Blue Gourami – “Three Spot” Species

spotted gouramiThe “Three Spot” species type of Gourami is also known as the Blue and the Opaline Gourami. It gets it’s name from the cosmetic black dots that run in a horizontal manner. What is mildly confusing is the fact that you can only visually are two dots and not three of what it’s name references to. There are two dots in the midsection of the fish’s body but then the eye is considered the third spot.

Nicknames: Blue Gourami & Opaline Gourami


The Three Spotted Gourami is native to Southeast Asia making it classified as a tropical type. Water temperatures between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit are needed. Like other Gourami fish, they have the ability to live in dirty low oxygenated water. Reason being, they have a special labyrinth organ setup that allows them to breath from the water surface when need be.

This species of gourami usually has a full size growth between 4-6 inches. It really makes for a vibrant fish thats a descent size to see in a fish aquarium. Sure, it’s close cousin the dwarf gourami is a bright shimmering color but it only grows to 2 inches long. The blue gourami can also live up to 5 years long.

Gourami fish are middle to top level swimmers and are found around the surface a lot of the time. Their natural habitat is consisted of heavy vegetation so replicating that to your best ability is a plus. Even if you have to use fake aquarium plants, that is better than nothing. Gouramis are usually very concentrated feeders and you may find yours trying to constantly search for it’s next meal by constantly nibbling around the aquarium.

Food and Nutrition

image blue gouramiThe Blue Gourami (nickname) is an omnivore. This means they eat plants and meaty foods. You can consider to a majority of their diet consisting of tropical flake food but you will also want to throw in some meat once and a whole. The most popular choices are brine shrimp, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, worms, dried shrimp, and more. Hopefully that gives you a good idea of a healthy diet for your fish.

Squirting is a Real Thing!

You may have heard about this popular topic of gourami fish “squirting” water out their mouth. It’s not just a viral sensation but it’s completely true. It’s a rare scene to witness but people have caught it on video. A quick YouTube search will get you there but the fact is it does happen.

The reason behind the gourami squirting water is a method of survival. These fish will literally squirt water on a low hanging branch or plant to push insects off to fall into the water for a quick meal. It’s a brilliant mechanism although seemingly rare to see happen.

Personality and Aggression

This species of gourami is very laid back when it comes to aggression. They are very easy to care for with other fish. A great addition for a community style aquarium. The only issues that may occur are going to happen between fish with similar aggression like same species and or long finned fish. The trick to battling gourami aggression when it does occur is to get another fish that holds more aggression than the gourami itself. A gourami fish will only be aggressive if given the chance to hold that sole power in the aquarium.

Tank mates and Friends

The 3 Spotted Gourami is easy to find friends for. This laid back species of gourami will express very little amounts of aggression. Mainly full of personality and playtime. The most common tankmates usually include livebearers such as Mollies, Platies, swordtails, and some guppies. Some fancy longer tailed fish stimulate a gourami fish to chase and so some fin nipping.

Other Gouramis make for great roommates too. Be aware of women of the major differences with some species of gourami though. For instance, the Kissing gourami grows to a foot long and the honey gourami grows to only two inches long. Some of the habitat and size differences can play a roll in keeping them as tank mates and for the future of growth.


Comments and Replies:


Posted by Alisha R: Need advice on if I can keep female and male gouramis together?

  • Depends on the fish personality and tank size, they can be almost like bettas with some individuals, and could kill each other.
  • Ok because I have one gold male, 2 blue opaline male, and one regular opaline female and the two blue are harassing the female but the gold seems to want to protect her….
  • How big is your tank? The general rule is ten gallons per gourami, with less only being okay if heavily planted.
  • It’s a 55 gallon and I have a ton of plants for them to hide if they want.
  • Ok so should I just monitor closely? and if they don’t leave her be, I’ll move her to my mother’s 55
  • I just know that for many species of fish, when keeping multiple males with females, it is necessary to have a higher ratio of females to males.
  • Yea I was reading up on that too I just didn’t want to overstock, I might have to remove a male and add another female or two.
  • It’s not true of fish like gourami, the 2-3 per male rule is for active breeders like livebearers, or harem species like certain cichlids. Labyrinth fish males either kill a male like they would an invading female, or breed, but if they breed it’s because she initiated. They are territorial, it sounds like your males just claimed too much of the tank.
  • Thank you all very much for the information it is truly appreciated.


Posted by James G: Are my Opaline Gouramis male or female? Honestly I cannot tell. They are in a 30 gallon aquarium and occasionally chase each other but usually chill together. Never fin nip. They started at the same size, abut an inch or two long, now 2 years later at about 2-3 inches. Thoughts?

  • three spot gouramiAppear to be both females, had mine since December and she’s grown a lot about 5″ now. Females have a rounded dorsal fin and males are more pointed
  • Yeah I was under the assumption they would get bigger which is weird to me. I have always had them in a highly planted tank with just a bristlenose pleco and guppies, first a 20g and then a 30g. And actually I just pulled both of them out, the larger one is nearly 4″ and the smaller is 3″!
  • Nice, mine is growing fast. Should really get some size once she goes from the 29 to the 55 when its all ready.


Posted by Ashley P: Ok I got a question, I have a 37 gallon diamond shaped tank.
3 blue tetras
1 opaline gourami
3 leopard perch
2 electric blue rams
1 Synodontis Ocellifer
2 amano shrimp
3 tiger barbs
1 red tail shark

Now I had 4 zebra Danios, in the last 3 days I’m now down to 1.
No corpses,no sign of a struggle,no evidence!! Just gone. The most aggressive fish I have is obviously the red tail but he normally only chases the bigger fish. And he doesn’t do any real damage as there’s never injury on any of the fish.

WHERE ARE THE DANIOS GOING??? The red tail isn’t big enough to completely consume the fish as far as I can tell,especially 2 in one night. Help?

  • It doesn’t take much for little fish to get consumed pretty quickly if they die. Zebra danios really do best in large groups in long tanks so they have room to swim. Wouldn’t surprise me if the danios essentially nipped each other and stressed each other enough that a few eventually died and the rest of your stock consumed them.

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