Sparkling Gourami Care Guide, Size, Breeding, Tank Mates

Are you looking for a small, colorful fish that can be kept in small aquariums? Then maybe Sparkling gourami (Trichopsis pumila) is the perfect aquarium fish for you.

In this guide, we go through everything you need to know to get started, including what water values ​​you must have, what you feed with and much more.

About Sparkling Gourami

Scientific name Trichopsis pumila
Family Osphronemidae
Originating from Asia
Lifetime Up to 5 years
Size Up to 4 cm
Type Alteter
Behavior Peaceful
Water Fresh water
size of the aquarium 40 liters
Layers in the aquarium Top layer
Difficulty Pretty simple

Appearance, size and gender difference

Sparkling gourami is definitely an underrated aquarium fish. With its fantastic colors in green, blue and purple, this is a fish you can enjoy a lot. Not only that, but they also do not need more than 40 liters of space as they do not get more than 4 cm long after all.

Apart from the size, where the male is slightly larger than the female, it is not very easy to see the difference between the sexes.

Well-being and ideal conditions

Water Fresh water
size in liters 40 liters
Temperature 22-26 ° C
pH of the water 6.0-7.5
Hardness (GH) 4-18

Location and size of aquarium

Sparkling gourami mostly stays in the top layer of the aquarium. Because they do not necessarily need to be kept together with other fish, you can potentially have a Sparkling gourami in as little as 20 to 30 liters (as long as it is large enough area). The recommendation, however, is to go for a tank of at least 40 liters.

Plants and decor

Sparkling gourami come from Southeast Asia where they live in small ponds, rice fields and the like. Here they are used to lots of vegetation, so keeping Sparkling gourami without having a well-planted tub is on the verge of irrelevant.

In order for Sparkling gourami to thrive over time, they should have good planting. It includes both common plants that grow in the bottom layer, but also floating plants.

Floating plants are definitely something it will appreciate, but at the same time remember that Sparkling gourami are labyrinth fish. This means that they will occasionally catch breathing air from the surface. In other words, there must be enough space to get up yours, and that the whole tub is covered with plants.

Furthermore, you can decorate with driftwood, stones and other hiding places. Just make sure it also has enough space to swim.

Finally, Sparkling gourami is used to stagnant water. Therefore, be sure to have a low current in the water. If you see it constantly rising to the surface to breathe, there may be too little oxygen in the water. That it goes up and breathes occasionally, on the other hand, is quite common.

Water, temperature, hardness and pH

Even though Sparkling gourami are used to breathing air from the surface, this does not mean that water values ​​can be poor. If they are, you will increase the chance of them getting sick and thus lower the probable life expectancy.

Sparkling gourami are used to hot water between 22 and 26 degrees. Both when it comes to pH and hardness, however, you have a wider range to choose from. You should at least make sure that there are some minerals in the water so that the gh is not 0, and they will thrive somewhere between 4 and 18 gh. 

Ph you can have somewhere between 6.0 and 7.5, although around neutral water is perhaps the most optimal (6.8-7.2). Despite this, aquarists say that they have kept Sparkling gourami in water up to 8.0 in pH without problems for a long time.

This fish is was for nitrite, nitrate and ammonium. Make sure you make a water change of 20-25% at least once a week, although 2-3 at 15% will be even better.

Care Guidance

Sparkling gourami are not the fastest for the dish, so this too should be considered before choosing aquarium friends. If they are kept together with a number of fast shoal fish, they will end up being outcompeted.

As long as you avoid it, it is not difficult to feed a Sparkling gourami. They eat most things, from flake feed, pellets and spirulina, to microworms and red mosquito larvae. 

As usual, it is important to make sure that your fish does not just get dry food. They should also get plenty of frozen or live feed. Half of the meals can consist of this, although giving them 3-4 times a week is also good.

Be careful not to overfeed as this can quickly lead to poor water levels. Feed your Sparkling gourami twice a day, as much as it can eat in two minutes.


Sparkling gourami makes a twilight just like fighting fish . In order for there to still be a good atmosphere in your aquarium, you should have a breeding vessel if you want to get fry. The male becomes very aggressive when it lays eggs, and will chase away everything and everyone during this period.

A breeding tank does not need to be more than 30-40 liters with a male and a female. Low water levels can also help. It is also important that the male has a place to make his foam nest. You must therefore either have floating plants, a leaf or the like that can float on top of the tub.

You can start by introducing the male and wait until he has made his twilight. During this period, you may want to feed extra with live feed.

When the twilight is done, place the female in the breeding vessel. Then turn the temperature up to 26 degrees Celsius (maximum 1 degree increase per day). This is to simulate the conditions during the mating season in nature. This may take a while. When they have finished playing, the female should be removed from the tub.

The male can remain in the tub until the fry have hatched. Then you can also take him out of the tub. The male usually defends his fry well, but can eat one now and then. Especially if it is inexperienced. In addition, it will be more difficult to keep the water values ​​stable with an adult fish in the tank. When the fry have become free-swimming, you must feed them infusively regularly 4-5 times a day. As they grow, you can then switch to micro worms.