Moonlight Gourami Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Welcome to this care guide of Moonlight Gourami! This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to successfully maintain and enjoy these beautiful, peaceful fish. Dive into the essentials of Moonlight Gourami species identification, tank setup, feeding, and more!

moonlight gourami

This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Moonlight Gourami Species Profile and Identification

Moonlight Gourami (Trichogaster microlepis) is a stunning addition to any aquarium, thanks to its intriguing appearance and peaceful nature. These beautiful fish originate from Southeast Asia and can be found in slow-moving or stagnant waters with a dense vegetation cover.

Size and Appearance: Moonlight Gouramis grow up to 6 inches in length, with a laterally compressed body and a vibrant silver hue. They have a distinct labyrinth organ, allowing them to breathe atmospheric air, and they possess long, thread-like fins called ventral fins that serve as sensory tools.

Personality: Known for being shy and peaceful, Moonlight Gouramis prefer a calm tank environment. They make excellent community fish and occasionally exhibit interesting behavior like building bubble nests at the water surface.

Sexual Dimorphism: Identifying the gender of a Moonlight Gourami is relatively easy. Males tend to be more colorful than females and have a pointed dorsal fin, while females have a rounder, more subdued appearance and a rounded dorsal fin.

Lifespan: When properly cared for in an aquarium, Moonlight Gouramis can live for up to 5 years.

In summary, here’s a quick Moonlight Gourami profile:

  • Scientific name: Trichogaster microlepis
  • Size: Up to 6 inches
  • Appearance: Silver hue, elongated fins, labyrinth organ
  • Personality: Shy, peaceful, community fish
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Pointed dorsal fin (male), rounded dorsal fin (female)
  • Lifespan: Up to 5 years

Knowing this information will greatly help you in identifying and understanding your Moonlight Gourami’s needs better. This will go a long way in ensuring their health and overall well-being within your aquarium.

Moonlight Gourami Supplies

Before you start on this journey to care for your Moonlight Gourami, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Having everything at hand will help you create an optimal environment for your aquatic pet. The items you will need are listed below:

  • Tank: A minimum of 20-gallon aquarium is essential. Moonlight Gouramis thrive in spacious environments, and this size will allow ample room for swimming and hideaways.
  • Heater: These tropical fish require a consistent water temperature of 77-86°F (25-30°C). A reliable heater will help maintain these stable temperatures.
  • Filter: A well-functioning filter is essential to keep the water clean and free from harmful chemicals. Invest in one that is designed to handle the bioload of your specific tank size.
  • Substrate: Moonlight Gouramis inhabit slow-moving river basins with muddy bottoms. Use a sand or fine-grained gravel substrate for a natural look and easy cleaning.
  • Decorations and Plants: These fish prefer a planted tank with decorations like driftwood and rocks for hiding spots. Opt for live plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne as they provide additional hiding spaces and water filtration.
  • Lighting: Moonlight Gouramis do not need specific aquarium lighting. Low to medium lighting is suitable for these shy fish and their chosen plants.
  • Test Kits: Monitoring water parameters is essential for maintaining a healthy environment. Invest in a reliable aquarium test kit to measure pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Fish Food: A varied diet is crucial for their health. Get high-quality flakes or pellets, and supplement with live, freeze-dried, or frozen foods.

By gathering these essential Moonlight Gourami supplies, you will ensure a healthy and thriving environment for your new pet.

Moonlight Gourami Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your Moonlight Gourami can be a simple process with the right preparation and knowledge. A proper tank setup is crucial for the health and happiness of your Moonlight Gourami.

  • Tank size: Moonlight Gouramis are moderately-sized fish and require space to swim freely. A tank with a minimum capacity of 20 to 25 gallons is recommended for a single Gourami, but larger tanks (40 gallons or more) are ideal for keeping multiple fish or including tank mates.
  • Substrate: Since Moonlight Gouramis are bottom dwellers, a soft, dark substrate is preferred. This can include fine gravel or sand, which creates a comfortable environment and mimics their natural habitat.
  • Decoration: Providing hiding spots and areas to explore is important for your Moonlight Gourami. Adding elements such as driftwood, caves, and sturdy, live plants like Java Fern or Anubias help create a secure environment, reducing stress for your fish.
  • Filtration: Moonlight Gourami appreciate a gentle flow in their tank. Choose a filtration system appropriate for your tank size, and aim to create a gentle current to provide enough water movement without causing too much stress for your fish.
  • Heating and lighting: Moonlight Gouramis require a stable water temperature of approximately 77°F to 86°F. Set up an appropriate aquarium heater with a thermostat, and monitor water temperature to avoid fluctuations. Moonlight Gouramis are more active with subdued lighting, so provide low to moderate lighting in their environment.

Taking the time to set up the right environment is key to a happy and healthy Moonlight Gourami. By focusing on proper tank size, substrate, decoration, filtration, heating, and lighting, you’ll be offering your pet the best home possible.

Moonlight Gourami Water Requirements

Moonlight Gouramis are tropical freshwater fish that require stable water conditions to thrive. To ensure their well-being, you need to closely monitor water quality and temperature to create an ideal environment for them.

  • Temperature: Maintain a water temperature between 77-86°F (25-30°C) for optimal health and comfort. A reliable heater and an aquarium thermometer help to ensure a consistent temperature.
  • pH: Moonlight Gouramis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water. Maintain the pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Test the pH regularly using a water test kit.
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is best for these fish. Aim for a general hardness (GH) between 5 and 20, and a carbonate hardness (KH) between 4 and 12.

Here are the ideal water parameters for moonlight gouramis:

Parameter Ideal Range
Temperature 77-86°F (26-30°C)
pH 6.0-7.5
GH 5-20
KH 4-12
  • Water Changes: Perform regular water changes to maintain water quality, remove waste, and prevent the buildup of harmful chemicals. Aim for a 20%-30% water change every two weeks.
  • Filter: Invest in a quality filtration system to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Choose one designed for the size of your tank and rated for your specific setup.

By consistently monitoring and maintaining the water conditions in your Moonlight Gourami tank, you’ll create a healthy and comfortable environment for your fish.

Moonlight Gourami Diet and Feeding

Moonlight Gouramis are omnivorous fish, meaning they eat both plant-based and meaty foods. Fulfilling their dietary needs ensures the well-being and vibrant health of your fish.

Here’s a list of food you can offer to your Moonlight Gourami:

  • Live foods: Brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae are all great choices for your fish.
  • Frozen foods: These can include the same types of foods as listed for live foods, but in a frozen form. Thaw them before feeding your fish.
  • High-quality flakes and pellets: Choose those specifically formulated for Gouramis or tropical community fish.
  • Vegetables: Blanched spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens contribute to a well-rounded diet.

Feed your Moonlight Gourami at least twice a day, providing only the amount they can consume within 2-3 minutes, to avoid overfeeding.

Make a habit of alternating the types of food you offer, as this helps provide a good variety of nutrients for your fish. A well-balanced diet will promote healthy growth, vibrant colors, and improve their immune system. Be cautious with live food sources, as they may introduce parasites and infections into your tank.

Observe your fish’s eating behavior: if they’re eating too quickly and leaving behind little or no food, you may need to adjust the amount you’re feeding them. Similarly, if they seem uninterested in the food, try offering different types of food to see which one they prefer. Happy feeding!

Moonlight Gourami Care Schedule

Caring for your Moonlight Gourami involves a consistent schedule and attention to their needs. Here’s a suggested care schedule to ensure your fish stays happy and healthy.

Weekly Tasks:

  • Monitor water parameters: Regularly check the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels using a reliable and accurate testing kit. Ideally, your tank’s pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0, with ammonia and nitrite levels at zero and nitrate levels less than 20 ppm.
  • Inspect aquatic plants: Make sure the plants in your tank are clean, healthy, and free from algae. If you spot any dying or decaying leaves, remove them immediately to prevent water pollution.

Bi-weekly Tasks:

  • Water changes: Perform a 25-30% water change every two weeks. This will help maintain the water quality and keep your fish healthy.
  • Cleaning the tank: Clean the tank walls, substrate, and decorations every two weeks. This will prevent algae buildup and maintain a clean environment for your fish.

Monthly Tasks:

  • Replace filter media: Replace the filter media every month to ensure proper filtration and oxygen exchange. This will help keep the water clean and clear.
  • Inspect equipment: Check your tank’s equipment for proper functionality, including the heater and filter. Replace any damaged or malfunctioning parts immediately, as they are crucial for maintaining a stable environment.

By following this Moonlight Gourami care schedule, you can provide a clean and stable environment for your fish, ensuring their long-term health and happiness. Remember to stay attentive to their needs and regularly monitor their health for any signs of disease or distress.

Moonlight Gourami Health Problems

Moonlight Gourami fish are relatively hardy, but they can sometimes fall prey to various health problems. It’s essential for you to be aware of these potential illnesses and take necessary precautions to keep your fish healthy.

Parasitic infections: Ich and other external parasites can affect Moonlight Gourami. If you see white spots on your fish or see them rubbing against surfaces, it could be a sign of parasites. To treat this issue, raise the water temperature and use copper-based medications.

Bacterial infections: Bacterial infections manifest as red or open wounds on fish. Fin rot or mouth fungus can be common in Gouramis. To treat these infections, use antibacterial medications and maintain good water quality.

Swim bladder disease: This condition affects a fish’s ability to swim properly. Fish may have difficulty swimming straight or might float or sink uncontrollably. To treat swim bladder disease, provide a high-fiber diet and a gentle, stress-free environment to help the fish recover.

Some preventive measures for Moonlight Gourami health problems include:

  • Maintain a clean and well-maintained tank. Regularly change the water and siphon out accumulated debris.
  • Quarantine new fish and plants before adding them to the aquarium to prevent introducing diseases.
  • Feed a varied and balanced diet to ensure your fish receive all necessary nutrients.

By staying vigilant and following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Moonlight Gourami remains healthy and avoids common health problems.

Moonlight Gourami Tank Mates

Moonlight Gouramis are known for their peaceful and timid nature, which means they can easily coexist with a variety of community tank mates. However, it is important to carefully choose the right tank mates to ensure a stress-free and thriving environment for your Moonlight Gourami.

Here is a list of ideal tank mates for moonlight gouramis to consider:

  • Tetras: These small, colorful fish are calm and non-aggressive, making them perfect companions for your Moonlight Gourami.
  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom-dwellers are peaceful and help maintain a clean tank by consuming leftover food and waste.
  • Rasboras: Known for their peaceful demeanor and schooling nature, Rasboras make great neighbors for your Gourami.
  • Mollies and Platies: Livebearers like Mollies and Platies are usually calm and compatible with Gouramis.
  • Non-aggressive Barbs: Fish like the Cherry Barb and Golden Barb get along well with Moonlight Gouramis due to their gentle behavior.

It is important to avoid housing your Moonlight Gourami with aggressive or territorial fish, as it can lead to stress, injury, or worse. Examples of fish to avoid include:

  • Cichlids: Many Cichlid species tend to be aggressive and territorial, which can stress out your Moonlight Gourami.
  • Large Catfish: Some larger catfish species can be aggressive and may consider your Gourami as a snack.
  • Bettas: Male Bettas are known for their aggression and may fight with your Moonlight Gourami.

Carefully selecting compatible tank mates will ensure a harmonious and healthy environment for your Moonlight Gourami. Stick to gentle and non-aggressive fish species, and avoid introducing belligerent and territorial fish to the tank.

Moonlight Gourami Breeding

Breeding Moonlight Gourami can be a rewarding experience for aquarists. The fish are known to be prolific breeders, and with some preparation and an understanding of their breeding behavior, you can have success in breeding them.

First things first, set up a separate breeding tank to ensure the proper conditions for breeding and to protect the eggs and fry from other tank mates. A 10-15 gallon tank is ideal for this purpose. The water in the breeding tank should be kept shallow (around 6-8 inches) and have a temperature between 77-82°F (25-28°C).

Next, feed the adult Moonlight Gourami a high-quality diet to increase their chances of spawning. Live or frozen foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia can be particularly effective in encouraging breeding behaviors.

When choosing fish for breeding, select healthy and mature fish, typically over 3-4 months old. When breeding begins, the male will construct a bubble nest using bits of plants, leaves, or foam. The female will lay hundreds of eggs, which will then be fertilized by the male. Remove the female after spawning to minimize potential stress, as the male will protect the nest aggressively.

Eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours, and fry will begin swimming freely in about 3 days. At this stage, it is crucial to feed the fry with appropriately sized foods like infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp. Make sure to perform regular water changes in the breeding tank, but be careful not to disturb the delicate fry.

By following these guidelines, you can increase the likelihood of successfully breeding and raising healthy Moonlight Gourami in your aquarium.


With this complete beginner’s guide for Moonlight Gourami care, you are now well-equipped to start your journey as a Moonlight Gourami enthusiast. Taking good care of these gentle and fascinating fish will reward you with a beautiful and serene aquarium. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or experiences to share!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *