The Aquarium Guide

Kissing Gourami Care And Breeding Guide

Waters of the sea are home to some of the most amazing creatures. The kissing gourami is one unique wonder worth keeping in a home aquarium. With extended lips as though waiting for a hearty kiss, this fish can be an interesting addition to the home tank.

Gouramis belong to the family of Osphronemidae. It consists of more than 95 fish species and at least 15 genera. They are native to Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and parts of India.

Appearance of Kissing Gourami

kissing gourami care

They exhibit some of the most amazing features. Unlike most fish with simple lips, the kissing gourami has outwardly pointed lips. It is not unusual to find their lips locked together in a strange pose. This is perhaps one of the reasons people find these fish exciting and a must tank addition. It is from this strange phenomenon that they got their name.

The kisser fish, as it is commonly known, comes in three main colors. The most distinct one is silver green. Some are pink while others are of the mottled variety.

Pink is not as common as green. It is said that as the fish lives, it loses its pigmentation. This pink kisser fish is often bred in an aquarium because hobbyists love its color.

Green is the most common color. Bordering the anal and dorsal fins is a dark bar. Due to the distinct color difference between green and pink, some people think they belong to different species yet this is not the case.

The mottled kisser is less popular than the other two, however, there are hobbyists who only look for it and want nothing less. Other noticeable features of the fish include:

Tank Specifications

The kissing gourami is a wide swimmer. A wide space is therefore ideal for its happiness. The following requirements are necessary:

Moderate water movement is required as it gives them opportunity to lock their lips during their lip-locking ritual. They also gulp lots of water to keep sufficient oxygen supply. Lots of water movement can stress the gouramis too. For these three major reasons, ensure the movement of water is just right. Typically, kissing gouramis swim in all parts of the aquarium but prefer to be at the top or middle of the tank. They are unlikely to interfere with the rocks and gravel at the bottom of the tank

Plants are naturally the gourami’s favorite meal and should be included in the tank. Plenty of algae must also be added as most fish do well with their presence. In fact, fish colors are best highlighted when there is plenty of algae in the tank. Not to forget is Java Moss as it normally floats on water. The gouramis often appreciate plant cover. Good news is, they hardly ever eat the moss. Leave a tiny gap between the cover-slide and water surface to give the fish opportunity to take in atmospheric air


They are herbivores that appreciate a plant diet. They love algae more and suck the rocks for these. Kissing Gourami may also be fed on frozen and dried flakes. Tubifex, bloodworms and brine shrimp are another specialty.

They have an affinity for live worms, earthworms and glassworms. Cooked peas, lettuce as well as zucchini can be offered too. Always remember to offer just enough feeds. In case there are some leftovers, they ought to be removed as the tank may have a foul smell.


kissing gourami

In a home tank, breeding kissing gourami may be hectic. For one, differentiating the males and females is not an easy feat. However, when the female is full of eggs, it becomes more round and huge.

Unlike most other fish, the kisser fish does not build a bubble nest. Instead, it lays its eggs under a leaf, sometimes even scattering them in the pond. To be successful in breeding them, one could try the following:

Other Fun Facts

People often think the kissing fiasco is some show of love or affection. This is hardly the case. The ritual is normally a show of might. They are aggressive fish and may not tolerate other species, especially if their tank mates are smaller in size. The kissing gouramis are hardy and rarely fall ill if the tank conditions are just right. The kissing gourami is an interesting fish to keep in the tank. After knowing how to keep it healthy, there is no reason not to add it to the tank.

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