About the Pearl Gourami

All About Pearl Gouramis

Let’s talk about the pearl gourami, also known as the leeri gourami or lace gourami. These stunning freshwater fish are a big hit among aquarium enthusiasts. They hail from Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Pearl gouramis are real lookers with their shimmering silvery-white bodies dotted with pearl-like spots. Males sport a more pointed dorsal fin, while females have a rounder, wider belly. They can grow up to 15 cm (6 inches) long and live for several years if taken care of properly.

In the wild, pearl gouramis chill in slow-moving, plant-packed waters like swamps, marshes, and ponds. In your tank, they’ll need a similar setup with plenty of plants and places to hide, and of course, peaceful pearl gourami tank mates.

Diet and Eating Habits

These guys are omnivores, so they’re not too picky. You can feed them flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. They love a mix of veggies and meat-based foods. Throw in some spirulina flakes or blanched veggies to keep them happy and healthy.

Breeding Pearl Gouramis

If you’re thinking about breeding them, know that pearl gouramis are bubble nest builders. The male makes a nest at the water’s surface using bubbles and plant materials. After they mate, the female lays her eggs in the nest, and the male takes over from there, guarding the eggs until they hatch. Once the fry are swimming around, you can feed them infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp.

Behavior and Temperament

Pearl gouramis are laid-back and gentle, making them perfect for community tanks. They’re friendly and usually hang out in the middle to upper parts of the tank. They love hiding among plants and decorations, so make sure to provide plenty of cover. They’re not territorial, except maybe a little during breeding season, but even then, they’re not too aggressive.

Choosing Pearl Gourami Tank Mates

When picking tank mates for your pearl gouramis, go for peaceful fish that won’t nip at their long fins. Here are some great options:

  • Dwarf Gouramis: Similar in size and temperament.
  • Tetras: Neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and glowlight tetras are small and peaceful.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin rasboras and galaxy rasboras are excellent choices.
  • Corydoras: These bottom-dwellers are peaceful and stay out of the gouramis’ way.
  • Guppies: Colorful and active, but be careful—they breed quickly and can overcrowd the tank.

Avoid aggressive fish like some cichlids or bettas, as they can stress out or harm your gouramis. Also, steer clear of much larger fish that might see your gouramis as lunch.

Pearl Gourami Tank Mates
Pearl Gourami Tank Mates

Setting Up Your Pearl Gourami Tank

Creating the perfect home for your pearl gouramis and their tank mates involves a few key steps:

  • Aquarium Size: They need at least 1 liter (1 gallon) of water per fish. A long, spacious tank is ideal.
  • Filtration: Use a filter that offers mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration without creating too much water movement.
  • Decoration: Load the tank with live plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Swords, along with rocks and driftwood for hiding spots.
  • Lighting: Moderate lighting is best—bright enough for plants but not so bright that algae takes over. A 9-12 hour light cycle works well.
  • Water Parameters: Keep the water clean with regular changes to maintain a healthy environment.


  • Pearl gouramis are peaceful, beautiful fish ideal for community tanks.
  • They thrive on a varied diet of plant and meat-based foods.
  • Breeding involves bubble nest building, with the male guarding the eggs.
  • Choose peaceful tank mates like tetras, rasboras, and corydoras.
  • Set up a spacious, well-filtered tank with plenty of plants and hiding spots.

Paying attention to these details will help ensure your pearl gouramis and their tank mates live happy, healthy lives together.