Pearl gourami Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 21, 2022

The pearl gourami is a beautiful, peaceful, and easy to care for freshwater fish that’s perfect for beginner aquarists.

This species is incredibly popular due to their stunning colors and easy going nature. They’re also one of the few freshwater fish that can tolerate brackish water conditions.

However, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about pearl gourami care. So we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to set the record straight.

Inside, you’ll learn everything you need to know about keeping pearl gouramis healthy and happy in your aquarium.

Species overview

The pearl gourami (scientific name: Trichogaster leeri) is a tropical freshwater fish that’s native to various parts of Southeast Asia. They are most commonly found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Pearl gouramis prefer to live in slow-moving waters that are densely planted with a lot of vegetation. This is something that’s common to many species of gourami fish.

They are a relatively peaceful fish but can be known to be a bit nippy toward tank mates that are similar in size. They are also known to be aggressive toward their own species, so it’s important to have a good ratio of males to females if you plan on keeping more than one pearl gourami.

The pearl gourami gets its name from the pearl-like spots that cover its body. These spots are most commonly white or pale blue in color.


Pearl gourami

The first thing you’ll notice about this freshwater fish is their beautiful coloration. As the name suggests, these fish have a pearlescent sheen that really makes them stand out in a tank.

The base color of the fish is usually a light pink, white, or beige. This is then overlaid with a series of iridescent spots that shift in color as they catch the light. The most common colors you’ll see in these spots are green, blue, and pink.

The fins on a Pearl Gourami are fairly standard. They have a long dorsal fin that starts about two-thirds of the way back on their body. This fin is slightly taller than their anal fin which is placed just before their caudal fin.

The caudal fin on this fish is rather large and fan-shaped. This, combined with their long dorsal fin, gives them a very unique silhouette when they’re swimming.

Their pectoral fins are large and paddle-like which helps them maneuver in tight spaces and also provides them with a bit of protection.

The ventral fins on a Pearl Gourami are very long and thin. These act almost like feelers and help the fish navigate their environment.

You’ll also notice that there are small fleshy growths on the head of the fish. These are called barbels and they help the fish find food in murky water.


The typical pearl gourami lifespan is between five and eight years. That’s a pretty good run for such a small fish!

Of course, as with any pet, there are a number of factors that can impact their lifespan. If they’re kept in poor water conditions or are constantly stressed, their lifespan will be shorter.

Conversely, if they’re well cared for and have a good diet, they can easily live to the upper end of their lifespan range.


The average pearl gourami size is about 6 inches, but they can grow up to 8 inches in length in some cases. These fish are relatively small compared to other aquarium fish, so they don’t need a lot of space to swim.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for a pearl gourami is 20 gallons.

If you’re looking to keep more than one pearl gourami, you should add an additional 5-10 gallons per fish. These fish are semi-aggressive and can be territorial, so it’s best to give them a little bit of extra space.

Water Parameters

The Pearl Gourami is a tropical freshwater fish that is native to Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving waters with dense vegetation.

To replicate this environment in your aquarium, you’ll need to maintain the following water parameters.

  • Water Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • pH Levels: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water Hardness: 5 to 19 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 3 to 10 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Pearl gouramis are a peaceful species that are known to do well in a community tank. When it comes to setting up their habitat, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The first is the substrate. These fish like to forage for food, so a substrate that’s too smooth might make it difficult for them to find anything to eat.

A classic gravel substrate is a good choice, but you can also go with something a little more textured if you want.

The next thing to consider is the plants in their tank. Pearl gouramis are known to nibble on vegetation, so you’ll want to choose something that can bounce back (Hornwort, Water Wisteria, or Java Moss are all great choices).

You can also add some driftwood or rocks to their habitat as well. These fish love to hide, so giving them some places to do so will help reduce their stress levels.

Just be sure to avoid anything too sharp or jagged since these fish are known to be a little clumsy.

Common Diseases

The pearl gourami is a freshwater fish that is relatively hardy and resistant to disease. However, that does not mean that they are immune to all illnesses.

The most common disease that affects this fish is ich. Ich is a parasitic infection that can be deadly if left untreated. The most obvious symptom of this disease is the presence of white spots on the body of the fish.

Other symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, and increased respiration. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to act fast and consult a vet.

The best way to prevent your pearl gourami from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable tank. A well-maintained tank will lead to healthier and more resilient fish.

Behavior & Temperament

The pearl gourami is a beautiful, peaceful fish that’s perfect for the community tank. It’s a slow swimmer, so it does best in a tank with other fish that share a similar pace.

This fish is relatively shy, so it’s a good idea to provide it with plenty of places to hide. If you don’t, the pearl gourami may become stressed, which can lead to health problems.

The pearl gourami is a peaceful fish, but it can be aggressive toward other gouramis. So, if you’re planning on keeping more than one, it’s best to have one male and one female.

These fish are known for their beautiful pearlescent color, which is why they’re so popular among aquarists. The pearl gourami is an easy fish to care for, and it’s a great addition to any community tank.

Tank Mates

Pearl gouramis are relatively peaceful by nature. They’re not going to start any trouble with their tank mates.

As a result, there are a ton of different species that you can keep with them. It really comes down to what you want your tank to look like and what you’re interested in.

Here are some safe bets that tend to work well:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Congo Tetras
  • Bloodfin Tetras
  • Rummy Nose Tetras
  • Black Widow Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetras
  • Zebra Danios
  • Leopard Danios
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows


Pearl gouramis are one of the easier species of gourami to breed. They don’t require a lot of special care or attention. However, there are still some things you need to do to set them up for success.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons and have plenty of hiding places. You can use plants, driftwood, or caves. Pearl gouramis like to have a lot of places to hide.

The water should be fairly warm, around 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.

When ready, add two females for every male. The males have longer fins and brighter colors.

Feed the fish plenty of high-quality foods. Then, begin changing about 50 percent of the water. That should trigger spawning.

The female will lay her eggs on the plants or driftwood. After she does that, the male will guard them diligently.

In about ten days, the eggs will hatch. You can move the babies into a nursery tank to improve their odds of survival. Feed them mashed peas and other green vegetables until they’re ready to join the adults in your main tank.


The Pearl Gourami is a stunning freshwater fish that is perfect for beginner aquarists. They are easy to care for and are very peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

While they are relatively hardy, there are still a few things you need to know in order to keep them healthy and happy. We’ve covered everything you need to know in this article, so be sure to read it before adding a Pearl Gourami to your tank!