Pearl Gourami Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a stunning and peaceful addition to your aquarium, the Pearl Gourami is a great choice. This species, also known as Lace Gourami, originates from Southeast Asia, and can live up to 5 years in captivity. The males have a vibrant and iridescent blue coloration, while the females are more subdued with a silver and beige coloration.

The Pearl Gourami is a popular aquarium fish due to its unique appearance and peaceful temperament. They require a tank of at least 30 gallons with a temperature range of 75-82°F, pH range of 6.0-8.0, and a varied diet of commercial flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. Providing adequate hiding places and floating plants can help create a comfortable environment for them.

These fish can grow up to 4 inches in length and have a slow growth rate. They are known for their calm and peaceful demeanor, making them great tank mates for other non-aggressive fish species. However, males can become territorial during breeding season, so it’s important to provide plenty of hiding spots in the tank.

When it comes to tank setup, the Pearl Gourami prefers a planted aquarium with soft substrate and low to moderate lighting. They also require clean and well-oxygenated water with a temperature range of 75-82°F, pH level of 6.0-7.5, and water hardness of 5-20 dGH. Regular water changes and proper filtration are crucial to maintaining their health and preventing common diseases such as fin rot and ich.

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Pearl Gourami Care: Species Summary


The Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri) is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They can be found in slow-moving rivers, swamps, and ponds with dense vegetation.


The average lifespan of Pearl Gouramis is 4-6 years, but with proper care, they can live up to 8 years.


Pearl Gouramis have a beautiful pearlescent sheen that gives them their name. They have a long, slender body with a pointed head and small mouth.

Their fins are long and flowing, with the dorsal fin being the most prominent. Males have a more vibrant coloration and longer fins than females.


Pearl Gouramis can grow up to 4-5 inches in length, with males being slightly larger than females.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of Pearl Gouramis varies depending on their environment and diet. With proper care and nutrition, they can reach their full size within 1-2 years.

Behavior & Temperament

Pearl Gouramis are peaceful and timid fish that prefer to swim in the middle and upper levels of the aquarium. They are social and should be kept in groups of 3 or more.

They can be kept with other peaceful fish species, but should not be housed with aggressive or fin-nipping fish.

Male vs Female

Males are larger and more colorful than females, with longer dorsal and anal fins. Females have a rounder belly and a smaller, more pointed dorsal fin.

Personally, I have found that my male Pearl Gourami is more active and outgoing than my female.

He is always the first to greet me when I approach the tank and seems to enjoy showing off his long fins.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When it comes to setting up a tank for Pearl Gouramis, the first thing to consider is the tank size. These fish can grow up to 4 inches in length, so a tank that is at least 20 gallons is recommended.

However, if you plan on keeping more than one Pearl Gourami, you’ll need a larger tank. A 30-gallon tank is suitable for a pair of Pearl Gouramis, while a 50-gallon tank is recommended for a small group.


Pearl Gouramis prefer a dimly lit tank, so it’s best to use low-intensity lighting. You can use a standard aquarium light, but make sure to provide plenty of hiding places for your fish to retreat to if they feel overwhelmed.

Filtration & Aeration

Good filtration is essential for maintaining a healthy tank environment. A hang-on-back filter or canister filter is recommended, as they provide good water flow and are easy to maintain.

Additionally, Pearl Gouramis require good aeration, so make sure to include an air stone or diffuser in your tank setup.


Pearl Gouramis are tropical fish and require a water temperature between 75-82°F. A reliable heater is essential to maintain a consistent water temperature.


When it comes to substrate, Pearl Gouramis prefer a soft, sandy substrate. This will allow them to sift through the substrate for food and create a natural-looking environment.


Pearl Gouramis prefer a heavily planted tank with plenty of hiding places. You can use driftwood, rocks, and caves to create hiding places for your fish.


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Live plants are a great addition to a Pearl Gourami tank. They provide hiding places, help maintain water quality, and provide a natural environment for your fish. Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword are good choices for a Pearl Gourami tank.

Using these tips, you can create a comfortable and healthy environment for your Pearl Gouramis.

Remember to maintain good water quality and provide plenty of hiding places for your fish to ensure they thrive in their new home.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for the health and well-being of Pearl Gouramis. These fish thrive in water temperatures between 75°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C).

Using a reliable aquarium thermometer is essential to ensure the temperature stays within this range. I personally use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature in my tank.

Water pH

Pearl Gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. It’s important to test the pH regularly using a reliable test kit to ensure it remains within the desired range. I use a liquid test kit to monitor the pH levels in my tank.

Water Hardness

These fish are adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of water hardness levels. However, they prefer soft to moderately hard water with a hardness range of 5 to 15 dGH.

Testing the water hardness regularly using a reliable test kit is important to ensure it remains within the desired range.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality in the tank.

I recommend changing 25% of the water every week to keep the water clean and healthy for the fish.

When performing a water change, it’s important to use a dechlorinator to remove any chlorine or chloramines from the tap water.

I personally use a liquid dechlorinator to treat the water before adding it to the tank. In summary, maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of Pearl Gouramis.

Keeping the water temperature, pH, and hardness within the desired range and performing regular water changes are key to creating a healthy and thriving aquarium environment for these beautiful fish.


Pearl Gouramis are omnivores and will eat both meaty and plant-based foods. A varied and balanced diet is important for their overall health and well-being.

What To Feed

I feed my Pearl Gouramis a combination of high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen and live foods.

Some of their favorite foods include brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and spirulina flakes.

It’s important to avoid overfeeding and to remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent water quality issues.


I feed my Pearl Gouramis twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

It’s important to feed them small amounts at a time to prevent overfeeding and to maintain good water quality.


One tip for feeding Pearl Gouramis is to vary their diet and provide a mix of both meaty and plant-based foods. This will help ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

Another tip is to soak their dry food in tank water for a few minutes before feeding to prevent digestive issues.

Overall, providing a varied and balanced diet is key to keeping your Pearl Gouramis healthy and happy.

By following these tips, you can ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy tank is crucial for the well-being of your Pearl Gourami.

Regular maintenance will prevent the buildup of harmful toxins and keep the water quality optimal.

One important aspect of tank maintenance is water changes. I recommend changing 10-20% of the water every week to remove any excess waste and debris.

This will also help maintain the appropriate water temperature, pH, and hardness levels.

Another important aspect is cleaning the tank and its components. I suggest using a gravel vacuum to remove any uneaten food or waste from the substrate.

You can also clean the tank walls and decorations with a soft brush or sponge.

It’s important to monitor the filtration system regularly to ensure it’s functioning properly. I suggest cleaning the filter media every 4-6 weeks to maintain optimal performance.

Lastly, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of illness or disease in your Pearl Gourami.

Regular tank maintenance can help prevent these issues, but it’s important to act quickly if you notice any symptoms. Consult with a veterinarian or aquatic specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

Pearl Gouramis are peaceful fish that can be kept with a variety of other peaceful fish species. Some compatible tank mates include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Platies

Incompatible Fish Species

It is important to avoid keeping Pearl Gouramis with aggressive or fin-nipping fish species. Some incompatible tank mates include:

  • Tiger Barbs
  • Serpae Tetras
  • Red-Tailed Sharks
  • Convict Cichlids
  • Jack Dempsey Cichlids
  • Green Terror Cichlids
  • Peacock Cichlids

Keeping Pearl Gouramis in Groups

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While Pearl Gouramis can be kept alone, they are social fish and do well in groups of 3-5 individuals.

Keeping them in a group can help to reduce stress and aggression, and can also encourage natural behaviors such as breeding.

Common Diseases

Pearl Gouramis are generally hardy fish, but they can still fall prey to a variety of diseases if their tank conditions are not optimal.

Here are some of the most common diseases that Pearl Gouramis may experience:


One of the most common diseases that Pearl Gouramis can experience is Ich, also known as White Spot Disease.

This is caused by a parasite that appears as small white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and gills. Another common disease is Fin Rot, which is caused by bacteria and can result in the deterioration of the fish’s fins.


The symptoms of Ich include white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and gills, as well as flashing, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

The symptoms of Fin Rot include ragged or frayed fins, as well as redness and inflammation around the affected area.


The most effective treatment for Ich is to raise the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) for several days, which will kill the parasite.

You can also use medication specifically designed to treat Ich. For Fin Rot, the affected fish should be isolated and treated with medication specifically designed to treat bacterial infections.


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The best way to prevent diseases in Pearl Gouramis is to maintain optimal tank conditions, including clean water, appropriate water temperature, and a healthy diet.

It’s also important to quarantine new fish before adding them to the tank, to prevent the spread of any potential diseases.

Personally, I have experienced Ich in my own Pearl Gourami tank before. I quickly raised the temperature and added medication, and the affected fish made a full recovery.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your fish and address any potential issues as soon as possible to ensure their health and longevity.

Signs of a Healthy Pearl Gourami

When it comes to keeping a healthy Pearl Gourami, it’s important to know what to look for. Here are some signs that your fish is in good health:

  1. Active and Energetic: A healthy Pearl Gourami will be active and swim around the tank energetically. They should be interested in their surroundings and their behavior should be normal.
  2. Good Appetite: A healthy Pearl Gourami will have a good appetite and eat regularly. They should be interested in the food you offer and should not show signs of disinterest or lethargy.
  3. Clean and Clear Eyes: The eyes of a healthy Pearl Gourami should be clear and free from any cloudiness or discoloration. They should be alert and responsive to their surroundings.
  4. Healthy Fins: A healthy Pearl Gourami will have fins that are intact and free from any signs of damage or disease. They should be held upright and not clamped to the body.
  5. Good Coloration: A healthy Pearl Gourami will have good coloration that is bright and vibrant. The colors should be consistent and not faded or dull.
  6. No Signs of Disease: A healthy Pearl Gourami will not show any signs of disease, such as white spots, fin rot, or other abnormalities. They should be free from any visible signs of illness or distress. In my experience, keeping a healthy Pearl Gourami requires attention to detail and regular monitoring. By observing these signs, you can ensure that your fish is happy and healthy in their environment.

Signs of a Sick Pearl Gourami

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As a responsible fish owner, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a sick pearl gourami. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the spread of disease and increase the chances of a full recovery.

One of the most common signs of illness in pearl gouramis is a lack of appetite. If your fish is not eating or appears to be losing weight, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Another common symptom is lethargy. If your pearl gourami is spending more time at the bottom of the tank or is not as active as usual, it may be a sign of a problem.

Physical changes can also indicate illness. Watch for changes in color, scales, or fins. Any discoloration, spots, or growths should be examined closely.

Respiratory issues are also common in sick fish. If your pearl gourami is gasping for air at the surface of the water or appears to be struggling to breathe, it may be a sign of a respiratory infection.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action quickly.

Isolate the sick fish in a separate tank and seek advice from a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper. In some cases, medication may be necessary to treat the illness.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Proper tank maintenance, regular water changes, and a balanced diet can help keep your pearl gouramis healthy and happy.

Personally, I once had a pearl gourami that started to lose its appetite and became more lethargic than usual. I immediately isolated it in a separate tank and sought advice from a fish expert. It turned out that the water quality in my main tank was not optimal, and the fish was suffering from stress. With proper treatment and care, my pearl gourami made a full recovery.


Breeding pearl gouramis can be a rewarding experience for any aquarist. These fish are relatively easy to breed and can produce a large number of fry.

However, it is important to note that breeding can be stressful for the fish and should only be attempted if you are prepared to care for the fry.

Breeding Setup

To breed pearl gouramis, you will need a breeding pair and a separate breeding tank.

The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons and should be set up with a sponge filter and a heater to maintain a temperature of 78-82°F.

You should also provide plenty of hiding places for the fish, such as plants or decorations.

How To Breed

To encourage breeding, you should condition the fish by feeding them a variety of high-quality foods, such as live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Once the female is gravid, she will lay her eggs on a flat surface, such as a leaf or a piece of slate. The male will then fertilize the eggs.

After spawning, the adult fish should be removed from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry.

The eggs will hatch in 24-36 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming in another 2-3 days. At this point, you should begin feeding them infusoria or liquid fry food.


Caring for pearl gourami fry can be challenging, as they are very small and delicate.

You should perform daily water changes of 10-20% to maintain good water quality, and you should feed the fry small amounts of food several times a day.

As they grow, you can gradually increase the size of their food. It is also important to note that pearl gouramis can be cannibalistic, so you should separate the fry by size to prevent larger fry from eating smaller ones.

Once the fry are large enough, you can move them to a larger grow-out tank. Breeding pearl gouramis can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require some preparation and care.

With the right setup and attention to detail, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish and enjoy watching their fry grow and thrive.

Product recommendations for Pearl Gourami:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – These pellets are specially formulated for small fish like pearl gourami, and will provide them with the essential nutrients they need.
  2. Omega One Super Color Flakes – These flakes are a great option for feeding your pearl gourami, as they are high in protein and other important nutrients.
  3. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner – This water conditioner will help to reduce stress in your aquarium, which can be especially important for sensitive fish like pearl gourami.
  4. Seachem Flourish Excel – This liquid fertilizer is a great way to promote healthy plant growth in your aquarium, which can be beneficial for pearl gourami.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This power filter is a great way to keep your aquarium water clean and clear, which is important for the health of your pearl gourami.
  6. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – A heater is essential for maintaining a consistent water temperature in your aquarium, which is important for the health of your pearl gourami.
  7. API Aquarium Water Test Kit – This test kit is a great way to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium, which can help you keep your pearl gourami healthy.
  8. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – This substrate is a great option for planted aquariums, and can help to promote healthy plant growth, which can be beneficial for pearl gourami.
  9. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump – A circulation pump can help to keep the water in your aquarium moving, which can be important for the health of your pearl gourami.


After researching and writing this article on Pearl Gourami care, I have come to appreciate these fish even more. They are a beautiful and peaceful addition to any community tank, and their unique behaviors and personalities make them a joy to watch.

While they do require some specific care, such as a planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and a slightly acidic pH, the effort is well worth it. With proper care, Pearl Gouramis can live for up to 5 years and grow to be 3-4 inches in length.

One thing to keep in mind when considering Pearl Gouramis is their compatibility with other fish. They can be shy and easily stressed, so it’s important to choose tank mates that won’t harass or intimidate them. Some good options include peaceful tetras, rasboras, and other small, non-aggressive fish.

Overall, I highly recommend Pearl Gouramis to any aquarist looking for a unique and rewarding addition to their tank. With a little research and effort, these fish can thrive and bring years of enjoyment.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Pearl Gourami care:

Q: What is the ideal tank size for Pearl Gouramis?

A: A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a pair of Pearl Gouramis. However, a larger tank would be better as it will provide more swimming space for the fish.

Q: Can Pearl Gouramis live with other fish?

A: Yes, Pearl Gouramis are generally peaceful and can live with other peaceful fish species. However, they should not be kept with aggressive or fin-nipping fish as they have delicate fins.

Q: What should I feed my Pearl Gouramis?

A: Pearl Gouramis are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. A diet that includes high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia is recommended.

Q: How often should I change the water in my Pearl Gourami tank?

A: Regular water changes are important for maintaining good water quality. A 25% water change should be done every two weeks to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish.

Q: How can I tell if my Pearl Gouramis are male or female?

A: Male Pearl Gouramis have longer dorsal fins and are more colorful than females. Females are usually smaller and have a rounder belly.

Q: Can Pearl Gouramis be bred in a home aquarium?

A: Yes, Pearl Gouramis can be bred in a home aquarium. However, breeding can be challenging and requires specific water conditions and setup. It is recommended to do research and prepare before attempting to breed Pearl Gouramis.

Q: What are some common diseases that Pearl Gouramis can get?

A: Pearl Gouramis are susceptible to diseases such as Ich, fin rot, and bacterial infections. Maintaining good water quality and a healthy diet can help prevent these diseases.

Q: How long do Pearl Gouramis live?

A: Pearl Gouramis can live up to 5 years or more with proper care and a healthy environment.

I personally find Pearl Gouramis to be fascinating fish to keep in an aquarium. They have a peaceful demeanor and beautiful appearance that can light up any tank. With proper care, they can thrive and live a long and healthy life.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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