9 Possible Reasons Why Gouramis Could Stop Eating And What To Do

Why is my Gourami not eating?

Gouramis are very active and colorful, they have many species such as Dwarf Gouramis, Pearl Gouramis, Moon Gouramis, Honey Gouramis, etc, and they all are freshwater and aggressive, some are semi-aggressive. They are omnivores and voracious eaters too. When voracious eaters like Gourami fish stopped eating, then it calls for concern. If you are reading this article, it means you are trying to know why your Gourami stopped eating, I assure you, you will have your answers in this article, so read carefully to the end to comprehend.

Why is my Gourami not eating? A Gourami fish could stop eating if it is stressed, or if the water quality is poor.

Now, that you have a bit of an idea of why these fish might lose their appetite, we will go into the details and explain other possible reasons for loss of appetite in these types of fish.

If you have or had these types of fish before, you will agree with me that they eat a lot of foods, and could eat anything too that could enter or fit in their mouth, be it live animals like worms, shrimps, crabs, insects, crickets, grasshopper, etc, and also other things like vegetables, plants, fish flakes, and pellets, etc.

It’s not only that they could eat all sorts of things, including decayed things, but they do eat repeatedly without breaks until the food is out, so they eat like pigs, and for such a fish to stop eating all of a sudden, then there must be something wrong which might need urgent actions.

Why Gourami Fish Might Stop Eating Or Lose Appetite

The possible reasons why these fish might lose their appetite are as follows:

1. When they are new to a tank: Did you know that Gouramis do exhibit a kind of attitude that portrays them as being shy whenever they are introduced to a new tank?.

Well, these strange behaviors are a result of the shock they got from being relocated to a new environment and in different water.

They may lose their appetite as a result of the shock, that is why they will sometimes want to hide or go into hiding if there are hiding places around, and will not eat in the meantime.

This behavior is very normal for them, and they will certainly get over it within a few hours or days, depending on many factors, such as how friendly other tank mates are, etc.

2. Water Quality: The most common factor that causes the loss of appetite for many aquarium animals is poor water quality or wrong water parameters.

Water quality matters a lot for every living thing, which fish is among.

There are some types and species of fish that are hardy, and could slightly tolerate poor water quality, and there are some that are very prone to it and will be immediately affected.

Some species of Gouramis are hardy, and some are not that hardy, so it could affect them in many ways, such as inability to eat again, and stress too, which might result in death.

Poor water quality could be caused by dirty water, due to the decayed foods and maybe dead animals, plants, and uncycled tanks.

In return, poor water quality will lead to the breeding of harmful chemicals such as ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, chlorine, alkaline, more water hardiness, etc. All these could discomfort any fish, and might even lead to death.

So, if your fish is not eating, then you might want to check the water quality, and that is why you need to buy a water testing kit to do it.

Do a partial change of water every day, until any chemicals in the water dissolve, and make sure your tank is planted, because live plants help to dissolve some of these harmful chemicals.

3. Stress: Gouramis could be easily stressed, despite being very lively fish.

Many factors could lead to stress for them which are, incompatible tank mates, chemicals in the water, diseases, etc.

Once they get stressed out, they will automatically lose their appetite and might not have the ability to eat again, and even if they do, it won’t be like they normally do before.

Actually, fish could get depressed, and stress is the major cause of their depression, and depression could even lead to their death.

This is why it is very important to know the type of animals you keep together and try to acclimate your animals before getting them into a new environment so that they won’t have some of these issues later on.

Acclimation is the process of making aquarium animals feel comfortable with their new environment before fully getting them into the new environment.

So, once your fish arrives from the pet shop, don’t put them inside the new home immediately, first of all, place the nylon they are in on top of your tank water and open the nylon a bit to allow the tank water to get through, then release them fully into the tank after some hours.

Acclimation solves a lot of problems that have to do with adapting to the new environment and possible elimination of stress.

4. Gouramis might stop eating because they are sick: Another major factor that could cause the lack of appetite in fish and other animals are sickness.

There are many types is sickness that might prevent these fish from eating.

Gill flukes will cause gouramis to be sluggish and stop eating. This is a type of parasitic infection where flatworms will dig into the skin of gouramis.

Some other diseases might cause this too, so the best remedy is to get in contact with a veterinarian doctor for possible check-ups and medications too, or even medical advice.

5. Poor Quality Diets: Although Gouramis are normally called pigs when it comes to eating, they could sometimes lack the appetite to eat certain foods that they don’t like.

They could be very picky sometimes when it comes to food, so feeding them a particular food, which they don’t seem to like could end up making them too picky, and reject such types of foods.

If they stopped eating, maybe change foods for them and try the types of meals they like such as blood worms, brine shrimps, and some vegetables, and if they refuse to eat, then you might have to ask a vet for help.

6. The location of their tank matters a lot, and it could go a long way to influence their mode and also eating habits.

For instance, if you locate your aquarium where the sunlight is very bright, or where there is a lot of traffic, where people and animals such as cats or dogs normally stay, they will scare the fish off into hiding, which might prevent them from eating anything you might give them because they are scared.

Again sunlight might disturb them a lot, and they will only have to eat at night.

8. Gouramis are tropical fish, so they should be kept at a warm temperature.

Getting them into cold water might have some negative effects on them, which might result in lack of appetite, malfunctioning of the body organs, and possible death.

9. Overfeeding: Overfeeding is one of the major problems many fish keepers have.

Many people think that loading their fish with lots of food is taking good care of them, but no, sometimes, it might become very bad for their health.

Again they will have many leftover foods, which will decay and cause problems in your water, which will also affect your fish in many ways, including making them lose their appetite and become sick.

Now, that you know the possible causes of the sudden lack of appetite in your Gourami fish, hope you take precautions.

Some of the FAQs you might be willing to know about Gouramis and food.

How Often Should Gouramis Be Fed?

Knowing that overfeeding can cause problems for Gouramis, you might be willing to know how often they should be fed.

How often should Gouramis be fed? Gouramis should be fed twice a day, and with quality foods, they could be able to finish immediately.

Although two times a day is recommended, feeding them once a day is not bad, because they don’t easily starve, and they can’t do that in a few hours gap, so once with quality and quantity meal is okay, but twice a day is the best.

Again try to keep smaller animals like snails, which will help you to clean up the leftover foods.

How Long Can Dwarf Gourami Go Without Food?

An adult Dwarf Gourami can go for a few days and up to a week without eating anything thing.

One of the abilities so many fish have is, that they can go for a long time without having to eat anything, and still survive.

how long a fish could survive without food depends on the type of fish and the size, for instance, some fish could go for a whole month without food and will survive, but they will be very weak, while some can’t even go for a whole week without having issues.

So, Gouramis could go from a week to 2 weeks without any food and still be alive.

note – lack of food will deteriorate their health, so there is no excuse to starve your fish.

Why Is My Dwarf Gourami Not Eating And Hiding?

Dwarf Gourami might stop eating and hiding because it is new to a tank and it is trying to adapt to the change in environment.

As I explained above, almost all Gouramis do behave like this when they are new to an environment, and will later become normal when they must have adapted to the new environment.

So, if your dwarf Gourami is hiding and refusing to eat, leave it alone, it will overcome it and become normal again.

Again, parasites and bacteria could cause this too.

If it is not new in the tank and start acting like this, then parasites and bacteria might be the cause.

Why Is My Gourami Inactive?

Gouramis often become less active when they are stressed, sick, or if the water quality is very poor.


Gouramis are very active eaters, so if they stopped eating, then, any of the factors above could be responsible.