Croaking Gourami Vs Sparkling Gourami (9 Differences Guide)

Croaking gourami and sparkling gourami aquarium fish of the Belontiye family (Belontiade). 

Croaking gourami Latin name: Trichopsis vittatus (Cuvier, Valenciennes, 1831).

Sparkling gourami (pygmy gourami) Latin name: Trichopsis pumilus (Arnold, 1936)

A popular aquarium fish with an interesting coloration, easy to keep and breed. Small size and timid disposition significantly limit the number of possible neighbors, therefore it is often kept in a species aquarium.

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami

Croaking Gourami adults reach a length of about 7 cm. The color is predominantly gray or brownish with rows of dark horizontal stripes. Males, in comparison with females, have large bright fins of light purple color with burgundy speckles.

Adult sparkling gourami reaches a length of up to 4 cm. The color is light brown with an intense blue sheen. Two dark stripes stretch along the body. The fins are translucent with a pattern of red and blue dots. Sexual dimorphism is weakly expressed, males differ from females in magnifying fins and color intensity.

Difference Between Croaking And Sparkling Gouramis

Croaking gouramiSparkling gourami
Aquarium Volumefrom 50 litersfrom 40 liters
Temperature 22 to 25°C22 to 28°C
Water pH value6.0–8.05.0–7.5
Water hardness soft to hard (5-25 dGH)soft (1-12 dGH)
Fish Tank Substrate type anyany soft
Lighting subduedsubdued
Water movementlittle or nolittle or no
size of the fishup to 7 cmup to 4 cm
Meals any foodany food
Temperament Peacefulpeaceful
Living behaviorboth alone and in pairs/groupsin a couple or small group

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami: Habitat

croaking gourami (Trichopsis vittatus)is widely distributed in Southeast Asia on the territory of the modern states of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. A wild population has also been introduced in Palm Beach County, Florida, USA. It lives in swampy reservoirs with dense vegetation in rather extreme conditions – stagnant water with a very low concentration of dissolved oxygen. It is also found in places flooded for agricultural use, such as rice fields.

trichopsis vittatus
Trichopsis vittatus

sparkling gourami (Trichopsis pumilus) comes from Southeast Asia, is widely distributed in most of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Peninsular Malaysia. Inhabits swampy shallow ponds with stagnant water, flooded rice fields, and canals with very dense vegetation.

trichopsis pumilus
Trichopsis pumilus

difference between male and female in sparkling and crocking gourami

The ends of the dorsal and anal fins of the crocking gourami male are pointed and elongated; the female crocking gourami is slimmer than the male and her color is paler.

Sparkling gourami (pygmy gourami): the male is larger than the female, he has longer dorsal and anal fins; the color of the female is more inconspicuous, and her anal fin is rounded. The length of the sparkling gourami reaches 3.5 cm. In the aquarium, these fish live for about 3 years.


croaking gourami are unpretentious to the diet, the basis of which is a home aquarium can be any high-quality dry food (flakes, granules) from a well-known manufacturer.

In nature, they feed on small insects and invertebrates; in home aquariums, it is advisable to serve live food (daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms), or use special products intended for representatives of the Gourami species from well-known and trusted manufacturers.
It is worth remembering that the quality and variety of food directly affect the health of the fish and their color.

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami: Tanks size

The optimal tank size for one or a pair of Croaking Gourami starts from 50 liters. The design uses dense thickets of rooting and clusters of floating plants with numerous shelters in the form of snags or decorative objects (wrecks, castles, etc.). Any substrate.

A tank with a volume of 40 liters is suitable for one pair or a small group of sparkling gourami. The design uses a soft substrate and dense thickets of rooting plants located along the sidewalls of the aquarium. The presence of shelters is mandatory, usually, they install various snags, ceramic pots or hollow tubes, and other decorative objects in the form of sunken ships, castles, etc.

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami: Aquarium Conditions

Aquarium equipment is configured based on the needs of Croaking Gourami in a low level of illumination and the absence of internal current. The tank must be covered with a tight lid, thanks to which a warm, moist layer of air is formed above the surface of the water, which is necessary for the normal breathing of labyrinth fish. Croaking Gourami is not picky about the composition of the water and feels great in a wide range of pH and dGH values.

To simulate sparkling gourami the water conditions characteristic of the natural habitat, a filter with peat-based filter material is used, and hydrochemical indicators are set at slightly acidic pH values ​​and low hardness levels (dGH). You can enhance the effect with the help of fallen leaves, which are placed on the bottom, in the process of decomposition, they saturate the water with tannins and slightly tint it in a light brown color.

croaking gourami vs sparkling gourami: Tank mates and Compatibility

Croaking Gourami peaceful and sociable species, it goes well with other fish of similar size and temperament, and given its unpretentiousness to water conditions, the number of possible neighbors becomes very large.

Peaceful and very timid species, not recommended for the general aquarium, since any even small, but very active fish can intimidate the sparkling gourami. Mixed keeping with species of similar size and temperament, such as  Dwarf Rasbora and Firefly Rasbora, among others, is allowed.

gourami vs sparkling gourami Breeding 

In the absence of other fish, spawning can be carried out in a common aquarium, otherwise, it will be necessary to prepare a separate smaller tank, where sexually mature Croaking Gourami will be transplanted during the mating season.

It has been noted that spawning is stimulated by a gradual decrease in the water level to 10–15 cm in-depth and an increase in temperature to 24–25°C. After a while, the females become noticeably rounder, and the males start building a nest of air bubbles among a cluster of floating plants. Then the courtship period begins. The male swims near the female, fluffing his fins and tail, sometimes you can hear “croaking” sounds, which also serve to attract potential partners. Croaking Gourami produces sounds with the help of special pectoral fin structures, similar to how the African catfish Synodontis veil does. A similar feature is reflected in the name of the species grunting.

Spawning itself is accompanied by a kind of embrace, each time several eggs and a portion of the seed are released, in total, the clutch can contain up to 200 eggs. Soon the female leaves the nest and is no longer interested in the fate of her offspring. The male behaves completely differently, he continues to stay near the nest, protecting it from other fish. This continues throughout the incubation period (24-48 hours) and the next few days until the fry begins to swim freely. This is where his concern ends.

During the mating season, sparkling gourami males build a nest of bubbles under broad leaves, under dense floating vegetation, or in a cave-like shelter on the bottom – the same ceramic pots or hollow tubes used in decoration. During the construction process, the male is very harsh towards the female and does not let her near the nest until it is ready.

Spawning is accompanied by a kind of “embrace”, when the fish, the word, wrap around each other. At the point of climax, milt and a few eggs are released and then placed in the nest. This is repeated several times until all the eggs are released. The female then swims away, leaving the male to protect and care for future offspring.

The fry appears after 24–48 hours and remains in the nest for another 3–4 days, all this time the male carefully picks up those who accidentally fell out / swam out of it. After the fry begins to swim freely, the male will lose interest in them. Adult fish do not suffer from cannibalism and usually do not eat their offspring. However, this does not apply to other aquarium neighbors and it is advisable to transfer the juveniles to a separate tank with identical water conditions. Feed with specialized food for aquarium fish fry.

gourami Fish diseases

For Croaking Gourami main cause of most diseases are unsuitable living conditions and poor-quality food. If the first symptoms are detected, you should check the water parameters (pH and dGH) and the presence of high concentrations of hazardous substances (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc.), if necessary, bring the indicators back to normal, and only then proceed with treatment.

The main cause of most diseases in sparkling gourami is unsuitable living conditions and poor-quality food. If the first symptoms are detected, you should check the water parameters and the presence of high concentrations of hazardous substances (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc.), if necessary, bring the indicators back to normal and only then proceed with treatment.

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