Kissing Gourami
Care & Breeding

The Fascinating Kissing Gourami Full Overview

Introduction to Gouramis

Gouramis are freshwater fishes and they originate from Asia. Gouramis have labyrinth organs and due to this feature, they are able to breathe air on the surface of the water. Male gouramis are larger than female gouramis and are also more bright in color. In the wild, most of the gouramis are found in soft and acidic water but nowadays most of the gouramis you will find commercially are residing in waters that have pH and alkalinity than their natural habitat. Overall gouramis are popular pets worldwide and they are liked by many fish aquarists.

Today we are going to talk about kissing gourami which is a very popular type of gourami. 

Description of Kissing Gourami

Kissing gourami is one of the popular types of gouramis. Their scientific name is Helostoma temminckii. They are beautiful and colorful fish. They are naturally silver-greenish in color. They have a lifespan of 7 years when they are in captivity. But they can live up to 25 years. They will live long if they are in the right conditions. But slightly negative differences in the water parameters can be harmful to them. They are called kissing gourami because their lips are shaped like they are kissing and sometimes they move their lips in such a way as if they are kissing. This is how they got their unique name “kissing gourami”

Their most unique feature is their mouth as their mouth protrudes forward. They also have joints in their jaw which helps the fish open its mouth wide enough to eat more food and nutrients. When kissing gourami is eating or fighting they will form their lips into a kissing shape. 

Kissing Gourami
Kissing Gourami

Size of Kissing Gourami

Kissing gouramis are 6 inches in length when they are in captivity and 12 inches when they are in the wild. 

Care requirements 

It’s not that hard to take care of a kissing gourami. If you fulfill their requirements and they are in a good environment then you won’t face any difficulty.

Let’s check out their care requirements step by step to know more about how to take care of kissing gouramis.

Tank size and tank requirements

If you met the tank requirements of any fish then your fish will stay healthy and happy in your tank. For kissing gourami, you should have a 50-gallon tank. But if you can keep them in a larger tank of 75 gallons then it’s best!! 

Benefits of having large tanks

  • A sufficient place for the fish to swim
  • Less aggression in the fishes
  • Less territorial fights
  • Your fish will live stress-free in your tank.

This is why it’s ideal to keep your kissing gourami in 75 gallons tank to give your fish a luxurious experience.

Kissing Gourami
Kissing Gourami

Ideal water parameters 

Water parameters also play an important role and it’s necessary to keep accurate water parameters for your pet fish. Kissing gouramis are hardy species so they won’t give you much tough time. They are also able to live in low-oxygenated environments because they have labyrinth organs. Due to this feature, they are able to breathe air from the surface of the water. 

You must follow these water parameters for your kissing gourami

Temperature 72°F to 82°F
Water hardness5 to 20 dGH
pH level6.8 to 8.5

In the native areas of kissing gourami, they live in slow-moving waters and ponds which are filled with plants and vegetation. So you must try to imitate their natural habitat in your tank. 

It’s very important to have plants and vegetation in the tank to reduce ammonia levels in the water. 

But be careful while choosing plants for them because kissing gourami are known for eating soft plants which are down to the stem. You can also add plastic plants to the tank to provide shelter for your fish. Also, your fish can hide in them when they feel unsafe.

Otherwise, you can add java moss, java fern, etc. but while adding plants to your tank make sure you are not filling the tank with so many plants that your fish finds it difficult to swim. Don’t overcrowd the tank with lots of decorations and plants. 

Now let’s talk about the substrate of the tank. For the substrate of the kissing gourami tank, you can use sand or large gravel. Fine sand is even better and safer. But one issue is that kissing gourami can easily ingest sand when they are eating food so to prevent this add big rocks or gravel which is chunky to stop your fish from accidentally ingesting sand. 

And lastly, the most important step is that leave some space for air. Don’t fill the tank with water till the top, leave some empty space for air. So kissing gourami can come on the surface and suck some air as I have told u above that they have labyrinth organs. 

Disease and parasites 

Kissing gouramis are prone to many diseases. Some of the diseases that are common in kissing gouramis are ich, a hole in the head, fungal issues, etc.

The hole-in-the-head disease can be really dangerous for them. If your kissing gourami is infected with this disease, you will observe tiny pits on the surface of their skin. Bacteria can enter through these holes and can attack your fish. So it’s important to consult a vet as soon as you observe any symptoms. 

Another disease that can occur in kissing gourami is parasitic algae. Kissing gouramis can get infected by parasites under their skin. This can weaken their immune system and they can get sick. 

How to avoid disease and parasites 

  • Keep the tank clean at all times
  • Feed your fish with a properly balanced diet
  • Take care of water parameters 
  • Tank setup should be up to fish requirements 

Even after taking all precautions, your kissing gourami can still get infected by the disease. So it’s better to consult a vet if you feel there is something wrong going on with your fish. 

Diet of kissing gourami

Kissing gouramis are omnivorous and they like to eat a lot. They also algae using their lips. Even though kissing gouramis likes to eat all the time but as their owner you must provide them with a proper balanced diet in order to take good care of them. You can feed them with dried flakes or pellets. You can also feed them with vegetables like blanched spinach, lettuce, and zucchini.

If you are feeding them vegetables make sure to boil or blanch hard vegetables before so your kissing gourami can easily digest them. Also cut the vegetables into tiny pieces so it’s easy for your fish to eat them. Hard or large pieces of veggies can stuck in your kissing gouramis throat, which you definitely don’t want.

Also, feed your kissing gourami with proteins. In proteins, you can feed them with live or frozen food. You can also feed them with brine shrimps or bloodworms as these items are rich in proteins and are good for your fish health. 

Kissing Gourami
Kissing Gourami

Are kissing gourami aggressive?

Gouramis are semi-aggressive species. They do become territorial and yes they also start fights. If you keep more than one male in the tank, then you are definitely going to see territorial aggression between them. 

Kissing gouramis will kiss each other to push the other fish. This is their way of fighting with each other. Constant fighting can raise their stress levels which is not good for the health of kissing gourami. 

Also, be careful if you are adding tiny fishes with kissing gourami as they can bully smaller fishes. Using their kiss-shaped lips they can push small fishes and bully them. 

Best tank mates for Kissing Gourami

Kissing gouramis are semi-aggressive fishes so you have to be careful while choosing their tank mates. There are some factors you need to consider while choosing your tank mates. Don’t add more than one male in a tank if you want to avoid territorial aggression. Don’t add tiny fishes with kissing gourami since the tiny fishes can get bullied. 

Also, avoid adding any other gourami type with kissing gourami as they also get aggressive when the see a fish similar to them. If you want more than one kissing gourami in your tank then add females instead of males. There should be only one male kissing gourami in the tank. 

Some good tank mates for kissing gouramis are

  • Angelfish
  • Yoyo loach
  • Archerfish
  • Tiny Cichlids
  • Angelfish
  • Chinese algae eaters
  • Tiger barb
  • Congo tetra
  • Swordtails
  • Rosy barb
  • Pictus catfish

These are some of the best tank mates that get along really well with kissing gouramis. 

Breeding of Kissing Gourami

It’s not that difficult to do breeding of kissing gourami as long as you have a controlled breeding environment for them.

To start the breeding process follow the steps mentioned below

  • Set up a separate tank for breeding
  • The temperature of the breeding tank should be kept higher to imitate the natural spawning season of kissing gourami. You can keep the temperature around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add your adult kissing gourami fish to the breeding tank
  • Feed them with live foods.
  • Kissing gouramis are basically egg scatterers and their eggs have a floating texture and due to this, they float to the surface of water. So for capturing them, you can place a big lettuce leaf on top of the surface of the water
  • This lettuce leaf will safeguard the eggs.
  • When the adult kissing gourami couple is ready to breed, they will do the mating session.
  • Female kissing gourami will turn over and lay her eggs
  • Now you can take the adult kissing gouramis out of the tank. This is very important because if you don’t remove them they will eat their own eggs.
  • The eggs will start hatching in a day.
  • Once the young fry are able to swim you can feed them with powdered foods or you can also give them newly hatched brine shrimps

This is the easy process of breeding and kissing gouramis. They don’t need any extra care, you just have to follow these steps to have a successful breeding process.


Kissing gourami is a fascinating and unique specie. Their kissing lips give them a unique appearance. They can serve as very good pets if you take good care of them. You just have to fulfill their requirements and they will stay healthy and longer in your tank

The Fascinating Kissing Gourami Full Overview
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