Pearl Gourami Fish 'Talk' to Owners by Gulping Air to Get Attention

Posted by Christy Caplan
Pearl Gourami

It's useful to have a little experience when keeping these fish. They can easily cause you to make some beginner mistakes, and are known to be rather demanding!

Yet it's hard to deny their beauty. The Pearl Gourami coloring is extremely beautiful. It is silvery liliaceous with perlaceous spots that resemble real pearls. These spots cover almost all the fish body, its anal, dorsal and tail fins, except its head.

The Spruce Pets confirm you may hear this type of fish 'talking' to you!

"The Pearl Gourami is not only one of the most attractive gouramis, but also one of the hardiest and easiest to keep. It is also a Labyrinth fish, meaning that it is able to breathe by gulping air at the surface of the tank. Like some other Labyrinth fish, the Pearl Gourami can actually vocalize; don't be surprised if you hear your pet "talking" to you with growling or croaking noises, especially when breeding or fighting." 

A 'talking' fish! Yes!

Tank conditions

Meet the Pet fish expert explains that this fish is very timid and more sensitive to temperature change or water contamination than other gouramis.

"However, nothing special is required to keep the fish, you just have to create proper tank conditions. The fish will enjoy spacious tanks with dim light."

  • It is recommended to get a roomy tank of about 150 liters capacity. Such a tank will be enough for the 3-5 Pearl Gourami species.
  • You can get a smaller tank, but you will have to decrease the number of fish. There should be more females than males to avoid the male's rivalry.

Floating plants are useful and water filtration desireable.

What do Pearl Gourami fish eat?

They prefer brine shrimp!

Feed them flake, freeze-dried, or frozen foods and offer fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cooked peas, and spinach as part of a varied diet. Live foods such as blackworms, brine shrimp, and glass worms are a good treat.

The Pearl Gourami is a rather demanding fish. It eats all kinds of food and it can eat hydra, that may get into the tank with food.

Typical behavior?

Pearl Gourami spend most of their time swimming around the mid to upper levels of the tank.

You'll see them head to the surface for oxygen. Most fish breathe using their gills, but some fish like the Pearl Gourami can also breathe through a labyrinth organ that takes oxygen directly from the air rather than water.

These are peaceful fish that shouldn't bother tank mates. Just make sure that the water conditions, minimum tank size, flake food requirements, water temperature, and water level all follow the guidelines experts recommend.

Fun facts:

  • The male fish is up to 12 centimeters long, the female is smaller. In a tank, it can live for more than 5 years.
  • These fish originate from Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Thailand.
  • Bubble nest builders.
  • Most of these fish are bred in captivity.
  • It's rare to find a wild Pearl Gourami for sale as an aquarium fish.
  • Other common names: Pearl Gourami, Mosaic Gourami, Lace Gourami, Diamond Gourami, Leeri Gourami
  • They prefer acidic water found in lowland swamps near the sea.
  • Scientific name: Trichopodus leerii
  • Don't keep them with overly aggressive fish as mates.

If you think this fish is too much to handle then you should consider a betta fish or guppies. We understand that a community tank with this type of fish requires a lot of management.

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Pearl Gourami Fish 'Talk' to Owners by Gulping Air to Get Attention