Pearl Gourami Fact Sheet
The Pearl Gourami, Trichogaster leeri, is also called the Lace Gourami and the Mosaic Gourami, and sometimes the Red Breasted Gourami. It is native to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It has been introduced to Colombia, The Philippines and Taiwan.
Length and Longevity
The Pearl Gourami can grow to about 12 centimetres (4½ inches) long. It will live for up to 8 years.
This fish comes from tropical countries, and it needs warm water. A temperature of between 24 and 28 degrees C (75- 83 degrees F) is suitable. They come from soft acid water, but the adults are moderately adaptable and a pH of between 6.0 and 7.5 with a dH of up to 19 is all right for maintaining them.
This fish comes from still or sluggishly moving water bodies with a lot of plants in, so at least part of their aquarium needs to have a lot of plants. Ideally these should include floating plants.
The Pearl Gourami is a labyrinth fish and can breathe air as well as water, so it needs access to the air. It is better if the air is of a similar temperature to the water and is humid, so the tank should be well covered.
The Pearl Gourami is an easily fed omnivore. It will eat all common fish foods. Its diet should include foods of both animal origin like live or frozen bloodworms , Daphnia or brine shrimp, and also things a vegetable origin like algae wafers , lettuce or lightly cooked zucchini.
Although the most popular fish for eating Hydra is the Blue Gourami, Pearl Gouramis also eat it readily. Pearl Gouramis are smaller and more peaceful than Blue Gouramis and are sometimes kept in tanks as small as 60 Litres (15 US gallons), so there are circumstances where the Pearl Gourami would be the fish of choice to get rid of hydra.
The Pearl Gourami has a soft body and care needs to be taken when handling this fish.
The Pearl Gourami is a very peaceful fish which is often, but not always, shy. It can safely be put with fish smaller than itself although I would not put it with fish as small as Neon Tetras, but most of the more peaceful tetras are suitable companions as well as all the corydoras catfish like the Bronze Catfish. I don't recommend putting it with male Siamese Fighting Fish.
You need to avoid fish that nip fins or are large and aggressive.
When they are in breeding condition the male and females are easy to tell apart because the male gets a bright red breast. The males also have a longer and more pointed dorsal fin.
When in breeding condition the females are plumper than the males.
To condition them for breeding, the parents to be should be very well fed, including rich foods like frozen bloodworms.
The babies are small and it is not likely that the parents will be able to breed successfully with any other fish in the tank.
The breeding tank normally is about kept at about 27 degrees C (80 degrees F), with soft, slightly acidic water. Normally the water level is lowered to about 15 centimetres (6 inches)
The male Pearl Gourami builds a bubble nest. It builds a fairly large bubble nest, and sometimes will spit sand grains into its nest.
The male will encourage the female to go under the nest. He wraps his body round his mate and she releases hundreds of floating eggs while he fertilizes them. It is safer to remove the female after spawning is complete. The male looks after the nest until the eggs hatch; the babies will be free swimming in about 4 days. The male should then be removed.
Raising the Fry
The babies are very small and will need to eat microscopic food like green water and infusoria for about two weeks. After that they can eat visible food like live or frozen, newly hatched brine shrimp, finely screened daphnia etc. These live foods can be supplemented with commercial fry food.
Frequent careful partial water changes are necessary to avoid the build up of wastes that can wipe out the whole batch of fry. I recommend a sponge filter while the babies are small.
In English, apart from being called the Pearl Gourami, this fish is referred to as the Lace Gourami, Mosaic Gourami Leeri Gourami or Diamond Gourami.
In French it is Le Gourami Perlé, Le Gourami lerry or Le Gourami Mosaïque.
In Mandarin Chinese it is 珍珠毛足 鲈 or 珍珠毛足鱸 .
Sources and Picture Credits