Why Is My Dwarf Gourami Blowing Bubbles? {Top 4 Reasons Explained}

Are you seeing bubbles coming out of your dwarf gourami? Why is my dwarf gourami blowing bubbles?

Why are there so many bubbles at the surface of the tank? They spooked me out until I found out the truth.

In this article, we’ll find out why dwarf gourami fish blow bubbles.

Why Is My Dwarf Gourami Blowing Bubbles?

A male dwarf gourami builds a bubble nest for the female to lay her eggs. Sometimes they do it to attract a female, to remain active or just because they’re happy.

Gouramis can gulp surface air and expel it through their gills as bubbles. It’s all perfectly normal. 

Do Dwarf Gouramis Make Bubble Nests?

Yes. All types of gourami fish commonly lay eggs that attach to bubble nests floating at the surface of the water. The floating plants you place in your tank will help the male dwarf gourami to build the nest. The plant matter helps the bubbles stay intact.

The male dwarf gourami takes action after initial breeding with a female to give her a location to lay the eggs. Sometimes he takes proactive action by building a bubble nest before breeding to show off his skills and suitability to attract a female.

He may also do this to remain active when he’s just happy to be in your comfortable tank.

Why Do Dwarf Gourami Blow Bubbles?

Here are a few reasons why dwarf gouramis blow bubbles:

  1. Building a bubble nest
  2. Trap Insects or larvae
  3. Expel air for the surface
  4. Display their mood

1. Bubble Nest

This is a natural part of the mating and breeding process. The male is assigned the role of building a bubble nest at the surface of the water for the female to lay her eggs. He will defend this space and guard the eggs until they hatch.

2. Trap Insects Or Larvae

In the wild, the gourami species of fish have been able to gulp air and water from the surface to build bubbles or spit out the water directed at insects. The bubbles can trap the larvae or insects long enough for gouramis to swim up and gulp them down.

3. Expel Air

The labyrinthian organ in gouramis and bettas allow for them to gulp air from the surface and blow bubbles directly out of their gills. It’s a healthy and normal adaptation for them. It’s also fun for us to watch!

4. Display Their Mood

If your male dwarf gourami is building you a bubble nest without a female around or not during breeding season, then he’s just telling you that he’s active and happy. This is a good sign that you’re doing the right things to maintain a healthy ecosystem for your dwarf gourami.

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Why Gourami Spitting Water?

Yes. You may notice your dwarf gourami rising to the top of your tank and spitting out water. A jet of water could shoot out of their mouths after they gulp water, take it in, then blow it out like a water gun.

This act was adapted to shoot insects just above the surface and knock them down to the water line. The dwarf gourami can quickly snatch the fazed and startled insect within seconds for a quick snack.

How is my Dwarf Gourami Blowing Bubbles?

All Anabantidae including betta and gouramis have a specific organ called the labyrinth organ to allow them to blow bubbles. They swim up to the surface and gulp in air, then expel the bubbles out of their mouths or gills.

These bubbles are mucus filled and can attach to each other along with pieces of plant matter to form bubble nests. Dwarf gouramis come from stagnant waters where these nests serve as homes to spawn and raise their fry.

The eggs float up into the bubbles that are lighter than the water itself. Floating plant bits that they bite off and spit out helps to keep the bubbles together along with the mucus inside them.

Why Does My Dwarf Gourami Blow Bubbles When Eating?

Dwarf gouramis love to eat. They are known to steal food from tankmates because of their insatiable appetite. Sometimes they eat too fast. They can gulp food down so fast that they may need to blow bubbles behind their gills at the same time.

The bubbles allow for them to expel gas because the rapid gulping of food is also making them gulp air. Blowing out the bubbles helps them release the gas to prevent bloating.

Why Do Male Dwarf Gouramis Build Nest Without A Female Around?

If your male dwarf gourami doesn’t have a bonded female to breed with, he may still try to build a bubble nest in the hopes of attracting one. You can witness countless male dwarf gouramis in the wild trying to build bubble nests as close as 3 feet apart from each other.

At this point, they will also brighten up in color and try to compete to see who has the flashiest scales and best bubble nest to attract any nearby female dwarf gourami.

Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Their Babies?

A female dwarf gourami may eat her own eggs. She should be removed from the tank where the eggs are attached to the bubble nest. The male dwarf gourami will not eat the eggs. He will defend and guard them.

Once the fry start swimming freely, he may stop guarding them and possibly try to eat them. A breeding tank is best and removing the female first before she eats the eggs is the best move. Once the eggs hatch, remove the male as well.

Do Female Gouramis Make Bubble Nests?

No. The job of building a bubble nest usually belongs to the male. This doesn’t mean that you will never see a female dwarf gourami blowing some bubbles into the nest as well. Their primary job is to lay the eggs.

There are times when I notice a female swim up and add to the bubbles. She may have found that the male was not doing a good enough job or wanted to help out!


Male dwarf gouramis blow bubbles and make nests for the females to lay their eggs. These fish are able to use a special organ to expel bubbles from their gills while eating or playfully swimming, It helps prevent gas or bloating.

They can also use this ability to snatch insects or larvae at the surface of the water. Pretty cool isn’t it?


Thanks for taking time to check us out at HelpUsFish.com. We have many more articles on dwarf gouramis and other marine life that you may be interested in. See you soon!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.