A Fish of Many Names

The Three-Spot is perhaps the most popular of all Gouramis

by Mike McEwan

The Three-spot Gourami is a very hardy and popular fish. They have blue-grey bodies with a central dark spot on the flank, and another on the caudal penducle. The third spot that gives the fish its common name is formed by the eye. The fins are slightly patterned, and the anal fin is edged with orange. Like all Gouramis (except the Kissing Gourami), they have the long "feeler" fins that are almost body-length that they use for navigation. Other sub-species include the Blue and Opaline Gouramis.

Tank Setup

These fish should be kept in community aquariums with other small, timid fish. Nippy fish such as Tiger Barbs generally make poor tankmates because the long fins of the Gourami make it a target. Plants and hiding places should be provided along with good filtration.


Gouramis are often put in aquariums to eat Hydra, which can be dangerous for young fish. Gouramis can also be helpful reducing an overpopulation of snails. They must be provided with the basic diet, however. Favorite foods include basic flake food, freeze-dried foods, and blanched lettuce. These fish are not fussy eaters, which adds to their popularity; the Opaline variety being the most popular because of its beauty.

Water Chemistry

These Labyrinthfish have no special requirements when it comes to water conditions. A neutral pH and common water temperature will suffice. They are hardy fish that thrive under most conditions.


Three-spot Gouramis are often kept in large schools of predominantly females, and only one male should be kept in the tank. Sexing can be done by observing the dorsal fin of the fish; the males being more pointed. In females, the dorsal fin is shorter and more rounded.

Three-spot Gouramis breed by building a bubble nest and then spawn in the usual labyrinthfish fashion. The bubble nest gives the fry an adequate supply of oxygen. The female should be removed from the tank after spawning has occured in order to protect her from the male who may become aggressive.

Three-Spot Gourami; Blue\Opaline Gourami

Sci Name:
Trichogaster trichopterus
Thailand; Asia
Max Size:
74-81 F.
Tank Size:
25 Gallons