Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Trichogaster leeri

Pearl gourami

Pearl gourami, Trichogaster leeriPearl gourami, Trichogaster leeri
Photos by Andy Rapson


Trichogaster: Greek, thrix = hair + Greek, gaster = stomach

General Notes:

Although pearl gouramis are quite peaceful with the majority of other fish they don't behave quite so well with their own kind. It is quite common to see a pair of these fish housed in a community tank where the male constantly harasses the female non-stop a single specimen looks better and will thrive far better in a community tank with out all the disruption. With good care a pearl gourami will live for four years or more and these fish (particularly the males) improve with age. In the wild pearl gouramis live in heavily vegetated regions and they don't really feel at home in sparsely decorated tanks, at least a few plant thickets and other hiding places should be provided.


Pearl gouramis are omnivores and need a varied diet. In captivity they will accept all food offered. Use a good quality flake food and supplement it with live or frozen food and some fresh greens.


Males are larger and they develop red/orange colour from their chest to pelvic region and have extended rays on their anal fin.


They are bubble nest builders and it is the male alone who cares for the brood. The fry are small and may be tricky to raise unless you have some experience in preparing infusoria cultures. Alternatively you can use a commercial liquid fry food which actually encourages the growth of natural infusoria in the aquarium, be careful not over use this kind of food because it can pollute the water.

Wild status

The health of the wild population is unknown because the species hasn't yet been evaluated. Almost all Pearl gouramis offered for sale have been commercially produced and so have no impact on the wild population.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 8
dGH: 5 - 19
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 12cm (4.75in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Pearl gourami, Trichogaster leeri

Origin: Asia: Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Indonesia (Sumatra and Borneo).

Habitat: Occurs in swamps and streams, usually among dense vegetation and with acidic water


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Osphronemidae
Genus: Trichogaster
Species: T. leeri (Bleeker, 1852)

Common name:
Pearl gourami, Lace gourami

Synonyms: Trichopodus leeri, Trichopus leerii