Opaline Gourami: An Enchanting Aquarium Addition

Opaline Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus) is a beginner-friendly freshwater fish that’s well-loved by aquarists of all skill levels. This stunning variation of the three-spot gourami is not found in the wild but is a product of selective breeding. Native to Southeast Asia, these fish have a reputation for being low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for your home aquarium.

In this article, we’ll explore the essentials of opaline gourami care, from tank setup to suitable tank mates. We’ll also discuss their size and lifespan, ensuring you’re well-equipped to provide the best possible environment for your new aquatic friends.

As you learn about opaline gourami, you’ll discover their unique behaviors and beautiful coloration that make them an attractive addition to any community tank. So let’s get started on this journey to better understanding and caring for these lovely fish!

Species Profile

The Opaline Gourami is a popular, beginner-friendly freshwater fish with unique characteristics and an easy-going nature. Native to Southeast Asia, this fish is a product of selective breeding and is a distinct variation of the three-spot gourami.

As an aquarist, you’ll find caring for Opaline Gouramis rewarding due to their beautiful appearance and interesting behavior. They have a silvery pale blue color with darker blue markings. Here are some key details you should know about the Opaline Gourami:

Property Value
Scientific name Trichopodus trichopterus
Common names Opaline Gourami, Marbled Gourami
Distribution Southeast Asia
Size 6 inches (15 cm)
Lifespan 4-6 years
Diet Omnivorous
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum tank size 20 gallon (76 liter)
Temperature 72-82°F (22-28°C)
pH 6.0-8.0
Water hardness 5-15 dGH
Care level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Low to moderate
Water type Freshwater
Breeding Egg layers
Breeding difficulty Moderate
Compatibility Community tanks with other peaceful fish

Remember, when keeping Opaline Gouramis, it’s important to provide them with an appropriate environment, including a well-maintained tank and compatible tankmates to ensure their well-being and enjoyment.

Opaline Gourami Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Opaline Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus) is a popular freshwater fish, highly favored by beginner aquarists. Native to Southeast Asia, this fish can be found in countries such as China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India, and the Philippines. It’s important to note that the Opaline Gourami is not naturally occurring but is a product of selective breeding, making it a distinct variation of the famous three-spot gourami.

Size and Shape

When it comes to size and shape, Opaline Gouramis are graceful and elegant. They can grow up to 6 inches in length, and their bodies have a slightly compressed lateral profile. The ventral fins of this fish are particularly noteworthy, as they are delicate and flowing, equipped with touch-sensitive cells that aid the gourami’s sensory system.

Color and Markings

One of the most striking features of the Opaline Gourami is its color and markings. They have a beautiful silvery-blue hue accented by a darker marbled pattern that extends into their ventral fins. This pattern gives the fish a unique and eye-catching appearance, making it an attractive addition to your aquarium.

As an Opaline Gourami owner, it’s essential to provide the right care and environment for your fish to thrive. They require:

  • A tank size of at least 30 gallons
  • Water temperature between 77-82°F
  • A pH level of 6.0-8.0
  • A moderate water hardness (preferably between 5 and 15 dGH)


Provided they are well-cared for, your Opaline Gourami can enjoy a relatively long life, with an average lifespan of 4-6 years. With proper care and maintenance of their tank and water conditions, you can help ensure that your fish stays healthy and happy throughout its life. It’s essential to keep an eye on water quality and regular tank maintenance, as poor conditions can cause stress and illness to your Opaline Gouramis.

In conclusion, the Opaline Gourami is a charming and elegant addition to any aquarium. Their beautiful colors, markings, and interesting sensory system make them a fascinating species to observe and enjoy. By providing the appropriate care and environment, you can ensure their health and well-being for years to come.

Diet and Feeding

Opaline Gouramis are omnivorous, which means they enjoy a diverse diet. To keep them healthy and happy, it’s essential to provide them with a well-rounded feeding plan.

You should provide a mix of high-quality flake or pellet food designed for gouramis, as the base of their diet. This ensures they receive the necessary nutrients and energy to thrive in your aquarium.

In addition to the staple flake or pellet food, supplement their diet with various live or frozen food, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These protein-rich snacks help promote growth and maintain their vibrant colors.

Lastly, don’t forget the greens. Opaline Gouramis love nibbling on plant matter, so include blanched spinach, lettuce, or spirulina to satisfy their cravings for vegetation.

Remember to feed your Opaline Gourami once or twice a day, offering only what they can consume in 2-3 minutes. This helps prevent overfeeding and keeps your aquarium clean and healthy.

Behavior and Temperament

The Opaline Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus) is a beginner-friendly freshwater fish that’s appreciated for its peaceful and social behavior. They thrive in community aquariums, mixing well with similarly sized and non-aggressive species.

These gouramis are quite active and enjoy swimming throughout the tank, displaying their unique and beautiful colors. They also have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe air from the water’s surface.

To keep your Opaline Gourami happy and healthy, it’s essential to provide them with adequate hiding spots. They appreciate plants, rocks, and decorations, which not only offer security but also encourage natural foraging and exploring behaviors.

Be mindful that during the breeding season, male Opaline Gouramis may become territorial. Remember to provide enough space for them to establish their territories and avoid potential conflicts with other fish in the tank.

In summary, the Opaline Gourami is an excellent choice for your aquarium if you’re looking for a peaceful, social, and active fish that’s easy to care for.

Care and Tank Requirements

Tank Size

When setting up an aquarium for your Opaline Gourami, choose a tank that’s appropriate for their size and needs. For a single Opaline Gourami, a 30-gallon aquarium is recommended, while a larger tank will be needed if you plan to keep a group or have multiple tank mates.

Water Parameters (Temperature and pH)

It’s important to maintain the right water parameters for your Opaline Gourami to ensure their health and well-being. Here are the ideal water parameters:

  • Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 72°F and 82°F (22°C-28°C). Make use of a reliable aquarium heater to maintain consistent water temperature.
  • pH: Maintain a pH level between 6.0 and 8.0, which is suitable for their natural habitat.

Tank Setup and Decorations

Creating a comfortable environment for your Opaline Gourami will involve setting up the tank and adding decorations that mimic their natural habitat. Follow these guidelines:

  • Use a fine gravel or sandy substrate at the bottom of the tank.
  • Incorporate a variety of live plants, such as Java Fern and Anubias, which can provide hiding spots and improve water quality.
  • Add driftwood and rocks to create hiding spaces and add visual interest to the tank.
  • Leave some open swimming space for your Opaline Gourami to explore and swim freely.

Filtration and Aeration

Proper filtration and aeration are essential to maintaining a healthy environment for your Opaline Gourami. Keep in mind:

  • Use a high-quality filter suitable for your tank size to ensure efficient removal of the waste and toxins.
  • Opaline Gouramis have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air. While they can tolerate lower oxygen levels, it’s still important to provide adequate aeration. You can achieve this by using an air stone or adjusting your filter output to create surface agitation.
  • Perform regular water changes, replacing 25%-30% of the water every 2-3 weeks, to maintain water quality and remove accumulated toxins.

By following these care and tank requirements, you can create an ideal environment for your Opaline Gourami to thrive and enjoy a healthy, happy life.

Suitable Tank Mates

When it comes to selecting tank mates for your Opaline Gourami, it’s crucial to find non-aggressive species that can coexist peacefully. To ensure a harmonious environment for your fish, we’ve compiled a list of suitable tank mates to consider:

  • Plecos
  • Larger Tetras
  • Loaches
  • Peaceful Barbs
  • Big Invertebrates (snails and shrimp primarily)

Remember to maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in your aquarium, which is essential for the well-being of all inhabitants. By choosing these compatible tank mates, you will create a delightful environment where your Opaline Gourami can thrive.

Breeding Process

Breeding Opaline Gouramis can be a rewarding experience for fish enthusiasts of all skill levels. To begin the process, you’ll need to set up a separate breeding tank with ideal water conditions:

  • Maintain the temperature around 78°F (25.5°C).
  • Keep water hardness between 5 and 35 dGH.
  • Lower the water level to about 6 inches deep.

Once the water is ready, transfer a pair of healthy male and female Opaline Gouramis to the breeding tank. Keep an eye on the male’s behavior. He will likely start constructing a bubble nest by blowing air and secreting a film. This nest is where the eggs will be laid and protected.

When the male’s nest is complete, his intimate dance will catch the female’s attention. He will swim back and forth, flaring his fins and raising his tail. Once the female is ready, she will approach the nest.

During their mating embrace, the male will wrap his body around the female, encouraging her to release the eggs. He will then fertilize them as she lays them into the bubble nest. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, it’s best to remove the female from the tank to prevent any potential harm.

In 24-36 hours, the fertilized eggs will hatch, and tiny fry will emerge. After a few days, you can start feeding them with infusoria or other suitable live food. As they grow, transition them to a diet of baby brine shrimp and micro-worms. Happy fishkeeping!

Common Diseases and Treatments

Bacterial and parasitic infections can affect your Opaline Gourami. To prevent these issues, maintain good water quality and hygiene. Treatment options for bacterial infections can include antibiotics, while anti-parasitic medications can help combat parasites.

pH imbalance can also cause adverse health effects on your fish. It is essential to keep the water within an appropriate pH range, ideally around 6.0 to 8.0. Regularly testing the water and making necessary adjustments can help ensure the right pH, benefiting your Opaline Gourami’s health.

Maintain a clean tank environment and check for any contamination. Regular water changes, proper filtration systems, and removing uneaten food can prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Remember, always monitor your Opaline Gourami for any signs of stress or changes in behavior, as these could be early indicators of health issues. Timely interventions and following proper care guidelines can ensure your fish stays healthy and lives a long, happy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big do these fish grow?

Opaline Gouramis usually grow up to 6 inches in size. However, in larger tanks, they can sometimes grow even larger, reaching sizes of about 8 inches.

Do they need to be in pairs?

It’s not absolutely necessary for Opaline Gouramis to be kept in pairs. However, having at least one companion of the same species can be beneficial for their well-being and socialization. Make sure the tank is large enough to accommodate multiple fish and prevent territorial issues or aggression.

Can you keep a single Opaline?

Yes, you can keep a single Opaline Gourami in your tank. However, these fish enjoy the company of their own kind, so having at least one companion of the same species can be a good idea if you want to make sure your Opaline Gourami leads a happy and social life.

What is their ideal tank size?

Ideally, an Opaline Gourami should be kept in a tank with a minimum of 30 gallons of water. This allows them enough space to swim around without feeling cramped. If you plan to keep multiple Opaline Gouramis, increase the tank size accordingly to accommodate the extra fish.

What do they eat?

Opaline Gouramis are omnivorous and eat a combination of both plant and animal matter. You can feed them high-quality pellets or flakes, live, or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Supplement their diet with vegetables like blanched spinach and lettuce to provide variety and essential nutrients.

Are they compatible with neon tetras?

Yes, Opaline Gouramis and neon tetras can coexist peacefully in the same aquarium. They share similar water requirements and are generally considered good tank companions. However, keep in mind that Opaline Gouramis are larger than neon tetras, so ensure the tank is spacious enough to accommodate both species.