Killifish And Gourami: Top Outstanding Features About The Two Fish Species

Killifish and Gourami are the most commonly compared fish species nowadays.

Aquarists around the world are well aware of the popularity of Gourami and Killifish as very popular aquarium fishes. Despite their similarities, Gouramis and Killifish exhibit quite distinct characteristics as well.

As we are now at the age of the emergence of more and more species, we need to shed light on the salient characteristics of each species. I will be researching these two fish species for an upcoming report.

Brief Summary Of Killifish


Killifish are not widely known in the regular aquarium hobby and they are rarely found in fish stores in your local area, however, they have some of the most colorful freshwater aquarium fish available. 

This vague relative of mollies, guppies, swordtails, and platies is a member of the family Cyprinodontidae and is collectively known as a tooth carp that lays eggs. 

A number of small species are found throughout the world at about 1″ to 2″. The largest species grows to a maximum of less than 6″. In an aquarium, killifish usually live for between two and five years.

There are several reasons that make killifish so intriguing, but perhaps the most intriguing is the fact that there are three different types of spawning methods they use. 

Annuals, semi-annuals, and non-annuals. There are annual plants that live in temporary pools that are filled with water and then dried up over a period of 6 months each year. All of those things happen in less than a year. 

The young hatch, grow into adults, reproduce and die, and the eggs go dormant until the next rainy season. 

There are semi-annual species that inhabit perennially wet areas, and there are non-annual species that live in permanent bodies of water. It can be relatively easy to keep killifish, depending on the species, while it can be quite tricky. 

It is true killifish has some specific requirements that they need in order to keep, however, if you’re looking for something different, they really are worth the effort.

Brief Summary Of Gourami


Gouramis are a group of fishes that belong to the family Osphronemidae. They also belong to the family Helostomatidae. The surface of the planet has a heart-like labyrinth organ capable of acting as a lung, allowing these creatures to breathe the air there. 

As a result of this adaptation, they are able to live in shallow, stagnant and oxygen-starved waters naturally. 

There are several different species of gourami, and some of them incubate their eggs in bubble nests at the surface of the water until they hatch. There are differences in color and size between female and male fishes, as well as the length of their fins. 

In several species of fish, there have been several selective breeding procedures that have resulted in better colors and fins.00

Biosphere Reserve

On every continent except for Australia and Antarctica, you can find killifish in tropical and subtropical waters. 

In addition to their habitats in pools, swamps, creeks, shallow streams, and brackish estuarine habitats, the species are known to live in temporary pools, marshes, and swamp islands. 

Among the lakes in which killifish are commonly found, there are those that have trees and shrubs that create subdued lighting conditions and cooler temperatures. 

Although there are few species that inhabit desert pools that have water temperatures greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, such as the pupfish that inhabits parts of the southwest United States.

However, it is equally true that you will be able to find gouramis throughout eastern and southern Asia, including Pakistan to Thailand, Vietnam and the Malaysian archipelago, China, and even further north and east to Korea and Japan. 

Over 700 different species of river dragons are known to exist, and they can be found in slow-moving rivers, swamps, marshes, canals, wetlands, and temporary pools.

Demands For Water

In spite of the fact that many killifish come from water with a soft pH, captive-bred strains, adapted to the local conditions of the water, are becoming more and more common. 

I strongly encourage consumers to do their research carefully before purchasing a killifish, in order to find out what conditions the fish were bred in. 

In terms of water conditions, each species has its personal preference, but most killifish do well between a pH value of 6.0 to 7.0, total hardness of 120ppm to 160ppm and a temperature of 68° to 75° F. 

A few specialists use no filters when keeping killifish (they do a lot of water changes! ), but an ordinary hobbyist may find a hang-on-the-back or sponge filter sufficient for his needs. 

Keep your tank at a proper temperature and maintain optimal filtration with an Aqueon Aquarium Heater while performing a 10% weekly water change or a 25% change every other week with an Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer or Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner. 

Please remember to treat tap water every time you refill your aquarium with Aqueon Water Conditioner.

The Gourami is capable of living in water that has a pH range of 8.02 to 10.10 in its native environment, but most aquarium species sold today are raised in water that has a pH range of 8.02 to 10.10 in its native environment, so they can easily adapt to an aquarium environment with a higher pH and alkalinity. 

It is ideal for the pH to be between 6.8 and 7.8, the alkalinity to be between 3° and 8° dKH (50 ppm to 140 ppm) and the water temperature to remain between 75° and 80°F. 

Aqueon Aquarium Heaters will keep your aquarium at the right temperature if your aquarium is kept in an environment below 75 degrees. 

Use an Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer or Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner to maintain efficient filtration as well as to change 10% of the water every week or 25% every 2 weeks. 

It is important that you make sure to purify tap water with Aqueon Water Conditioner before you refill your water tank.

Accommodations Recommendations

Many aquarists like breeding killifishes
Many aquarists like breeding killifishes

Killifishes are favored by lots of aquarists because of their small size, which makes them ideal for nano and desktop aquariums. 

The average size of a species tank for a trio can range from 5 to 10 gallons. 

However, for community aquariums or if you plan on keeping more than one male these tanks should be at least 20 gallons. 

A dim light should be used in non-breeding tanks, and peat moss or driftwood should be used to help soften the water of the tank and lower the pH, together with plants that tolerate low levels of light, such as Cryptocoryne, Java moss, and Java ferns. 

It is imperative to have a tight-fitting lid for killifish since they are accomplished jumpers.

It will depend on what kind of gourami you want to keep in your aquarium in terms of size. The size of the gourami will depend on which species you would like to keep. 

There are some species of gouramis that can be housed in tanks as small as 10 gallons, while other species, such as pearl, blue, gold, opaline and moonlight gouramis, and paradise fish should be kept in tanks larger than 30 gallons. 

It is estimated that kissing gouramis can reach a size of up to 55 gallons once they reach maturity. 

Usually, the Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy), also known as the “True” or “Big” Gourami, can measure 24″ and requires a 250-gallon aquarium or larger. 

It can be helpful if you place plants near the surface of the aquarium so they can feel at home in an aquarium that is well-decorated and will show off their best colors. 

Use a lid so that the surface of the aquarium will float above them to provide them with a sense of security.

Behavioral Characteristics

Killifish Behavior

There are many different varieties of killifish that can be kept in community aquariums, but skilled hobbyists usually keep them in specialized species tanks. 

However, killifish have a reputation for behaving feistily sometimes, and the males can even be territorial to one another at times. 

Although the rule is not always followed, there are a few exceptions. There are two types of killifish that have a reputation for being aggressive and should not be kept together. 

They are the Golden Wonder Killie (Aplocheilus lineatus), a popular fish found in many aquariums, and the Blue Gularis (Fundulopanchax sjoestedti), one of the many, larger and better-known killifish. 

If you intend to buy a specific species of fish, always perform thorough research on it before adding it to a tank of other fish.

Gouramis Behavior

Gouramis have the tendency to show aggression towards each other, so there is usually a better way to keep them apart from each other. They tend to get along better with one another when they are female. 

In order to avoid causing effects on your gourami, you should not mix different species or color varieties in a smaller and poorly decorated tank. 

Keep in mind that all blue gouramis, three spot gouramis, opaline gouramis, gold gouramis and lavender gouramis are the same fish – they have just been bred for different colors with different genes. 

It is best to keep gouramis with other fish of similar size, who do not fin nipper or are too active as gouramis are slow-moving fish. 

It would be a good idea to have a large number of tetras, livebearers other than fancy guppies, barbs with relaxed habits, most danios, as well as angelfish as your choice. 

When buying any new fish for your aquarium, always consult an aquarium expert before making your purchase.

Where Do Killifish Get Their Food?

Killifish are carnivores, which means that they eat other living organisms. The type of food that you should feed your fish will depend on the size of your fish. 

You can feed your fish frozen foods such as brine shrimp, newly hatching brine shrimp nauplii, daphnia, mysis shrimp, mosquito larvae and bloodworms. 

The killifish is known for rejecting dry food, but there have been some hobbyists who have successfully fed them the way they should. 

I would recommend trying Aqueon Tropical Flakes, Color Flakes, Betta Food, and Betta Treat to everyone you know. 

The fish will get a variety of food when you give it to them, and they need to be fed only what they can consume in less than two minutes, once or twice a day.

Where Do Gouramis Get Their Food?

Aqueon Tropical Flakes, Color Flakes, Tropical Granules and Shrimp Pellets will be a portion of suitable food for the vast majority of gouramis since they are omnivorous. 

Aqueon’s Spirulina Flakes and Algae Rounds are excellent at nourishing kissing gouramis, which are more herbivorous. 

It is possible to feed live and frozen foods to your fish as treats or as a means of inducing breeding in your fish. 

It is best to rotate the food they are fed regularly and feed them only what they can consume within a very short period of time, once or twice a day.


Reproduction Of Killifish

There are two main types of spawning in which killifish are involved, top spawners and bottom spawners, although certain species alternate between these two types. 

There are some species that are more difficult to breed than others, but there are a few that can be bred comfortably by beginners. 

I recommend the use of a 212 to 512-gallon tank for breeding annuals and semi-annuals. The bottom of the tank should be covered with peat moss and/or almond leaves or oak leaves.

Reproduction Of Gourami

It is possible to breed many types of gouramis in captivity; the fry must, however, be raised to the age of maturity, which can be quite demanding. 

The gouramis you get in shops are usually bigger types that build bubble nests. The male and female begin to court each other and an elaborate ritual of spawning commences after they have built a suitable nest at the surface. 

As soon as the eggs are laid, the male retrieves them from the nest, inserts them and waits until their hatch that he will guard until the eggs hatch. 

In an effort to guard the eggs, some males become aggressive towards females after spawning, and it may be necessary to remove females from the spawning nest.

Video About Killifish And Gouramis


What is the optimal number of gourami to be together?

In order to keep dwarf gouramis together, it is necessary to keep at least four of them together.

The dwarf gourami is a social species, and the group size is more important to them. These creatures feel more secure and at ease while living in a group.

Having said that, you may be able to keep them grouped together if you do not have a lot of space.

How do gouramis interact with other fish?

Gourami is a slow-moving fish that should be kept with other fish like it, that is not too active or fin nippers.

There is a variety of fish that can be used as aquarium fish besides fancy guppies, including Tetras, livebearers, barbs that are calm and don’t bite, danios and angelfish that can all prove to be great options for aquarium fishes.

Are killifish required to have an air pump?

It is not necessary to have a pump for killifish. As a species of freshwater fish, killifish are not reliant upon air pumps to keep them alive.

Although they do need a tight lid on top of their tanks (because they jump), a heater, floating plants, plenty of indoor and outdoor swimming space, and a balanced diet, they do not need much else.

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