Opaline Gourami, also known as three spot gourami, makes an excellent addition to your fish tank. These species are not only beautiful and hardy, but they also have unique characteristics that make them stand out from all other fish species. Opaline Gouramis are active, entertaining fishes that are generally easy to look after even by beginner aquarists.

Although they are easy to care for, you should know certain principles and facts before purchasing these beautiful fish species from the pet shop.

Learn about their diet, lifespan, care, breeding, and so much more in this article.

Opaline Gourami Stats

Other Names Three-spot Gourami
Lifespan  4-6 years
Average Size 6 inches
Temperament Peaceful
Recommended pH 73 F to 82 F
Temperature 6.0 to 8.8
Water Hardness 5-35 dGH
Feeding Omnivore
Lighting Requirements None
Average Tank Size 20 gallons


The Opaline Gourami is known by many names, one of which is the Marble Gourami, thanks to the rippled silver and blue colors they come in. Some aquarists also refer to these fish species as three-spot Gourami, a name inspired by their color combinations.

Scientifically, Opaline Gouramis are known as Trichopodus trichopterus. They originated from years of selective breeding and can be found in Southeast Asia. You can find them in the marshes and wetlands throughout Cambodia, India, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Opaline Gourami Appearance

Opaline Gouramis have the same body shape and silhouette as Gourami species. They are oval with anal fins extending from the ray-finned pectoral fins down to the caudal fins. Opaline Gouramis also have needle-like ventral fins that are delicate and look somewhat like antennas. Their ventral fins are touch-sensitive and play a huge part in their navigation.

Opaline Gouramis have vibrant, eye-catching colors that add spice to your otherwise dull fish tank. They spot a silvery blue base coat and splotches of cobalt blue that give them that unique marble effect. The intensity and pattern of these colors differ across these three-spot fish, so you get a new design with each one.

As a result, you can pick out the most vivid colors and fill your tank with a truly awe-inspiring fish!

– How to Differentiate Between Male and Female Opaline Gourami

Male and female Opaline Gourami look very much alike. However, there are slight variations that allow you to differentiate between the sexes. Male Opaline Gouramis have longer dorsal fins that are more pointed than those of their female counterparts. The female Opaline Gouramis have stubby, rounded dorsal fins.

Male Gouramis are also generally slimmer and smaller than female Gouramis. Meanwhile, the females have a more rounded abdomen than the males.

– Opaline Gourami Size

At maturity, the average Opaline Gourami size is around 6 inches. Most of them attain maturity when they reach 3 inches and continue to grow until they reach the size spectrum’s upper end (6 inches). The actual size of Opaline Gourami is determined by its genetics and the quality of care it receives.

Opaline Gourami Care

For the most part, Opaline Gourami is a fantastic fish species for beginners, thanks to their relatively straightforward needs. However, we still advise that you get familiar with what it means to care for these fish species because, like every freshwater fish, they have their own basic needs and preferences.

Here are some of the tips you need to know about caring for your Opaline Gourami and giving it the best quality of life possible.

– Tank Set-Up

How you set up your fish tank determines to a great extent the quality of life and care your Opaline Gourami will receive. We advise that you try to replicate your fish’s natural habitat conditions as much as possible. Try to keep the water parameters within the recommended range and change the water as often as you need to.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Tank Size

It is best to keep Opaline Gourami in a tank with enough room for them to swim around in and carry out their daily activities. For adult Opaline Gourami, we recommend a tank of no less than 35 gallons for a single.

However, you can keep juvenile Opaline Gourami in smaller tanks capable of holding at least 20 gallons of water. As they continue to grow, the catch is that you will have to up their tank size to accommodate their vigorous swimming habits and playfulness.

  • Water Parameters

Once you get the tank size right, the next task is for you to set up the tank with the correct water parameters. We always advise that you study the Opaline Gouramis natural habitat for clues about how the water parameters should look.

These fish prefer warm and humid shallow waters. Because their water is filled with lots of plants, they tend to be moderately hard and have slightly acidic pH levels. Due to the hardiness of these fish, you have a little leeway in their tank set up, and provided you don’t go overboard, they will adapt to the conditions.

  • Water Temperature: 73 F to 82 F
  • Recommended pH Range: 6.0 to 8.8
  • Recommended Water Hardness: 5 to 35 dGH

You can monitor the water parameters, especially the Opaline Gourami temperature, effectively with a water test kip to ensure they are within range. If you discover that your parameters are outside the recommended range, we advise that you make the necessary adjustments quickly to forestall any problems.

  • Lighting

Opaline Gourami is not particular about the intensity of light entering their tank; anything goes. However, we recommend that you choose a lighting intensity that favors the other fish species in your tank.

  • Tank Decoration

As far as décor goes, Opaline Gourami is not picky. Choose items that enhance their looks and lifestyle. Choose a dark-looking substrate to make their colors pop. You can choose to use fine sand or pebbles; it doesn’t matter.

Plants are another part of Opaline Gourami tank decoration, seeing as in the wild, their waters are densely filled with plants. The plants shelter them and make them more comfortable.

Please don’t go overboard with the plants and cover the entire tank with them; find a balance of plants such that your fish still has enough room to swim unhindered.

Opaline Gourami Behaviour

Opaline Gourami is generally peaceful and does well as part of a community. However, they can start to display aggression if kept in a small tank. The level of aggression ultimately depends on the fish itself. Thankfully, most Opaline Gouramis are not aggressive but if you find one that is, try to address the aggression.

Although juvenile Opaline Gouramis are calm and peaceful, they may become aggressive as they age. Adult Opaline Gouramis have been known to attack other small tank mates, nipping at their fins and generally harassing them. They also get territorial as they mature, and the males often begin to squabble amongst themselves.

Regardless of the aggression they display as they begin to age, Opaline Gouramis are a joy to watch during the day. They have a special labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe directly from the air. The catch is that they have to come up to the water surface every once in a while. When they are not coming up for air, you can spot them swimming playfully and exploring the length of the tank.

Seeing as Opaline Gourami loves to swim at the top of the water, you need to regulate the number of plants you have in their tank. All in all, Opaline Gourami are delightful freshwater fishes with an easy disposition.

Opaline Gourami Tank Mates

Several factors must be considered while selecting tank mates for your Opaline Gourami. One of these factors is the temperament of your intended tank mates because, let’s face it, you don’t want to keep these gentle fish with overly aggressive fish.

With the wrong tank mates, Opaline Gourami may become semi-aggressive. Thus, it is best to select tank mates they are comfortable with. So we advise that you avoid known fin nippers, aggressive fish species like Firemouth cichlid, extremely large fish, and fish that are so small they fit into your Opaline Gouramis mouth!

Don’t forget to take into account the preferred water parameters and environmental conditions of your intended tank mates.

Try these tank mates if you are unsure of the Opaline Gourami compatibility with your intended fish species:

  • Plecos
  • Peaceful Barbs
  • Large Tetras
  • Loaches
  • Characins
  • Large snails and shrimps
  • Angelfish
  • Corydoras Catfish

Opaline Gourami Breeding

There are certain key things you should know if you want to breed your Opaline Gourami successfully. First on the list is how to tell male and female Opaline Gourami apart because, let’s face it, your efforts can only be successful if you have at least one of both sexes present.

Telling the Opaline Gourami sexes apart before they reach maturity apart can be quite hard. Thus, we advise that you allow the pet stores to take care of that worry for you by purchasing a fair number of both sexes. Then, allow them to grow together, and you’ll notice them pairing up at maturity.

Once your Opaline Gourami has paired, the next step is to prepare them for breeding. Furthermore, we advise that you move them to a conditioned breeding tank.

– How to Breed Opaline Gourami

The ideal breeding tank should be around 20 gallons, shallow, and have floating plants. You can use peat filtration to condition the water and some sponge filters to protect the fry once the eggs hatch.

Slightly elevated temperatures of about 80 F, neutral to acidic pH, and relatively soft tank water induce spawning in mature Opaline Gourami. Ensure that you provide the parent pairs with lots of high-quality food to prime them for spawning.

You do not need an airstone in the breeding tank because male Opaline Gouramis prefer calm waters to build their nests. They also do not particularly need well-oxygenated water because they swim to the surface of the water to breathe.

– How Do Opaline Gouramis Breed?

The breeding process of Opaline Gourami is quite interesting to watch! The female fills up with eggs, causing the male to build a bubble nest with leaves and loose branches of floating aquatic plants. The male chases the female until she decides to inspect his bubble nest. If the female likes what she sees, she communicates to the male.

Once the female chooses the nest, the male Opaline Gourami embraces her roughly, wrapping himself around her to allow her to expel the eggs in the nest. The male Opaline Gourami is fiercely protective of the eggs, sometimes even killing the female. Thus, we advise that you remove the female from the tank and leave the male to care for the eggs.

Once the eggs hatch and become free-swimming, you can remove the male from the tank to prevent him from turning on the fry.

– Feeding Opaline Gourami Fry

Once the eggs have hatched, you can begin to feed them with infusoria. Other diet alternatives include brine shrimp, blood worms, micro worms, powdered food, and even crushed flake food.

Opaline Gourami Diet

Opaline Gourami is omnivorous and eats about anything you put in front of them; meat-based and plant-based. A good way to ensure they get all the nutrients they need is to offer them a diet of high-quality tropical pellets or flakes, in addition to their usual frozen, live, or dried food.

Live or frozen bloodworms, microworms, tubifex worms are a great idea, alongside fresh vegetables and algae flakes. Combined, they provide your Opaline Gourami with what it needs to grow.

Common Opaline Gourami Diseases

Opaline gouramis are considered hardy, so diseases are not an issue, provided they are kept in a clean tank with the recommended water parameters. Failure to do that leaves them at the whims of their environment and exposes them to the common freshwater fish diseases.

Let’s look at some common Opaline Gourami disease, shall we?

– Ich

One freshwater disease that seems to be more prevalent than the others is Ich. Ich is a disease that presents with white spots all over the body of the fish.

  • Causes

Parasite. However, with the right over-the-counter antibiotics, you can rid your fish of the parasite responsible for this disease.

  • Symptoms

It makes the fish uncomfortable and lethargic. In most cases, the fish begins to lose appetite and subsequently weight and exhibits strange swimming patterns.

– Mycobacteriosis

Mycobacteriosis is a chronic bacterial disease that affects freshwater fishes, Opaline Gourami inclusive. It can be spread from fish to human via open cuts on the skin of the human.

  • Causes

Poor animal husbandry practices primarily cause mycobacteriosis. Fortunately, with proper tank hygiene, you can curtail the spread of this disease.

  • Symptoms

Common symptoms of fish with mycobacteriosis include:

  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Inflammation and ulceration of fish fins and skin

– Fish dropsy

Fish dropsy is a freshwater disease that affects the tissues of fish. Affected fish display impaired muscular and skeletal development.

  • Symptom

Common symptoms of fish dropsy are:

  • Bloated abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Strange swimming pattern
  • Treatment

Sadly, there is no treatment for this zoonotic disease as even antimicrobial medicines do not tackle the bacteria. To curtail the spread of this condition, we suggest that you remove the affected fish from the tank immediately and change the tank water.

– Intestinal Nematode

The intestinal nematode is another disease that plagues Opaline Gourami. Nematodes cause the condition.

  • Causes

Nematodes like Pseudocapillaria tomentosa are the main culprits behind this disease.

  • Symptoms

Common symptoms of intestinal nematodes include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Strange swimming pattern
  • Darkened skin coloration
  • Lethargy
  • Treatment

Isolate the infected fish to prevent the spread of the disease. Change the water in the tank and thoroughly disinfect the aquarium.

The good thing is that most of these diseases listed are treatable. Once you notice any of the symptoms listed above, you must act fast! Quarantine the affected fish to limit the spread of the disease, and commence with the recommended treatments.

– How to Prevent Common Opaline Gourami Diseases

There are many ways to prevent the common Opaline Gourami diseases.

The first step is to purchase only fish with sterling genetics because, as you know, genetics plays a significant role in the life of the fish.

Next, we recommend that you isolate and monitor new fish before adding them to your already established fish tank. That way, it is easy for you to limit the spread of disease from the fresh fish to your old fish. In the same vein, you should disinfect all your equipment, both new and old, thoroughly to prevent the transfer of pathogens.

Of course, without the right diet, your fish become overly susceptible to the common freshwater diseases, so we advise that you provide them with high-quality meals. Also, avoid overfeeding your fish!

Another way to avoid diseases is to ensure that the tank and water parameters are correct. Use a water test kit to check the conditions regularly and change 25 percent of your tank water at least twice a month.

If you follow these tips, then your Opaline Gourami is sure to enjoy a stress-free and healthy time in your fish tank.

Frequently Asked Questions About Opaline Gourami

1. Can I Keep Only One Opaline Gourami?

Yes. However, we do not advise that you do that. Opaline Gouramis tend to prefer being in fairly large communities. Thus, we recommend that you keep them with other Opaline Gouramis or even other compatible fish species.

When raising a community of this fish, we recommend that you avoid keeping more than one male Opaline Gourami in order to reduce competition and aggressiveness. However, if you decide to raise more than one male of this species, you should get a large tank with enough hiding spots.

2. What Do I Need to Maintain a Constant Water Parameter?

As Opaline Gourami are tropical species, you will need a good aquarium heater to keep the tank temperature constant.

We suggest getting a water test kit to monitor the tank water parameters such as temperature, hardness, and pH. You will also need a rank filter to maintain pristine water conditions. However, your tank filter should not be too powerful, or you risk stressing out your fish. Opaline Gourami prefers calm waters to environments with strong water currents.

3. How Often Does the Tank Water Need to Be Changed?

We advise that you change about 25 percent of the tank water weekly to prevent the buildup of toxins. Unclean water can cause damage to the tissues of your fish and result in serious diseases and, in some cases, death even.

4. How Often Should Opaline Gourami Be Fed?

You can feed juvenile Opaline Gouramis twice a day and adults once a day. Ensure that you do not overfeed them because overfeeding can be disastrous. Overfed fish tend to be more prone to stress and disease, especially as the leftover food promotes detritus buildup in the tank and impacts water quality negatively.

5. What Is the Average Opaline Gourami Lifespan?

With proper care and good living conditions, the average Opaline Gourami lifespan is between 4 and 6. If you are lucky, they may live slightly longer than six years. However, there is no way to guarantee exactly how long your fish will live. There is a great part that luck, genetics, and care have to play in the life expectancy of Opaline Gourami.

6. Is Opaline Gourami Breeding Easy?

Yes, breeding Opaline Gourami is an easy task, provided the tank conditions are favorable. The breeding tank needs to be big enough for them to swim around in and have enough trees and caves to mimic their natural habitat. Elevate the tank temperature slightly and ensure that the other water parameters are favorable.


  • Opaline Gourami are beautiful fish species that add spice to your tank
  • They are easy to care for and thus suitable for beginner aquarists
  • They have an average size of 6 inches and a lifespan of 4-6 years

Caring for Opaline Gourami is easy once you understand their basic needs and requirements. Provided you follow our care guide, you should have no problem keeping these fish species happy and healthy.

We hope you give Opaline Gouramis a chance! They are one of our favorite fish species.

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