- Scientific Name: Trichogaster leerii
- Family: Anabantidae
- Size: 4 inches
- Temperature: 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit
- Alkalinity: neutral with moderate hardness
- pH: 6.8 to 7.0
- Origin: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia
The pearl gourami is one of the most beautiful anabantids — bubble nest builders. It is peaceful and can be kept with any other community tank fish, displaying only mild aggression toward others of its species, and then usually only from males in breeding colors. Its long trailing “feelers,” which are the ventral fins of the pearl gourami, are very tempting to fin nippers such as tiger barbs or serpae tetras, so you have to be careful about not keeping these and similar fish with a pearl gourami.
The male pearl gourami stakes out a corner of the tank and constructs a bubble nest at the surface of the water out of mucous-coated bubbles that he blows. Often the male will include bits of plant material in his nest. He coaxes the female under the nest, they coil together in a spawning embrace, and the male picks up the fertilized eggs and puts them into the nest. He then guards the nest until the babies become free-swimming. The pearl gourami is one of the easier anabantids to breed.
The pearl gourami can adapt to water conditions either side of neutral pH, and it also can tolerate water that is fairly hard. The most important thing in its care is that it prefers warm conditions, at least 78 or even 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is kept at cooler temperatures it loses some of its beautiful colors and is not as active. Assuming your tank is on the warm side, the pearl gourami is one of the most beautiful and easily kept community tank fish.