Three Spot Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus)

Three spot gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus) are commonly found throughout Southeast Asia and are also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Blue Gourami.

Their range extends from Yunnan China through Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Java, Borneo and Sumatra, and they have been introduced into Trinidad, Sulawesi, and the Philippines.

Three Spot Gourami thrive in standing or very slow moving swamps, marshes, canals and flooded wetlands throughout their range where they feed on crustaceans, insect larvae, and zooplankton.

Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) female

Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) female

Three Spot Gourami or Blue Gourami, actually have only two dark blue to black spots over their silver blue bodies; one in the center of the body, and a second spot at the beginning of the caudal fin.   The third “spot” (that gives them their name) is actually their eye.

The body colors of these fish can change considerably depending on their mood and during spawning. Males have long pointed dorsal fins and a pointed anal fin.   In females, the anal fin is shorter and rounded, however some females have dorsal fins as long as a male.

Like others of their kind, Three Spot Gourami have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air to survive in stagnant waters with low oxygen content.  In an aquarium environment, they should always have access to the surface of the aquarium.

Three Spot Gourami are a peaceful, hardy species that can be housed with a variety other peaceful, similarly sized species.  They are somewhat territorial and can be aggressive with others of their species, especially during breeding.  The are known to be fin nippers when housed with species that have long, brightly colored flowing fins like male bettas, fancy male guppies, and goldfish.  Around more aggressive species, they tend to become much more timid.

Three Spot Gourami are best kept in a densely planted tank of at least 20 gallons with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some rock work and driftwood for them to hide among, and plenty of swimming space.
Though they are tolerant of wide range of water parameters, they still require adequate filtration.

Three Spot Gourami are easy to breed.  The males build a bubble nest and when they are ready to breed will entice the female to spawn by repeatedly swimming back and forth under the nest with their tail raised and fins flared.  The male will wrap himself around the female and fertilize up to 800 eggs during a spawning.   After spawning is completed, it is generally recommended that the female be removed from the spawning tank.   The male will guard the bubble nest and usually shows aggression towards the female after spawning.  When the eggs hatch, the male will continue to guard the fry however, the male should be removed when the fry become free swimming and have absorbed their egg sacs.

After the fry are mobile, a tight fitting cover should be placed over the breeding tank to create and maintain the hot, humid environment needed for the labryinth organs to develop in the young gourami. Frequent water changes should be maintained during this stage as infusoria or baby brine shrimp is fed to the young.

Three Spot Gourami are omnivores and require meaty and algae based foods.   Live, frozen or freeze dried tubifex, bloodworms, brine shrimp and a quality omnivore flake food will provide these fish with all the nutrition they need.

Three Spot, or Blue Gourami are readily available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts when they are 1 1/2″ to 2″ in size at reasonable prices.

Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) Male

Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) Male








Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful to Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-82° F, KH 4-18, pH 6.0-8.8
Max Size: 6″
Color Form: Blue, Silver
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Good community tank fish
Origin: Southeast Asia, Malaysia, China
Family: Belontiidae
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Easy

One Response to “Three Spot Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus)”


  1. […] Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) along with other mutations, are a color variant of Three Spot Gourami (Trichopodus trichopterus) that were developed for tropical fish keeping enthusiasts during the 1970s.   Gold Gourami are […]

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