A picture of African Butterfly Fish And Gouramis. This article explains why African Butterfly Fish And Gouramis can be put together in an aquarium

African Butterfly Fish And Gouramis: The Perfect Tank Mates For A Harmonious Aquatic Environment

Exotic Aquarium Fish


Finding the right mix of fish for your aquarium can be like piecing together a living puzzle. Imagine fish that complement each other, sharing waters harmoniously – enter African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis.

This blog will dive into creating a peaceful community tank where these unique species thrive together. Get ready to transform your tank into an aquatic haven!

Key Takeaways

  • African Butterfly Fish grow to about 5 inches and are bossy, so they need calm tank mates and a big tank of at least 30 gallons to give them space.
  • Gouramis are peaceful fish that like plants and driftwood in their tanks. They also need soft water with a little acid and temperatures between 75-82°F.
  • Good friends for African Butterfly Fish include Kuhli Loaches, Bristlenose Plecos, Zebra Nerite Snails, Ropefish, giant danios, Congo Tetras since they are all calm.
  • For the best care of these fish, feed them insects or flakes and keep an eye out for signs of sickness like spots or upset behavior.
  • When setting up your aquarium for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis make sure there’s lots of hiding places with plants or decorations.

About African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis

African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis are both popular choices for home aquariums due to their unique characteristics. African Butterfly Fish are nocturnal, predatory fish known for their distinctive appearance, while Gouramis come in a variety of species and boast peaceful temperaments, making them ideal for community tank setups.


African butterfly fish have a feisty side, especially the boys. They often fight with other African butterfly fish or even different types of fish. It’s smart to pick tank mates that won’t make them angry.

These guys are kind of bossy and can be mean to others if they feel crowded or if their tank pals act tough too.

Now, let’s talk about how big these fish get and what size home they need!


Moving from their calm temperament, it’s vital to know how much room African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis need. These fish aren’t small! An African Butterfly Fish will grow about 5 inches long.

That means they need enough space to move freely on the water’s surface.

Gouramis come in different sizes, but a Three spot gourami can get pretty big too. They enjoy having room to swim around as well. It’s a good idea to have a big tank for these fish so they’re happy and healthy.

spacious home is key for their well-being!


African butterfly fish and certain gouramis can live together well. They both like the top of the tank, but they are not mean to each other. The African butterfly likes friends that are calm and won’t fight for space at the surface.

Neon tetras, cory catfish, and platys are great choices because they swim lower in the tank, leaving the top clear for your butterfly fish.

However, it’s important to avoid putting them with fish that look like them or act too rough. Aggressive species might pick fights or stress out your peaceful swimmers. Always think about how new fish will fit in before adding them to your tank so everyone gets along nicely.

It makes sure all your pets are happy and the aquarium stays a safe place for every finned friend you have.

Tank setup

For housing African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis, a tank of at least 30 gallons is recommended. Ensure the tank has plenty of hiding spots like plants, driftwood, or decorations to create a comfortable environment.

These fish prefer dim lighting, so adding floating plants can help create shaded areas in the tank. Maintaining stable water parameters with soft water and slightly acidic conditions is crucial for their well-being.

Additionally, it’s essential to keep the water temperature between 75-82°F using a reliable heater and monitor the quality with regular water tests.

Best Tank Mates for African Butterfly Fish

Pantodon buchholzi swimming in a clear aquarium

Some ideal tank mates for African Butterfly Fish include Kuhli Loaches, Bristlenose Plecos, Zebra Nerite Snails, and other peaceful fish species that can thrive in a similar environment.

To learn more about creating a harmonious aquatic environment for these unique fish, keep reading!

Kuhli Loaches

Kuhli loaches are peaceful tank mates for fish with a similar temperament. They can coexist harmoniously with active species like gouramis, making them a suitable choice for various aquarium setups.

These shy and peaceful creatures won’t disturb other inhabitants in the tank, making them an excellent addition to any community of tropical fish.

These fascinating creatures are compatible with a wide range of fish, including guppies, bettas, tetras, danios, black mollies, and cherry shrimp. Their adaptable nature allows them to thrive alongside different species in the same aquatic environment.

Moreover, kuhli loaches are popular among fish keepers due to their ability to integrate well with diverse tank mates. With their tranquil nature and compatibility with various species, kuhli loaches enhance the overall dynamics of any tropical aquarium setup.

Bristlenose Plecos

When it comes to adding tank mates for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis, Bristlenose Plecos are an excellent choice. Known for their peaceful nature and gentle demeanor, they can coexist harmoniously with a variety of freshwater aquarium fish.

These omnivorous creatures prove to be valuable assets by diligently consuming algae, contributing to the overall cleanliness of the tank. Furthermore, Bristlenose Plecos exhibit a remarkable ability to tolerate semi-aggressive companions without being easily disturbed or targeted by other fish.

As beneficial algae eaters, Bristlenose Plecos play a crucial role in maintaining water quality while peacefully cohabiting with other aquarium inhabitants. Their congenial disposition and effective contribution as cleaners make them a popular and suitable addition to community tanks.

Zebra Nerite Snails

Zebra Nerite snails make great tank mates for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis due to their calm behavior and knack for keeping the tank clean by eating algae and leftover food.

In addition, invertebrates like red cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp also coexist well with Zebra Nerite snails, creating a balanced aquatic environment. Furthermore, Rasboras, neon tetras, honey gourami, and corydoras are recommended as suitable companions for Zebra Nerite snails, ensuring a harmonious cohabitation in the aquarium.

The peaceful nature of Zebra Nerite snails contributes to the overall tranquility of the tank while they actively contribute to its maintenance. Their compatibility with various species allows aquarists to create a rich aquatic ecosystem where different creatures live in harmony.


Ropefish, also known as reedfish or snakefish, are elongated freshwater fish native to West and Central Africa. They have a unique appearance with eel-like bodies and distinctive rope-like markings, making them fascinating additions to any large peaceful aquarium.

With their non-aggressive nature, ropefish make great tank mates for other calm species such as dwarf gouramis due to their contrasting size and behaviors. However, it’s crucial to avoid pairing them with aggressive or overly territorial fish like African cichlids or Oscar fish to ensure a harmonious aquatic environment.

Additionally, ropefish thrive in groups of three or more and require ample hiding spots within the tank.

Ropefish prefer dimly lit aquariums with plenty of vegetation and hiding places. Their nocturnal behavior means they’ll be most active during the night while spending much of the day hiding among plants or cave structures.

Rubber Lip Plecos

Rubber lip plecos, also known as Chaetostoma milesi, are peaceful freshwater fish originating from South America. They are low-maintenance and hardy creatures, making them perfect tank mates for African butterfly fish and gouramis.

These bottom feeders mostly eat algae, which means they won’t intrude on the African butterfly fish’s territory. Rubber lip plecos happily coexist with similar-sized non-aggressive tank mates such as cory catfish and tetras in a harmonious aquatic environment.

Their peaceful nature and compatibility make them an excellent addition to your aquarium community.

With their ability to thrive alongside other tank inhabitants while maintaining a low-maintenance profile, rubber lip plecos can contribute to the overall balance of your aquatic ecosystem.

Now let’s explore some care guidelines for these remarkable bottom-dwelling companions.

Altum Angelfish

Moving on from the potential tank mates of Rubber Lip Plecos, it’s essential to consider Altum Angelfish. These fish are known for their peaceful nature and non-aggressive behavior, making them an excellent addition to a community aquarium.

With their distinctive tall bodies and long fins, Altum Angelfish require a larger tank size due to their adult size and swimming behavior. It’s important to select suitable tank mates cautiously while considering competition for food and territory.

Molly fish are recommended as compatible companions due to their similar water requirements and peaceful temperament. Choosing the right mix of tank mates for Altum Angelfish is crucial for maintaining a harmonious aquatic environment.

Altum Angelfish are popular among aquarists because they bring elegance and tranquility to any aquarium setting. Their unique appearance complements various aquatic plants, allowing for an aesthetically pleasing underwater landscape.

Emperor Tetras

Emperor Tetras thrive best when in a group of five or six, with just one alpha male. Due to their tendency to be hostile and unpredictable, it’s advisable to keep only one male Emperor Tetra in your tank.

These docile fish make great tank mates for various tropical species, thanks to their adaptability and peaceful nature. Furthermore, Emperor Tetras are visually appealing, easy to care for, hardy, and flourish in groups of six or seven.

When creating an aquatic environment that includes Emperor Tetras as tank mates, it’s crucial to ensure the compatibility of other species while considering the social dynamics within the tank.

Now let’s delve into essential details about the best tank mates for African Butterfly Fish.

Giant Danios

Giant Danios are peaceful and friendly, making them great tank mates for Angelfish. They thrive with medium-sized fish like Gouramis, Killifish, and many cichlids due to their amiable nature.

These attractive and active swimmers add vibrancy to the aquarium while coexisting harmoniously with a variety of tank companions.

Next, let’s delve into the suitable tank mates for Congo Tetras that can enrich your aquatic environment.

Congo Tetras

Congo Tetras are popular in aquariums due to their colorful appearance and peaceful nature. They make great tank mates for fish of similar temperament and size, like African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis.

It’s important to consider their schooling behavior and tank requirements when keeping them with other fish.

These tetras are generally harmless and have minimal care requirements, making them an ideal choice for a harmonious aquatic environment alongside African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis.

Their peaceful nature makes them compatible with various other species as well, enhancing the overall balance of your aquarium community. Now let’s delve into the best tank mates specifically for African Butterfly Fish.

West African Cichlids

West African Cichlids are a great match for African Butterfly Fish because they are self-assured and can hold their own in the tank. Their confidence allows them to coexist harmoniously, creating a balanced aquatic environment.

These cichlids are also suitable tank mates for African Butterfly Fish as long as they aren’t overly aggressive. Their compatibility makes them perfect companions, adding diversity to the tank while maintaining a peaceful atmosphere.

Black Ghost Knifefish

When considering suitable tank mates for West African Cichlids, it’s essential to deliberate the compatibility of fish species. The Black Ghost Knifefish is an intriguing choice due to its unique attribute of possessing an electromotor and electrosensory system.

To ensure the wellbeing of the Black Ghost Knifefish, it’s crucial to provide a spacious tank that is at least three times its length and wider than its body. When selecting companions for this fish, careful consideration should be given to their nature, as they can coexist harmoniously with certain species such as Blue Gourami and Pictus catfish.

However, ensuring a well-suited environment for these fascinating creatures entails understanding their specific care needs and providing a conducive tank setup.

Banjo Catfish

Moving on from the elusive Black Ghost Knifefish, another intriguing addition to your aquarium could be the Banjo Catfish. Renowned for their resilience, these hardy fish make an excellent and unique choice for any aquatic enthusiast.

When it comes to choosing tank mates, consider Tetras, Pencilfish, Hatchetfish, Corydoras, or larger Cichlids as suitable companions for the Banjo Catfish. Their compatibility and sturdy nature make them a valuable addition to any vibrant aquatic community.

These engaging underwater creatures bring a distinctive charm with their robustness and adaptability. The Banjo Catfish is indeed an exceptional choice for those seeking a captivating and harmonious aquarium environment.

Elephantnose Fish

If you want a serene and peaceful aquatic environment, Elephant Nose Fish can be a great addition to your tank. These freshwater species are known for their calm temperament. They coexist harmoniously with larger tetras, catfish, loaches, and gouramis.

However, they are not the best match for tiny or delicate fish like neon tetras, guppies, or betta fish due to possible conflicts. It’s crucial to select suitable tank mates as this can help avoid any confrontation with other fish species.

When caring for Elephant Nose Fish, it is essential to take into consideration their need for specific care and attention in a freshwater setting. By choosing compatible tank mates and providing them with the right conditions, these fascinating creatures can thrive within your aquatic ecosystem.

Rainbow Kribensis

Moving on from the Elephantnose Fish, another potential tank mate for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis is the Rainbow Kribensis. These fish are also known as striped kribensis or taeniatus wouri.

They grow to a maximum of 3 inches long and can be semi-aggressive, sometimes exhibiting nipping behavior towards fellow tank mates. However, they can coexist with Rainbowfish if provided with enough space in a large tank for each fish to establish their territory.

Rainbow Kribensis could be an intriguing addition to your aquatic environment due to their distinctive appearance and interesting behavior. While considering suitable tank mates for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis, it’s essential to weigh the compatibility factors carefully.

Care Guide for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis

Single Three spot gourami in the aquarium with the plant

The care guide for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis includes a proper diet, specific tank requirements, potential diseases to watch out for, and information on breeding. To learn more about the best practices for keeping these beautiful fish in your aquarium, continue reading our blog.


African Butterfly Fish eat live insects like roaches, spiders, crickets, mealworms multiple times a day. They also accept frozen and live foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Gouramis consume high-quality flake or pellet foods. They can also eat live or frozen foods like bloodworms and daphnia. Incorporating blanched vegetables or algae wafers into their diet can benefit them.

Tank requirements

To ensure the well-being of African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis, it’s vital to have a tank with ample space. The ideal size for an aquarium housing these fish is 40 gallons at the minimum.

However, opting for a larger tank can significantly enhance their comfort and overall health. To cater to the needs of African Butterfly Fish, a well-designed environment is essential, including plenty of live plants and appropriate objects that provide comfortable spaces for them.

Maintaining suitable water conditions is imperative for African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis. It’s crucial to monitor the water hardness in the tank since these fish thrive in an environment with a water hardness level ranging from 1-10 GH.

Possible diseases

African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis are susceptible to various infections, parasites, and common freshwater fish diseases. Here are the possible diseases to watch out for:

  1. Skin flukes – These are tiny flatworms that can attach themselves to the fish’s skin and lead to irritation and damage.
  2. Parasites – Various parasites can affect these fish, causing issues such as decreased appetiteweight loss, and behavioral changes.
  3. Bacterial infections – Bacterial diseases can manifest in different ways, including fin rot, ulcers, and pop-eye.
  4. Ichthyobodo infection – Also known as “ich,” this is a common protozoan parasite that causes white spots on the fish’s body.
  5. Other bacterial diseases – African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis can be susceptible to a range of bacterial infections that may affect their overall health.


Breeding African Butterfly Fish in a home aquarium presents challenges due to their specific breeding requirements. They are egg layers, and the male fertilizes the eggs as they float at the water’s surface.

To encourage breeding, provide floating plants for them to deposit their eggs on, mimicking their natural habitat. Additionally, maintain warm water temperatures and offer live foods like insects or small aquatic creatures that mimic their natural diet.

Given these requirements and the sensitivity of the process, successfully breeding these fish requires patience and close attention to detail.

Gouramis can also be bred in home aquariums with proper care. They build bubble nests at the water’s surface where they protect their eggs until they hatch. It’s essential to create an environment suitable for nest-building by providing floating plants or other materials at the water’s surface.


In conclusion, African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis can coexist peacefully in the same tank. They both require similar water conditions, making them ideal companions. With the right tank mates and care, these fish can create a harmonious aquatic environment.

By following proper guidelines for their diet and tank setup, aquarists can enjoy the beauty of these fascinating species thriving together.


1. Can African Butterfly Fish live with Gouramis in the same tank?

Yes, the African Butterfly Fish, also known as Pantodon buchholzi, can live with peaceful Gouramis. They make good tank mates and share a calm environment together.

2. What should I put in my fish tank to keep these fish happy?

To keep your African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis happy, add lots of aquarium plants for them to hide and feel safe from predators. Check the water with a thermometer to make sure it’s warm enough!

3. Do I need to watch out for any health problems in these fish?

Yes, like all fish, both African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis can get sick. Look out for signs of illness or ailments often by checking on them.

4. Will Tiger Barbs and Harlequin Rasboras be good friends for my African Butterfly Fish and Gouramis too?

Tiger Barbs might not be ideal because they are very active at night and could bother your peaceful fish. Instead, go for gentle buddies like Harlequin Rasboras which are great choices!

5. How do I know if my African Butterfly Fish is ready to have babies?

When you see changes between males and females (this is called sexual dimorphism), such as different size or shape in fins or colors that tell them apart—that’s a hint! Also look for spawning behaviors like when they try making a place for eggs near plants.