Pearl Gourami

Scientific NameTrichogaster leeri
Common Name(s)Pearl gourami
OriginSoutheast Asia, Indonesia
Temperature Range75-86°F
Water ParametersKH 5-18, pH 6.5-8.0
Adult Size4.5in
DietOmnivorous

Pearl Gourami Facts:

1. Like most gouramis, the male of the species is much more ornamental and brightly colored with orange accents.

2. Often considered the most beautiful of the gourami species.

3. Heartier and more accepting of different water conditions than other gourami species.

Species Overview:

The Pearl Gourami is easy to care for. Like other gouramis, it prefers a heavily planted tank with many hiding spaces and ample debris for building bubble nests. They require a larger thank than some of their cousins, at 30 gallons at the very least, but they’re just as communal and peaceful. Caring for the plants provides ample maintenance for these fish, though they aren’t as finicky as some other species. They do like to hide though, and prefer a somber habitat. They also need to have direct access to fresh air since they are labyrinth fish. 

Though they shouldn’t be kept with larger aggressive fish, pearl gourami are incredibly timid and docile with other species. In general, they only fight with other members of the gourami species, but they shouldn’t be kept with aggressive fish. They have long feeler-like ventral fins that drag as they swim, and nipper fish, like certain tetras and barbs, will take advantage and nip at them. Keep them with similarly sized, peaceful fish.

Feeding is very simple. They eat just about any food on offer, but to ensure a good, healthy diet, be sure to add variation. They can eat flakes, freeze-dried food, and algae-based food. They aren’t picky eaters, so whatever works for the community, as long as it’s a balanced diet, will be fine. 

These fish have an unusual mating ritual. The male first builds his bubble nest, then courts the female. When she accepts him, he wraps his body around hers beneath the nest, and she expels her eggs. The male then goes to gather them in his mouth and will place them in the nest, where he will tend to them until they hatch into free-swimming fry about three days later. It’s an endearing ritual, but the male and female must be separated after mating, and the male can only stay with the fry until they hatch.

They are regarded as one of the most beautiful fish, but they can become stressed. If they spend most of their time hiding in one corner or start losing their color, it’s a sign that something in the tank is amiss. To avoid this, make sure it’s somewhere calm and a quiet and that the decorative objects aren’t too brightly colored. If it’s a communal tank, monitor the fish to make sure nobody is being a bully, and consider dither fish if the community is overly aggressive.

The pearl gourami is a relatively easy fish to raise though, so enjoy it!

Posted on August 25, 2014 and filed under Freshwater Fish.