If you are interested in buying pearl gouramis or already have them, I am going to reveal what kind of behavior you can expect from this fish. This will make it easier for you to decide if Pearl Gourami is the fish you want in your aquarium.
So how does Pearl Gourami behave? Are they aggressive or peaceful? On the whole, these are quite peaceful species that do well in groups. However, if the male to female ratio is too high, the male fish develop aggressive behavior. They then become difficult to handle.
I am going to elaborate more on the behavior of Pearl Gourami to make it easier for you to take care of these fish.
The behavior of Pearl Gourami
The body of Pearl Gourami is covered with an array of white spots. This coupled with large and delicate fins that it has makes it quite a beautiful fish. Therefore, it is only natural that aquarists would be attracted to it.
However aggressive behavior of one fish can put all the others in stress which can then lead to health concerns. Therefore, it is always a good idea to acquire more information about the typical behavior of any fish.
How does Pearl Gourami typically behave?
The behavior of Pearl Gourami depends on the environment they are in and their tank mates. Pearl Gourami fish tend to spend most of their time swimming in the upper or mid-levels of the tank. Sometimes, they head to the surface for oxygen.
While mostly they are peaceful species who do not become bothersome for other tank mates; they do exhibit aggressive behavior in some conditions like:
- These fish become quite aggressive during spawning
- Male Pearl Gourami becomes aggressive when it has competition for the attention of the female
Prevention of aggressive behavior
Pearl Gourami fish thrive optimally when they are together in a group of four or more. This is because they are social animals. Therefore, it is not advisable to opt for one or two of these fish in fear of aggression.
Instead, you need to make sure that the male to female ratio is appropriately maintained. There should be one Pearl Gourami for 2 or three females in the tank. This minimizes the risk of aggressive behavior to a large extent.
The tank size should be adequate as well. If you want to have a small group of Pearl Gourami in your tank, it needs to have a capacity of approximately 30 gallons.
Around 6 gallons for each Pearl Gourami would prove to be sufficient. This gives them ample space. Overstocking can pose problems and thus should be avoided.
What tank conditions are suitable for Pearl Gourami?
The natural habitat of Pearl Gourami is slow-moving freshwater in Asia. You can find them in rivers, lakes and lowland swamps. These areas have shallow water and have thick plantations. This ensures that Pearl Gourami can move with ease to the surface for air in the safety of plants.
Their tank should offer them similar conditions if you want to see them thrive. This decreases health issues and also makes them feel closer to home.
Fill the bottom of the tank with sand or fine-grained gravel. Ensure that your tank is thickly planted. It will be ideal if you have live plants. This is because fish can eat these plants as well to supplement their diet. These plants will also keep water clean.
The condition of the water is vital as well. Naturally, they live in acidic water. However, you can keep them within the pH range of 6 to 8. The temperature of the water needs to be maintained between 77 and 82°F while the water hardness needs to be between 5 and 15 dh.
Ensure that some space exists between the tank lid and surface of the water. This will make it easier for Pearl Gourami to gain access to air.
Tank mates to reduce aggression in Pearl Gourami
Since Pearl Gourami are peaceful for the most part, you can keep them in community aquariums. Therefore, you have quite a few options while selecting their tank mates.
It will be ideal if you opt for small fish that are peaceful. Neon tetras and pearl danios are such species that will prove to be suitable. Larger fish can also be chosen. However, ensure that the larger ones are not known to be aggressive or territorial.
You can also consider catfish and loaches. This is because these species spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank. Therefore, they would not cross paths with Pearl Gourami all too often.
Avoid overactive fish which can cause stress to Pearl Gourami. This will prompt them to hide and lose their color because of stress. Fin nippers need to be avoided as well.
Some other options include Dwarf Cichlids, Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, and Hatchet fish.
What should I feed Pearl Gourami?
Selecting a healthy diet for the fish is vital since improper diet can adversely affect their behavior and growth.
Pearl Gourami are not very picky about their food. Preferring an omnivorous lifestyle, these fish are content with eating whatever they are offered.
In the wild, they mostly feed on small insects, algae and eggs. They can also opt for aquatic plants. Providing them with such food would not be a problem for you.
You can offer them flakes, live, and frozen foods or pellets. Just make sure that the food is small enough for fitting in their mouth.
Live foods prove to be a good option. This is because they make the fish work for their food which can be healthy. You can provide them with glass worms or brine shrimp. Green vegetables in small pieces are also an option you can consider.
The fish should be offered meals twice or thrice a day in small amounts. It is crucial not to overburden their digestive system. Ensure that the amount of food you provide is such that they can finish off in a couple of minutes.
Make it a point to remove the leftover food from the tank. The food can decay and hamper with the quality of water.
How can I differentiate between male and female Pearl Gourami? These fish have broad, large and thin fins. These fins play a pivotal role in giving Pearl Gourami a delicate and elegant look.
As they swim, you can spot a pair of pelvic fins beneath them. These fins are of around the same length as their body. The average growth that Pearl Gourami can attain is up to 4 to 5 inches.
Males, when matured, develop a red chest which is crucial for sexing the fish. The chest gets bigger during mating. Males also have longer dorsal fins.
What is the most common health issue that I need to be worried about for Pearl Gourami? One of the most common health issues that you might have to face with this species is fin rot. This bacterial infection leads to decaying and discoloration of the fins.
The infection occurs owing to poor quality of water. Water changes should be done more frequently if you suspect your fish is developing fin rot.