Pearl Gourami: Appearance, Lifespan, Size, Diet, Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

Are you looking to add a beautiful and unique freshwater fish to your aquarium? Look no further than the Pearl Gourami.

Known for its stunning appearance and easy care, this fish is perfect for beginners and experienced fish keepers.

In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about Pearl Gourami, from its appearance and lifespan to its diet and tank requirements.

Whether you’re a fan of aquatic creatures or simply looking to expand your underwater collection, the Pearl Gourami is sure to impress.

So, let’s dive in and discover the fascinating world of this beautiful fish species.

Overview of the Pearl Gourami Species

The Pearl Gourami is a stunning freshwater fish known for its beautiful appearance and ease of care. It is one of the most attractive gouramis and one of the hardest and easiest to keep.

The Pearl Gourami(Trichopodus leerii) has a unique physical appearance, with a long and laterally compressed body, long and thin ventral fins, and a small upturned mouth. Its body is covered in pearl and brown flecks, giving it a mother-of-pearl appearance. It also has a horizontal black line from its mouth to its tail.

Regarding its natural habitat, the Pearl Gourami originates from Thailand, Malaysia, and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. It prefers acidic water found in lowland swamps near the sea. However, it is adaptable to various water conditions and can thrive in a community aquarium.

The Pearl Gourami is a peaceful fish but may become aggressive towards others of the same species or other gouramis. It is best to keep them with tankmates of similar size and temperament. They are accustomed to heavy vegetation in their natural habitat, so providing floating plants, subdued lighting, and a dark substrate in the aquarium will help replicate their preferred environment.

Regarding feeding, the Pearl Gourami accepts a variety of foods, including flakes, freeze-dried, and frozen foods. A varied diet that includes fresh vegetables and live foods will ensure optimal health.

Overall, the Pearl Gourami is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for fish that can make a great addition to any aquarium. With proper care and attention to their habitat and diet, these fish can live a long and healthy life.

Appearance of Pearl Gourami


Description of their unique physical features

The Pearl Gourami has a long and laterally compressed body, which gives it an elegant appearance. These fish have long and thin ventral fins and a small upturned mouth.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Pearl Gourami is its color patterns. Its body is covered in pearl and brown flecks, which give it a stunning mother-of-pearl appearance. Additionally, it has a horizontal black line that runs from its mouth to its tail, adding to its beauty.

These physical features make the Pearl Gourami a standout in any aquarium. Their graceful movement and striking appearance can bring a touch of elegance to your tank.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, the Pearl Gourami is an excellent choice for adding visual interest and beauty to your aquatic collection.

Explanation of their color patterns and distinctive characteristics

The Pearl Gourami is known for its unique physical features and stunning color patterns. Its body is covered in pearl and brown flecks, giving it a beautiful mother-of-pearl appearance.

One distinguishing characteristic is the horizontal black line that runs from its mouth to its tail. These features make the Pearl Gourami a standout in any aquarium, adding elegance and visual interest. The long and thin ventral fins and its elongated and laterally compressed body contribute to its graceful movement and overall striking appearance.

Lifespan and Size of Pearl Gourami

Average lifespan of Pearl Gourami

The average lifespan of a Pearl Gourami is around 4-5 years. However, with proper care and a suitable environment, some Pearl Gouramis have been known to live up to 6 years. These fish are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

Ensuring your Pearl Gourami’s long life, replicating their natural habitat as closely as possible, is essential. This includes providing them plenty of hiding places, suitable tank decorations, and a well-maintained aquarium.

Additionally, maintaining optimal water quality, providing a balanced diet, and monitoring their health will help to ensure their longevity. Remember, each fish is unique, and various factors can influence its lifespan, so it is essential to provide the best care possible to maximize its lifespan.

Range of sizes for adult Pearl Gourami

When fully grown, Pearl Gouramis can reach an average size of 4-5 inches. This measurement includes their body length but doesn’t account for the additional length their ventral fins can add to their overall size. Remember that the size of your Pearl Gourami can vary depending on genetics, diet, water quality, and tank conditions.

With proper care, a suitable environment, and a well-balanced diet, your Pearl Gourami can live a happy and healthy life for several years. Monitor their size and overall health regularly and adjust their diet and tank conditions.

Diet and Feeding Requirements

In the wild, Pearl Gouramis have a diverse and omnivorous diet. They feed on insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. Their diet consists of live and frozen foods such as insect larvae, small crustaceans, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

A well-balanced and varied diet is essential to replicate their natural diet in captivity. Commercially available flake or pellet foods specifically formulated for tropical fish can be the staple diet for Pearl Gouramis. These foods usually contain proteins, vitamins, and minerals necessary for their health.

You should provide your pets with live or frozen food two to three times a week to supplement their diet. This can include brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, or other small aquatic invertebrates. Providing fresh vegetables like blanched spinach or lettuce can also be beneficial.

Remember to feed them small portions multiple times a day rather than one large meal, as it mimics their natural feeding behavior. This will help prevent overeating and maintain optimum health for your Pearl Gouramis.

Care and Tank Requirements

Optimal tank size for Pearl Gourami

Regarding the optimal tank size for Pearl Gourami, a minimum of 30 gallons is recommended. However, if you plan on keeping a school of these beautiful fish, adding 5-10 gallons for each additional fish is advisable.

Pearl Gouramis need ample room to swim and explore, especially since they spend most of their time in the middle and top levels of the water column. Providing them with enough space will help reduce stress and allow them to exhibit their natural behaviors.

Regarding tank setup, it is vital to include floating plants in the aquarium as Pearl Gouramis appreciate plant cover, which provides hiding places and makes them feel more secure. Adding rocks, caves, and driftwood also helps create a natural environment for them. A sandy substrate is also recommended, as it mimics their natural habitat.

Maintaining good water quality is crucial for the health of Pearl Gouramis. While they can tolerate a wider range of pH levels, keeping ammonia levels at 0 ppm is essential to prevent stress and respiratory issues. Regular water changes and monitoring of water parameters are necessary to ensure optimal conditions for these fish.

By providing the right tank size, proper environmental enrichment, and optimal water quality, you can create a suitable habitat for Pearl Gouramis to thrive and showcase their stunning colors.

Water parameters and temperature requirements

Pearl Gouramis have specific water parameters and temperature requirements to ensure their well-being in a home aquarium. These beautiful fish prefer a tank temperature between 77°F- 82°F and a pH range of 6.5-8. While they are commonly found in acidic waters in their natural habitat, they have adapted to live in less acidic conditions.

Maintaining a water hardness level of 5 to 25 dH is essential. Monitoring and adjusting water parameters is necessary to ensure good water quality. Clean and properly filtered water is crucial for the well-being of Pearl Gouramis.

Importance of providing hiding places and suitable tank decorations

Creating a suitable habitat for Pearl Gouramis is crucial for their well-being in a home aquarium. They require hiding places and suitable tank decorations to feel secure and mimic their natural environment. Adding floating plants, Rocks, caves, and driftwood can add visual interest to the tank.

Having ample hiding places in the aquarium is vital because Pearl Gouramis are peaceful fish and can be easily stressed by aggressive tank mates or a lack of hiding spots. Providing suitable tank decorations makes the aquarium visually appealing and helps promote the natural behavior and overall well-being of the Pearl Gouramis.

Creating a well-decorated and secure environment ensures that your Pearl Gouramis feel comfortable, thrive, and display their beautiful colors and intricate patterns.

Recommendations for peaceful community fish that can coexist with Pearl Gourami

When choosing tank mates for your Pearl Gouramis, selecting peaceful community fish that won’t disturb or harm them is essential. Pearl Gouramis are generally peaceful fish and do well in community tanks with compatible species. Here are some recommendations for peaceful tank mates:

  • Guppies: These small, colorful fish make great tank mates for Pearl Gouramis. They are peaceful and won’t bother the Gouramis.
  • Neon Tetras: Neon Tetras are another popular choice to keep with Pearl Gouramis. They are small and peaceful, and their bright colors can complement the Gouramis.
  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom-dwelling fish are peaceful and can help keep the tank clean by eating leftover food. They are compatible with the gentle nature of Pearl Gouramis.
  • Harlequin Rasboras: These small, schooling fish are peaceful and can add movement and color to the tank. They are a good match for Pearl Gouramis.
  • Cherry Barb: Cherry Barbs are peaceful and can coexist well with Pearl Gouramis. They are active swimmers and can add activity to the tank.

It’s important to remember to research each species’ specific requirements and compatibility before adding them to your tank. In addition, always monitor the tank dynamics and be prepared to make changes if any aggression or compatibility issues arise.


Breeding is a straightforward process. Before breeding, give the pair of fish live or frozen brine shrimp and worms to help prepare them. Also, ensure plenty of floating plants and raise the water temperature to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the water level in the breeding tank to about six inches so that the baby fish can easily reach the water’s surface and develop their labyrinth organ properly.

The reproduction process starts when the male fish constructs a bubble nest among the floating plants, which can be as large as 10 inches in diameter. The actual spawning occurs below this nest. Once the nest is finished, the male fish starts to exhibit behaviors to attract the female. As the female fish gets closer to the nest, they both engage in touching each other with their appendages.

During the breeding process, the male fish engulfs the female fish with his body, causing her to release numerous eggs. These eggs then rise to the nest, and the male fish guides any stray eggs into the bubble nest by using his mouth. Multiple spawning sessions take place, resulting in the production of around 200 to 300 eggs. Once the eggs have been laid, the male fish drives away the female fish.

It is advisable to separate her at this stage to prevent potential harm from the male protector. Only the male fish takes care of the eggs in the bubble nest. After approximately four days, all the baby fish, known as fry, will be swimming independently, and it is crucial to remove the male fish to prevent any accidental consumption of the young fry as food.

Provide liquid food or infusoria culture multiple times daily to the young fish. Start offering freshly hatched or frozen brine shrimp when they are around two weeks old. When they are about a month old, introduce fine-ground flake foods. Regularly change the water every two to three days. As the fish grow, distribute them among different tanks to prevent harmful waste accumulation. Insufficient growth or sudden fish death is often caused by too much waste leading to low water quality.

Common Health Issues and Prevention


Pearl Gouramis are generally hardy fish and are not prone to many health problems. However, aquarists may encounter a few common issues when keeping them. It’s essential to be aware of these problems and take the necessary steps to prevent and treat them:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): A common parasitic infection that causes white spots on the fish’s body and fins. It can be treated with over-the-counter medications specifically designed to treat ich.
  • Fin Rot: Poor water conditions and stress can lead to fin rot, characterized by the deterioration of the fish’s fins. Maintaining clean water and addressing any underlying stressors can help prevent and treat fin rot.
  • Fungal Infections: Fungal infections can occur if the fish’s immune system is compromised or if there are injuries to their skin. The usual way of treating fungal infections is by administering antifungal medications.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is a symptom of an underlying issue, such as organ failure or bacterial infection, rather than a specific disease. It causes the fish to swell and develop a bloated appearance. Treating dropsy can be challenging, and addressing the underlying cause is crucial.
  • Poor Water Quality: Pearl Gouramis are sensitive to poor water conditions, so it’s essential to maintain a well-filtered and properly cycled aquarium. Regular water testing and water changes can help prevent many health issues.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure regarding the health of your Pearl Gouramis. Providing them with a clean and well-maintained environment, a balanced diet, and monitoring their behavior can go a long way in keeping them healthy and thriving. In case of any health concerns, it’s best to consult with an experienced aquatic veterinarian or a knowledgeable fish hobbyist for specific advice and treatment options.

Tips on maintaining optimal water quality and preventing diseases

Maintaining optimal water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of your Pearl Gouramis. Here are some tips to help prevent diseases and ensure a clean aquarium:

  • Regular water testing: Monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH regularly. High ammonia and nitrite levels can be toxic to fish, while imbalanced pH can cause stress and disease.
  • Proper filtration: Invest in a high-quality filter that can adequately remove debris and toxins from the water. A good filter will keep the water clean and prevent the build-up of harmful substances.
  • Routine water changes: Regularly replace a portion of the water in the aquarium to dilute any accumulated toxins and maintain optimal water quality. Aim for a 25% water change every two weeks.
  • Maintain a balanced aquarium: Avoid overfeeding your Pearl Gouramis, as excess food can lead to poor water quality. Clean up any uneaten food promptly to prevent ammonia spikes.
  • Quarantine new fish: Before introducing new fish to the aquarium, quarantine them in a separate tank to ensure they are healthy and disease-free. This will prevent the spread of any potential diseases to your existing fish.

By following these tips, you can create a clean and healthy environment for your Pearl Gouramis, reducing the risk of diseases and promoting their overall well-being.


How long do Pearl Gouramis live?

The average lifespan of Pearl Gouramis is around 4-5 years, but some have been known to live up to 6 years in aquariums.

What is the ideal tank size for Pearl Gouramis?

For a small group of 4 to 6 Pearl Gouramis, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended. A larger tank is even better to provide enough space for swimming and exploration.

What do Pearl Gouramis eat?

Pearl Gouramis are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods. They enjoy a diet of live or frozen foods such as insect larvae, worms, and crustaceans. They can also be fed high-quality flake food and vegetable-based pellets.

Can Pearl Gouramis live with other fish?

Yes, Pearl Gouramis are peaceful and can coexist with other non-aggressive fish species of similar size. They are best kept in groups of at least 4, with one male for every three females.

How do you breed Pearl Gouramis?

Breeding Pearl Gouramis is relatively easy. Provide them with conditioned water, live or frozen foods, and floating plants to build bubble nests. The male will guard the nest and care for the eggs until they hatch.

Final thoughts on the importance of proper care and appreciation of this species

These beautiful and hardy fish can live up to 4-5 years, with some even reaching 6 years in optimal conditions.

Provide a 30-gallon tank, floating plants, and soft lighting for the best environment.

For a balanced diet, offer a mix of live/frozen insect larvae, worms, and high-quality flake food/veggie-based pellets.

The Pearl Gourami is a peaceful fish that can coexist with other non-aggressive species, making them great additions to community tanks.

Breeding Pearl Gouramis can be a rewarding experience, with the male building bubble nests and guarding the eggs until they hatch.

The fry can be raised with proper care and attention to water quality.

Caring for Pearl Gouramis leads to their well-being and enjoyable observation of their colors and behaviors.