Pearl Gourami Care Guide: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Fish

Pearl Gouramis are beautiful and peaceful fish that can add elegance to any freshwater aquarium. These unique creatures are popular among aquarists thanks to their hardy nature and adaptability to reasonably-sized tanks.

In this article, we will explore the essential aspects of Pearl Gourami care, including their habitat, diet, and maintaining optimal water conditions. With the right information, you’ll be well-equipped to provide a healthy and welcoming environment for your new aquatic friends.

As you embark on your Pearl Gourami care journey, remember that keeping them happy and healthy doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Follow the upcoming guide to ensure your aquarium becomes a perfect home for these fascinating fish.

Species Overview

Pearl Gourami, a striking and easy-to-care freshwater fish, is loved by many aquarists. Their unique appearance and peaceful nature make them perfect additions to community tanks.

Scientific Name: Trichopodus leerii
Common Names: Pearl gourami, mosaic gourami, lace gourami, diamond gourami, leeri gourami
Distribution: Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra
Size: 4-5 inches
Lifespan: 4 to 5 years

Property Detail
Diet Omnivorous; flakes, pellets, live or frozen foods
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum Tank Size 30 gallons
Temperature 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C)
pH 6.0 to 8.0
Water Hardness 5-20 dGH
Care Level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Moderate
Water Type Freshwater
Breeding Bubble-nester
Breeding Difficulty Moderate
Compatibility Peaceful community tank

To ensure your Pearl Gouramis thrive in their new environment, provide a variety of plants and hiding spots. It’s essential to monitor water parameters closely to avoid stress and disease. Additionally, maintain a balanced diet for a healthy and beautiful fish. Happy fish-keeping!

Origins and Natural Habitat

The pearl gourami (scientific name: Trichopodus leerii) is a freshwater labyrinth fish that originates from Southeast Asia. They can primarily be found in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.

In their natural habitat, pearl gouramis thrive in the slow-moving waters of densely vegetated areas. They are commonly found in shallow environments like rice paddies, swamps, and slow-moving streams. This provides them with plenty of hiding spots and protection.

When setting up your aquarium, it’s essential to consider replicating the pearl gourami’s natural surroundings. Ensure your tank features plants, rocks, and hiding spots to make these captivating fish feel at home. A well-designed environment will not only help your pearl gouramis stay healthy but also allow their unique coloration to shine.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Shape

Pearl Gouramis typically grow up to 4-5 inches in length, while their unique body shape includes a triangular-shaped dorsal fin, and an anal fin that extends along their lower body. These fish tend to have a slender and elongated appearance, making them a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

Color and Markings

The striking coloration of Pearl Gouramis consists of a silver-blue body adorned with an intricate pattern of white spots. These spots resemble small pearls, giving the fish its name. Contrasting beautifully with the silver-blue color, these markings make Pearl Gouramis an eye-catching species and an attractive addition to your tank.


Pearl Gouramis have an average lifespan of 4-5 years in a well-maintained aquarium. With proper care and attention to their needs, they can even live up to 8 years. It’s essential to provide a suitable environment, diet, and compatible tank mates to ensure their health and longevity.

Pearl Gourami Tank Setup

Caring for Pearl Gouramis is pretty easy and enjoyable. In this section, we will discuss how to properly set up a tank for your Pearl Gouramis, ensuring their comfort and health. Let’s dive into the details of tank size, water parameters, and aquarium decor to create an ideal environment for these beautiful fish.

Tank Size

A spacious and well-decorated environment is crucial for your Pearl Gouramis, as it mimics their natural habitat. It’s recommended to have at least a 30-gallon (113 liters) tank for a pair of Pearl Gouramis, with an additional 15 gallons per extra fish. This will provide them enough space to swim and thrive.

Water Parameters

Here are the essential water parameters you should maintain for your Pearl Gouramis:

  • Temperature: Keep the water between 75°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
  • pH: Maintain a pH level between 6 and 7.5 for optimal health.
  • Hardness: Keep the water hardness between 4 and 12 dH.

Consistently monitoring the water parameters will help you maintain a healthy environment that supports your Pearl Gouramis’ well-being.

Aquarium Decor

Creating the perfect home for your Pearl Gouramis involves providing them with a variety of hiding spots and decorations. Here are some suggestions for sprucing up their tank:

  • Substrate: Opt for a mix of sand and fine gravel, which is comfortable and suitable for them and the plants.
  • Live plants: Pearl Gouramis enjoy having plants to hide in and explore. Choose plants like Java Fern, Cryptocoryne, and Anubias to create natural cover.
  • Rocks and caves: Incorporate rocks and caves into the tank setup to provide additional hiding spots and promote a sense of security.
  • Moderate Lighting: Pearl Gouramis prefer moderate lighting. Invest in suitable LED tank lights that will not only illuminate the tank but also encourage plant growth.

By providing the right combination of tank size, water parameters, and decor, you will create an ideal space for your Pearl Gouramis to thrive and enjoy their new home.

Diet and Feeding

Type of Food

Pearl Gouramis are omnivorous, which means they enjoy eating both plants and small animals. In their natural habitat, they feed on small insects, invertebrates, and algae. In your aquarium, providing them with a balanced diet will ensure their health and longevity. Here are some types of food you can offer your Pearl Gourami:

  • Flake or Pellet Food: Choose high-quality pellets or flakes specifically designed for gouramis, as they contain the proper nutrients for their diet.
  • Frozen Foods: Supplement their diet with frozen or live foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These are a great source of protein and will bring diversity to their diet.
  • Vegetable Matter: Include some vegetable material like spirulina, blanched spinach, or zucchini to meet their plant-based nutritional requirements.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your Pearl Gouramis 2-3 times a day, providing only as much food as they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health issues for your fish, so it’s important to monitor their eating habits and adjust accordingly. Here’s a suggested feeding schedule:

  • Morning: Offer a small amount of flake or pellet food, ensuring each fish gets a chance to eat.
  • Afternoon: Provide them with a serving of frozen or live food, as a protein-rich meal.
  • Evening: Give them a final serving of flake or pellet food, paired with some vegetable matter.

Remember, maintaining a balanced diet and regular feeding schedule will keep your Pearl Gouramis healthy and happy.

Behavior and Compatibility


Pearl Gouramis are generally peaceful and easygoing fish, which makes them a popular choice for community aquariums. They can be a bit shy at times, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of hiding spots in the form of plants, driftwood, or other decor. Be mindful of their labyrinth organ, which enables them to breathe atmospheric air as well as oxygen dissolved in the water. As a result, they may need access to the water surface to gulp air, so ensure that there’s enough space for them to do so comfortably.

Tank Mates

Due to their calm nature, Pearl Gouramis get along well with other peaceful and similarly sized fish. Some good tank mates for Pearl Gouramis include:

  • Tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Corydoras catfish
  • Small Loaches

Avoid housing them with aggressive or large predatory fish, as this could lead to stress and bullying. It’s also not recommended to keep multiple male Pearl Gouramis together in the same tank, as they can become territorial and display aggressive behaviors towards each other. However, you can consider keeping one male and several females together to form a more harmonious environment.

Breeding Pearl Gouramis

Spawning Conditions

To breed your Pearl Gouramis, it’s essential to create the right conditions for spawning. First, set up a separate breeding tank with a water temperature between 80-82°F (27-28°C) and a pH level around 6.5-7.0. Add some floating plants to provide cover and aid in the formation of bubble nests, as Pearl Gouramis are bubble nest builders.

Once the breeding tank is ready, choose healthy and mature pairs for breeding. A common indicator of the male’s readiness to breed is an intensified coloration, while the females will have a plumper belly full of eggs. Introduce the selected pair to the breeding tank, and observe the courting behavior of the male as he pursues the female.

When the female accepts the male’s advances, they will begin the mating ritual, ultimately resulting in the male wrapping himself around the female as she releases her eggs. As the eggs are fertilized, the male will gather them in his mouth and place them in the bubble nest. This process can last for a few hours.

Raising Fry

Once spawning is complete, remove the female from the breeding tank, as the male will become protective of the nest and may become aggressive. Keep the male in the tank, as he will continue to guard the nest and tend to the eggs until they hatch. The eggs typically hatch within 24-36 hours.

After hatching, the fry will primarily feed on their egg sacs for the first couple of days. However, it’s important to prepare additional food sources for the fry once they are free-swimming. You can provide infusoria, micro worms, or newly hatched brine shrimp as their primary diet.

Frequent water changes (around 20-30% every few days) are crucial to maintaining a healthy environment for the fry and promoting their growth. As the fry grow and reach about 2-3 weeks old, you can start gradually incorporating crushed or powdered flake food in their diets.

Remember to closely monitor the fry and their development, adjusting their diets and tank conditions as necessary. With proper care, your Pearl Gourami fry will soon grow into healthy, stunning adult fish, ready for their permanent home in your aquarium.

Health and Disease Prevention

Taking proper care of your Pearl Gouramis is paramount to ensure their good health. By discussing some common diseases and preventive measures, you can provide your fish with a safe and thriving environment.

Common Diseases

  1. Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis): Ich is a common parasite which causes white spots on the fish’s body. This parasite can affect Pearl Gouramis and can be identified by small white spots, clamped fins, and lethargic behavior.
  2. Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that can affect your Pearl Gourami’s fins, causing fraying and loss of color. Early detection is important to prevent extensive damage.
  3. Fungal Infections: Fungal infections, usually recognized by a white cottony growth, can affect different parts of your fish’s body. These infections can be harmful if not treated promptly.

Preventive Measures

To maintain the health of your Pearl Gouramis and reduce the risk of illnesses, follow these preventive measures:

  • Regular Water Changes: Perform frequent water changes, ideally 25-30% of your tank’s water every two weeks. This ensures optimal water parameters and a healthy environment for your fish.
  • Test Your Water: Monitor and maintain the water parameters in the ideal range using a reliable test kit. Check levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and general hardness.
  • Proper Filtration: Invest in a high-quality filter that can efficiently handle the tank size and bioload. To provide additional oxygen, use an air stone.
  • Maintain Temperature and Lighting: Keep the temperature between 75°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C) and provide moderate lighting using suitable LED tank lights.
  • Nutrition: Provide your Pearl Gouramis with a varied and balanced diet to strengthen their immune system and resistance to diseases.
  • Clean Environment: Regularly clean your tank and remove any debris. Include hiding spots, like live plants, rocks, or caves, to ensure your fish feel secure.
  • Quarantine New Fish: Always quarantine new fish for at least two weeks to avoid introducing infections and parasites into your main tank.

By following these guidelines, you can create an environment that promotes your Pearl Gouramis’ health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Pearl Gouramis?

Ideally, Pearl Gouramis should be housed in a tank that is at least 30 gallons in size. This provides enough space for them to swim and maintain a healthy environment. Be sure to include plants and hiding spots for their comfort.

How can you distinguish between male and female Pearl Gouramis?

Males and females have slightly different appearances. Male Pearl Gouramis tend to be more colorful, with a more pointed dorsal fin. Females, on the other hand, have more rounded fins and a more subdued coloration.

What is the recommended school size for Pearl Gouramis?

Pearl Gouramis are not known to be schooling fish. However, they can be kept with other peaceful fish in a community tank. It is recommended to keep them in pairs or small groups to enhance their sense of security and well-being.

What is the average lifespan of Pearl Gouramis?

In captivity, Pearl Gouramis typically have a lifespan of around 4-6 years. With optimal care and a well-maintained environment, they may live up to 8 years.

Can Pearl Gouramis coexist with Guppies?

Yes, Pearl Gouramis can coexist with Guppies, as both species are peaceful and can thrive in a community tank. Just ensure that the tank conditions accommodate the needs of both species.

How many Pearl Gouramis can be kept in a 30-gallon tank?

In a 30-gallon tank, it is recommended to keep a pair or a small group of up to four Pearl Gouramis. This allows for enough space to swim and for each fish to establish its territory while maintaining a harmonious environment.