Did You Know? 11 Incredible Pearl Gourami Facts


Are you a fish lover and are absolutely fascinated by fish? Then you are in the right place as we bring to you a special fish, the pearl gourami. This is a majestic pet fish and is thus sought all across the globe.

These are highly interesting fishes as they make special nests during the breeding or mating period. They make a bubble nest where the freshly hatched eggs remain safe from the eyes of the predators. The male pearl gourami fish mixes its saliva with the water and creates very light bubbles that rise up and float on the surface of the water. These are called bubble nests. A minimum tank size of 20 gal (75.7 l) is required for these fishes. The ventral fins of these fishes are thin and long, unlike the dorsal, which is small and round.

Identifying a male from a female is very easy. The males are smaller in size while the females are comparatively bigger. The belly of the females is also rounded, which is not for the males.

If you find our content interesting and informative, be sure to check out our other special articles like harlequin rasbora and wreckfish.

Pearl Gourami Interesting Facts

What type of animal is pearl gourami?

The pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii) is a type of freshwater fish that belongs to the family of Osphronemidae.

What class of animal does pearl gourami belong to?

Just like many other fishes in this world, like the codfish and the Chinese paddlefish, the pearl gourami, Trichopodus leerii, belongs to the class of Actinopterygii of the Animalia kingdom.

How many pearl gouramis are there in the world?

Owing to very limited data and information that is available on the pearl gourami, Trichopodus leerii, their exact population in the wild is currently unknown. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has classed these freshwater fishes as species that are Near Threatened. The population trend has also shown that their number has severely gone on the decline over the past years. The International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List states that over 30% of their entire population has gone on the decline, and over the next 10-15 years, from 2012-2032, their population can even undergo 30% more decline. Human activities are widely responsible for their decline in numbers. Destruction of swamps that serve as their primary habitat is constantly destroyed in their native regions. Moreover, aquarium trades also pose a huge threat to these fishes. Overharvesting for the aquarium trade and being kept as pets all over the globe has been responsible for severely depleting their numbers.

Where does pearl gourami live?

The pearl gourami, or Trichopodus leerii, is a South Asian freshwater fish. They are predominantly found in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia as well as in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. However, these fishes can also be considered as global fishes as they are found all over the globe owing to them being excellent pets.

What is a pearl gourami's habitat?

The pearl gourami is freshwater fish, and thus freshwater conditions are preferred by these tiny fishes. These fishes can survive very well in waters where the pH level is relatively low. Thus it can be said that the pearl gourami can easily survive in acidic water conditions. Their primary habitat includes acidic water containing lowland swamps. However, they can also be found in streams that run in between dense vegetation and through the numerous swamp forests in the tropical rainforests of South Asia. These fishes tend to stay in the upper to the middle layer of the waters, and thus, they have also been spotted in shallow waters as well as in inland and lowland flood forests.

Who do pearl gouramis live with?

Pearl gouramis (Trichopodus leerii) is a very peaceful fish as well as a highly social fish. Thus, they are one of the most sought fishes that are kept as pets by people and fish lovers all over the globe. As the pearl gourami fish is a highly social fish, there are numerous pearl gourami tank mates. However, it is advised not to mix gouramis with one another, like with the mosaic gourami or with the lace gourami. Any docile schooling fishes would be perfectly fine with the pearl gourami.

There are a wide number of different species of fish that you can keep in your aquarium to accompany the pearl gourami. These include the likes of tetra, cherry barbs, Danio, Cory catfish, rasbora, angelfish, dwarf rainbowfish, and others. As these are social fishes, their general behavior is usually noticed when they are found in groups and not when they are solitary.

How long does pearl gourami live?

The pearl gourami is a pretty hardy fish in comparison with other pet fishes that are found all across the world. These fishes have an average lifespan of around five to six years. If much further care is provided to these fishes, then they can easily live for more years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding process or the mating process of the pearl gourami is special and quite different in comparison with other pet fishes found all over the globe. The males are more brightly colored in comparison with the females, and thus they attract the females by flaunting their bright colors. This process falls under the courtship ritual. The male pearl gourami mixes its saliva with the water and blows bubbles. These bubbles being light in weight, travel upwards and float on the surface of the water without mixing with the water. After this, the males attract the females under the bubbles, now known as bubble nests. After the mating process is complete, the female spans the eggs. The eggs being light in weight, travel upwards and lodge themselves under the bubbles in a bubble nest.

Now the male territorial nature is demonstrated as they aggressively and ferociously guard their bubble nest against other predatory fishes. Incubation is not required as the eggs hatch within a day or two. Within a couple of days, the little fry starts to swim. It is advised to place the fry in another tank so that they can grow on their own without the fear of other predatory fishes.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the pearl gourami, or Trichopodus leerii, as a species that is Near Threatened. The population density of these fishes in their native regions, along with their mean population trend, has constantly been on the decline over the recent years.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List also states that according to their data and researches, it is estimated that within the next 10-15 years the population of the pearl gouramis is likely to decrease at a rate of 30%. This is mainly due to numerous human activities. Destruction of habitat along with a high rate of population and deforestation in the tropical forests of South Asia is largely responsible for the depletion of this species. Moreover, overharvesting for the global pet trade has also potentially decreased the population of the native indigenous species of the pearl gouramis.

Proper protective measures along with vigorous conservative steps need to be undertaken at the very earliest to preserve and protect this species, else the beloved, beautiful and magnificent pearl gourami is likely to be engulfed by the jaws of extinction.

Pearl Gourami Fun Facts

What do pearl gouramis look like?

Pearl gourami facts are loved by children.

These fishes have a laterally compressed and elongated body. This special symmetry is very common among other species of gouramis. Their dorsal fin is small and rounded in shape. On the other hand, the ventral fins are thin and long. The body has a brownish-silver hue with brown spots or flecks spread all over the body, thus giving them a pearl-ish appearance, and hence the name.

How cute are they?

Not only are the pearl gouramis widely sought all over the world as they are excellent pets, but also because they are a marvelously beautiful species of fish that every pet owner wants to keep at their home. These little fish are considered as cute by many people, while fish lovers and pet owners often find these fishes, i.e., the pearl gouramis, to be extremely adorable.

How do they communicate?

The communication of the pearl gouramis is unique and unlike other fishes. These fishes can make sounds, and they are known to vocalize quite often. Though the majority of their vocalization occurs during the mating season or when one fish fights with another. Croaking sounds or growling noises can be heard from these fish which many people often refer to ask fish talking.

Apart from these vocalizations, like any other normal fish, pearl gouramis communicate with one another in the usual way. They use the method of body signs to communicate, and since they are bony fishes, they can also communicate with the vibrations that they release from the spines. Lastly, like the majority of fishes, they are also known to secret special chemical compounds known as pheromones by which they can effectively communicate with one another.

How big is pearl gourami?

These are small fishes as they measure 4-5 in (10-13 cm) in length. In comparison with the cherry barb 1.6-2 in (4-5.3 cm), we can say that the pearl gourami is larger in size.

How fast can pearl gourami swim?

Owing to very limited data and research that are available, the exact speed at which pearl gouramis swim is currently unknown. However, we can make an assumption based on the swimming speed of the other species of gouramis that can be found. Gouramis, in general, swim in stagnant waters, either in a fish tank or in an aquarium, and thus they generally float and glide quite well. However, they travel pretty slowly, and thus we can conclude that gouramis are slow swimmers and their swimming speeds are likely to be much lower in comparison with other fishes.

How much does pearl gourami weigh?

The exact weight of the pearl gouramis is unknown. However, some species of gouramis can attain weights of around 20 lb (9 kg). In comparison with Pacific salmon 8-136 lb (3.7-61 kg), we can say that the latter is heavier.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Just like any other fish in the world, there are no distinct names that have been assigned to male or female pearl gouramis.

What would you call a baby pearl gourami?

Baby fishes all over the world are known as fry. Therefore in the case of the pearl gouramis, the same nomenclature is followed.

What do they eat?

One of the main aspects of being ideal pets is the pets not being picky eaters. And for pearl gouramis, that is true. These fishes are not at all picky eaters, and they consume whatever you provide them. These are mainly omnivorous fishes, which means they consume both plant matter as well as animal matter. In terms of plant matter, these fishes are highly efficient in consuming algae that form in your fish tank or in your aquarium. However, these fishes are extremely fond of live foods and consume glass worms, larvae, brine shrimp, and other fish eggs in an instant. If frozen foods are offered, then these fishes won't refuse and would graciously consume them.

Are they dangerous?

No, pearl gouramis are not dangerous fishes at all. On the contrary, they are a species of very peaceful fishes, and thus they are often considered to be ideal community fishes. The gentle nature of this fish species has made them highly popular and is one of the most sought pet fish in the world. However, during the breeding season or the mating season, the males become territorial to protect their eggs and their nest. During this time, aggressive behavior is often observed. Though these fishes are quite docile in nature, males can sometimes turn aggressive towards other males of the same fish species or with other gourami species like the mosaic gourami and the lace gourami.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, absolutely, pearl gouramis would make excellent pets. These fishes are one of the most sought-after pet fish across the globe. They are excellent community fishes and gel well with other species of fish. They are not fussy eaters, so normal fish food like worms, brine shrimp, or algae is sufficient for their diet. Though these fishes can survive under acidic water conditions and water changes, it is advised to maintain neutral water quality at home. These fishes love plants, and thus, floating plants should be kept in their tanks.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The pearl gourami is a labyrinth fish. These fishes have poorly developed gills, and they often intake oxygen by gulping air by their labyrinth organ. This labyrinth organ is known to perform accurately when the air outside is humid in nature. 

Are pearl gouramis good community fish?

Yes absolutely, the pearl gourami is an excellent community fish. Though they are quite docile fishes, the males can sometimes showcase their territorial nature as well as their aggressive nature during the mating season or the breeding season. In general, they are excellent community fishes. They can also adjust very well during water changes. In their actual habitat, they are known to survive under a lower pH, thereby indicating that these fishes can survive under acidic water conditions as well as in fluctuations of the water temperature. However, under normal conditions or in a breeding tank, these fishes can survive under normal water temperature, water quality, and water hardness. They are also not fussy eaters and consume any proper fish food like worms and brine shrimp. These fishes like floating plants, so don't forget to keep floating plants in their aquarium or tanks.

Pearl gourami care

Pearl gourami care is relatively easy as you don't have to invest or take care of this fish rigorously. Normal fish care is sufficient for the proper livelihood for these fishes. If proper food like live foods, including worms, normal water change, and proper tank size, is implemented, then that is enough for these colorful, majestic fishes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Arctic char facts and Swai fish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable easy goldfish coloring pages.

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