Pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii)

Pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii)

Pearl gourami belong to the labyrinth fishes. This means that they have a labyrinth organ through which they can breathe atmospheric air. Therefore, these fish regularly surface to catch their breath. In addition to this, they impress with their unique pearl pattern that runs all over their body and fins.

Water parameters for pearl gourami

  • PH value: 6 – 8
  • GH (total hardness): 1° – 12° dGH
  • KH (carbonate hardness): 1° – 4° dKH
  • Temperature: 24° – 30°C


Pearl gourami have a unique appearance. Their body is basically gray, but this is covered with white to bluish shimmering dots. In addition to this pattern, males may develop a fiery red throat during the breeding season. Also, both the dorsal and ventral fins are extended in males. The filaments, typical of threadfish, originate in the anterior lower portion of the fish. With sufficient tank size and good feeding, pearl gourami can grow up to 12 inches.


Breeding pearl gourami is not so easy. It is recommended that you put the pair in a separate tank. This aquarium should have an edge length of at least 100 cm. Additionally a very soft (<4° dGH) and warm (approx. 30°C) water is necessary. Furthermore, the water level should be a maximum of 25 cm. In addition, floating plants must be present, since the foam nest builds with the help of these. A surface movement by the filter should be absolutely prevented. After the foam nest building and hatching of the fry (after about 2 days) the male should be removed. Already now you have to feed the fry several times a day with special food. After about a week you can usually already use somewhat larger food.

Keeping pearl gourami

Keeping pearl gourami is relatively simple. This fish should be kept in a pair or as a trio (1M + 2W). The aquarium size should be at least 160l. In order for the fish to feel comfortable, several plants should reach from the bottom to the water surface in the aquarium. Also floating plants with longer roots, for example frogbit is perfect for these fish. In community tanks, care must also be taken to ensure that the by-fish are peaceful and rather quiet. Because pearl gourami breathe atmospheric air, the aquarium should definitely have a lid. So the air above the aquarium is not too cold. Otherwise the fish can catch cold. These fish can be fed with all kinds of flake food. It is important that this remains on the surface.

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