Gourami Bubble Nest: All You Need To Know

Gourami fish are beautiful creatures that can make a great addition to any aquarium. However, when it comes time to breed, there are many things that could easily go wrong. 

One of the most important things to understand is your role in the process. Yes, you’ve read that correctly – you have a role to play in whether or not your gourami fish will successfully breed.

In this post, you’ll learn what the gourami bubble nest looks like and how you can help ensure that your gourami fish have the best chance of successfully breeding.

Let’s get started. 

Do Male or Female Gouramis Make Bubble Nests? 

Males Gouramis will build bubble nests among the floating plants or objects with different sizes and thicknesses, depending on their size, territory, and personality. They prefer to use a tank corner to anchor the bubble nest. Typically, bigger males build larger bubble nests. They can also build bubble nests without females or fry, but females swimming close by will often stimulate males to start building frantically.

Some males are natural-born builders; they’ll spend their days constructing intricate bubble nests out of saliva and plant matter to attract a mate. Other males are less industrious, only building a nest when they’re introduced to a female. Many specimens do not even begin until after spawning. 

The female Gouramis usually don’t have anything to do with the construction of the nest and don’t really care about it too much. In some cases, she might help arrange some of the bubbles or add a few of her own, but this is rare.

What Does Gourami Bubble Nest Look Like?

Dwarf gourami bubble nest
Dwarf gourami bubble nest (Photo: Dunkelfalke CC BY 2.0)

The gourami bubble nests are basically air bubbles that are held together by a mucus-like substance. During breeding, the male gouramis will initiate the process by going to the surface, breathing air, and releasing it inside the water to form a circular or oval shaped nest. 

Author notes: Gourami has a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the surface. This is one of the reasons they can live in water with low oxygen levels.

Inside the nest, you’ll also find floating objects such as plants. That means that you’ll need to include floating plants inside your aquarium so that it’s easy for the male Gourami to make the nests. The alternative to floating plants could be to use styrofoam which is also light enough to float in the breeding tank.

Gouramis Breeding

The Gourami fish has been bred in captivity for years, but some effort is required to grow the fry.

To ensure a greater chance of success, you should start with a group of juveniles and allow them to pair up at their own pace.

When the male Gourami is ready to breed, he will start to build the bubble nest. He will use his mouth to collect air at the surface and then release it into the water. This will create a stream of bubbles that rise to the surface and stick together to form the nest.

You will need to set up a breeding tank before starting the breeding process. The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons, and it should have a layer of gravel on the bottom. You will also need to add some plants to the tank. The plants will provide shelter for the fry.

The ideal water depth for breeding gourami fish is 6-inches. If you’re breeding larger breeds of Gourami, the depth should be at least 8-10 inches. The lighting shouldn’t be blindingly bright. Another important thing is to ensure that there’s minimal water movement so that there are no chances of disturbing the bubble nest.

It’s also recommended that you use sponge filters for your breeding tank so that it prevents the baby fish from being sucked up. To help your fish build their nests with ease, you can include some floating plants in the tank so that the nests are attached to them. 

The bonded pair must be well-fed before spawning. A good diet of live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms will help condition the fish.

Transfer the female to the breeding tank first and let the fish adjust to the new surroundings and locate her hiding places. After a few days, you can then add the male Gourami to the breeding tank. 

Several days prior to spawning, you’ll need to increase the temperatures steadily up to 82-85 degrees. 

When the female Gourami is ready to spawn, the male will start to chase the female around the tank and lead her to the nest, where she will release her eggs. The male will then fertilize the eggs.

The female Gourami will usually lay 500-1000 eggs that will be caught by the male in his mouth and brought into the bubble nest individually. The male Gourami will guard the eggs until they hatch. The female should be removed as soon as she has laid her eggs as she may eat the eggs.

When the fry is free-swimming, you should also remove the male at this point and feed the fry with live foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

How do I Move Gourami Fish Into the Breeding Tank?

As we mentioned earlier, if you need to move or transfer the fish into a breeding tank, the female should be the first to go. After that, allow the females to get acquainted with their new home, locate hiding spots and resume their normal activities. A day or two should be enough for that. 

Next, move the males into the females and monitor to ensure that the males aren’t harassing the females. Where the harassment is too much, you can diffuse the situation by adding another female into the tank so that they distract the male.


Why Are My Dwarf Gourami Blowing Bubbles? 

Gourami belongs to a group of fish known as Anabantidae. These have an organ referred to as the labyrinth that gives the fish the ability to blow bubbles. Usually, the dwarf gourami fish will breathe in the air while at the water’s surface and release it through their gills. 

When the water gets into their body, it’s mixed with mucus, making the bubbles stick together and forming the bubble nests. The nests will then act as the places for spawning and raising the fry.

Other reasons for blowing bubbles could be to communicate their mood, trap larvae or insects, and release air onto the surface. 

Can I Ruin a Gourami Bubble Nest? 

No. You should not destroy or ruin a gourami bubble nest. That’s because it’s the onset of the breeding process where the male will make the bubble.

After spawning, the same bubble will be used to raise their fry. There is no need to worry if you’ve already ruined the nest. The male Gourami will always make another one. 

Why Did My Gourami Bubble Nest Disappear? 

There are several reasons that could make a gourami bubble nest disappear. For one, if there are a lot of movements inside the tank, the bubble will burst. Also, a lack of balance in the temperature could make the eggs become too cold, making the nest go away. 

Final Thoughts

Gourami fish are a good species to have in your aquarium. They’re beautiful, so you don’t have to try so much to fall in love with them. 

However, it’s not just enough to stop at their physical appearance as there’s much that goes into caring for and making them comfortable. 

Equipped with such useful tips, you’re all set to become a better gourami fish aquarist. Remember, the breeding phase for this type of fish is a delicate season, and therefore you need to dedicate your time to ensure that nothing goes wrong. 

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment