Complete Tropical Pearl Gourami Fish Care Sheet – Trichopodus leerii or commonly known as “pearl gourami,” is small freshwater fish species under the family Osphronemidae (Gourami) which originates from Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand).
They are also known as mosaic gourami, lace gourami, or diamond gourami. It’s referred to their magnificent speckled pattern coloration with black stripes on their sides body.
They commonly inhabit lowland swamps with acidic waters, shallow tropical waters with lots of vegetation, and sometimes live in coastal regions.
Nowadays, they have become popular freshwater fish among hobbyists and available all over the world. You can buy them at the local fish store or in an online marketplace such as eBay, PetSmart, or amazon start at $5 for each fish.
Complete Tropical Pearl Gourami Fish Care Sheet
Appearance And Behavior
The mosaic gouramis have elongated and laterally compressed body shapes. Their pelvic/ventral fins are thin and long, which looks like long feelers. These thinner fins are nearly as long as the body.
They have small and upturned mouths. Their based bodies are gray or bluish, covered with many silvery/brown/greenish spots pearl-like through their bodies.
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A horizontal black stripe runs on the middle of the sides of their body, start from their mouth to the tails, which end in a point at the base of the tail.
The males of the lace gourami more colorful and larger than females. Males have reddish coloring around the throat zone and front of anal fins when as they are mature and turn brighter when mating. Males also generally have longer and pointed dorsal fins than the female.
These freshwater aquarium fish can grow up to 4.7 inches (12 cm) TL and live up to 5 years.
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These fish have belonged to the labyrinth fish species, which means they can take a breath by gulping the air at the aquarium water surface. So you will see them swimming up into the surface frequently.
They often spend almost all the time swimming around the middle and upper levels of the tank. Sometimes, the males become more aggressive during spawning. They will fight other males and females and may scare any fish which comes nearly to his nest. However, the pearl gouramis have the same characteristics as honey or dwarf gouramis, known as quite peaceful freshwater aquarium fish, and should not bother their tank mates.
A 30-gallons (120 liters) tank is ideal for a single pair or small group of diamond gouramis. You need at least 6-gallon for each fish if you want to add another pearl gourami to your tank.
The water temperature should be 72–82F or 22–28°C (use an aquarium thermometer to control), pH level between 5.5 to 7.5, water hardness level between 2 to 30 dH.
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Using black/dark substrates is the right choice for them, and it will enhance their color in the aquarium. They are preferred to subdued lighting, so you should using a low-powered lighting system.
In the wild, the T. leerii accustomed to slow-moving water and dense with vegetation, so use the low-powered filtration system and planting enough aquatic plants.
Recommended using aquarium aquatic plants that can survive in their environments such as Anubias, Cryptocoryne, Echynodorus. Besides, offer the nice decorated in the tank, aquarium plants will give hiding places for them and make them happier.
Adding some tropical floating aquarium plants is preferred. It will give some shady area in the middle and upper area in the tank for the lace gouramis swimming free and playing.
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Be sure do not to cover all areas in the tank surface with floating plants. Provide sufficient area for them gulping the fresh air so their labyrinth organ can operate well.
Put some hardscapes such as driftwoods, mountain rocks, pipes, or caves to the aquarium will give more aesthetic and offer extra hiding places for them. To avoid them from jumping outside, you can add a tank lid to your aquarium.
Although the pearl gouramis prefer soft and acidic waters, they can be adapted to a wide range of water conditions. It’s ideal for the fish keepers with inexperience because they are the hardiest and easiest to keep.
However, they are hardy fish; Trichopodus Leerii can be vulnerable to illness, maintenance of the aquarium, and change the water regularly is a must.
These fish are very peaceful and can be housed in a single pair, group, or community tank. The best tank mates for pearl gourami are unaggressive and peaceful fish with equivalent size bodies.
Larger, overactive, territorial, and fin-nippers (like tiger barbs) fish must be avoided to keeping together with pearl gouramis. They will make the pearl gourami stress, make their colors pale, and break their fins, causing them to tend to hide away and lead to their health problems.
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As long as their friends are not larger and have the same characteristics as them, They will become the great tank mates for your beloved pearls gourami. Below is some idea for you:
- Dwarf gouramis
- Sparkling gouramis
- Tetras species
- Siamese Algae Eaters
- Kuhli Loach
Some aquarium snails and shrimps can also be put with them, including Amano shrimps, bamboo shrimps, red bee shrimps, apple snails, and nerite snails, which are categorized as good algae eaters on the aquarium.
The pearl gourami fish actually not a picky eater. They are omnivorous, that means can accept any food type. In their habitat, they usually hunt small insects, eggs, larvae, or algae.
They will eat any fish foods from pet stores such as fish pellets, flakes, frozen or live foods like bloodworm, daphnia, or brine shrimps. Live foods are the best choice for them, and they will enhance their coloration and health. These gourami species also can be fed with vegetables like zucchini.
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Same with another gourami fish species, the pearl gourami is a great bubble nest builder. Bubble nest made from bubbles that blown by males to the water surface, usually the bubbles also coated with saliva to make it’s more durable.
It would be best if you kept a pair of pearl gourami in the breeding tank. The water level should be decreased to 8 inches or 20 cm during spawning and the temperature around 82 °F (28 °C) and pH level around 7.
When the males finished their bubble nest around the aquarium plants or in the corner of the aquarium, both males and females will start to spawn. In the spawning session, the male will wrap the female, and at the same time, she will lay her eggs, and then he will fertilize them.
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The eggs will float gently into the nest and the male while the female and male will drift down at the same time. After that, the male will swim up to the nest to check the eggs if there are any stray eggs and put them into the nest.
This cycling process will repeat much time until the female spent all eggs. Once the spawning session is over, move the female from the breeding tank. The male will protect and care for the eggs until hatching.
These eggs normally hatch in one or two days. In the 4-5 days old, the fry will start free-swimming (At this point, be sure to remove the male from the breeding tank to avoid him predate the fry). Fry can be fed with infusoria or brine shrimp until they can accept larger foods such as bloodworms or small fish pellets.
With good maintenance, the fry generally can reach 2 inches in 3 months, and they can start to sell in this size.