Pearl Gourami

Species NameTrichopodus leerii
Common NamePearl Gourami
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan5-8 years
Adult Size4-5 inches
DietOmnivore
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Temperature77°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C)
Water ConditionspH 6.0-7.5, soft to moderately hard

About the Pearl Gourami – Species Summary

The Pearl Gourami, a member of the Osphronemidae family, stands out in the aquarium due to its stunning pearl-like pattern, from which it gets its common name. Originating from Malaysia, Thailand, and Sumatra, the Pearl Gourami inhabits slow-moving freshwater bodies, including swamps and wetlands. Due to their labyrinth organ, a unique respiratory structure, they can breathe atmospheric oxygen, enabling them to survive in oxygen-deprived waters. This elegant fish, with its serene behavior, can be a delightful addition to a peaceful community tank.

Pearl Gourami Lifespan

Pearl Gouramis, when cared for diligently, have a typical lifespan ranging from 5 to 8 years. With a balanced diet, stable water conditions, and a stress-free environment, it’s not uncommon for them to reach the upper end of this range.

Appearance

Pearl Gouramis are undeniably gorgeous, with their bodies covered in a myriad of pearly specks that shimmer and create a beautiful display as they move. Their base color varies from a silvery to a golden hue, with a distinctive black line running from the mouth to the base of the tail. Males possess a more vibrant color palette and a pointed dorsal fin, while females are usually paler with a rounded dorsal fin.

Average Size

Fully grown Pearl Gouramis measure between 4 to 5 inches. However, in the wild, there have been instances where they reach slightly larger sizes.

Pearl Gourami Care

Tank Size

A 30-gallon tank is the minimum recommendation for a pair of Pearl Gouramis. If you plan on keeping a community or a group of Gouramis, then larger tanks are advisable to prevent territorial disputes and provide ample swimming space.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Pearl Gouramis appreciate a tank that closely mirrors their natural habitat. Opt for a substrate of fine sand or soft gravel. Incorporate a mix of live plants like Java Fern and Anubias, along with driftwood and caves to offer hiding spots. Floating plants can provide shade, mimicking the dimly lit waters of their origin.

Lighting Requirements

Subdued lighting works best for Pearl Gouramis. This can be achieved by utilizing floating plants or by choosing dimmable aquarium lights. Such lighting not only accentuates their pearlescent beauty but also ensures they remain stress-free.

PH

A pH range between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal for Pearl Gouramis. While they can tolerate slight variations, sudden shifts can be detrimental to their health.

Temperature

Maintaining a consistent temperature between 77°F and 82°F (25°C – 28°C) is crucial for Pearl Gouramis. They are susceptible to sudden temperature changes, so it’s essential to monitor the tank’s conditions regularly.

Water Parameters

Pearl Gouramis thrive in soft to moderately hard water. Weekly water changes and regular tests to ensure nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels remain low are paramount for their well-being.

Disease Potential

While generally hardy, Pearl Gouramis can contract common fish diseases like Ich or fin rot if their environment is not maintained. Quarantining new additions to the tank and ensuring cleanliness can prevent most ailments.

Food & Diet

Being omnivores, Pearl Gouramis have a varied diet. High-quality flakes or pellets can be the staple, supplemented with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Incorporating occasional plant-based feed ensures they receive all necessary nutrients.

Behavior and Temperament

Pearl Gouramis are relatively peaceful fish. While they can be shy initially, over time, with a safe and stable environment, they become more outgoing. Males, especially during breeding seasons, can become territorial, but this behavior is generally less aggressive compared to other Gourami species.

Tank Mates

Given their peaceful disposition, Pearl Gouramis can coexist harmoniously with various species like Tetras, Rasboras, and Corydoras. It’s essential, however, to avoid overly aggressive or large predatory fish that might see them as prey.

Breeding

Breeding Pearl Gouramis can be a rewarding experience. Males build bubble nests using plant debris at the surface. Once the nest is built, the male courts the female, and post-mating, the female releases the eggs, which the male fertilizes. The male guards the nest till the eggs hatch, after which both parents can be returned to the main tank to prevent them from eating the fry. The fry can be raised on infusoria initially, progressing to brine shrimp as they grow.

Pearl Gourami FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)