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Blue Gourami (opaline gourami)

Blue Gourami vs Three Spot Gourami

Welcome to our detailed comparison of the Blue Gourami and the Three Spot Gourami. These fascinating fish are popular among aquarium enthusiasts for their unique characteristics and behaviors. In this article, we’ll delve into their differences and similarities to help you understand more about each species.

Comparison Table

Feature Blue Gourami Three Spot Gourami
Scientific Name Trichogaster trichopterus Trichopodus trichopterus
Size Up to 6 inches Up to 6 inches
Coloration Light blue with dark blue stripes Silver body with two black spots
Temperament Peaceful but can be territorial Semi-aggressive
Lifespan 4-6 years 4-6 years

Blue Gourami Profile

The Blue Gourami, also known as the Three Spot Gourami, is a tropical freshwater fish known for its striking coloration and peaceful temperament. They are native to Southeast Asia and thrive in a variety of water conditions, making them a versatile choice for aquariums.

Blue Gourami Coloring

The Blue Gourami is renowned for its captivating coloration. This fish typically exhibits a shimmering, iridescent blue hue that can range from light sky blue to deeper shades, often accentuated by a silvery undertone. Its body may also display faint vertical striping or spots, adding to its visual appeal. The intensity of the coloration can vary based on factors like environment, diet, and health. During breeding or territorial displays, the Blue Gourami’s coloration becomes more vivid.

Blue Gourami Habitat

Originating from the freshwater basins of Southeast Asia, the Blue Gourami is a versatile species adaptable to a range of aquatic environments. It primarily inhabits slow-moving or stagnant waters like ponds, marshes, and rice paddies. These habitats are characterized by warm temperatures, typically between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius, and abundant vegetation. The Blue Gourami is well-suited to environments with low oxygen levels, thanks to its labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe atmospheric air.

Blue Gourami Aquarium Setup

  • Tank Size and Water Volume

When setting up an aquarium for Blue Gouramis, it’s crucial to start with an adequate tank size. A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended, as it provides sufficient space for these active swimmers to move and explore. A larger tank is even more beneficial, especially if you plan to keep multiple Gouramis or other fish species.

  • Aquarium Layout and Hiding Places

Opaline Gourami thrive in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat. Incorporating plenty of hiding places in the aquarium is essential. Use live plants, rocks, and driftwood to create sheltered areas and secluded spots. This not only adds aesthetic appeal to the tank but also provides the fish with stress-relieving hideouts. Plants like Java Fern and Anubias are excellent choices, as they are sturdy and easy to maintain, offering both cover and a natural environment for the Gouramis.

  • Water Conditions and Maintenance

Maintaining optimal water conditions is critical for the health of Blue Gouramis. The water pH should be balanced between 6.0 and 8.0, which can be achieved through regular water testing and adjustments if necessary. The ideal temperature range for these tropical fish is between 75-82°F (24-28°C). Consistent temperature is key, so using a reliable aquarium heater is advisable. Regular water changes, at least 10-15% weekly, are important to keep the water clean and free of harmful toxins, thus ensuring a healthy environment for the Blue Gouramis.

Blue Gourami Breeding

Breeding Environment

Creating an optimal breeding environment for Opaline Gouramis is essential for a successful spawning process. The breeding tank should be set up with subdued lighting to mimic their natural breeding conditions and reduce stress. A key aspect is adjusting the water level; lowering it to about 6 inches helps concentrate the pheromones and facilitates easier nest building for the male. Additionally, the water temperature should be slightly warmer, around 80°F, which encourages breeding behavior. Gentle filtration is recommended to keep the water clean while ensuring the bubble nest is not disturbed.

Spawning Process

During the spawning process, the male Three Spot Gourami takes the lead in building a bubble nest, which involves creating a floating cluster of bubbles at the water’s surface. He uses saliva to make these bubbles more durable. Once the nest is ready, the male entices the female to spawn beneath it. The female releases eggs which the male then fertilizes. After fertilization, the male diligently collects and places the eggs in the bubble nest. He becomes protective of the nest, guarding it against intruders and ensuring the eggs remain within the safety of the bubbles until they hatch. The hatching typically occurs within 24-48 hours, and the fry emerge to begin their life cycle.

Blue Gourami Compatibility

Blue Gouramis are generally peaceful but can be territorial towards other gouramis. They do well with a variety of community fish, especially those that are not overly aggressive or too small. Suitable tank mates include barbs, tetras, and other similar-sized fish.

Blue Gourami Diet

In the wild, the Blue Gourami is an omnivore with a diverse diet. It feeds on small insects, larvae, algae, and plant matter. In captivity, it is important to mimic this varied diet to ensure proper nutrition and health. A balanced diet for Blue Gouramis should include high-quality flake or pellet food designed for tropical fish, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Occasional plant-based foods like boiled lettuce or spinach can also be offered.

Blue Gourami Common Diseases

Blue Gouramis are susceptible to a range of common diseases. These include Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich), a parasitic infection causing white spots on the body and fins, and bacterial infections that lead to fin rot and ulcers. Fungal infections may also occur, presenting as cotton-like growths. Poor water quality and stress are significant factors contributing to these diseases. Regular tank maintenance, proper feeding, and monitoring for signs of stress or illness are crucial for prevention.


In conclusion, both Blue Gouramis and Three Spot Gouramis offer unique qualities for aquarium enthusiasts. While they share some similarities, their differences in temperament and coloration provide options for different types of aquarium setups and fish communities. Regardless of your choice, both species can add beauty and interest to your aquatic world.