Trichopsis pumila, also known as the sparkling gourami, is a freshwater species of gourami native to Southeast Asia. Its native habitat is slow rivers, rice paddies, ditches and small ponds. It is most commonly found in standing not stagnant water (including waters with low oxygen levels) that has a dense cover of floating plants. This small gourami can survive in these waters because of its labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe air from the surface. Its native habitat has a pH of 6.0–7.5, dH of 5–19, and temperature 77 °F to 83 °F. It feeds on zooplankton and aquatic insects. Sparkling gouramis can reach a length of 1.6 inches (SL). In color, they sparkle with red, green, and blue hues, and can produce an audible croaking noise using a specialised pectoral mechanism. In the right light, its eyes appear bright blue, and its arrowhead-shaped body and caudal fins reflect a rainbow of colors as it swims. Sexing is difficult, but males have red spots above the “body line” or the stripe through their body, and females spots are duller.
They are hardy and tolerant of less-than-ideal water conditions in the tank. It is important to avoid any strong currents in the aquarium and have plenty of hiding places; a heavily planted tank with subdued lighting is ideal. They require some space between the top of the water and the tank cover from which to gulp air. While these are not schooling fish, they can usually be kept peacefully in small groups. Keep in mind that they will not compete well for food with aggressive tank mates and will not cope well with constant harassment. Notoriously nippy fish such as tiger barbs or large danios are poor choices for tank companions. Because of their small size, sparkling gouramis are an ideal choice for smaller aquaria. A good size aquarium for a trio or pair would be a planted 5 gallon tank. They will be targeted by male bettas so should not be kept with them. They are not finicky about food, and will readily accept flake foods, live foods, or frozen foods. They should be fed once or twice every day.