Only shy in small numbers, I agree you want around 7. They need a decent sized tank. They will tolerate most water conditions (although not extremes), but will certainly be bolder and show better colours in a planted tank with plenty of hiding spots. Virtually impossible to sex while young, but you'll quickly notice the extended anal fin rays and the pointed dorsal on the male, followed by the deep throat blush during breeding. Generally peaceful (more than any other gourami) but can get very stroppy during mating. They do well with other gouramis and angels.
I'd been a cichlid guy for a while and then converted my existing tank to a planted one I have a little group of these, 3 males and 2 females fully grown its funny but they've adopted the same cichlid mentality as the cichlids I still have, following me around the tank and swimming up to the front and top of the tank expecting me to drop in food I really recommend them
I have 5 of these fish as the 'centerpiece' fish of my 55 gallon tank. I believe I have 1 male and 4 females, but they are still young, so it's hard to tell for sure. When I was selecting fish for this tank, I had really wanted angelfish, but I am so glad I went with these guys instead. They are beautiful and are much more tolerant of other tankmates (even those that are considerably smaller than themselves) than are angelfish. I have them in the tank with some ottos, cardinal tetras, and red wag platies, and I've never seen any inter-species aggression! Wonderful fish - I'd highly recommend them!
I recently got 2 female Pearl Gouramis thinking a single male-female pair would mean the female got harassed by the male so went for two females. However one female is very dominant, chasing and kinda nipping (not doing any damage) the other female whenever she is in sight. BTW my tank is fairly well planted, what can i do to stop this irritating behaviour, get a male, do nothing, more plants, any suggestions would be great!