Do Gouramis Need a Bubbler?

Native to Asia, gouramis are a popular fish for their beauty and hardiness, and you may have noticed that they like to swim to the surface and seem to be gulping in air. Is that really what they’re doing, and if so, do gouramis need a bubbler?

Gouramis can breathe air through their mouths or their gills because they are one of around 70 species known as ‘labyrinth fish.’ These fish have a unique organ that allows them to breathe air directly when they aren’t breathing through their gills, so technically, they DON’T need a bubbler, but it’s still a good idea to have one. 

We’ll tell you a little more about the labyrinth organ, how long this lets them survive outside the tank, what to do if they jump out, and more! Let’s talk about gouramis and their unique adaption for breathing air directly!

What Is a Labyrinth Organ?

The labyrinth organ is an amazing little evolutionary innovation that is why gouramis can breathe air by swimming to the tank’s surface and simply gulping it in. The organ Housed in the gill chamber consists of bony plates called ‘lamellae’ that are covered with thin membranes.

When the fish breathes in oxygen, the membrane is thin enough to allow it inside, and it is processed and deposited into the bloodstream. It’s quite a fantastic thing, but it makes sense considering where these fish live.

Sometimes they are found in stagnant ponds, large puddles, streams, or even rice paddies. Their environments are not always oxygen-rich enough to support them in stable numbers. This organ allows them to breathe and thrive in many environments, provided they are warm, wet, and low enough toxins for the fish to survive.

two gouramis

Benefits Of An Air Pump For Gouramis

An air pump can be an essential addition to your gourami tank. Not only does it increase the oxygen levels for your fish, but it also helps provide them with natural currents that help keep their environment healthy. Plus, adding an air pump can give your tank a more dynamic look and sound!

Gouramis need plenty of oxygen to survive and thrive, so these pumps are essential to creating a safe home. An air pump will also ensure proper water circulation within the tank, which is vital for maintaining good health and preventing diseases. The increased aeration from the pump also encourages nutrient uptake, helping boost growth and development and keeping ammonia levels low.

Having adequate oxygen levels also benefits gouramis and all aquatic life in your aquarium. With this tool, you won’t have to worry about providing enough O2 for everyone – they’ll thank you by staying active and healthy!

Now let’s take a closer look at the types of gouramis that benefit from having an air pump installed in their habitat.

Types Of Gouramis That Benefit From An Air Pump

Navigating the underwater world of aquariums can be daunting, but having an air pump for your gouramis can help make it much more enjoyable. Like a bridge between their natural habitat and manufactured home, this essential tool provides unique benefits that any fishkeeper should consider. But before you get too far ahead in selecting the right one for your tank, let’s explore which types of gouramis benefit from an air pump the most.

Gouramis are generally tropical fish inhabiting slow-moving rivers and streams throughout Southeast Asia. Since they breathe atmospheric oxygen through something called labyrinth organs, rather than using conventional gills, these specialized creatures need access to surface-level air to stay healthy. That said, certain species like Pearl Gouramis or Honey Gouramis require less aeration because they are natively in low-oxygen environments. On the other hand, Dwarf Gourami derive significant comfort from increased aeration and filtration levels as they come from higher oxygen habitats such as small ponds and large lakes.

So when deciding whether you need an air pump for your gouramis, think about what type of environment they naturally thrive in; if you have multiple varieties, then cater accordingly to ensure each individual is living in its ideal conditions! With all this knowledge under our belt, we’ll confidently move on to selecting an appropriate air pump for our beloved finned friends.

Selecting An Appropriate Air Pump For Your Gouramis

Choosing the right air pump for your gouramis can be like finding a needle in a haystack. With so many options out there, it’s essential to make sure you choose one that fits their needs and budget. Here are some tips on selecting an appropriate air pump for your gourami fish.

First off, do your research! Several different types of air pumps are available, each with its specifications and features. Be sure to look into what power output is necessary for your tank size and how much noise the pump will produce. Additionally, consider if any additional accessories or attachments, such as tubing or extra air stones, may be needed.

Next, think about the price range when choosing an air pump. While a more expensive option may offer more features or longevity, sometimes going with something less pricey but still reliable can save money in the long run. Remember quality over quantity every time! Finally, double-check compatibility before making a purchase – certain brands may have parts incompatible with other products.

With these simple steps, you’ll soon find yourself equipped with the correct air pump for your beloved gouramis!

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Installing An Air Pump For Gouramis

Installing an air pump for gouramis is straightforward. The first step is to find the right spot in your tank for the air pump. It should be placed away from direct sunlight and far enough from any other sources of noise that it won’t cause disruption.

Next, you’ll need to attach tubing from the air pump outlet to a diffuser or airstone. This will help ensure adequate oxygenation throughout your tank without too much disturbance on the water’s surface. Make sure not to overtighten the fittings to avoid damaging them!

Finally, install a check valve between your air intake and output lines if necessary – this will prevent backflow into your aquarium when you turn off the power supply. After completing all these steps, your gourami can enjoy its newly oxygen-rich environment!

How Long Can Gourami Live Outside of Its Tank?

If gourami jumps out of its tank, you would think that the labyrinth organ would mean that it would be fine until you find them, but this is not the case. That’s because the membrane surrounding the labyrinth organ needs to stay moist to function correctly.

That means that a lot will depend on where your fish lands and the outside temperature of the tank. Carpet, for instance, will soak up water quickly, and the fish may only last for 5 to 10 minutes, while linoleum might buy them more time, but only if it’s not significantly warmer outside the tank.

In the wild, the fish might survive a leap out of a pond for hours if it’s raining, perhaps long enough to flop their way back into the pond. Without rain, however, the membrane of the labyrinth organ might quickly dry out, and there’s also the possibility of hungry birds or other predators spotting the fish and devouring it.

Aquarium Plants Discounts Dwarf Gourami 1.5-2 Inches - Freshwater Live Tropical Fish

What Should I Do if My Gourami Jumps Out?

If you find your gourami outside the tank, the first thing to do is splash it with water from its tank.

This will moisten the labyrinth membrane a little to help your fish to breathe, and with a bit of luck, it will wet their body enough to minimize chances of them drying to the floor in a way that ‘sticks’ them to the surface.

You’ll want to gently scoop your fish into their fishnet and deposit them into the tank, although if your fish doesn’t move, it’s a good idea to position them close to the filter or the bubbler.

This way, if the fish is still barely alive, the bubbler will push the air toward its gills, which may help them start breathing again. While there are no guarantees that this will work, this will give your fish the best chances at survival.

This is another reason why a bubbler or a filter is still a good idea – yes, your fish can breathe air directly, but it ensures that they can also breathe through their gills and might save their life in an emergency!

blue gouramis

How Do I Keep My Gourami from Jumping out Of the Tank?

If your gourami keeps jumping out of the tank, it is best to cover it. Gouramis love to jump. An aquarium cover is a good idea, even if yours are not yet trying to jump around in their tank. You can use plastic film if you can’t purchase a cover yet.

To do this, take some plastic wrap and put it over the top of the tank, poking lots of holes in it to allow oxygen inside. This will temporarily keep them from jumping out of the tank until you can obtain a proper cover.

You can also minimize jumping behavior by decorating the tank to make it more interesting. Adding plants and tiny coves for them to hide in and explore will help to reduce the chances of your fish getting bored and deciding to play by jumping out of their water.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that nothing nearby might startle them – with televisions and stereos being among the biggest culprits. The flashing lights from the TV and booming bass from a stereo can be stressful and very distracting for your gouramis and might cause them to lose sleep and to jump more.

By ensuring they are far away from these distractions, your fish will be much happier and less likely to jump in the water and risk ending up on the floor outside of the tank!

Some Final Words on Gouramis

Today we’ve answered the question, ‘do gouramis need a bubbler’ while they can technically breathe on their own, a bubbler or a filter is still an excellent idea. Gouramis have two ways to live, one being their gills, and the other is using their labyrinth organ to process oxygen directly.

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This unique evolutionary gift is why you see them swimming to the surface to gulp in the air, but you don’t want to rely on this alone to sustain them.

By ‘hedging your bets with a bubbler, filter, or an ‘airstone,’ you can help to ensure that your gourami is breathing well, and if they jump out, this extra oxygen supply might even help to save their life. After all, it never hurts to have a backup where your beautiful gouramis are concerned!


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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