The Kissing Gourami is a unique freshwater fish that is known for its friendly behavior and distinct appearance. It is also called the kisser, the kissing fish, pink kissing gourami, or green kisser, but the scientific name is Helostoma temminkii. This fish species is native to Southeast Asia and can be found in a variety of habitats, including rivers, lakes, and ponds. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the Kissing Gourami, including its size and appearance, region, behavior, diet, and how to keep them at home.
The Kissing Gourami is a relatively large fish species that can grow up to 30 cm (12 inches) in length. They have a unique appearance with a long, slender body and a protruding mouth that looks like a pair of lips, giving them their famous “kissing” nickname. They also exhibit kissing behaviour but that’s more likely a harmless dominance / territorial play between two males. There are three different color variations, olive-green/silver, pink and a mottled/piebald color version. The natural color found in nature is the green color.
The Kissing Gourami is native to Southeast Asia, originated from the Indonesian island of Java and is also found in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. They are often found in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and ponds, and they prefer areas with plenty of vegetation and hiding spots. They are specially bred for the hobby in Florida, Thailand and Singapore.
Kissing Gouramis are known for their friendly and peaceful behavior, making them a popular choice for community aquariums. They are active swimmers and are often seen swimming near the surface of the water. They are also known to make clicking noises, which is a form of communication with other fish. Kissing Gouramis are generally not aggressive towards other fish, but they may become territorial during breeding season. That is why at times you see the males ‘kissing’ when scientist think it’s a harmless territorial dispute among juveniles. As the fish ages this behavior decreases as well as mating desire.
The Kissing Gourami is an omnivorous fish that feeds on a variety of foods, including algae, aquatic plants, insects, and small crustaceans. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of commercial fish food, frozen or live food such as bloodworms and brine shrimp, and vegetable matter such as lettuce and spinach. Give them plenty of spirulina-based foods as well as vegetables whenever possible but do not overfeed as leftovers can diminish the water quality.
Reproduction & life span
Banggai cardinalfish are one of the easiest fish to breed within the saltwater hobby and they are mouthbrooders, with the males carrying the eggs in their mouth until they hatch. During the breeding season, the male fish will fertilize the eggs and then carry them in his mouth for approximately 20 to 30 days until they hatch. The female fish may lay up to 100 eggs at a time. In captivity, the Banggai cardinalfish can live up to 5-10 years with proper care and nutrition.
The spawning procedure of Kissing Gouramis can be quite spectacular to see. It begins with the fish circling each other, evolving into a dance-like sequence. Then they will beat their tails quite intensely. The male will wrap his body around the female, turning her upside down and the female will release hundreds of eggs which are fertilized by the male. These eggs will float to the surface and attach to plants. Plants can act as a nutritional source for the fry as they can eat the infusoria that grows on the vegetation. Sometimes the parent fish can eat the eggs, so better to remove the parental fish or the eggs from the main tank into a separate tank. The eggs will hatch in one day and a couple of days later the fry can be seen swimming freely.
Keeping Kissing Gouramis at home
Kissing Gouramis are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful fish species. They prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and open swimming areas. The aquarium should be kept at a temperature between 24-28 °C (75-82 °F) with a pH level between 6.5-7.5. House a pair of Kissing Gouramis in an aquarium of at least 200 liters (53 gallons) as they can grow quite big, and they should be provided with a strong filter and regular water changes to maintain good water quality.
The Kissing Gourami is a unique and friendly fish species that is popular among aquarists. They have a distinct appearance with a long, slender body and protruding mouth, giving them their famous nickname. They are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and ponds. Kissing Gouramis are omnivorous and can be fed a variety of foods, including commercial fish food, frozen or live food, and vegetable matter. They are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful fish species.
|Scientific name||Helostoma temminkii|
|Type of aquarium||Community aquarium|
|Size||Up to 30 cm / 12 inches|
|Region||Native to Southeast Asia, found in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and ponds|
|Ideal tank size||At least 200 liters / 53 gallons for a pair of adult fish|
|Ideal water temperature||24 – 28 °C / 75 – 82 °F|
|pH||6.5 – 7.5|
|Diet||Omnivorous, feeding on algae, aquatic plants, insects, and small crustaceans. Can be fed a diet of commercial fish food, frozen or live food, and vegetable matter.|
|Reproduction||Sexual, with males and females displaying courtship behaviors. They lay adhesive eggs on surfaces, and the male guards and fans the eggs until they hatch.|
|Life span||Can live up to 10 years in captivity, but cases of 20+ years have been reported|
|Schooling||Can be kept in schools or pairs|