If you’re looking for a beautiful, colorful fish to add to your aquarium, look no further than the Pearl Gourami. This fish is one of the most sought-after in the aquarium industry, known for its rich colors and natural beauty. The Pearl Gourami gets its name from its appearance and white “pearls” on its body. In this article you will learn all about this species, right from its origin and care requirements to its diet and more.
The Pearl Gourami belongs to the Osphreonemidae family and the Trichopodus genus.
It is known by many names: the mosaic gourami, lace gourami, diamond gourami, or leeri gourami.
Its technical name is Trichopodus Leerii. The Pearl Gourami is a freshwater fish native to South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
The adult Pearl Gourami can reach a maximum length of 4.5 inches, [11.43 cms] and they generally live for four to five years.
The Pearl Gourami is a beautiful fish with an long but thin body. Their ventral fins are long, and their long feelers give them a distinctive appearance.
These feelers are flexible and move both forward and backward.
The Pearl Gourami gets its name from the pearl-shaped dots on its body and fins.
The easiest way to recognize a Pearl Gourami is by the black horizontal line beginning from the mouth which runs straight through the body from the mouth to the tail.
This line can run through the eye which is very interesting.
It has a rich orangish color which begins from the mouth and runs up to the underbelly.
The pectoral fin is relatively small. The ventral fin is completely attached to the body.
The dorsal fin is equal in size to that of ventral fin and they have a large round eye with a black iris.
If you want to know the difference between male and female pearl gourami, look no further.
The male is brighter in color, while the female develops a red throat when she’s ready to breed. The male dorsal fin is longer and pointed towards the end, while the female’s dorsal fin is short and rounded towards the end.
The males have a sleek and slim body, while the females have a rounded shape in the front.
The males are aggressive, especially during breeding season. They construct the bubble nest during breeding season.
While Pearl Gourami are generally considered to be one of the most peaceful aquarium fish, they are not entirely without their stubborn side.
They will rarely pick fights with other fish unless the territory or food supply is limited.
However, if you accidentally knock into your Pearl Gourami’s tank or happen to make a loud noise while it’s sleeping (they are nocturnal), you can expect him/her to flare up at you with a startled display of fins.
Water & Tank Requirements
If you’re considering adding this fish to your tank, here’s what you’ll need to know about its water requirements:
The Pearl Gourami requires water that is soft, acidic and warm. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.8, while the temperature should be between 77F and 82F (25 – 28C).
The hardness should be 5 – 25 dH, while the nitrates should be less than 20 ppm.
The minimum tank size is 30 gallons. They prefer acidic waters, so they are not suited to most aquariums.
The gourami prefers the top and middle levels of water in the tank, but they will come up to the surface to breathe. Ensure that you top up regularly to keep the water level equalized.
Pearl Gouramis need plants in their tank to help keep them healthy, but also rocks are a great addition as they provide hiding places for your fishy friends when they feel threatened by other tank mates or predators.
The pearl gourami is a fairly peaceful fish that can live with other species in a community tank. In fact, they are actually more likely to be attacked than they are to attack other fish.
Because of this, it is best not to keep them with very aggressive fish such as cichlids or bettas; however, many other types of community fish will do fine with them in the same tank.
They can be hosted with several types of fish, but should only be kept as one male or else they will fight with each other.
Pearl Gouramis can be kept along with any fish that is not aggressive and can live in the same water conditions.
My tank has pearl gouramis with all types of tetras, kuhli loaches, danios, cherry barbs, plecos etc
As with all fish, they need to be cared for properly. Here are some tips on how you can care for your pearl gouramis:
Ensure there is some plant free surface in the tank so they can go up to breathe
Subdued lighting will help them feel less threatened and more comfortable in their environment
Do not have fish larger than them in the tank. They can get stressed due to threat.
Avoid fin nipping fish like goldfish
Keep an eye on the fins for fin rot; if you see it add anti bacterial medicine regularly until recovery with frequent water changes.
Pearl gouramis are omnivores which gives you a lot of options when it comes to their diet. They will eat most things that are offered to them.
They love live food but will also eat flakes, freeze-dried and frozen foods. They will also eat vegetables like lettuce, cooked peas, and spinach.
Live foods – blackworms, brine shrimp, and glass worms are a good choices. Pearl gourami aren’t picky eaters. However, they need special food whilst they breed such as brine shrimp.
Breeding pearl gouramis needs some expertise and patience.
If you feel that the gouramis have paired, shift them to a separate tank and start feeding them live food. Raise the water temperature to 80F.
Reduce the water level. About 1/4 of the tank should be fine. This helps building the labyrinth organ in pearl gourami. The labyrinth promotes the male gourami to become more colorful and attractive for the female.
A few floating plants will prove very useful. They help the female feel safe. They encourage the male to create the bubble nest.
Once the bubble nest is ready, the male will attract the female and show her the nest. The spawning occurs when the pair begin to use their feelers to feel each other.
The male then wraps his body around the female. During this process the female releases 200 to 300 eggs. The male ensures that all the eggs reach the bubble nest.
The female is then chased away. It is time that the female is shifted back to the community tank. The male must be left alone with the eggs.
The male guards the eggs for about four days until the eggs hatch. As soon as the eggs hatch, remove the male from the tank.
Add some water to the tank and ensure that there is good oxygen supply and no filter. Use liquid food for the newly born until they are two weeks old. You can then shift to flaky food which is soft and easy for the babies. Water changes are a must every three days.
Are Pearl Gourami Community Fish?
Pearl gourami are ideal community fish. They are peaceful, hardy and can be kept in a group of three or more.
They will do best in an aquarium with lots of plants and open swimming areas, as they like to swim around hunting for food and exploring the tank.
They’re also a good choice if you want to add some color to your aquarium, as their bright colors make them stand out among other freshwater fish species.
Just remember the males are territorial and its always best to have only one male and rest females.
Things To Remember
The minimum tank size for a pearl gourami is 30 gallons. For every additional gourami calculate the water at the rate of 7-10 gallons per additional gourami.
Avoid keeping a single gourami. They like being in schools and they feel safer that way.
Ensure there is open surface space if you have floating plants.
The Pearl Gourami is a great fish for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. They are easy to care for, making them a great option for both new hobbyists or those looking to add another species to their tank. These fish are peaceful and can live in groups of up to six individuals without any problems as long as there is only one male in the group.