Are Pearl gouramies good community fish?

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Dr Heok Hee Ng explains how to keep the Pearl gourami, Trichopodus leerii.

Pearl gouramis are great community fish, being relatively docile in nature and are fairly tolerant of most water conditions.

In the wild, Pearl gouramis are only known from very acidic blackwater habitats (with a pH of 4.0–5.0), although they are robust enough to withstand less acidic conditions.

However, it is still best to maintain them optimally in soft, acidic water. The orange colour in males is significantly enhanced when Pearl gouramis are maintained in tannin-stained water. Use peat in your filter for this effect.

Pearl gouramis are timid, so ample vegetation should be provided for them to retire to and tank mates chosen with care. Boisterous species such as some medium-sized barbs should be avoided. Ideal tankmates include dwarf cichlids, Corydoras, and smaller tetras.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.