If you are looking for an active, brightly colored fish to add to your community tank, consider the blue gourami. These fish are known for their brilliant blue coloration and because they are easy to feed and undemanding in terms of water quality, they are a rewarding species to own.
In the Wild
In the wild, blue gouramis are found throughout southern Asia in parts of China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. These fish tend to prefer lowland waters such as ponds, swamps and marshes where they can hide among clumps of aquatic vegetation. Blue gouramis are omnivorous by nature, feeding on a variety of small aquatic invertebrates as well as algae and plant matter. These fish have also been known to feed on detritus, the dissolved organic matter that accumulates in substrate.
Feeding Captive Specimens
Because their diet is so varied in the wild, captive-bred blue gouramis are not fussy eaters. In the home aquarium both wild-caught and captive-bred specimens are likely to accept a variety of foods including commercial flakes, pellets and granules as well as live, frozen and freeze-dried foods. Blue gouramis may also pick at live plants in the aquarium and may enjoy blanched vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. These fish will also eat algae flakes and sinking wafers.
As a general rule, aquarium fish, including blue gouramis, should be fed small amounts of food twice per day. You may choose to feed your gouramis only once a day but two smaller feedings will ensure that all of your fish get something to eat throughout the day. Blue gouramis tend to be eager eaters and if you do not take care to feed the other fish in your tank, your gouramis may out-compete them for food. Only feed your gouramis as much food as they can consume in three to five minutes because uneaten fish food will sink to the bottom of the tank and accumulate as detritus. Detritus build-up in the tank can result in increased ammonia levels and decreased water quality.
To ensure healthy growth and optimal coloration in your blue gouramis, it is important to feed them a healthy, varied diet. Feed your blue gouramis a staple diet of high-quality flakes, pellets or granules. These foods will provide your fish with most of the nutrients they need to thrive. To add variation to the diet of your gouramis, supplement the staple diet with small portions of live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp and tubifex worms several times a week. You can also offer your gouramis Spirulina flakes and blanched vegetables such as lettuce, peas and zucchini to add some vegetable matter to their diet.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.