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Pearl Gouramis are peaceful members of the Gourami family that are known for their ‘pearl’ like coloration. Guppies are available in just about every color under the sun. It is common to ask ’can Pearl Gourami be kept with Guppies?’.
Yes, Pearl Gourami can live with Guppies. Both species of fish are non-aggressive and will, for the most part, keep themselves to themselves. Both Pearl Gouramis and Guppies work well in a community tank setting.
About 5 years ago I bought myself 6 small Pearl Gouramis. This was my first time with these elegant fish, and I wasn’t disappointed. They were tiny when I got them, but they soon grew and really began to show where the name ‘Pearl’ Gourami came from.
Can You Keep Pearl Gourami And Guppies Together?
No one can deny, a tank full of moving, brightly colored fish looks awesome. Guppies are small, quick, colorful and they dart all over the tank. Pearl Gourami on the other hand are larger and move around the aquarium with a lot more grace. Guppies and Pearl Gourami contrast each other beautifully.
Pearl Gouramis spend almost all their time in the top third of the aquarium. They really only want to eat off the surface. The problem is, once the food begins to sink and goes past them, they are reluctant to swim down to the substrate to eat the food.
This means it can sit and rot in your water. Guppies on the other hand will eat from anywhere in the aquarium. They will happily chow down on any food which passes the Pearl Gourami by.
Do Pearl Gourami And Guppies Want The Same Water Conditions?
Pearl Gourami and Guppies essentially want the same water conditions, although the Gourami is a little fussier. Target your tank to your Pearl Gourami fish’s needs and the Guppies will get along just fine.
The tank water temperature should be set between 77°F and 82°F and the pH should be somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. The Gourami do prefer the water slightly softer, whilst the Guppies prefer it slightly harder. Aim for somewhere in the middle around 10-15dH.
Both species will want the aquarium to be well filtered and neither of them wants lots of water flow. A sponge filter would work well in this setup.
I have a whole care guide to Pearl Gourami in this article titled Pearl Gourami Care Guide if you are looking for more information about Pearl Gourami requirements.
What Size Tank For Pearl Gouramis And Guppies Together?
If you are thinking of keeping a pair of Pearl Gourami with a handful of guppies, a 30-gallon tank will be fine. A 40 gallon would allow you to keep a trio of Pearl Gourami with the Guppies.
If you would like a larger collection of Pearl Gourami, consider a 55 gallon or a 75-gallon tank. You could keep 6 or 8 Pearl Gourami in a 75-gallon tank.
How Should A Pearl Gourami And Guppy Tank Be Set Up?
Whilst the Guppies are not especially concerned about how their tank is set up, the Pearl Gourami will definitely appreciate the tank being set up to match their needs. Pearl Gouramis like a tank with a darker substrate.
I have had great success in the past keeping my Pearl Gourami in tanks with Fluval Stratum or black blasting sand. Having plants in the tank will help make the Pearl Gourami feel safe, meaning they will spend more time swimming out in the open rather than hiding.
Floating plants in the tank will also help with the Pearl Gourami desire for slightly subdued lighting. The aquarium will need a heater and filter as mentioned above. A simple aquarium heater set to 78°F will be sufficient in most circumstances.
Try and locate your Pearl Gourami and Guppy aquarium away from areas of high traffic, otherwise, the Pearl Gourami may spend most of their time in hiding.
Will Pearl Gourami Eat Guppy Babies?
The honest answer is yes, Pearl Gourami will probably eat some of the Guppy babies. Essentially, if a fish can fit in the Pearl Gourami mouth, one day, it will end up there.
If you are keen to prevent the Pearl Gourami from eating the Guppy babies, provide as much cover for the babies as possible. Bushy, live plants are the best way to provide cover, and floating plants with long trailing roots will help too.
Add piles of small rocks, creating gaps where the babies can get to but the Gourami can’t also give the babies safe refuge.
There are however circumstances where the Pearl Gourami are used to control the Guppy population. Guppies do reproduce quickly and can easily overrun a small aquarium. Using the Pearl Gourami as natural population control may be appreciated by some aquarium keepers.
What Other Fish Can Live In A Pearl Gourami/Guppy Tank?
Naturally, the size of the tank will determine how many fish you can have in your Pearl Gourami and Guppy community.
Assuming you have space, some other welcome tankmates may include a bristlenose pleco, some corydoras catfish, Kuhli Loach, or a schooling tetra like Cardinal Tetras.
As with all aquariums, space is the limiting factor. With your Pearl Gourami spending their days swimming just under the surface and Guppies spreading themselves around the rest of the tank, a bottom dweller is probably the ideal addition to compliment the tank.
What Other Gourami Could Live With Guppies?
Many of the other members of the Gourami family make suitable tank mates for Guppies. Powder Blue Gourami look amazing when paired with blue Guppies. Alternatively, the bright Yellows of a Honey Gourami really pop against a red Guppy. Dwarf Gouramis are also very peaceful, and they will complement the vast array of Guppy Colours on offer.
Pearl Gourami and Guppies will work superbly together. Their care requirements are close enough that they can share the same water without issue, but the behavior is different enough to ensure there is enough interest in the tank.
Assuming your tank is large enough, fill the back on the tank with live plants, throw some bottom-dweller into the mix, maybe add a handful of Red Cherry Shrimp and I guarantee you will have a tank that never gets boring.
- fws.gov – Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii) Ecological Risk Screening Summary
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species – Trichopodus leerii
- Life in a bubble: the role of the labyrinth organ in determining territory, mating and aggressive behaviours in anabantoids
- Fluval Aquatics