Will The Pearl Gourami Eat My Cardinal Tetra? Keeping Your Fish Safe!

Pear Gouramin is a beautiful fish with a peaceful attribute. So, keeping these fish along with Cardinal tetras can add color and variety to your aquarium. Cardinal tetras are small fish that have the exact water requirements as pearl gouramis. Hence, you can keep them together. The only concern you might have is whether Pearl Gourami will eat Cardinal tetra or not.

Pearl Gourami is a non-aggressive fish that can cope well with other fishes. So, they do not eat other fish. But there have been some reports that they might be a threat to cardinal tetra. Usually, Pearl gourami do not eat cardinal tetras. But if you keep them in a small aquarium, then it can be a problem. They will start nipping the fins or cardinal tetras or even eat the younger ones.

In this blog post, we will answer the Will Pearl Gourami Eat Cardinal Tetra question once and for all!

Will Pearl Gourami Eat My Cardinal Tetra?

The answer to this question is both yes and no.

Pearl Gouramis are pretty peaceful fish and not aggressive. If they feel threatened or hungry, they will only eat other fish, so your cardinal tetra should be safe from the Pearl gourami. The food you feed to either of these fish impacts their behavior more than anything else. Therefore, you must provide your fish with a balanced diet.

However, if your cardinal tetra is too small and fits in the mouth of the Pearl Gourami, then there is a chance that the Pearl Gourami might eat it.

Will Pearl Gourami Eat Cardinal Tetra Fry?

In general, the Pearl Gourami will eat anything that fits into their mouth. They are not picky and might mistake a Cardinal Tetra fry for food. Even if you see your adult fish-eating young ones, this might signify stress or illness from lack of nutrition.

Unlike the adult Cardinal tetras, their fry is smaller and more vulnerable. In addition, they are not yet old enough to recognize the Pearl Gourami as a threat, making them an easy target for your fish.

The young ones are more likely to be prey for other fish when they are smaller than one inch in length. But when they grow beyond it, they attain their first full-length fin ray. So, you won’t have these problems.

Do Pearl Gourami Eat Eggs Of Cardinal Tetra?

Yes, the Pearl Gourami do eat eggs of cardinal tetra.

Cardinal Tetras are egg scatterers, which means they lay eggs on the leaves of plants and let them hatch there without parental care. The Pearl Gourami is a fish that eats anything that moves in front of it, including small fry like cardinal tetra’s babies. So if you have both these species in the same tank, there is a high chance that Pearl Gourami will eat cardinal tetra’s eggs.

Do Cardinal Tetra Eat Pearl Gourami?

No, Cardinal Tetra never eats Pearl Gourami. They live in a peaceful community together with other fish around the same size and shape as them. However, you must be very careful when choosing tank mates for your pearl gouramis because some tetra species may try to prey on the hellgrammite.

Usually, the size of Pearl Gourami is around ten cm. It is a massive fish, so keeping them with cardinal tetras won’t be a problem. You can safely house even the fish that are smaller than Pearl Gourami in a well-maintained environment.

In addition, although cardinal tetras may sometimes nip at your pearl gourami’s fins, they should leave their body untouched and unharmed if you provide them with enough hiding spaces.

How Can I Keep Cardinal Tetra And Pearl Gourami Safe In My Aquarium?

As fish keepers now experiment a lot to make their aquarium more beautiful, attractive, and lively. Thus, they started keeping different species of fish together, like Pearl Gourami and Cardinal tetras. Hence, they are more conscious about how to keep these two fishes together.

Moreover, some of the ways that can help you keep these two fish safe in your aquarium are:

Provide Enough Space For Fishes

Cardinal tetras are very active, and they like to swim all around the aquarium. Therefore, you must provide enough space for them if you want to keep these two fishes together in your tank.

If you have a small aquarium or bowl with less than 20 gallons of water volume, do not put Pearl Gourami with Cardinal Tetra.

Provide Plants For Shelter

Cardinal tetras are more sensitive to water parameters. Thus it is better that you provide them with some plants for shelter. In addition, it will help your tetras feel safe in the tank as they seek refuge among plant leaves occasionally when acquainted with their new environment. This way, both species can protect themselves and live in harmony and peace.

Provide Suitable Water Parameters

Cardinal tetras prefer living in water with a low-temperature range. In addition, they like to live in oxygen-rich environments. So you need to provide them extra aeration using under-gravel filters or air stones if you want to keep them together with Pearl Gourami. Their peaceful nature makes them slow swimmers, and they need an environment with plenty of oxygen.

Separate The Feeding Schedule Of Both The Fishes

If you keep these two fishes together in the same tank, make sure that they have separate feeding schedules. If you feed both the fish simultaneously, then there is more chance for quarrels between your fish species because each of them may try to fight over food with the other.

Moreover, you must keep an eye on their behavior, and if you see that their behavior is not appropriate, then separate both of them.

Hopefully, these steps will help you keep your fish safe in the tank as they live together peacefully without causing any harm to each other.


Q: Is It True That Pearl Gouramis Can Eat Fish Smaller Than Them?

A: Yes, if the fish is small enough, they will eat it. This is especially true in an aquarium with multiple species of fish. The cardinal tetras are “dither fish,” so they are not safe at all.

Q: Is It True That Pearl Gouramis Prefer To Be In Groups?

A: While this is the case for some gourami species, the false (or blue) pearl gourami can survive on its own quite well.

Q: What Do I Do With My Fish Tank?

A: There is no need for concern if you are okay with few cardinal tetras being prey to other fish. However, if not, please consider purchasing a giant aquarium or finding homes for your current inhabitants.

Q: Will My Pearl Gourami Eat My Other Fish?

A: While some gourami species are omnivores and can sometimes catch smaller tank mates, this is less likely to occur with the false (or blue) pearl gourami. However, if you have a relatively small tank, I recommend keeping them with larger fish that can hold their own.


Summing up, it’s clear that the pearl gourami is a large fish, and it won’t have any trouble eating your cardinal tetra. The problem is there is a higher risk that both fishes can be prey to other tankmates.

Another concern to think about when adding either of these species to an aquarium together would be aggression issues. Pearl gouramis are incredibly territorial and will often attack anything that gets near the territory they have claimed.

So, you must be attentive and conscious about the territory of these fish. If you think about compatibility, it’s not a good idea to put them in an aquarium together.

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