Max Size: 15cm

Moonlight Gourami (Trichopodus microlepis)

The Moonlight Gourami is a hardy aquarium fish for both beginners and experienced fish keepers. This fish has a nervous nature when first introduced into a new setting but once settled these fish are active. They can adapt and thrive under a broad range of water conditions as long as they are provided with plenty of vegetation and hiding spots.

Apart from tiny fish, these Gouramis can be mixed with significantly smaller or quiet and peaceful larger fish, making them an excellent addition to most community aquariums.

Like other Labyrinth fish, the Moonlight Gourami has a unique lung-like organ that permits it to inhale air straightforwardly. As a result of this organ, it isn't surprising to see it go to the surface and swallow air. The ability to inhale air permits this Gourami to get by in low oxygen circumstances. Indeed, if it stays clammy, it can make do out of water for as long as a few hours.

The Moonlight Gouramis are silvery coloured with a slightly greenish tone similar to the soft glow of moonlight. They are flat and long and have concavely sloped heads that differentiate it from other Gourami species. The males can be recognised by the rosy orange tinge of the pelvic balances, just as the long dorsal blades which close in a point. In females, the pelvic fins are colourless to yellow, and the dorsal fins are shorter and rounder.


Moonlight gourami
Moonlight gourami
Moonlight gourami
Moonlight gourami
Quick Facts
Scientific NameTrichopodus microlepis
Year Described1861
Other NamesMoonbeam Gourami
OriginsCambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespanup to 4 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 25
77 - 86℉
25 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Moonlight Gourami will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is straightforward to differentiate the male from female Moonlight Gourami. Females are more extensive than males and have a more rounded anal and dorsal fin. Males can be distinguished by the orange-red hue of the pelvic fins, and the long dorsal fins that end in a point. In contrast, the female's pelvic fins are a pale to yellow colour, and the dorsal fins are shorter and rounder. During spawning, males ventral fins change to an orange-red.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Congo Ctenopoma(Ctenopoma congicum)
Dwarf Ctenopoma(Microctenopoma nanum)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
View all Gouramis
Date Added: 25/09/2020 - Updated: 15/02/2022 14:05:46