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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Anabantids > Opaline Gourami
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Opaline Gourami

Trichogaster trichopterus


    Another old time favorite, this very hardy fish has been bred commercially in various color forms. It is a staple of the hobby. Perfect for the community tank, the Opaline is a sure bet for the new hobbyist

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 5 inches
    Tank: 40 inches
    Strata: Top, middle
    PH: 5.5 to 8.5
    Hardness: Soft to hard dH range: 3.0 - 35.0
    Temperature: 72°F to 81°F (22-27°C)
Male opaline gourami


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Anabantoidei
    Family: Anabantidae
    Genera: Trichogaster
Female opaline gourami

Common name:

    Opaline Gourami, Three spot Gourami, Blue Gourami

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Widespread throughout South East Asia

General Body Form:
    Somewhat elongated with moderate Lateral compression. The anal fin starts in the front of the fish and the soft rayed end points extend to the beginning of the Caudal (tail) fin, in males it is even longer. All the species of Trichogaster have a pretty small (in length connected to the body) Dorsal fin. The Ventral fins are elongated into feeler like threads. The rear portion of the tail fin is deeply indented. The males can be identified by his longer and more pointed dorsal and anal fins.

    There are many different color variations of the Opaline Gourami, in fact the Opaline is a color variant of the Blue Gourami. All of the varieties do share some common color characteristics and I will list them here. The dark spots located at the pectoral fins and at the base of the tail fin are almost always visible on all variantsas well as the White spots peppered along the edges of all the fins. It would be hard to list all the color variants so the best bet is to look at the overall form and pictures of the deferent varieties.

    A hardy fish that will adapt to many conditions. Keep them in pairs and the fish will display to each other and show off their best colors. Keep in a planted community aquarium with many plants including floating varieties. Provide hiding places for the female. Tank mates should be slower moving peaceful species and generally no barbs or other fin nippers that will make short work of the fins and feeler threads. Provide good filtration with a slow water flow (like from a spraybar) so as not to disturb any Bubblenest. They are Omnivorous and will take live, flake, frozen as well as vegetable based food.

Gold male
Gold female


    Found near the shore in areas with vegetation or underneath floating plants in standing or slow moving water.

    Typical Bubble nest builder, where a large nest is constructed below floating or among plants. The nest and fry are maintained and guarded by the male. The spawning tank should have a small depth of water about six inches and have no circulation and contain many floating plants. The male and a few females should be placed in the tank until the male chooses his mate then other females should then be removed. Once the female has laid her eggs she should be removed. The eggs will hatch in about a day and will become free swimming in five, at this point they should be fed on newly hatched Brine shrimp and transferred a rearing tank.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Shea
I have kept a variety of fish, including several different Gouramis for 20 years. I recently got my first Opaline, and it has quickly become my favorite. I got the sub-adult male for a new tank because of his brilliant coloration. He was the last one left, otherwise I would have gotten a pair. I have read so many conflicting articles on what fish can go with Convict Cichlids, and although probably not ideal; my Opaline lives harmoniously with a pair of Convicts, as well as 2 Bala Sharks, 3 Cory Cats, a Burmese Border Loach, and a Common Pleco. The Opaline has more personality than any fish I have ever had. He isn't shy, is a very active swimmer, and prefers to be out in the open rather than hiding in the plants or caves. He is the first to greet me at feeding time, and began taking food from my hand by the 3rd day. The Convicts wait for him to finish eating before attacking my fingers for their share (It took them much longer to accept food from my hand). This fish is king of the tank, but is only slightly aggressive when he thinks its time to eat. This beautiful fish's personality makes him a really fun fish to keep!
From: Wilson G.
I have one of these guys in a 33G community tank. He does NOT like newcomers. He is peaceful towards the pre-existing fish but when I add some Silver Dollars he relentlessly chased them.
From: Chris English
I have a large male opaline gourami. He's peaceful towards all other fish but won't tolerate another gourami of any kind in the tank with him and chases them relentlessly. So, he's the only gourami in my community tank.
From: Epi
I have a lovely female opaline gourami. I have had her for several years in a community tank, with 2 angels, some danios, silver tip tetras and various loaches. I have tried to introduce other gouramis, but she is very territorial towards certain species and I had to remove the gourami after a short time. She also doesn't seem to like gold or blackskirt tetras. So it's not just the males that become territorial, the females can as well.
From: Jeff
These are my favorite species of gouramies because of their colorings. The female that I have changes its spot patterns constantly so it is entertaining to watch. She is very docile with my two baby bala sharks so they are a good combination.
From: Sara S.
These are certainly one of my favorite fish species. They are a great way to add color to the freshwater aquarium, and are fairly easy to care for. Usually, they are pretty peaceful; although every once in a while I come upon an aggressive one. To avoid this possibility, I always keep my gouramis in a ratio of one male to at least three females, because two males will fight.
From: Gigi
I bought 4 fully grown gourami. I find the males to be somewhat aggressive, they constantly chase and pick. I exchanged whatever males I had for all females, and that seemed to help keep the peace. Sometimes they like to just sit on the gravel at the bottom of the tank. I don't know if they are happy or if they just enjoy lounging. They are also shy and like to hide at the top rear of the tank when there is a lot of human traffic passing by the tank. Finally, I don't think they enjoy brine shrimp very much.
From: Thom Fairweather
I have kept these fish for a few years and have bred them. They are easy to breed but the babies are difficult to raise as they are very small when young. When they breed they will produce several hundred eggs and all being well most will hatch. Baby fish love baby brine shrimp but the adults tend to prefer flake and algae wafers. The only problem in breeding these fish is that I have difficulty finding them new homes as I have about 300 1.5-2" fry at present.






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