About the Pearl Gourami

The Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri), also known as the Leeri Gourami or Lace Gourami, is a popular freshwater fish species among aquarium hobbyists. They are native to Southeast Asia, particularly to Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The pearl gourami is a beautiful fish with an iridescent silvery-white body covered in a pattern of pearl-like spots. The male has a more pointed dorsal fin than the female, while the female has a rounder and wider belly. They can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length and have a lifespan of up to several years.

In the wild, pearl gouramis inhabit slow-moving, heavily vegetated waters such as swamps, marshes, and ponds. In captivity, they require similar environments with plenty of hiding spots, plants, and peaceful tank mates.

Pearl gouramis are known for their relatively peaceful temperament, making them suitable for community aquariums. They are usually not aggressive towards other tank mates and can even coexist with other Gourami species, as long as there is enough space and hiding spots in the aquarium.

In terms of diet, pearl gouramis are omnivores and can eat a variety of foods such as flakes, pellets, live, and frozen foods. They prefer a mix of plant-based and meat-based foods, and their diet should be supplemented with vegetable matter such as spirulina flakes or blanched vegetables.

When it comes to breeding, pearl gouramis are bubble nest builders. The male will construct a nest at the water’s surface using bubbles and plant materials. After mating, the female will deposit her eggs in the nest, and the male will guard and tend to the nest until the fry hatch. Once the fry are free-swimming, they can be fed with infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp.

Behavior and Temperament

Pearl gouramis are peaceful and easy-going fish that are known for their calm and gentle behavior. They are popular aquarium fish and are great for community tanks as they get along well with other non-aggressive fish species, which is important to keep in mind when looking for pearl gourami tank mates.

Pearl gouramis are often seen swimming in the middle and upper levels of the aquarium, and they enjoy hiding among the plants and other decorations in the tank. They are not known to be territorial or aggressive, and they are unlikely to harm other fish in the tank.

Male pearl gouramis can be a little bit territorial during the breeding season, but this behavior is usually short-lived and not too aggressive.

Pearl Gourami Tank Mates

When it comes to selecting tank mates for your pearl gouramis, it’s important to choose fish that are similarly peaceful and won’t nip at the gouramis’ long fins. Here are some good tank mates for pearl gouramis:

  1. Dwarf Gouramis – These gouramis are similar in size and temperament to pearl gouramis and make great tank mates.
  2. Tetras – Many tetras, such as neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and glowlight tetras, are good choices for a community tank with pearl gouramis. They are small, peaceful, and won’t bother the gouramis.
  3. Rasboras – Harlequin rasboras, galaxy rasboras, and other similar species are good choices for a pearl gourami tank. They are small, peaceful, and won’t compete with the gouramis for food.
  4. Corydoras – These bottom-dwelling fish are good tank mates for pearl gouramis, as they are peaceful and won’t disturb the gouramis’ mid-level swimming space.
  5. Guppies – Guppies are colorful, active fish that are compatible with pearl gouramis. However, be aware that guppies may breed rapidly and overcrowd the tank.

Avoid choosing aggressive or territorial fish such as cichlids or some bettas as tank mates for pearl gouramis. These fish may become aggressive towards the gouramis or each other, leading to stress and potential injury. Additionally, avoid choosing fish that are much larger than pearl gouramis, as they may see the gouramis as prey.

Pearl Gourami Tank Mates
Pearl Gourami Tank Mates

Aquarium Setup

Setting up a community fish tank for pearl gouramis with other tank mates requires careful consideration of their needs and temperament. Here are some factors to consider when setting up a community tank for pearl gouramis:

  1. Aquarium Size: Pearl gouramis are not large fish, but they still require a minimum of 1 gallon of water per fish. The tank should be long and spacious enough to provide plenty of swimming room for the gouramis and their tank mates.
  2. Filtration: Good filtration is important to maintain clean and healthy water for your fish. A combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration can help keep the water quality high. The filter should be powerful enough to clean the water, but should not create so much movement of the water that the guoramis won’t thrive.
  3. Decoration: Pearl gouramis appreciate heavily planted aquariums with plenty of hiding spots. Live plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Swords are good choices for creating hiding places and providing oxygen. Decorations such as rocks and driftwood can also be added to create more hiding places and create a natural environment.
  4. Lighting: The lighting in the aquarium should be bright enough to support the growth of the plants, but not too bright to cause excessive algae growth. A 9-12 hour light cycle is usually recommended.
  5. Tank Mates: Pearl gouramis are peaceful and get along well with other non-aggressive fish species. Good tank mates include other peaceful gourami species, tetras, danios, rasboras, and corydoras catfish. Avoid aggressive or territorial fish species as they may harass or attack the gouramis. Also see the previous section.
  6. Water Parameters: Regular water changes should be performed to ensure water quality remains stable and clean.

In summary, setting up a community fish tank for pearl gouramis requires a spacious tank with good filtration, plenty of hiding spots, live plants, and compatible pearl gourami tank mates. Paying attention to their needs and providing a suitable environment can help ensure that your pearl gouramis and other fish in the tank thrive.