Pearl Gourami – Frequently Asked Questions

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Pearl Gourami are one of the most underrated fish in the hobby. They aren’t kept nearly as often as they should be. Pearl Gourami are peaceful, surprisingly colorful, and make a great centerpiece to any community tank. I keep a trio in a large planted aquarium. When the light hits them just right it is easy to see where they get their ‘pearl’ name from.

Below I have addressed some of the questions about Parl Gourami that I am asked on a regular basis. If you are looking for an in-depth care guide to Pearl Gourami, please check out my Pearl Gourami Care Guide.

What Do Pearl Gourami Eat?

Pearl Gourami are omnivores. This means they need a mix of foods in their diets. For healthy Pearl Gourami, you need to feed them a mix of flakes and pellets as well as live or frozen bloodworm, daphnia, and mosquito larvae.

Be aware, Pearl Gourami want to eat the majority of their food from the surface. Therefore, most of their diet should be made up of floating foods like flake food and floating mini pellets.

I feed my Pearl Gourami Bug Bites Tropical Formula. The small pellets float on the surface for ages, giving the Pearl Gourami plenty of time to eat them. I also feed a lot of Vibra Bites, although these don’t float for as long.

Can Pearl Gourami Live With Shrimp?

Yes, Pearl Gourami can live with shrimp. I currently have a 40-gallon aquarium with 5 Pearl Gourami and dozens of Red Cherry Shrimp. I am sure the Gourami will snack on the occasional shrimp, but generally, the shrimp are too fast for the Gourami and they inhabit different areas of the tank.

Pearl Gourami live in the top third whereas Red Cherry Shrimp spend most of their day on the substrate or in the live plants.

Can Pearl Gourami Live Alone?

Yes, you can keep a single Pearl Gourami. However, although they are not schooling fish, Pearl Gourami do like the company of their own species. They do much better and look more impressive in groups of 4 or more. An ideal ratio would be 1 male Pearl Gourami to every 3 females.

Can Pearl Gourami Live With Dwarf Gourami?

Yes, Pearl Gourami can live peacefully with other Gourami, including Dwarf Gourami. Pearl Gourami are great community aquarium subjects. Other great tank mates include small tetras, guppies, and corydoras.

Are Pearl Gourami Aggressive?

Pearl Gourami are incredibly peaceful fish. Under normal conditions, they just want to be left alone. They won’t bother any of your other fish. In my experience, Pearl Gourami are surprisingly timid.

Pearl Gourami will often hide in the plants when there is aggression being shown by other fish. The exception to this would be when spawning. A male Pearl Gourami guarding a bubble nest full of eggs or fry will defend his nest aggressively.

Luckily, although easy to breed, Pearl Gourami don’t usually build nests in a community aquarium.

Pearl Gourami Tank Size?

A single pearl Gourami can be kept in a 20-gallon aquarium whereas a pair needs a minimum of 30 gallons. A 40-gallon aquarium will happily house 4 Pearl Gourami and a 55 gallon will house 6. Try to stick with the ratio of 1 male to every 3 females.

How Do Pearl Gourami Breed?

Pearl Gourami are bubble nest breeders. This means the male will build a nest of bubbles where the eggs will be laid and the fry will develop. When mating the male and female will embrace underneath the bubble nest, curling their bodies around one another.

When the female releases the eggs, the male will fertilize them before they float up into the bubble nest. The Male Pearl Gourami will then guard the nest and the developing fry until they are large enough to leave the safety of their parents.

Can Pearl Gourami Live With Guppies?

Yes, Pearl Gourami can live in the same aquarium as guppies. I wrote a whole article on the subject of can Pearl Gourami live with guppies?

Can You Keep Pearl Gourami With African Cichlids?

African Cichlids do not make good tank mates for Pearl Gourami. The African Cichlids will generally be too aggressive and will dominate the food. The Pearl Gouramis will be constantly bullied and the lack of food and stress of bullying will lead to an early death.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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