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Sparkling Gourami

The Sparkling Gourami, a gem of the freshwater aquarium world, is revered for its shimmering beauty and unique behavior. Small in size but bursting with personality, this fish is an ideal choice for aquarists keen on observing captivating aquatic life up close.

Sparkling Gourami Species Summary:

Scientific Name:Trichopsis pumila
Origin:Southeast Asia
Diet:Omnivore (Prefers small live foods like brine shrimp, but will eat flake and freeze-dried foods)
Behavior:Peaceful, but can be shy; often uses its pectoral fins to produce croaking sounds
Behavior Towards Their Own Species:Generally peaceful, but males can be territorial with each other
Swimming Zone:Top to middle of the aquarium
Water Temperature:24°C – 28°C (75°F – 82°F)
Water Hardness:5-18 dGH
pH Level:6.0 – 7.5
Minimum Aquarium Volume:10 gallons (38 liters)
Adult Size:Up to 4 cm (1.5 inches)
Reproduction:Bubble-nest builder; the male guards the eggs
Lifespan:Up to 5 years
Care:Intermediate; requires stable water conditions and periodic water changes
Sparkling Gourami Species Summary:

Appearance and Size

The sparkling gourami, also known as the pygmy gourami, is a small and colorful freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It is highly sought after by aquarium enthusiasts due to its stunning appearance and peaceful nature.

Measuring only about an inch in length, the sparkling gourami is one of the smallest gourami species. Despite its small size, it boasts vibrant colors that truly live up to its name. The males are particularly eye-catching, with their iridescent blue-green bodies and red-orange fins. The females, on the other hand, have a more subdued coloration, often displaying a pale yellow or silver hue.

In addition to their striking colors, sparkling gouramis have a unique feature that sets them apart from other fish species. They have a special organ called the labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air. This adaptation allows them to survive in low-oxygen environments, such as stagnant waters or heavily planted aquariums. Overall, the sparkling gourami is a visually stunning and adaptable fish that will add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. 


The sparkling gourami has a relatively short lifespan compared to other fish species, averaging around 2 to 3 years in captivity. However, with proper care and a healthy environment, some individuals have been known to live up to 4 years. It’s important to note that their lifespan can be influenced by various factors, including water quality, diet, and overall health.

To ensure a longer lifespan for your sparkling gourami, it’s crucial to provide them with a well-maintained aquarium and suitable conditions. They prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and a temperature between 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius). Additionally, a well-balanced diet consisting of high-quality pellets, flakes, and occasional live or frozen foods will contribute to their overall health and longevity.

While it may be disappointing that the sparkling gourami’s lifespan is relatively short, their vibrant colors and peaceful nature make them a popular choice among aquarists. Enjoy their beauty while ensuring they have the best possible care to maximize their time in your aquarium. 

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The sparkling gourami is a small and colorful freshwater fish that has a unique diet. In the wild, these fish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. They primarily feed on small insects, crustaceans, and zooplankton found in their natural habitat. However, they also consume algae and other plant matter as a supplementary food source.

In a home aquarium, it is important to replicate the sparkling gourami’s natural diet to ensure their health and well-being. You can feed them a variety of foods, including high-quality dried flakes or pellets specifically designed for small tropical fish. Additionally, you can offer them live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia to provide them with the necessary protein they need.

It’s important to note that sparkling gouramis have small mouths, so it’s best to provide them with small-sized food that they can easily consume. You should also feed them in small portions multiple times a day, rather than one large meal, as this mimics their feeding patterns in the wild. By providing a balanced and varied diet, you can ensure that your sparkling gouramis remain healthy, vibrant, and full of energy. 

Water Parameters 

When it comes to keeping sparkling gouramis, water parameters play a crucial role in their overall health and well-being. These beautiful little fish are native to slow-moving waters in Southeast Asia, so it’s important to replicate their natural habitat as closely as possible.

First and foremost, sparkling gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. It’s best to aim for a pH around 6.5, as this is more conducive to their overall health. Additionally, they thrive in water temperatures ranging from 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius). This can easily be achieved with the help of a reliable aquarium heater.

In terms of water hardness, sparkling gouramis prefer soft to moderately hard water with a dGH (degree of general hardness) of 5 to 15. To achieve this, you can use a combination of tap water and reverse osmosis (RO) water or use a water conditioner that can adjust the hardness levels accordingly. It’s also important to ensure that the water is well-filtered and free from any pollutants or toxins. Regular water changes of around 20% every two weeks will help maintain optimal water quality for your sparkling gouramis.

Tank Setup

When it comes to setting up a tank for sparkling gouramis, there are a few key factors to consider. These beautiful fish are native to slow-moving waters in Southeast Asia, so it’s important to recreate their natural habitat in your tank.

First and foremost, make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots for your sparkling gouramis. They are shy and timid fish, so having plants, rocks, and driftwood in the tank will give them a sense of security. Floating plants are also a great addition, as they provide shade and cover for the fish.

In terms of water parameters, sparkling gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH of 6.0-7.0. The temperature should be kept between 75-82°F (24-28°C). It’s also important to maintain good water quality by performing regular water changes and using a reliable filtration system.

Overall, creating a well-planted and well-maintained tank will provide a comfortable and stress-free environment for your sparkling gouramis. With the right setup, these fish will thrive and display their vibrant colors for all to enjoy.

Behavior and Tankmates

Sparkling gouramis are known for their peaceful and gentle nature, making them a great addition to community tanks. They are quite small, reaching a maximum size of around 1.5 inches, which means they won’t take up too much space in your aquarium. These little gems are also visually stunning, with their vibrant colors and sparkling scales that give them their name.

When it comes to their behavior, sparkling gouramis are generally calm and docile. They prefer to swim in the middle and upper levels of the tank, and they love to explore their surroundings. They are also known for their unique bubblenesting behavior. The males create bubble nests at the water’s surface where the females will lay their eggs. It’s truly fascinating to watch them build and tend to their nests.

As for tankmates, it’s important to choose peaceful and non-aggressive species that won’t outcompete or harass the sparkling gouramis. Some great tankmates for them include small tetras, rasboras, and other peaceful gourami species. Avoid keeping them with larger, more aggressive fish that could potentially harm or stress them out. Providing plenty of hiding spots, such as plants and caves, will also help create a sense of security for these delicate creatures.

Overall, sparkling gouramis are a joy to have in your aquarium. Their peaceful nature, stunning appearance, and unique behavior make them a captivating addition to any community tank. Just make sure to provide them with a suitable environment and compatible tankmates to ensure their well-being and happiness. 

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Breeding sparkling gouramis can be a rewarding and fascinating experience for aquarium enthusiasts. These small and colorful fish are known for their unique courtship rituals and intricate bubble nest building. To successfully breed these gouramis, it is important to create the right conditions in the aquarium.

Firstly, it is crucial to provide the sparkling gouramis with a well-maintained and spacious tank. A tank size of at least 10 gallons is recommended for a breeding pair. The water should be kept slightly acidic with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Maintaining a temperature of around 78-82°F (25-28°C) is ideal for breeding.

To encourage breeding, it is important to create hiding places and plenty of vegetation in the tank. This can be achieved by adding live plants such as Java moss or floating plants like Indian almond leaves. Sparkling gouramis are bubble nest builders, so providing them with broad-leaved plants or a spawning mop will give them a suitable surface for their nests.

During the breeding process, the male will build a bubble nest at the water surface. The female will then lay her eggs, and the male will fertilize them. After spawning, it is recommended to remove the female from the tank to prevent her from eating the eggs. The male will diligently guard and tend to the nest until the eggs hatch, which usually takes around 2-3 days. After hatching, the fry will stay near the nest for a few more days until they become free-swimming.

Breeding sparkling gouramis can be a delicate process, but with the right conditions and care, it can be a rewarding and educational experience. Watching the male construct his bubble nest and witnessing the hatching of the fry is truly a sight to behold. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of natural beauty to your aquarium, consider breeding sparkling gouramis and witness the magic of new life unfolding before your eyes.


Can sparkling gouramis be kept in a community tank with other gourami species?

It is generally not recommended to keep sparkling gouramis with larger gourami species, as they may become intimidated or harassed. It’s best to keep them with similarly sized and peaceful fish to ensure their well-being. 

Are sparkling gouramis suitable for beginners?

Yes, sparkling gouramis are generally considered suitable for beginners. They are easy to care for, have a peaceful temperament, and don’t require a large tank. However, it is still important to research and understand their specific needs before bringing them home.

Can I keep sparkling gouramis in a planted tank?

Absolutely! Sparkling gouramis thrive in planted tanks as they appreciate the natural cover and hiding spots provided by live plants. Just make sure to choose plants that can tolerate the slightly acidic water preferred by these fish.

How long do sparkling gouramis live?

With proper care, sparkling gouramis can live for around 3 to 5 years. Providing them with a suitable environment, a balanced diet, and regular water maintenance will help ensure their longevity.

How do sparkling gouramis breed?

Sparkling gouramis are bubble nest builders. The male creates a nest made of bubbles on the water’s surface and entices the female to deposit her eggs. After spawning, the male guards the nest until the eggs hatch in about 24 to 48 hours.

Can sparkling gouramis be kept with other fish?

Yes, sparkling gouramis are generally peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish species that are similar in size. Good tankmates include small tetras, rasboras, and other non-aggressive community fish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping fish.

What are the ideal water parameters for sparkling gouramis?

Sparkling gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. The temperature should be kept between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C). It is important to provide them with clean and well-filtered water.

What do sparkling gouramis eat?

Sparkling gouramis are omnivores and have a varied diet. They will eat both live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. They also enjoy eating small pellets or flakes.

How big do sparkling gouramis get?

Sparkling gouramis are quite small, with males growing up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length and females slightly smaller at around 1 inch (2.5 cm).

What is a sparkling gourami?

The sparkling gourami, also known as the pygmy gourami or the sparkling dwarf gourami, is a small and colorful fish species native to Southeast Asia.

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