Pet moonlight gouramis are one of those species of fish that are quick to catch your attention. It brings tremendous charisma to an aquarium. It is a labyrinth fish with silver-glowing scales and develops a greenish iridescence as it grows. Also known as moonbeam gourami, they derive their name from the moonlight itself. They tend to glow even in dimmed lights similar to the moonlight in the darkness of night. Due to their peaceful nature and high adaptability, they are quite efficient as pets if well-cared.  

Moonlight gourami is a popular and well-suited fish to be considered for keeping in a home aquarium. It originally belongs to Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. However, one can also find them in other Asian countries. It lives for around 4 to 5 years and grows up to 5 inches in length. It has several features that make it unique even among other gouramis. Some of those features have been discussed in the later sections. If anyone is deciding upon keeping moonlight gourami in their aquarium, from their habitat to diet, here’s all they need to know.  

Distinctive Features of Moonlight Gourami 

Moonlight gourami is slightly silver in color with a greenish iridescence, making it a treat for the eyes. Its appearance is one thing that makes it stand out among the others. Another notable feature is its ability to survive in habitats with low oxygen. Like any other labyrinth fish, it has a special lung-like organ that makes it capable of breathing air directly. It can often be seen reaching out to the surface to breathe in air. It’s worth mentioning that if a moonlight gourami is in moist conditions, it can manage to stay alive for a few hours even without water. Isn’t it amazing? 

There are various other characteristics of this species that are noteworthy that would be discussed further. However, here’s a list starting with some basic features.

Common NameMoonlight Gourami, Moonbeam Gourami
Scientific NameTrichogaster microlepis
OriginThailand, Cambodia, Vietnam 
BreedingEgg Layer-bubble nest
ColourSilver with green iridescence
Adult Size5.1 inches 
Lifespan4 years
HabitatSwamps, ponds, and other small water bodies 
Suitable VegetationAn aquarium tank with heavy, thick-leaved plants like Java Ferns and Vallisneria.
Tank LevelTop to Mid-dweller
Tank Size (Minimum)20-30 gallons
DietFlakes, Frozen Food, Live Food
Moonlight Gourami Resting in a Tank

How to take care of Pet Moonlight Gourami? 

For a pet-lover, the pets are no less than a baby and need to be taken care of in the same way. Moonlight gourami is no exception. And, taking care of this baby is going to be one interesting ride. It will be both easy and difficult at the same time. For instance, the owner won’t have a hard time feeding it but taking care of its accommodation can be a bit complicated. Here, let’s have a look at what exactly needs to be done. 

How to set up a tank for Pet Moonlight Gourami? 

Setting up a fish tank for moonlight gouramis needs one to take certain points into consideration. First of all, the aquarium should be large and spacious enough for it to swim. The minimum size for the tank should be around 20 gallons. In case there are a large number of plants in there and other fishes too, increase the size to 30 gallons.

Talking of plants, there should be enough plants in the tank for the moonlight gourami to hide between them (these little babies get frightened sometimes and may seek a temporary escape). It’s preferred to choose thick-leaved plants like Java Ferns and Anubias because they don’t mind chewing up leaves from their hiding space. Fine-leaved plants may have a hard time surviving. Regarding the water, moonlight gouramis are not a very high-maintenance species. Just keep in mind to change the water regularly. 

Video credits: Everyday Fishkeeping

What to feed Pet Moonlight Gourami? 

Moonlight gouramis are not very particular and selective when it comes to food, making it easier for their owners to feed them. They are omnivores and can be fed with frozen food, live food, or simply flakes. However, like any other creature, they have their preferences. Like us, they love to be treated with their favorite food including insects, bloodworms, small crustaceans, and brine shrimp. It is suggested to maintain a variety in their diet to ensure that they remain in their best health.

Also, if the moonlight gourami is sharing the space with other larger and quick-swimming fishes, it may get scared and end up being hungry. So, in case of a similar setup, it must be ensured that they get their share. 

Interesting Facts About Moonlight Gourami

Above mentioned information seems enough to bring in a moonlight gourami in one’s care. However, there are a few other facts and details that must be noted beforehand. Some of these points may come as an amusement while others may come in handy while taking care of the moonlight gourami. 

  • Male gouramis are not quite friendly with each other. If kept together, they would need a separate territory of their own. It is suggested to keep one male moonlight gourami with a few female ones. 
  • Male gouramis change the color of their fins to communicate with the female gouramis around them. 
  • One can recognize the gender by looking at their pelvic and dorsal fins. In the case of males, these are generally reddish or orange in color and pointed at the end. Whereas, in the case of females, there’s a yellow tint in their pelvic fins while the dorsal fins are round and short. 
  • Another notable feature of moonlight gouramis is their eyes. Their irises are red or orange and are beautiful enough to keep your attention hooked. 
  • Moonlight gouramis have a concave curve at the top of their heads, which is a characteristic completely unique to the species. 
  • Pet moonlight gouramis like to stay in warm temperatures and would preferably avoid any sudden changes in their habitat. Also, flowing water streams must be avoided. 
  • If kept in a tank, it is unsafe to accommodate them with fin-nipping fish. Moonlight gouramis have attractive fins making them a convincing prey for such fishes. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Moonlight Gouramis 

How big do moonlight Gouramis get?

An adult moonlight gourami can grow up to 5.1 inches (or 13 centimeters) in length. 

Are moonlight gouramis aggressive?

They are usually peaceful in nature. However, the male gouramis can get aggressive with each other when kept in the same territory.

How long do moonlight Gouramis live?

They usually have a lifespan of 4 years. However, if treated with utmost care in an aquarium, it can even survive up to 5 years. 

What fish can I keep with gourami?

Moonlight gouramis can be kept with other labyrinth fishes like corydoras and angelfish. However, fin-nipping fish should strictly be avoided. 

Are Blue Gouramis aggressive?

Blue Gouramis are a little aggressive in nature and keep chasing other fishes. 

Can gourami live in tap water?

Simply using tap water to fill an aquarium tank is never suggested because the chlorine present in the tap water can be harmful to the fish. 

How many times should I feed moonlight gourami?

A newly born moonlight gourami (fry) can be fed several times a day while an adult one should be fed once or twice a day. 

How do you tell if a gourami is stressed?

If your gourami is showing unusual behavior like sticking to the bottom of the tank or not eating anything, then it might be stressed due to something. 

Why does my gourami stay at the top of the tank?

It is only natural for a gourami to stay at the top of the tank. Gouramis have a special lung-like organ that lets them breathe direct air. Hence, they are often seen hanging out at the surface.