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

Updated: November 21, 2022

The three spot gourami is a beautiful freshwater fish that is relatively easy to care for. They’re a popular choice for beginner aquarium hobbyists.

This species gets its name from the three spots that are located on their bodies. These spots are actually darker scales that stand out against their lighter colored skin.

Three spot gouramis are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

In the wild, they typically inhabit slow-moving waters and can be found near the bottom of the water column.

Species overview

Three spot gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus) are a type of freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. Their natural habitat includes countries such as India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

These fish prefer slow-moving waters that are heavily vegetated. This could be anything from a large pond to a small creek. They are also commonly found in rice paddies.

The three spot gourami gets its name from the three distinct spots that are found on its body. These spots are usually a darker color than the rest of the fish and are located on the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins.

The three spot gourami is a popular aquarium fish because it is relatively easy to care for and is very beautiful to look at.


Three spot gourami

The three spot gourami is one of the more popular freshwater fish due to their unique coloration and patterns. As their name suggests, these fish have three spots on their body.

The first and most notable spot is on their caudal peduncle which is the small area between their tail and their main body. This spot is very dark and really pops against their body color.

The other two spots are on their dorsal fins. These are a bit more faded but still quite visible.

The base color of their body is a light tan or beige. This is broken up by vertical stripes that are a bit darker. The number of stripes varies from fish to fish but is usually between 5-7.

Females tend to be a bit more drab when it comes to color. Their stripes are usually fainter and their body color is a bit more pale.

The fins on three spot gouramis are pretty standard for a freshwater fish. They have a large dorsal fin that starts about two-thirds of the way back on their body.

The caudal and anal fins are both forked and their ventral fins are long and thin.


Three spot gouramis have an average lifespan of about 5 years. However, with proper care, they can live up to 8 years.


The three spot gourami can grow to be about 4 inches in length, with the males being larger than the females.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for three spot gouramis is at least 20 gallons.

This is the minimum tank size we recommend but, as with most fish, the bigger the tank the better. If you want to keep more than one gourami in your tank you’ll need to add at least 5 gallons per additional fish.

We also recommend that you avoid keeping more than one male in the same tank as they can be quite territorial with each other.

Water Parameters

Three spot gourami are a peaceful, relatively easy to care for freshwater fish. They do best in an established aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

They’re a tropical fish, so you’ll need to maintain a consistent water temperature in the low to mid-80s. The water should also be well-filtered and have a moderate flow.

As for other water parameters, aim for the following:

  • Water Temperature: 75-82°F
  • pH Levels: 6.5-7.5
  • Water Hardness: 5-15 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 2-12 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

As long as you have a few key things in their tank, Three spot gouramis will be happy.

First and foremost, these fish need some plants. They’re not fussy about what kind, but we recommend something that can grow tall and provide some cover (like Java fern).

You should also include a few pieces of driftwood or bogwood. These fish like to have places to hide, and wood provides the perfect surface for algae to grow on (which they love to eat).

When it comes to the substrate, go with something soft and sandy. These fish spend a lot of time at the bottom of the tank and a softer substrate will be easier on their barbels.

Avoid using anything too big or sharp in their tank. These fish are known to dig and they can easily injure themselves on something like gravel.

Common Diseases

Three Spot Gourami are a pretty hearty species of fish. They’re not immune to disease by any means, but they don’t seem to fall ill as often as other freshwater fish.

The most common disease you’ll see in these fish is ich. This is a very contagious disease that’s caused by a parasite.

It’s characterized by small white spots on the body of the fish. It’s important to act fast if you see this, as ich can be fatal if left untreated.

Other potential diseases include hole-in-the-head disease, fin rot, and Gill flukes. As always, the best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a high-quality habitat.

A clean tank with stable water conditions is the key to a happy and healthy Three Spot Gourami.

Behavior & Temperament

Three spot gouramis are one of the most popular freshwater fish for a reason: they’re absolutely beautiful! These fish have a striking coloration with bright blue, orange, and white spots dotting their bodies.

But their looks aren’t the only reason they’re so popular. Three spot gouramis also have great personalities. They’re relatively mellow fish that get along well with others. The only time they might have issues is if they’re kept in a tank that’s too small.

Like all gouramis, three spot gouramis are labyrinth fish. This means they have a special organ that allows them to breathe air. Because of this, they often swim to the surface of the water to gulp in some air. It’s a fun behavior to watch!

These fish are also known for being curious. They’re not shy and will often approach new things in their environment to investigate.

Tank Mates

Three spot gouramis are a popular choice for freshwater community tanks. They’re relatively peaceful and get along well with other fish.

The one exception is their own species. Three spot gouramis can be territorial with one another, so it’s best to keep them in pairs or groups of three or more.

Other than that, these fish are community tank gold! They’re not aggressive and do well with most other fish.

Here are some three spot gourami tank mates to consider:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Zebra Danios
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Clown Loaches


Three spot gouramis are a bit more difficult to breed than some other species, but it can be done with some patience and effort.

To start, you’ll need to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 30 gallons and have plenty of hiding places. Be sure to use a fine mesh net over the top, as these fish are known jumpers.

Next, you’ll need to adjust the water parameters. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5 and the temperature should be around 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When ready, add two females for every male. The males will be the larger of the two and have longer fins.

Give the fish some time to acclimate and then start feeding them live foods. This will help to trigger spawning.

When the female is ready to lay eggs, she’ll do so on a leaf or other surface. The male will then fertilize them. After that, he’ll stay close by to protect them.

Eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. When they do, remove the parents from the tank. The fry will feed on microscopic organisms in the water. You can supplement their diet with live foods or newly hatched brine shrimp.

As the fry grow, you can start to introduce them to flake food. Keep up with regular water changes to ensure that they have a clean and healthy environment.


All in all, the three spot gourami is an excellent fish for the beginning aquarist. They’re relatively easy to care for and are very peaceful fish that will get along well with other tank mates.

They’re also very beautiful fish that will add some color and interest to your tank.

If you’re looking for a fish that’s not too difficult to take care of but still offers a lot in terms of beauty and personality, the three spot gourami is a great choice!