where they feed on insects, crustaceans, and other small aquatic creatures.

Over the years, the chocolate gourami has become a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to its unique coloration and peaceful nature. They are now widely available in pet stores and online, allowing fish enthusiasts worldwide to bring this beautiful species into their homes.

The chocolate gourami is not only a beautiful addition to any tank but also hardy and adaptable, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced fish owners alike.

Appearance & Size

The chocolate gourami is a striking species, known for its rich, chocolate-brown coloration. They have an oval-shaped body with a distinctive iridescent sheen that gives them a mesmerizing appearance.

Males are typically more colorful than females, with a more pronounced iridescent sheen and brighter brown coloration. The chocolate gourami also has a long, flowing dorsal fin and a small, round mouth, making them a distinctive addition to any tank. It is important to note that their coloration may vary based on their mood, diet, and the lighting conditions in their tank.

The chocolate gourami is a relatively small species, reaching a maximum size of around 4 inches in length. This makes them an ideal choice for smaller aquariums and tanks and community tanks with other peaceful species.

The size of the chocolate gourami is relatively small, typically reaching a maximum length of 4 inches. This makes them a great choice for smaller aquariums or for community tanks with other peaceful species.

Despite their small size, chocolate gouramis have a fairly large appetite and require a diet that is high in protein. It is important to provide them with adequate space to swim and explore and establish territories.


The chocolate gourami is a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that males and females have distinct physical differences. Male chocolate gouramis are typically more colorful, with a more pronounced iridescent sheen and brighter brown coloration.

They also have a longer, more pointed dorsal fin and tend to be more aggressive towards other males. On the other hand, female chocolate gouramis are generally larger and less colorful, with a shorter dorsal fin and a more rounded body shape.

It is generally best to keep multiple chocolate gouramis of the same sex in the same tank to avoid territorial disputes and aggression between males. When it comes to breeding, male chocolate gouramis will build bubble nests and court female fish to encourage spawning.

Providing them with the right conditions, including a clean and healthy tank and an adequate diet, is important to promote breeding success. In general, the chocolate gourami is a peaceful species that can coexist with other peaceful species in a community tank, provided that the tank is of adequate size and that the fish are properly cared for.


The chocolate gourami is a peaceful species that is well-suited to community tanks. They are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their environment, but they are also known to be shy and may hide if they feel threatened.

Male chocolate gouramis can be territorial, particularly during breeding season, and may display aggressive behavior towards other males. However, this behavior can usually be mitigated by providing them with ample space and by avoiding over-crowding the tank.

When it comes to feeding, chocolate gouramis are omnivores and will readily accept a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, frozen, and live foods. It is important to provide them with a well-balanced diet that is high in protein to promote optimal health and growth. Chocolate gouramis are hardy and adaptable species that will thrive in a well-maintained tank with stable water parameters and good water quality.

They are relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice among fishkeepers of all levels of experience.


When it comes to choosing tankmates for your chocolate gourami, it is important to consider the fish’s peaceful and shy demeanor. Chocolate gouramis are best kept with other peaceful species that will not bully or intimidate them. They should also be housed with species that have similar water requirements and are not aggressive. Some good tankmates for chocolate gouramis include:

Providing your chocolate gourami with enough space to feel comfortable and secure is important. Overcrowding can increase stress and aggression, so it is best to choose tankmates wisely and to maintain adequate space for all species in the tank.

Providing hiding places and adding live plants can also help reduce stress levels for all fish in the tank.

When choosing tankmates for your chocolate gourami, it is important to consider their peaceful and shy nature, as well as the water requirements and behavior of potential tankmates.

Tank conditions

The chocolate gourami is a hardy species that will thrive in a well-maintained aquarium. They prefer a neutral to slightly acidic water pH, with a range of 6.5 to 7.5 being ideal. Water temperature should be maintained between 72 and 82°F, with a preference for the lower end of the range. Good filtration and aeration are important for maintaining good water quality and providing fish with a healthy environment.

In terms of decorations, chocolate gouramis appreciate hiding places, such as caves or live plants, which can help them feel more secure and reduce stress. In addition, a well-planted tank can also help to provide them with a natural environment that they can explore and interact with.

It is important to perform regular water changes and to keep the tank clean to promote optimal health and well-being for your chocolate gouramis. The chocolate gourami is a hardy species that will thrive in a well-maintained tank with stable water parameters and good water quality.

A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a single chocolate gourami, with an additional 10 gallons of space needed for each additional fish. Keeping chocolate gouramis in smaller tanks may lead to aggression and poor health, so choosing the right size tank for their needs is important. The chocolate gourami is a hardy and adaptable species that will thrive in the right conditions.


When it comes to diet, chocolate gouramis are not particularly picky eaters and will accept a variety of food types. They are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter. A well-rounded diet for chocolate gouramis should include a mix of live, frozen, and dried foods. Some recommended food options include:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Tubifex worms
  • Flake food
  • Pellets
  • Vegetable-based flakes or pellets

It is important to avoid overfeeding your chocolate gourami, as this can lead to health problems and water quality issues. Two to three small feedings per day are sufficient for this species. To ensure a balanced diet, it is recommended to vary the types of food offered and to feed a variety of different food options.

Additionally, it is important to note that chocolate gouramis have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe air from the surface. This means that they will occasionally come to the surface to gulp air, so it is important to ensure that the water surface is not covered with a tight-fitting lid, which can restrict air flow.


Breeding chocolate gouramis can be a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced fish keepers. These fish are not known for being easy to breed in captivity, but successful breeding can be achieved with proper preparation and conditions.

The first step in breeding chocolate gouramis is to provide them with a suitable environment. This includes a spacious tank with proper water conditions, plenty of hiding places, and suitable tankmates. The water temperature should be in the range of 77-82°F and the pH should be between 6.0-7.0. It is also important to ensure that the tank is well-oxygenated.

When a pair of chocolate gouramis is ready to breed, the male will build a bubble nest at the surface of the water. The female will then lay her eggs, which the male will then fertilize. The male will then take care of the eggs and fry, while the female should be removed from the breeding tank to avoid aggression.

It is important to note that breeding chocolate gouramis can be difficult and may require some patience. If you are not experienced with breeding fish, it may be best to seek advice from a professional or experienced hobbyist. It is also important to provide proper care for the fry and ensure that they are well-fed and protected from other tankmates.

In conclusion, breeding chocolate gouramis can be a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced fish keepers. Providing a suitable environment and proper care makes it possible to successfully breed this species in captivity.


Like all other fish species, Chocolate Gouramis are susceptible to certain diseases. The most common ones include Ich, Fin Rot, and Velvet. It is important to maintain good water quality and hygiene in the tank to prevent the spread of these diseases. A proper diet and tank conditions also play a crucial role in keeping the fish healthy and disease-free.

It is important to monitor the fish for signs of disease, such as changes in behavior, loss of appetite, and abnormal appearances such as white spots or frayed fins. If you suspect that your fish may be suffering from a disease, it is best to consult a veterinarian or a pet store specializing in fish. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the chances of a full recovery.

Regular water tests and maintenance of the tank can also help prevent the spread of diseases in your tank. Keeping the tank clean and ensuring that the water parameters are within the recommended range can go a long way in keeping your Chocolate Gouramis healthy and disease-free.


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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