The Flame Dwarf Gourami is as its common name implies a small species of Gourami reaching a maximum size of only 2 inches in length. In the wild the Flame Dwarf Gourami is found living in calm, heavily vegetated waters where is maneuvers amongst the plant life looking for small insects and insect larvae on which to feed. They were selected for importation into the aquarium hobby trade due to their combination of vivid coloration and overall peaceful demeanor. Flame Dwarf Gourami have a vibrant blue coloration that fades along their body into a deep red. As is typical to most species of Gourami, the males have brighter coloration than the females as they use their bright coloration to signal or attract females during spawning. However, a group of female and male Gourami is a very impressive site. It is important to note that a group of Dwarf Gourami should contain more female specimens than males specimens to keep any squabbling between species to a minimum.
Flame Dwarf Gourami require excellent water quality within the aquarium environment that is well filtered and has stable neutral pH & water hardness along with warm stable water temperatures. They do best in small groups where there are a few more females than males. They can also be kept as a single specimen or as a male / female pair. Flame Dwarf Gourami should be kept in a peaceful community aquarium with other smaller community species with peaceful dispositions. This species will not do well in aquariums with strong direct water currents, boisterous fish species or little to no natural or artificial vegetation or other aquarium decor. An ideal aquarium setup for the Flame Dwarf Gourami would have calm well filtered water with plenty of live plants (including floating plants) with stable neutral water parameters and peaceful aquarium inhabitants.
In nature the Flame Dwarf Gourami eats small insects and larvae from near the surface of the water, as well as picking at algae growth on plant leaves. In the home aquarium they will eat flake food, freeze-dried food, frozen foods, and vegetable tablets. However, to maintain good health, their diet should be supplemented with periodic feedings of live foods such as blood worms or similar fare.
If a breeding pair is kept in water conditions that will stimulate breeding, they will create bubble nests amongst plant leaves at the water’s surface and engage in a delicate spawning process that lasts up to four hours. After spawning, the female should be removed from the aquarium so that she does not eat the young and/or fight with the male while he protects the nest. The male will care for the eggs, during which time he will be very aggressive towards any fish species approaching the nest.