Genus name: Helostoma Temmincki
Also known as: Kissing Fish
Distribution: Southeast Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo
Length: up to 12″ (30cm)
Minimum Tank Length: 36″ (90cm)
Water Temperature: 75-83F (24-28C)
Diet: Worms, crustaceans, insects, dried food, plant matter
Water: not critical
Breeding: Egg Layers
The Kissing Gourami is so named because of its habit of pouting its thick fleshy lips in a ‘kissing’ action. It is believed that Kissing Gourami do this as a form of sparring, particularly between males, but they do not usually hurt one another.
The Kissing Gourami has a slightly concave forehead, particularly in young individuals, and they are usually an olive-green colour, although there is a golden colour variety available as well.
In the wild, Kissing Gourami will grow up to 12″ (30cm) long, but in a home aquarium they are unlikely to be any bigger than 4″ (10cm).
The Kissing Gourami is mainly vegetarian, and it is best kept in an aquarium with plenty of plants, but preferably those with tough leaves, otherwise they will not last long.
Although Kissing Gourami can be kept in a community aquarium, it is best not to put them in with much smaller fish, as they can be aggressive.
Although it is almost impossible to distinguish between the male and female Kissing Gouramis, once they reach maturity at age three or four, they may well breed. Spawning will take place at dusk or during the night, after a period of stormy courtship.
The eggs of the Kissing Gourami are lighter than the water, so they tend to rise to the surface, often sticking to plants on the way up. The eggs hatch after about fifty hours, and are free swimming after four to five days. The adult Kissing Gourami do not care for their young in any way.