Pearl Gourami: Care Guide, Pictures, Tank Setup & Info

The Pearl Gourami is a beautiful fish with its distinct coloration and pattern. It’s a popular aquarium species because of its looks and temperament. Its easy maintenance is another point in its favor. You can keep the fish in small groups or as part of a large community tank. The proper setup will ensure your fish stays healthy and content in its new home.

The Pearl Gourami isn’t terribly picky about its conditions, except for the tank size. A large fish needs enough room to swim, feed, and interact with its tank mates.

Breed Overview

Size:Up to 4.7 inches long
Lifespan:Up to 7.5 years
Similar Breeds:Dwarf Gourami, Kuhli Loach, Harlequin Rasbora
Suitable for:Beginners
Temperament:Peaceful, friendly, adaptable

Pearl Gourami Breed Characteristics


Pearl Gourami Cost

pearl gourami
Image Credit: Vladimir Wrangel, Shutterstock

The Pearl Gourami inhabits the wetlands and shallow waters of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Agriculture and forestry pose significant threats to this species in its native land. Fishing and the international pet trade have also taken a toll. Hence, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) classifies this species as nearly threatened because of these1.

Fortunately, this fish is easy to breed in captivity with coaxing and the right diet. It is a social species, so you’re better off getting them in groups of three to five fish. They run under $10 a piece, although you’ll likely find deals if you get a few of them. It’s not a rare species and is quite popular among hobbyists because of its beauty.

If you’re buying them online, you should only buy Pearl Gouramis from sellers who offer a live guarantee. However, make sure to read the fine print for your obligations to make a claim. Often, they are for a limited time.

The Sociability of Pearl Gourami

The Pearl Gourami is a friendly fish and makes a good addition to a community tank. Pay attention to the size of the tank mates, given the relatively large size of this species. It is typically not aggressive. However, all bets are off during breeding, although the skirmishes are usually minor. The tank size and presence of cover are contributing factors for keeping the peace.

Do These Fish Make Good Pets?

The Pearl Gourami is an excellent choice for beginners. Its needs are well in line with other tropical freshwater fish. It’s worth noting that it is a labyrinth species that can breathe atmospheric oxygen to ensure its survival in less-than-hospitable conditions. We’ve mentioned they’re being peaceful. You should remember this fact and likewise choose tank mates with a similar temperament.

pearl gourami
Image Credit: Dmytro Surkov, Shutterstock

Does This Fish Make a Good Tank Mate?

Size is always a consideration when selecting tank mates. It’s a fish-eat-fish world in aquatic environments. Keeping the Pearl Gouramis in groups will encourage them to hang out together and avoid harassing other fish. They usually leave other species alone. Problems may occur with males of their own kind instead of different species.


Care Guide & Tank Setup

Water Quality, pH & Temperature

You should plan on getting at least a 30-gallon tank for a small group of Pearl Gouramis. A larger aquarium can make maintenance easier by keeping the conditions stable. It fares best with temperatures between 75℉ and 82℉. It’s also a decent range for many of its prospective tank mates. You should keep the pH between 6.0 to 8.0, testing it biweekly.

The Pearl Gourami prefers a general hardness of 5 to 20 dH, which is optimal for community tanks. It does well in soft, slightly acidic conditions, which replicate its natural environment. Luckily, this species is adaptable and can tolerate varying conditions.

pearl gourami in a green beautiful planted tropical freshwater aquarium
Image Credit: Bukhta Yurii, Shutterstock


The Pearl Gourami’s native habitat is generally subdued with vegetation filtering light to the deeper reaches of the water. You can replicate these conditions with a dark-colored substrate that will help maintain these requirements. The species is diurnal and occupies the middle and surface areas of the tank.


Vegetation will provide welcome cover and a dietary supplement to the Pearl Gourami. Floating plants will help maintain the preferred lighting conditions and cover for the fish. Even larger species are less stressed and more secure with someplace to hide. A substrate with a grain size of 2 to 5 mm provides enough bulk to anchor the plants without suffocating the roots.

Remember the area the Pearl Gourami uses to avoid overcrowding its active space. The fish may nibble at the plants occasionally, but they aren’t a significant part of its diet. Their purpose is more for cover than anything else.

pearl gourami in an aquarium
Image Credit: Bukhta Yurii, Shutterstock


Subdued lighting is ideal for a setup for Pearl Gouramis. It is comparable to the low-light settings of the fish’s native habitat. It will also help keep algae under control to avoid fouling the water. You need enough lighting to satisfy the plants’ needs for balance. Remember that this fish is diurnal and will benefit from a regular schedule of light and dark.


The Pearl Gourami is adaptable and tolerant. However, adequate filtration is still vital for all members of your community tank. The primary benefit is stability, which can reduce the stress that makes aquatic organisms vulnerable to disease. A power filter will agitate the surface to ensure there’s enough dissolved oxygen in the water.

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Things to Know When Owning a Pearl Gourami:

Food & Diet Requirements

The Pearl Gourami is an omnivore. It feeds mainly on insects and invertebrates. It will occasionally eat algae and other aquatic vegetation. It’s not a picky fish, giving you many options. You can offer it flakes supplemented with live foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. However, be careful of overfeeding your fish when giving them these foodstuffs.

pearl gourami close up
Image Credit: Andrej Jakubik, Shutterstock

Size & Growth Rate

Adequate nutrition when young is the key to optimal growth and development. High-protein foods are ideal for supporting growth. You can also offer your fish a pellet diet to meet these nutritional needs. You can give your gouramis fresh greens to cover all bases.


There are no subspecies of the Pearl Gourami specifically. However, there are others in the same family, such as the Blue Gourami, Chocolate Gourami, Dwarf Gourami, Kissing Gourami, and Moonlight Gourami.

Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri) in an aquarium
Image Credit: Napat, Shutterstock

Lifespan and Health Conditions

The Pearl Gourami is relatively long-lived for a species of its size. Of course, providing ideal water conditions and a healthy diet are critical for ensuring your fish lives as long as it can. The fact that it’s a labyrinth species gives this fish an advantage over others who can’t take advantage of this ability. Minimizing stress is another way to keep these fish healthy.

Minor Conditions
  • Parasites

Serious Conditions


Male vs. Female

Male Pearl Gouramis are more colorful than females. That’s not unusual, given their role to attract a mate. They are also thinner than females, which are usually plumper than them. That’s especially evident when the female is ready to spawn. Other differences exist in the shape of the dorsal fins of the two sexes.

3 Little-Known Facts About Pearl Gouramis

1. The Pearl Gourami Is a Food Fish

Adding to the other environmental pressures this fish faces is the threat of being a food fish in Central Kalimantan.

2. Pearl Gouramis Are Bubble Nesters

Labyrinth fish, like the Pearl Gourami, are also bubble nesters. That’s where the floating plants come in handy to provide a base for these structures.

Pearl gourami Trichopodus leerii freshwater aquarium fish in fish tank
Image Credit: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

3. The Fish’s Lines Are Characteristic of the Genus

The Pearl Gourami has two horizontal lines down the length of its body. They are not only markings but are sensors for the fish to navigate its world.


Final Thoughts

The Pearl Gourami is an attractive addition to any large community tank. It brings beauty and a sense of calm to a large aquarium needing a showcase species. A small group of these fish will fit the bill. The best part of adding them to your tank is their ease of care. They are tolerant and hardy. They bring unique traits to your setup as labyrinth fish and bubble nesters.

The Pearl Gourami is a friendly fish that gets along with others of similar temperament. You have plenty of options for compatible tank mates. You can’t get a much more attractive aquarium than one with plants and subdued lighting to create a natural environment.

Featured Image Credit: chonlasub woravichan, Shutterstock

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