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

The pearl gourami is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for many aquariums. Learn how to care for this species here.

Pearl Gourami – Quick Facts

In a rush? Check out the quick facts about Pearl Gourami below.

Fish Info

Scientific NameTrichopodus leerii
Common NamesPearl Gourami, Lace Gourami, Mosaic Gourami.
AppearanceBrownish-silver with a pearl-like pattern, black line from head to tail.
DifficultyCaring for pearl gourami is easy, and they are a hardy fish, making them ideal for beginner fish keepers.
DistributionThe pearl gourami is found in Southeast Asia, in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In Indonesia, it is found on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It prefers to live in lowland swamps with acidic water.
Lifespan4 to 6 years.
ShoalingThe pearl gourami is a shoaling fish.
TemperamentThe pearl gourami is peaceful and does well in a tank community.
Keep in Groups ofAt least 4, with at most 1 male for every 3 females.
Tank MatesNeon Tetras, Corydoras Catfish, Harlequin Rasboras, Pygmy Corydoras, Cardinal Tetras, Dwarf Cichlids, Guppies, Danios, Cherry Barbs
DietThe pearl gourami’s diet consists of fresh vegetables, live foods, and occasional treats.
Length4-5 inches
Sexual Dimorphismmales have pointed anal & dorsal fins and orange coloring in the throat region
Breeding DifficultyThe difficulty of breeding pearl gourami is that the fry are difficult to raise.

Water/Tank Recommendations

Water Type The pearl gourami is a freshwater fish.
Water Temperature

77-82 degrees Fahrenheit or 25-28 degrees Celsius.

Water pH The ideal water pH for pearl gourami is between 6 and 8.
Water Hardness The ideal water hardness for pearl gourami is between 4 and 20 dGH.
Tank size The minimum tank size for pearl gourami is 30 gallons, but a larger tank is recommended.


The pearl gourami is one of our favorite freshwater species that you can keep in an aquarium.

They’re easy to care for, look good, and make a great impact on any tank they inhabit. These fish have been staples in the aquarist community for years, with their popularity continuing to grow as time goes on!

This guidebook will educate you on all that is necessary to know about caring for these fish. By the time you’re done reading it, there won’t be anything left to wonder about.

About Pearl Gourami fish

The pearl gourami is a type of freshwater fish that comes from Southeast Asia. They’ve had a lot of name changes throughout the years, and they are known by many different names today.

The scientific name of this fish comes from Dutch medical doctor P. Bleeker, in 1852. Other common names include mosaic or lace gourami.


Pearl gouramis have an eye-catching and unique pattern. The base of the body is usually a light brownish or reddish color. This can also vary depending on the lighting conditions.

The rest of their body has a silvery base color with many white spots all over. These white spots resemble pearls, which gives them their name. You can also see a black line that runs from head to tail on each side of them (this contrasts nicely with the rest of their body).

Their Length

The average pearl gourami fish size is about four to five inches in length. They are not very large (especially when you compare them to other types of gouramis).

However, they are still reasonably sizable and will take up a fair amount of room in your aquarium.

Make sure you have an aquarium large enough to account for this (You can find more on aquarium size further on).


The average lifespan of pearl gourami is 4-6 years.

Pearl gouramis are quite hardy and can handle various water parameters. However, you still need to be vigilant with maintaining their tank conditions.

If you keep their tank in good condition, you will help your fish live longer. This is because suitable living conditions are very important for any type of freshwater fish.

Sexual Dimorphism

Pearl gourami fish are sexually dimorphic, meaning there are physical differences between males and females.

Males have longer anal & dorsal fins. Males also have an orange coloring in the throat region.

You can also distinguish between males and females by examining their size. Male pearl gourami tend to be a little larger than female fish, making it easy to distinguish.


Pearl gourami fish are native to Southeast Asia. They can be found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In Indonesia, they’re most commonly found on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

These freshwater fish prefer lowland swamps with acidic water that is rich in vegetation. Pearl gouramis spend their days searching for food at the bottom of lakes or rivers (where visibility may be poor).

When they are not feeding, these fish will create small nests out of vegetation at the bottom of the water so that they can hide from predators. They also like to make their homes in caves and crevices.

Pearl gouramis breath via labyrinth organ respiration (this is what allows them to live in low-oxygenated waters). This means they require oxygen from the air to breathe despite living underwater! This is because their gills can’t absorb enough from the water.

Large floating plants near the surface of the water makes them feel more comfortable with hanging out near the top of the tank, meaning they don’t have to travel as far to take gulps of air.

Caring for Pearl Gourami fish

Pearl gourami care is simple and easy, making them suitable even for beginners. These fish are hardy, adapt well to their environment, and can thrive in a healthy tank with the right conditions.

Water quality and temperature regulation are essential points to consider when caring for pearl gourami. Always make sure that your fish have clean water by performing weekly tests on your aquarium (this will be easier if you use an efficient filter).


The pearl gourami is a fish that thrives on live, nutrient-rich foods. It’s not picky either! At the top of their list are insect larvae and various types of worms.

These fish can be trained to eat dry pellets, but they will never reach their full potential if you rely solely on dried food. Instead, they need protein-packed snacks to thrive!

Feed your fish with live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods to provide essential nutrients they would find in the wild. Crickets, earthworms, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae are great choices to include as part of their diet.

You can also feed them some blanched vegetables, such as zucchini or spinach.

How Often & How Much to Feed Them

Pearl gourami should be fed once or twice a day. However, they have small stomachs and tend to overeat when given the chance, so don’t overfeed them!

Author Note: You should be careful not to overfeed pearl gourami fish. Like many other species, they will overeat if you provide too much food.

Possible Diseases

As with any fish species, there are certain diseases that you should be wary of when keeping pearl gourami. Ich and fin rot are two common ailments that can affect your fish. Ich is a highly contagious condition caused by parasites within the water. It isn’t easy to treat since it affects even healthy fish in a closed environment, so it must be quarantined before medication is applied.

Fin rot takes hold when bacteria infect decaying fins or wounds on the body of the fish.

Tank Setup

Pearl gourami do well in a planted tank with other docile species, such as neon tetras. The plants provide shelter and security when the fish feel threatened and help keep the water clean.

As mentioned before, large plants near the surface of the water can give these fish the shelter they need to feel comfortable with venturing towards the surface.

Aquarium Size

The minimum tank size for pearl gourami is 30 gallons, but a larger tank is recommended. These fish like to swim and will use all the space they can get!

Author Note: Because these are shoaling fish, it is important to have enough room so that they can group together at times when needed.

A tank that’s too small will not allow for this.

Also, a larger tank can help to facilitate the inclusion of plants and other decorations.

Water Conditions

Pearl gourami fish are easy to care for and do well in a range of water conditions. They can tolerate temperatures between 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees and pH levels ranging from 6 to 8.

Pearl gouramis prefer softer water with neutral-to-acidic pH balance levels. Therefore, to keep their skin healthy, you should also monitor the hardness and acidity levels in the aquarium regularly.

Aim to replace about one-fourth of the tank’s water volume every week or two.


The ideal water pH for pearl gourami is between 6 and 8. Although they prefer more acidic water, too much acidity can cause a range of serious health problems, from skin lesions to organ failure.

Keeping the tank clean and clear of debris that could affect the water quality (such as decayed leaves) is essential. This will help prevent adverse changes in pH levels.

Many aquarists regularly use an aquarium test kit to ensure their tanks are within acceptable parameters.


The ideal water temperature range is between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 to 28 degrees Celsius.

Pearl gourami fish are not very tolerant of cold water and will suffer as the temperature drops below this acceptable range.

If you have some dead space in your aquarium, using an aquarium heater can make things much easier for yourself.


The recommended hardness for pearl gourami fish is between 4 and 20 dGH. Hardness should be tested with a GH test kit to ensure accurate readings.

Pearl gouramis can tolerate lower water hardness, but higher levels of hard water will make them more prone to disease, stress, and even death.

Maintain the proper water hardness for your pearl gourami fish, and do everything you can to keep it at an acceptable level.


A strong filtration system is the best way to keep the tank clean. Unfortunately, a filter that uses sponges or pads to catch waste will not cut it in this case.

Pearl gourami need a filtration system that provides efficient filtration, but doesn’t cause a strong water flow. This means an external filter is preferred.

When choosing your filter, look at its flow rate and ability to handle ammonia and nitrite levels in the water. Make sure you check these parameters frequently during cycling because pearls can be sensitive.

Aquarium Plants

Pearl gouramis do well in a planted tank as this gives them something to play with. They are curious and active fish, so plants with interesting shapes or leaves will hold their attention for hours.

Live plants work best, but artificial replicas can also be used. If you go with the second option, make sure that the plastic doesn’t scratch the sensitive skin of your fish!

Pearl gouramis like slow-moving waters with plenty of places to hide. Adding live plants brings some much-needed variety to their lives.

Behavior and Compatibility

The pearl gourami is a peaceful fish. They aren’t prone to aggression and can get along with most other non-aggressive species of the same size.

Pearl gouramis are best kept in groups of at least four, but larger groups are better for socialization and health reasons. In addition, males will display aggressive behavior when kept in small groups (this is more common if there isn’t an abundance of females present).

When kept with other species, the pearl gourami will usually be found in the middle to bottom of the aquarium. Peaceful fish that can occupy the upper parts of the tank is recommended for cohabitation.

How Many to Keep Together

The recommended number of pearl gourami to keep together is at least 4, with 1 male for every 3 females. If you want even more color and movement in your aquarium, consider adding more than 5 fish.

Remember that these are shoaling fish and will spend the majority of their time huddling up near each other where they feel safe and secure.


The pearl gourami is peaceful and does well in a tank community. They make great additions to tanks with other non-aggressive species of similar size.

In general, these are shy fish that do not like attention or loud noises (such as splashing). Keep this in mind when cleaning the aquarium and introducing new fish.

Pearl gourami are active and like to spend time near the bottom of the tank. They’re not particularly territorial and can coexist with other species without trouble.

Tank Mates

Pearl gouramis do very well in a community tank. They are peaceful and will not cause trouble with other fish of the same species.

While they’re great to have solo, pearl gourami can also be kept with many others! Here are some excellent tank mates that you should consider:

  • Rainbow Tetras (and all tetra variants) – These make excellent companions because they like to stick together when exploring the aquarium. The two groups don’t even come into contact most of the time, making it easy for everyone to get along!
  • Corydoras Catfish – This is one of our favorite pairings for just about any type of bottom-dwelling fish. It works perfectly with pearl gourami too!


Breeding pearl gourami fish is not a difficult process. You can encourage breeding by ensuring water quality and temperature are at optimal levels and providing plenty of live food to stimulate their mating instincts.

Pearl Gouramis breed using bubble nests. First the males create bubbles on the underside of a floating object, which could be a plant or something else. Then the female lays several eggs (it could be hundreds or thousands), which the male carries to the bubbles nest in his mouth. The fry hatch after 24-30 hours and stay at the nest for 2 to 3 days, eating the nutrients remaining in their eggs.

Are Pearl Gourami fish Fish a Good Choice For Your Tank?

Pearl gourami are a great choice for anyone looking to keep freshwater fish in their aquarium. They’re beautiful, easy to care for, and peaceful.

The only reason you wouldn’t want them is if your tank didn’t have the right kind of habitat they need. Because these fish thrive in warm bodies of water with rich vegetation, you won’t see them swimming around cold tanks or barren ones!


The most obvious pro of owning pearl gourami is their unique beauty. These fish are a treat to look at and will add some character to your tank or aquarium.

Pearl gourami are also very hardy compared to other tropical freshwater species, making them ideal for beginners looking for an easy-going fish that won’t require much effort on the owner’s part. This corresponds with their high compatibility with other tank mates.

Lastly, pearl gouramis can live quite long, and this gives you plenty of time to enjoy them!


The only real possible downside of keeping pearl gourami fish is the possibility of aggression from some males.

If there are too many guys in a small tank, they might fight for dominance (especially during mating, encouraging the use of a separate breeding tank). This might cause harm or even be fatal.

Another problem you need to be aware of with these freshwater aquarium fish is their susceptibility to various diseases and ailments. They have been known to get Ich which requires treatment before it becomes fatal.


As you can see, pearl gourami care is not something to be afraid of. These hardy freshwater fish do well in a variety of different tank setups and provide lots of fun for their owners.

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