Chocolate gourami Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

Chocolate Gouramis are a beautiful and peaceful freshwater fish that make a great addition to any community tank.

They’re not too big, so they can do well in smaller tanks. And they have a very unique coloration that is sure to stand out.

But before you go out and buy one, there are a few things you need to know. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Chocolate Gourami care.

You’ll learn about their diet, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Chocolate gouramis (Trichogaster pectoralis) are found in various parts of Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

They prefer slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation, much like many other types of gourami. These areas provide them with plenty of places to hide and forage for food.

Chocolate gouramis get their name from their dark brown coloration, which is quite different from the bright colors of most other gourami species.

Despite their dark color, these fish are still quite popular in the aquarium trade. They’re often seen as a more unique addition to a freshwater tank.


Chocolate gourami

The Chocolate gourami is a beautiful freshwater fish that gets its name from its unique coloration. As you can probably guess, this species is a deep chocolate brown all over their bodies.

The fins on this fish are also brown, but they’re a bit lighter in color. The dorsal fin is tall and starts about two-thirds of the way back on the body.

The Chocolate gourami has an elongated body shape that is a bit flattened from top to bottom. This gives them a unique look that really sets them apart from other species.

They have a small mouth that is upturned slightly. This is a common trait among gouramis as it helps them feed on the surface of the water.

The Chocolate gourami is a peaceful fish that is perfect for community tanks. They get along well with other species and are not known to be aggressive.


Chocolate gouramis have a lifespan of 3-5 years. However, their lifespan in captivity is often shorter due to poor water conditions and unsuitable tank mates.


The chocolate gourami max size is about 6 inches, with most chocolate gouramis only reaching 4-5 inches. They are a relatively small fish, which is good news for those of you with smaller tanks!


Tank Size

Chocolate gouramis need at least a 5-gallon tank. This is the minimum tank size we would recommend but, as always, the larger the tank the better.

These fish are relatively sedentary so they don’t need a ton of space to swim but they do need room to hide. We recommend at least two hiding spots for each fish (more if you can fit it).

Water Parameters

The chocolate gourami is a freshwater fish that’s found in slow-moving rivers and streams in Southeast Asia. In the wild, they’re known to inhabit areas with soft, sandy bottoms and plenty of aquatic plants.

This species is a bit more delicate than some of the other gourami species available to hobbyists. As a result, it’s important to take extra care when it comes to their water parameters.

The water should be clean and well-filtered. It should also be on the acidic side with a pH between 6 and 7. The temperature should be kept between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Water Temperature: 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6-7
  • Water Hardness: 2-12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Chocolate gouramis are a species that come from slow-moving waters in Southeast Asia. They’re used to being in habitats with plenty of plants, wood, and rocks.

You can find all of these things at your local fish store (or online). Driftwood is always a good choice, but make sure it’s been treated before putting it in your tank.

As for plants, Anubias and Java Fern are both great options. Chocolate gouramis are peaceful by nature and won’t uproot plants like some other species might.

Rocks can be a little trickier. You’ll want to make sure they’re not too big and that there aren’t any sharp edges. Once you’ve found some that fit these criteria, arrange them in a way that provides hiding spots for your fish.

A sandy substrate is ideal for these fish, but they can also do well in a tank with a gravel bottom.

Common Diseases

Chocolate gouramis are relatively hardy fish, but they are still susceptible to the same illnesses and diseases as any other freshwater fish.

The most common disease that these fish experience is ich. This is a very contagious disease that is caused by a parasite.

It presents itself as white spots on the body of your fish. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Other potential diseases include hole-in-the-head disease, swim bladder disease, and various infections.

The best way to prevent these fish from getting sick is to maintain the quality of the water in their tank. A tank with clean and stable water conditions always leads to healthier fish who are more resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

Chocolate gouramis are pretty laid-back fish. They’re not as active as some other types of gouramis, and they don’t require a lot of space.

One thing to note about these fish is that they can be a bit nippy. They’re not aggressive, but they may nibble on other fish if they get too close. This is especially true of smaller fish. If you’re keeping chocolate gouramis with other fish, make sure they are a similar size.

Other than that, these fish are pretty easy to care for. They’re not picky eaters and they’re not overly active, so they don’t need a lot of space to swim around.

Tank Mates

The chocolate gourami is a peaceful fish that does well in a community tank. These fish are social creatures and will do best when kept in groups. A group of chocolate gouramis can add a splash of color and excitement to your tank.

When choosing tank mates for your chocolate gourami, it’s important to consider the size of your fish. Chocolate gouramis can grow to be about 4 inches (10 cm) long.

As a result, you’ll need to choose tank mates that are a similar size or larger. Some good chocolate gourami tank mates include:


Chocolate gouramis are beautiful fish that make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They’re not the easiest fish to breed, but it can be done with some preparation and knowledge.

The first thing you need to do is set up a breeding tank. It should hold at least 20 gallons of water and have a tight-fitting lid. The water should be between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then, you need to add some hiding places. Chocolate gouramis like to have a lot of plants and driftwood in their tank. Be sure to add a good amount of both to the breeding tank.

The next step is to add the parents. It’s best to start with a group of six fish and let them pair off naturally. If you can’t find six, you can start with two and hope that they pair off.

Once the parents are in the tank, it’s time to wait. Spawning can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The female will lay her eggs on the plants or driftwood. The male will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs are fertilized, the parents will guard them until they hatch. This can take anywhere from 12 to 36 hours.

Once the fry have hatched, it’s important to remove the parents. They will eat the fry if given the chance.

The fry need to be fed small live foods at first. You can gradually transition them to baby brine shrimp and then to flake food.


The Chocolate Gourami is a beautiful and unique fish that is perfect for the beginner fish keeper. They are easy to care for and adapt well to most tanks.

The only real downside to this fish is that they can be a bit nippy, but this can be easily avoided by providing them with plenty of hiding places and avoiding tank mates that are similar in size.

Overall, we think the Chocolate Gourami is a great choice for anyone looking for a new and exciting fish for their tank!