Sparkling Gourami – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

If you are trying to stand out by using fish that are rarely found in home aquariums? Sparkling Gourami are a great option; that not only do they create a one in a million tank, but they add vibrancy.

Sparkling Gourami are often added to tanks due to their coloring, personality, their temperament, and the fact that they are uncommon. Sparkling Gourami have more peaceful temperaments that means they do will within a community tank.

Sparkling Gourami are fish that require low maintenance which means they are the perfect fit for any inexperienced hobbyist. Being a low demand and easy fish adds appeal to hobbyists who have limited amount of time to tend to fish. Or already have their hands full tending to a fish within the community tank.



The Sparkling Gourami has multiple names it carries. Given the scientific name of Trichopsis Pumila. Along with the other common name Pygmy Gourami; which may be the chosen name for the label of the fish at your local pet store.

Being a small freshwater fish that is not only found in one body of water. These fish don’t call for large masses of water in order to thrive. Although, they are not only subject to shallow waters.

Pygmy Gourami are often found in ponds, slow-moving rivers, and rice fields. Native to the fresh waterways of Southeast Asia. These fish are a park of the Osphronemidae family.

These fish have a relatively short lifespan for only 5 years. Most likely due to their very small size. It’s known that most small breeds in many different animals/fish have relatively shorter lifespans. Although, if given perfect tank conditions and great source of food you may be able to get a few extra years out of your Gourami.

Sparkling Gourami are species within the group of anabantiformes (labyrinth fish).  This group of fish are unique due to their breathing organ. This organ allows them to take oxygen straight from the air. This is different from most fish who take air out of the water.

Behavior Patterns

Although Gourami are not schooling fish, they do prefer to be in groups of 5 or 6. While they are peaceful fish, they can be aggressive toward other males in the group; due to dominance.

While most fish just grab air from the water, you will see these fish go up for it. As they are using their labyrinth organ. This feature if only found in fully developed matured adults. Due to the fact premature fish use their lungs.

You may find these fish in all regions of your tank. As they don’t have a specified region. They are unpredictable due to the fact that while they love swimming by the plants and decorations, they still come up for air.

Unlike most fish Sparkling Gourami make noise. When they are making noise it almost sounds like a chirping noise. This can be heard outside of the tank. It’s most commonly performed when they are happy or mating.


Their oblong bodies narrow near the tail and on the sides. These aren’t large fish, to be honest they are rather small fish. Their finds extend over roughly ⅓ of their body length.

They have a rather wide anal fin, and their dorsal fins is known as a standing dorsal fin. They have large eyes that are most often blue in colors.

Sparkling Gourami are often a shade of brown with a variation of small spots found in many colors. Colors that vary from green, blue, or grey, and occasionally you may find one with white on it.

Parts of their heads and stomachs will tend to be lighter than the rest of the fish. You will find that most of their fins have a darker edging around it. The best part about this fish is that each one had their own special characteristics that sets them apart for the rest of their family.

This gives them a characteristic that many people enjoy as they can tell which fish is which and really bond with a fish of their choosing. Although you should enjoy all of them as a whole. They get their names because once you see their fins get hit a certain way it looks as life they are sparkling.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Sparkling Gouramis natively reside in many regions of Southeast Asia. In many different types of water varying from ditches, slow-rivers, small ponds and at times even rice fields.

They are the type of fish that needs slow-moving waterways with lots of plants. This allows them to feel in charge and less threatened. Their natural habitat had many hiding places and plants anytime they needed to hide.

Having lung-like organs gives them the opportunity to live many places no other fish could possibly live in; due to the poorly oxygenated waters. Or the shallow waterways.

As for their natural habitat they had lots of hiding places and plants to go with them. The best part is that this environment is easy to copy inside of a tank.

Tank Set-Up

Although it’s completely up to you and your personal preference most hobbyists prefer these fish up against a dark substrate. For the sole reason of enhancing the “sparkling effect” that these fish give off. No matter your choice in substrate color it’s important to use a fine substrate as it is the least hazardous when it comes to aquariums.

These fish are tropical climate fish so they need the water to be at least 77°F, although they will be okay as long as they stay in a tank that is between 72°F and 80°F. They enjoy a water hardness between 5-18 and a Ph between 6 and 8.

Sparkling Gourami enjoy heavily planted areas so you will need a light source that can provide photosynthesis to your plants. So, it’s important to buy the correct lamp for this situation.

No matter the aquarium you must keep in mind that you become their “Mother Nature.” You must have the light on for at least 8-10 hours a day to mimic daytime and have it off for nighttime. This will ensure they have a healthy day/night balance.

These fish need slow-moving waters as that’s what they are used to in their natural environment. This means you will need to purchase a filter that gives out little to no current.

You don’t need no extra source of oxygen in the tank as the plants will provide enough. Although if you are placing other fish species into this tank you may; since not all fish have lungs.

As mentioned before these fish are hiding fish and need a planted tank. You may purchase rooted plants or floating plants and add a few decorations. This will ensure your fish feel safe and happy.

Aquarium Size

For a single fully matured Sparkling Gourami you need at least 15 gallons of water. For every fish after that add 10 more gallons. This will provide enough space for your fish to live happily.

Suitable Tank Mates

Due to their size and attitude it’s best you keep them with other fish that are similar. Adding larger fish may cause your Gourami to become a meal. If you add more aggressive fish your Gourami will become even more skittish and will not ever come out of hiding.

A tip I have for you is do not add active, fast swimmers. As they often seem to feel obligated to go after Gourami. Keep watch for any of your Gourami to be missing pieces out of their fins.

As many hobbyists know Male bettas cannot tank together as they are highly aggressive. Due to similar appearance male bettas will often attack your Gourami for no reason.

It’s often advised you keep Sparkling Gourami together or with other small nonaggressive fish.

Some fish to avoid rare fish like the male betta, Tiger Barbs, Tetra. All these fish may be small, but they have aggressive personalities.

If you plan on having other life in your tank besides fish keep in mind they need to be around the same guidelines. As something too large or too aggressive may harm your Gourami.

Can I Tank Multiple Gourami Together?

While the answer is yes, it’s best to limit your number of males. As the do tend to fight each other for both territory and mating reasonings. So, unless you have a fairly large tank with multiple extra gallons than the recommended; then it’s best to keep 1 male and 3-4 females inside your tank.


In the wild these fish often feed on small insects that either live in the water naturally or insects that have fallen into the water. Although Sparkling Gourami aren’t picky eaters and they will eat both dry and live food, along with flake food.

The best diet possible for these fish are to have a combination of life and frozen foods. Some great options are bloodworms, shrimp meat, artemia, and daphnia. It’s important for your fish to consume a mixture of meats as they don’t eat any plants, so they are missing out on necessary vitamins and minerals.

Frozen foods provide most nutrients necessary although some vital vitamins can only be given through fresh food. Without fresh food your fish will most likely never be able to reach its full size; along with its colors may never be as vibrant as they would be with that extra boost live food provides.

If your fish begins to feel sluggish or quit moving around there is most likely a problem with your food. It may just be a consistency problem; or it may be the food itself. Try changing the consistency before changing the food.

The best option to buy is high quality food. Besides high quality you should go for high protein. As long as you buy foods that meet these criteria you will have healthy fish.

Care Guide

People purchase this fish do to the fact they are a hardy fish that are beyond simple to care for.

As long as you follow the parameters of the water conditions your fish should be fine. Although you should always keep a close eye on the tank.

It’s important that you do at least a 25% water change every week. This means you change out 1⁄4 water within the tank and replace it with new water. This will ensure your nitrate levels stay down.

These fish don’t get startled as easy as soon breeds although they will get startled around fast-moving waters or loud noises. These fish do love to swim around meaning they need hiding places everywhere. These fish may get stressed if you don’t supply enough hiding places; and may jump out of the tank.

While Sparkling Gourami aren’t particularly prone to getting any one disease it’s important to watch them closely for any signs of disease. If showing a sign of any sickness, it’s important to quarantine them as quickly as possible; then watch them further. If sickness occurs than treat them fully before adding them back to the tank.

Over feeding is one of the most commonly seen problems with Sparkling Gouramis. So, make sure to feed them 1-2 times a day limiting them to 2-minute feeding periods.


Sparkling Gourami are a fairly easy fish to breed opposed to other fish. To get the best results it’s important to have roughly 6 or more fish as this allows your Gourami to do natural selection finding the fish with the best breeding characteristics and mating with a fish of its choice. It’s important that no matter how many fish you intend on purchasing, you have roughly 2 females for every male.

You can begin the breeding process by reducing your tank water levels by roughly 6 inches and increasing the water level by roughly 5°F. These paternal fish give the dad the responsibility of looking after the fry.

To ensure the best possible breeding predicament be sure to feed your Sparkling Gourami live protein packed foods. You will know when they are ready to breed once the female has a round out abdomen.

The male will build a nest for the fry out of saliva and foam underneath a plant. You can mimic this by using any aquarium plant that provides protection and hiding.

Males will then begin looking for potential mates. Once he finds his choice of fish he will flirt and play with the female fish. The will swim around the female, show her his fins, and nearly hug the female of his choice.

During spawning the male will fertilize the eggs, catch them and place them in his nest for safe keepings. This can happen multiple times a day having roughly 15 eggs per spawn. It only takes a few days for the fry to hatch but will take more time for them to leave the nest. Once the fry start navigating away from the nest you should place your male Gourami into a separate tank.

Sparkling Gourami fry are so small they will begin by feeding on plankton. As they grow, they will naturally begin eating slightly larger food options until they hit maturity.


Sparkling Gourami are vastly purchased due to their durability and beauty. They are known to be one of the most vivid fish in the market. These fish are very easy to care for and do great in a community tank. Although due to their small size they can only be in a tank with other small fish.

Not only does the size of the tanks are matter but the personality and liveliness affect their ability to properly live with other fish. No matter your choice in fish it’s important that they too enjoy a heavily planted tank.

Along with plants you should look into using decorations to supply extra hiding places throughout your tank. Be sure to never overfeed your fish as they are prone to it.


Leave a Comment