Opaline Gourami: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding, & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Opaline Gourami is a beautiful species of freshwater fish that are rarely found in the aquarium community. This is largely due to the fact that there are several other types of Gouramis out there that overshadow them.

Nevertheless, there are several striking features that you can find in these fish. Not only are they highly attractive, but they are also really easy to look after. Once you get to know more about them, you will love everything about them.

Plus, you will also be inclined to keep Opaline Gourami in your home aquarium and gaze at it the whole day.

If you are ready to learn more about caring for them, this guide is specially designed for you. It takes you through the entire guidelines and instructions of caring for them, including their habitat, water requirements, diet, tank mates, breeding, and much more.

Species Summary

Opaline Gourami belong to the family of Osphronemidae and are also known by the scientific name Trichopodus trichopterus. The best part about them is that they are suitable for beginner-level aquarists and aquatic enthusiasts.

You may also see them being referred to as the Marbled Gourami.

Life Span4-6 years
Color FormPale blue body with marbled pattern
Care levelEasy
CompatibilityPeaceful and similar sized species
SizeUp to 6 inches
Tank SetupFreshwater community tank
Minimum Tank Size35Gallons

These species of fish aren’t found in natural waters, and they are birthed through selective breeding. Moreover, they are considered to be a variant of the three-spot Gourami, which is also quite famous.

Although they don’t naturally appear in the wild, it is believed that their ancestors belong to the waters of Southeast Asia.

They are largely tropical fish and can be found in wetlands and marshes in countries such as Cambodia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and several others.

Generally, Opaline Gourami are considered to have a quirky and distinct behavior that makes them easier to care for and a delight to have in the tank as well. Plus, you would also be pleased to know that they are a staple for community tanks.


When bred and kept in proper tank and water conditions, the typical lifespan of Opaline Gourami ranges between four and six years. Although it is very rare that they live any longer than their average lifespan, it isn’t impossible.

According to aquatic experts, guessing a fish’s lifespan isn’t an exact and accurate science, and the distinction relies on chance and genes. One of the best ways to enhance your Gourami’s lifespan is to provide them with the best level of care possible.


At first appearance, Opaline Gourami looks similar to the other species of Gouramis. They have the characteristic oval-shaped bodies, with the head slightly pointed as they reach the mouth.

They also have a distinctive anal fin that makes them easily recognizable, and it is found at the bottom of their bodies. The fin is quite long and stretches from the caudal fork to the pectoral fins. Their pectoral fins are fork-shaped, and their ventral fins look like tiny needles or antennae.

These fins are also quite delicate and help the fish navigate around the tank.

When it comes to coloration, Opaline Gourami are vibrant and beautiful. Their bodies are silvery blue, along with blotches of deep cobalt blue that give them a marble-like appearance. The intensity of the color blotches varies from one fish to another, which adds to their appeal.

Since they are selectively bred, you can find several striking and awe-inspiring specimens of Opaline Gourami, and each of them has a vivid coloration.

Both male and female species look quite similar, with the only difference being their dorsal fins. Males have a long and pointy dorsal fin, whereas females have a stubby and rounded one.


On average, Opaline Gourami are known to stretch up to a size of six inches when they are fully grown. When they reach maturity, most of the fish have reached a length of three inches. During this time, they become capable of breeding, and they continue to grow as they grow older.

Just like the lifespan, the two main factors that affect the size of Gourami are genetics and the level of care you provide them with. If you are a responsible and caring owner, you won’t have any trouble keeping them healthy and happy.

Opaline Gourami Care

Generally, Opaline Gourami are wonderful beginner-friendly fish and don’t have any stringent or particular needs. Moreover, they are incredibly easy to care for.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know about the care requirements for these fish. There are some crucial care guidelines that you should be aware of, especially if you are looking to buy Opaline Gourami and keep them in your home aquarium.

Since they are freshwater fish, they have some basic care instructions and preferences that can help you in looking after them effectively. Keep reading to find out more about the particular care requirements regarding Opaline Gourami.

Tank Size

If you are keeping adult Opaline Gourami in the tank, it is wise to have a freshwater aquarium with a minimum capacity of 35 gallons of water. On the other hand, if you have baby Gouramis, you won’t need a tank that is larger than 20 gallons.

However, you will have to account for the fact that these fish can grow quickly, and you will have to eventually upgrade your tank in order to provide them with the space they need to live comfortably.

Whether you are keeping a single Opaline Gourami or a small group of them, a 35-gallon tank will suffice. However, if you plan on keeping more than four or five of them, you may have to increase the tank size by 5-10 gallons per fish.

Water Parameters

Now that you have an idea of the tank size, it is time to learn about the ideal water conditions that you need to maintain in order to keep the fish healthy.

Usually, the natural habitat of the fish is the best chance you have at learning what conditions you need to keep, but since Opaline Gourami aren’t naturally occurring, you can take reference from the three-spot Gourami.

These fish are used to warm and humid environments, and they have shallow waters with vegetation in the wild. Therefore, they have a slightly acidic environment with hard water.

Thankfully, these fish are hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. You have some flexibility in the water parameters that you need to set for them.

For starters, you should maintain the water temperature between 73°F to 82°F, and the pH levels have to be set between 6.0 to 8.8. Ideally, the pH level should be as close to neutral as possible. In addition, the water hardness should be kept between 5 and 35 dGH, since these fish are used to hard waters.

Since it is important to maintain the water conditions for Gourami, you should also invest in a reliable water testing kit that helps you monitor the conditions.

Therefore, you will be able to quickly make adjustments to the water when needed. Putting aside any fluctuations in the water quality can make these fish prone to stress and illnesses.

What to Put in Their Tank?

When it comes to the tank setup and decoration, Opaline Gourami aren’t exceptionally picky or particular. Therefore, you can just go with accessories that complement their lifestyle and appearance.

To begin with, the substrate of the tank should be dark. Since these fish keep moving throughout the water layers, they aren’t particular about the material used for the substrate. You can make use of pebbles or fine sand, but the darker color will help their color pop.

Apart from this, you can add a sufficient amount of plants and a few pieces of decoration throughout the tank. Although they are quite quirky and have a confident demeanor, the plants will help them find shelter and hide when they are looking to be alone.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should fill up the entire tank with vegetation. A moderate amount of plants would do just fine for Opaline Gourami.

You don’t have to cover the tank all the way when you keep them since they are active swimmers and also breathe atmospheric air. Therefore, they may come up to the surface of the water every now and then, which is another reason why you should keep the level of vegetation lower than usual.

Common Diseases

Although Opaline Gourami don’t have any specific diseases that are relative to their species, their health is largely dependent on the quality of the environment and water conditions they are subjected to. Otherwise, they are susceptible to the health problems that affect most freshwater fish.

One of the most common diseases that affect them is Ich, which is also known as white spot disease. It causes the formation of white and grainy spots all over their bodies. Although it isn’t a severe disease, it can be lethal for the fish if they aren’t treated on time.

Thankfully, you can make use of over-the-counter medication and also quarantine them into another tank until they are fully treated. Another type of disease that Opaline Gourami are susceptible to is called hole-in-the-head disease, which causes deep pits to form around their lateral line.

Both of these diseases are caused by parasitic infections. Luckily, you can avoid them by regularly testing the water and changing 25% of it after every two to three weeks. Not only will this keep your fish healthy, but it will also save them from stress.

What Do Opaline Gourami Eat?

Opaline Gourami are natural omnivores, and they aren’t picky about their diet. So, you can feed them anything, and they will happily gulp it down. Generally, they thrive on a balanced diet of algae-based foods and protein-rich snacks.

You can give them commercial pellets or flakes to fulfill your nutritional requirements. You can choose balanced formulas that enhance their color vibrancy. You should feed them with these twice every day.

Once every few days, you can feed them with high-protein foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other foods that are popular with aquarium fish. Apart from this, these fish will also look for hydra, tiny pest microorganisms. You can also try feeding them peas and other blanched vegetables.

Behavior & Temperament

Opaline Gourami are peaceful freshwater fish, and they can also do well in community tanks with other species. However, they are generally territorial fish and may start to fight among each other if they are kept in a small tank. Moreover, adult fish may also intimidate the smaller ones.

Although they are peaceful, their temperament may differ from one specimen to another, especially when they are placed in a community tank. You would be delighted to observe them throughout the day, and they spend most of their time breathing in the atmospheric air from the surface. They do so with the help of their labyrinth organ.

When they aren’t breathing surface air, they are swimming all over the tank and are quite active.

Opaline Gourami Tank Mates

When it comes to tank mates, Opaline Gouramis can be quite semi-aggressive. The best way to do so is to keep them with similar-sized species that have a peaceful temperament. Any fish that are smaller than them might get eaten.

You should also avoid pairing them with fin-nippers that might eat away at their sensitive ventral fins. Some of the suitable tank mates include:

  • Peaceful species of Barbs
  • Characins
  • Loaches
  • Larger Tetras
  • Plecos
  • Snails
  • Shrimps


Since they are spawned through selective breeding, it is quite easy to breed Opaline Gourami. They build bubble nests and lay their eggs inside it. The male species protect the eggs, and you may choose to isolate a suitable mating pair inside a breeding tank to ensure better survival of the newly spawned fry.

The breeding tank should have a shallow depth, i.e., five or six inches. Moreover, you should place peat filtration along with sponge filters to keep the fry from getting sucked into the inlet tube.

You should also keep the water warm while you are breeding them, ideally around 80 degrees. You should also provide the mating pair with high-protein snacks to initiate spawning. When the female is ready to lay eggs, their bodies start to swell up.

Then, the male builds the bubble nest, and the eggs are spawned below it. When the female lays the eggs, you can remove the pair from the tank. The eggs hatch in a few days, and the fry feed on the egg sac for the first few days. Once they start to swim freely, you can feed them infusoria or powdered food.

Final Thoughts

As you have learned from our guide, Opaline Gourami is a beautiful and magnificent species of freshwater fish that would make for a wonderful addition to your community tank. Once you have gotten the hang of their care requirements, looking after them would be a breeze for you.

If you are still contemplating bringing them into your home aquarium, we suggest that you go for it since they are beginner-friendly fish.