Home / Fish / Sparkling Gourami

Sparkling Gourami

By | Last Updated: 24th May 2020

Sparkling gourami, alternately known as pygmy gourami is a freshwater fish indigenous to the southeastern part of Asia. The sparkling effect produced on its body by the amalgamation of different colors gives this species of the gourami family its name. Its appealing appearance, and small size, make it one of the sought-after choices in the aquarium trade. 

Sparkling Gourami

Quick Information  

Scientific NameTrichopsis pumila
Other NamesPygmy gourami, dwarf croaking gourami
OriginSoutheastern Asia, in parts of Cambodia and Thailand
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (by the IUCN)
Behavioral CharacteristicsQuiet and peaceful, but possessive about their territories; male-male aggression often visible
School SizeThough not a schooling fish, they could thrive peacefully in groups of 3 – 4 (with 1:3 male-female ratio to avoid fighting); keeping them with aggressive tank mates could trigger territorial behavior
Physical TraitsSmall, elongated, arrow-shaped body; big, bright eyes; thin, tall dorsal fins; large, well-merged anal fins; small shell-shaped caudal fins; and small pelvic fin with a thread-like outgrowth
ColorsBrown body with green, grey, and blue spots all over; blue eyes with a red rim; blue fins with black spots and deep red stripes mainly on the edges;
Size (How big do they get)Small; 1.6 inches (4.06 cm)
Lifespan3 – 4 years
Sexual DimorphismPresent; Males: Long and pointed fins with bolder and prominent red spots and stripes; Females: Shorter and less pointed fins with duller spots and stripes
Probable Diseases Fin rot, ich, costiasis, cotton wool disease
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$2 – 5
Dwarf Sparkling Gourami

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelBeginner
Tank Size5 gallons (18.9 liters) for 2 – 3 fish; though a 10 – 15 gallon tank (37.8  -56.7 liters) would be spacious enough to accommodate the fish and the substrates

Water Parameters

pH Level6.0-7.0
Temperature77 – 83 °F (25 – 28°C)
Hardness5 – 19 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowLow

Tank Ambience

LightingDim and subdued
Substrate TypeLive plants, rocks and driftwood for them to hide conveniently (dark substrate would contrast with their sparkling appearance)
Tank MatesCompatible with: Non-aggressive fish like pearl gourami, neon tetra,  dwarf gourami, honey gourami, neon rainbowfish, neon tetra, rummy nose tetra, guppy, rasbora species

Incompatible with: Tiger barb; danios and betas; as well as shrimp species like amano, red cherry and ghost as the sparkling gourami is known to prey upon them  
Suitable Position in the TankBottom


DietLive or frozen meaty diet of bloodworms, snail, daphnia, shrimp meat, and artemia, as well as pellets and flakes
Frequency 2 times a day
Female Sparkling Gourami
Sparkling Gourami Size

Important Things to Know For Fish Keepers

  • If you find your sparkling gourami not eating, it could be due to stress, mostly triggered by inadequate water conditions. Check the ammonia and nitrate levels of your tank and even conduct a partial water change if needed. A combination of other symptoms like restlessness and lethargy with loss of appetite may hint at any medical condition.
Pygmy Sparkling Gourami
Sparkling Gourami Fish


Q. Does the sparkling gourami produce any sound?

The sparkling gourami possesses the unique ability to emit a croaking sound through a certain pectoral mechanism when happy or during mating, that is audible to human ears. This ability of theirs has earned them the name dwarf croaking gourami.

Q. What is the difference between a sparkling gourami and croaking gourami?

Though the sparkling gourami is alternately called the dwarf croaking gourami due to its ability to croak as mentioned above, the croaking gourami is a different species altogether. It is larger than the sparkling gourami needing a bigger tank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 43 = 45