The pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii) group

Pearl Gourami Care


The Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri) is a freshwater fish belonging to the gourami family. It is native to Southeast Asia and is found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The Pearl Gourami is a popular aquarium fish and is often kept in community tanks.

The Pearl Gourami is a small fish, growing to a maximum length of 6 cm (2.4 in). It is pale pink or pearl-colored, with dark spots on the body and fins. The male Pearl Gourami has a long, filamentous extension on the dorsal fin, while the female does not.

The Pearl Gourami is a peaceful fish and can be kept with other peaceful community fish. It is an omnivorous fish and will eat most aquarium foods, including flakes, pellets, and live food.

The Pearl Gourami is a bubblenest builder, and the male will construct a nest of bubbles at the surface of the water. The female will then lay her eggs in the nest, and the male will fertilize them. The fry will hatch in 24-48 hours, and the male will care for them until they are large enough to fend for themselves.

If you’re looking to add a beautiful and unique fish to your aquarium, the pearl gourami is a great option! These fish are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure their health and happiness.


The lifespan of a pearl gourami in captivity is typically 10 to 12 years. However, some individuals have been known to live up to 15 years or more with proper care. Wild pearl gouramis are thought to have shorter lifespans due to predation and other environmental factors.


The Pearl Gourami is a freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It is a member of the gourami family and is closely related to the kissing gourami. The fish is named for its pearlescent scales, which are a result of a genetic mutation.

The Pearl Gourami is a popular aquarium fish and is available in a variety of colors, including blue, orange, and red. The fish is typically 3-5 inches in length and has a lifespan of 5-10 years.

Males VS. Females: Size & Color Differences

Males and females of the Pearl Gourami species differ in size and coloration. Males are typically larger and more brightly colored than females. Females are typically a duller color and may have spots on their fins.

Males typically grow to be about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, while females only grow to be about 2.5 inches (6.4 cm). The colors of the Pearl Gourami can range from a pale pink to a bright red, with males tending to be more brightly colored than females. Females may also have spots on their fins, while males typically do not.

The Pearl Gourami is a peaceful fish that is well suited for community tanks. They are not known to be territorial and get along well with other fish species.

Tank Size & Setup

Aquarium size is an important consideration for pearl gourami care. A 20-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a single fish. If you plan to keep more than one pearl gourami, you will need at least a 30-gallon tank.

When setting up your aquarium, be sure to include plenty of hiding places and hiding spots. Pearl gouramis are shy fish and will appreciate having places to retreat to when they feel scared or stressed. Driftwood, live plants, and caves are all good options for creating hiding places in your aquarium.

Pearl gouramis are peaceful fish and can be kept with a wide variety of tank mates. Good choices include other peaceful community fish like guppies, Platies, and Tetras. Avoid keeping pearl gouramis with aggressive or territorial fish like Cichlids and Oscar fish.

The Nitrogen Cycle 

The Nitrogen Cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. This process is essential to the health of your Pearl Gourami Tank as it helps to remove waste and toxins from the water. The cycle is completed by a number of different bacteria that live in the tank. 

The first stage of the cycle is ammonia conversion. Ammonia is produced by the fish as a waste product and is toxic to them in high levels. The bacteria Nitrosomonas convert the ammonia into nitrites. 

The second stage is nitrite conversion. Nitrites are also toxic to fish and must be removed from the water. This is done by the bacteria Nitrospira which convert nitrites into nitrates. 

The final stage is nitrate reduction. Nitrates are much less toxic to fish than ammonia and nitrites but are still harmful in high levels. The bacteria Nitrobacter convert nitrates into nitrogen gas which is then released into the air. 

The Nitrogen Cycle is an important process to understand and maintain in your Pearl Gourami Tank. By keeping on top of the cycle, you can ensure a healthy environment for your fish.

Water Parameters

The Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leerii) is a freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving streams and rivers with plenty of vegetation. They are a popular aquarium fish and are relatively easy to care for.

In order to maintain a healthy environment for your Pearl Gourami, it is important to pay attention to the water parameters in your tank. These include the temperature, pH, hardness, and alkalinity of the water.

Pearl gourami in a aquarium (Trichopodus leeri)

The ideal water temperature for a Pearl Gourami is 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5, and the hardness should be between 5 and 15 dGH. The alkalinity should be between 2 and 12 meq/L.

If you are unsure about the water parameters in your tank, you can test the water with a kit from your local pet store. Once you know the levels, you can adjust them as needed to create a comfortable environment for your fish.


Looking to add some extra flair to your Pearl Gourami tank? Lighting can be a great way to show off your fish and make your aquarium stand out.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing lighting for your Pearl Gourami tank. First, consider what type of light you want to use. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular in aquariums because they are energy efficient and create very little heat.

If you decide to go with LED lighting, there are a few different options to choose from. You can get lights that are specifically made for aquariums, or you can get ones that are made for general home use.

Aquarium-specific lights tend to be more expensive, but they will last longer and are often more energy efficient. General home lights can be cheaper, but they may not last as long and may not be as energy efficient.

Once you’ve decided on the type of light, you need to choose the right color. The color of light you choose will depend on the look you’re going for in your aquarium.

If you want your fish to really stand out, you can go with a blue light. Blue light will make your fish look more vibrant and will make your aquarium look more like an underwater paradise.

If you want a more natural look, you can go with a white light. White light will give your aquarium a bright, clean look and will make your fish look more like they would in their natural environment.

No matter what color light you choose, make sure it’s not too bright. Too much light can be stressful for your fish and can cause them to hide.

When setting up your lighting, it’s important to create a gradual transition from light to dark. This can be done by using a light timer or by gradually adding more lights over time.

Creating a gradual transition will help your fish adjust to the new lighting and will prevent them from being shocked by a sudden change.

Pearl Gouramis are a beautiful fish that can really make your aquarium stand out. With the right lighting, you can show off their colors and create a stunning underwater paradise.

Plants, Substrate & Decorations

Aquarium plants play an important role in the pearl gourami tank setup. They help to create a natural and inviting environment for your fish, and can also provide valuable filtration benefits.

When choosing plants for your pearl gourami tank, it is important to select species that are well-suited to the water conditions in your aquarium. Pearl gouramis prefer a water temperature of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and a slightly acidic to neutral pH level.

Some good plant choices for a pearl gourami tank include Anubias, Java Fern, and Cryptocoryne. These plants are all relatively easy to care for, and will thrive in the pearl gourami tank setup.

In addition to plants, you will also need to choose a suitable substrate for your aquarium. A good option for a pearl gourami tank is a sand or gravel substrate, as this will help to create a natural and visually appealing environment for your fish.

Finally, you can also add some decorations to your pearl gourami tank to further enhance its appearance. Some good decoration choices include driftwood, rocks, and live or artificial plants.

With a little planning and effort, you can create a beautiful and inviting pearl gourami tank setup that your fish will enjoy for years to come.

Common Diseases

The Pearl Gourami is a robust and hardy fish, but like all animals, they are susceptible to diseases. The most common diseases that affect Pearl Gouramis are:

1) White Spot Disease: This is a highly contagious disease caused by a protozoan parasite. The parasites attach themselves to the fish’s skin and gills, causing irritation and eventually leading to death.

2) Fin Rot: This is a bacterial infection that affects the fins and tail of the fish. The fins and tail become frayed and eventually disintegrate.

3) Mouth Rot: This is a bacterial infection that affects the mouth and gills of the fish. The mouth and gills become red and inflamed, and the fish has difficulty breathing.

4) Dropsy: This is a disease that affects the internal organs of the fish. The organs swell up with fluid and the fish’s body becomes bloated.

5) Swim Bladder Disease: This is a disease that affects the swim bladder of the fish. The swim bladder is a sac that helps the fish to float. If it becomes diseased, the fish has difficulty swimming and may even sink to the bottom of the tank.

If you suspect that your fish is sick, it is important to seek veterinary care right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is often the key to a successful recovery.

Diet & Feeding

The Pearl Gourami is an omnivorous fish and will accept a wide variety of food items in its diet. In the wild, they feed on small invertebrates, algae, and plant matter. In the aquarium, they will readily accept most commercial flake foods, pellets, and freeze-dried foods.

It is important to provide a varied diet to keep them healthy and to bring out their best coloration. Live and frozen foods are also appreciated and can be offered regularly. Some good choices include brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Behavior & Temperament

Pearl Gouramis are peaceful fish that make a great addition to any community aquarium. They are active fish that enjoy swimming in all areas of the tank. Pearl Gouramis are known to be good jumpers, so make sure your aquarium is covered.

Pearl Gouramis are generally peaceful fish, but they can be territorial with other Gourami species. If you keep more than one Pearl Gourami in your aquarium, make sure to provide plenty of hiding places and swimming space to avoid aggression.

Pearl Gouramis are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods, including live, frozen, and flake foods.

Pearl Gourami Tank Mates

The Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri) is a peaceful and relatively easy to care for freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. They are popular among aquarists due to their attractive pearl-like coloration, and they make good tank mates for other peaceful fish species.

Some good tank mates for Pearl Gouramis include other gourami species, tetras, barbs, danios, rainbows, and platies. Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish species that may bully or harass them. It is also best to avoid keeping them with fish that are much larger than them, as they may view them as potential predators.

When choosing tank mates for Pearl Gouramis, it is important to consider the size of your aquarium and the temperament of the other fish.

A good rule of thumb is to choose fish that are similar in size and temperament to the Pearl Gouramis. By doing this, you will create a peaceful and harmonious environment for all of your fish to enjoy.

Breeding & Mating

The Pearl Gourami is a labyrinth fish, meaning it has a special organ that allows it to breathe air. This is an advantage in the wild, where the fish can live in oxygen-poor water. The labyrinth organ also allows the Pearl Gourami to live in captivity, where it is often found in aquariums.

The Pearl Gourami is not a difficult fish to breed. In the wild, the fish typically breeds during the rainy season. In captivity, the fish can be induced to breed year-round.

To breed Pearl Gouramis, start with a group of six fish, three males and three females. The fish can be put into a breeding tank, or they can be kept in a community tank. If keeping the fish in a community tank, choose a tank that is at least 50 gallons.

The pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii)

The Pearl Gourami is a mouth-brooding fish. The female will lay her eggs in a nest that the male has built. The male will then fertilize the eggs. The female will mouth the eggs and keep them in her mouth until they hatch. This process takes about two weeks.

After the eggs have hatched, the fry will be released into the water. The fry are very small and need to be fed very small foods. The fry can be fed live foods, such as brine shrimp or daphnia. They can also be fed commercial fry foods.

The Pearl Gourami is not a difficult fish to breed, and with a little patience, you can successfully breed this beautiful fish.


How many pearl gouramis should be kept together?

It is recommended to keep pearl gouramis in pairs or in small groups. Keeping them in pairs will help to reduce aggression and allow them to form a stronger bond.

What temperature do pearl gouramis like?

Pearl gouramis like water that is on the warm side, around 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They come from slow-moving rivers and streams in Southeast Asia, so they prefer water that is not too fast-flowing.

Can I keep a single pearl gourami?

Yes, you can keep a single pearl gourami.

Are pearl gourami aggressive?

No, pearl gourami are not aggressive. They are a peaceful species that does well in community tanks.

Do gourami need a heater?

No, gourami do not need a heater. Gourami are a tropical fish and prefer water that is between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Pearl Gouramis eat snails?

Yes, Pearl Gouramis will eat snails. They are not particularly fussy eaters and will pretty much anything that fits into their mouths. So, if you have a snail problem in your aquarium, adding a Pearl Gourami or two may be a good solution.

How long can Pearl Gouramis go without food?

In general, fish can go for several weeks without food, although this depends on a number of factors, such as water temperature, activity level, and stress. pearl gouramis can go without food for longer periods of time than most fish, due to their slow metabolism.

If your Pearl Gouramis are healthy and well-fed, they can easily go a few weeks without food. However, if they are sick or undernourished, they may not survive more than a few days without food.

If you are planning to be away from home for an extended period of time, it is best to ask a friend or family member to feed your fish for you. Alternatively, you can purchase an automatic fish feeder which will dispense food at regular intervals.

What is this white dot on my pearl gourami’s eye?

If you have a white dot on your pearl gourami’s eye, it is most likely a cataract. Cataracts are common in older fish and can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, poor water quality, and nutrition.

If the cataract is small and does not seem to be causing any problems for your fish, there is no need to treat it. However, if the cataract is large and impacting your fish’s vision, you may want to consult a veterinarian about possible treatment options.

Why is my pearl gourami so fat?

There are a few reasons why your pearl gourami may be looking a bit on the heavy side. It could be simply due to genetics or body type, and some gourami species are just naturally stockier than others.

It could also be due to overeating, so make sure you’re not overfeeding your fish. Finally, it could be a sign of a health problem, so if your gourami is looking especially bloated or seems to be having trouble swimming, it’s best to take them to a vet for a check-up.

When do male pearl gouramis color up?

Male pearl gouramis color up when they are ready to breed. The colors are used to attract females and to intimidate other males. The brighter the colors, the more attractive the male is to females and the more likely he is to win breeding rights.

Can I keep 2 pearl gourami with cardinal tetras?

It is generally not recommended to keep pearl gourami with cardinal tetras due to the difference in size and temperament. Pearl gourami can grow to be up to 6 inches in length, while cardinal tetras only grow to be about 2.5 inches.

This size difference can cause problems with competition for food and space. Additionally, pearl gourami are typically more aggressive than cardinal tetras and can bully or intimidate them. For these reasons, it is usually best to keep pearl gourami and cardinal tetras in separate tanks.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a beautiful, long-lived fish for your aquarium, the pearl gourami is a great choice. These fish are relatively easy to care for, although they do require a bit of extra attention when it comes to water quality and tank mates. Pearl gouramis are peaceful fish that make a great addition to any community tank.


[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

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