Kissing Gourami Care 101: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a unique and interesting addition to your aquarium, a Kissing Gourami might be just the fish for you. These fish are known for their distinctive behavior and appearance, and they can make great pets for experienced and novice aquarists alike. In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know to care for Kissing Gouramis, from their diet and habitat to their behavior and health concerns.

Kissing Gouramis require a large aquarium with good filtration and hiding places. They are peaceful and should be kept in pairs or small groups. They feed on high-quality flakes and pellets, and their diet can be supplemented with frozen and live foods. Regular water changes and maintenance are essential for their health.

When I first got my Kissing Gourami, I was fascinated by its unique look and behavior. These fish are named for their habit of “kissing” each other, where they press their mouths together and seem to be locking lips. They also have a distinctive shape, with a round body and long, flowing fins. However, I quickly learned that these fish require specific care to thrive in captivity. In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned about Kissing Gourami care, so you can provide the best possible home for your fish.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just starting out, Kissing Gouramis can be a rewarding and fascinating addition to your aquarium. However, they do require some specific care to stay healthy and happy. In this article, I’ll cover the basics of Kissing Gourami care, including their diet, habitat, and behavior. I’ll also share some tips for keeping your fish healthy and avoiding common health problems. By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to know to care for your Kissing Gourami like a pro.

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Species Summary

As an aquarium enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the Kissing Gourami. These fish are known for their unique behavior and appearance.

In this section, I will provide a brief overview of the Kissing Gourami, including its origin, lifespan, appearance, size, growth rate, behavior and temperament, and male vs. female differences.


The Kissing Gourami, also known as Helostoma temminckii, is native to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These fish are found in slow-moving rivers, streams, and swamps with dense vegetation.


The Kissing Gourami has a relatively long lifespan, with an average of 10-15 years in captivity. However, with proper care and a healthy environment, they can live up to 20 years.


The Kissing Gourami is a unique-looking fish with a distinctive mouth shape. Their lips are thick and fleshy, and they have a protruding mouth that resembles a pucker.

They have a silver-gray body with a black stripe that runs horizontally along their body. Their fins are long and flowing, adding to their graceful appearance.


Kissing Gouramis can grow up to 12 inches in length, making them one of the largest gourami species. However, they typically reach a size of 8-10 inches in captivity.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of Kissing Gouramis can vary depending on their environment and diet. With a healthy diet and optimal living conditions, they can grow up to an inch per month during their first year of life.

Behavior & Temperament

Kissing Gouramis are peaceful and social fish that enjoy the company of their own species. They are active swimmers and love to explore their environment.

These fish are known for their unique behavior of “kissing” each other, which is actually a display of aggression or dominance. However, this behavior is harmless and is not a cause for concern.

Male vs Female

Male Kissing Gouramis have a more pointed anal fin, while females have a rounder anal fin. Additionally, males tend to have brighter colors and more defined stripes than females.

Overall, the Kissing Gourami is a fascinating and entertaining fish to keep in your aquarium. With proper care and attention, they can live a long and healthy life, providing endless enjoyment for their owners.

Personally, I have always been captivated by the unique appearance and behavior of Kissing Gouramis. I remember the first time I saw them in an aquarium, and I was immediately drawn to their graceful movements and distinctive mouths.

Since then, I have kept several Kissing Gouramis in my own aquarium and have enjoyed watching their playful interactions and social behavior.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When it comes to Kissing Gourami care, tank size is an important factor to consider. I recommend a minimum tank size of 30 gallons for a single Kissing Gourami.

If you plan to keep a group of Kissing Gouramis, you will need a larger tank. A 55-gallon tank is suitable for a group of 4-5 Kissing Gouramis.


Lighting is important for the health of your Kissing Gourami. I recommend using a full-spectrum light that mimics natural sunlight.

This will help promote plant growth and enhance the colors of your fish. You should aim for 10-12 hours of light per day.

Filtration & Aeration

Filtration and aeration are crucial for maintaining a healthy environment for your Kissing Gourami.

I recommend using a hang-on-back filter or a canister filter with a flow rate of 5-10 times the tank volume per hour. You should also use an air pump and air stone to provide additional aeration.


Kissing Gouramis are tropical fish and require a consistent water temperature of 75-82°F. I recommend using a submersible heater with a thermostat to maintain a stable water temperature.


The substrate in your Kissing Gourami tank should be fine-grained sand or gravel. Avoid using sharp or rough substrates that can harm your fish.

I recommend a depth of 2-3 inches of substrate to allow for plant growth and to provide a natural environment for your fish.


Kissing Gouramis enjoy having hiding places in their tank. You can add decorations such as caves, driftwood, and rocks to provide hiding places for your fish.

Just make sure the decorations are safe for your fish and won’t harm them.


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Live plants are beneficial for your Kissing Gourami tank as they help maintain water quality and provide a natural environment for your fish.

I recommend using plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword. These plants are easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of water conditions.

Water Quality

As a proud owner of Kissing Gouramis, I know how important it is to maintain a healthy environment for them to thrive in.

Water quality is a crucial factor in ensuring their well-being. Here’s what you need to know:

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Kissing Gouramis is between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C).

Any temperature outside this range can cause stress and health problems for your fish. I personally use a heater to maintain a consistent temperature in my aquarium.

Water pH

Kissing Gouramis prefer a neutral to slightly acidic pH level between 6.5 to 7.5. A pH level outside this range can be harmful to your fish.

I use a pH testing kit to monitor the pH level and adjust it if necessary.

Water Hardness

Kissing Gouramis prefer moderately hard water with a range of 10 to 15°dH. Soft water can cause health problems for your fish, while hard water can lead to mineral buildup.

I use a water hardness testing kit to ensure the water is within the ideal range.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential to maintain the water quality in your aquarium.

I change 25% of the water every two weeks to remove any excess waste and maintain the ideal water parameters for my Kissing Gouramis.

In conclusion, maintaining the water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of your Kissing Gouramis.

By monitoring the water temperature, pH level, water hardness, and performing regular water changes, you can provide a healthy and happy environment for your fish to thrive in.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your Kissing Gourami healthy and happy requires regular maintenance of their tank. I’ve found that dedicating a few minutes each week to cleaning and upkeep can make a big difference in the long run.

The first step is to test the water quality regularly. Kissing Gouramis are sensitive to changes in water chemistry, so it’s important to make sure the pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels are within the appropriate range. I use a water testing kit to check these levels and adjust them as needed.

Next, I perform partial water changes every two weeks.

This involves removing about 20-30% of the water from the tank and replacing it with fresh, dechlorinated water. This helps to remove any buildup of waste and debris in the tank.

I also clean the tank’s filter every month to ensure it’s working properly. This involves removing the filter media and rinsing it in tank water to remove any debris that has accumulated. I also check the impeller and tubing for any blockages or damage.

To keep the tank looking its best, I use an algae scraper to remove any algae buildup on the glass and decorations.

I also wipe down the outside of the tank with a damp cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints.

Finally, I make sure to inspect the tank for any signs of damage or wear. This includes checking the seams for leaks, inspecting the heater for any cracks, and ensuring the lid is secure.

Catching any issues early can prevent larger problems down the line.

Test water qualityWeekly
Partial water changeEvery two weeks
Clean filterMonthly
Remove algae buildupAs needed
Inspect tank for damageMonthly

Overall, tank maintenance is an essential part of Kissing Gourami care. By taking the time to regularly clean and upkeep the tank, you can ensure your fish stay healthy and happy for years to come.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

I have found that Kissing Gouramis are generally peaceful fish and can be kept with a variety of other species as long as they are not too aggressive or territorial. Some compatible fish species include:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Corydoras catfish

These fish are all relatively small and peaceful, and they can coexist peacefully in the same tank as Kissing Gouramis.

Incompatible Fish Species

While Kissing Gouramis can be kept with a variety of other species, there are some fish that are not compatible with them. These include:

  • Aggressive cichlids
  • Tiger barbs
  • Red-tailed sharks
  • Siamese fighting fish (Betta fish)

These fish are all known to be aggressive and territorial, and they may attack or harass Kissing Gouramis if they are kept in the same tank.

How many kissing gouramis should be kept together?

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When it comes to keeping Kissing Gouramis together, it’s important to remember that they can be territorial with each other, especially during breeding season.

I have found that it’s best to keep them in groups of three or more, as this can help to diffuse any aggression or territorial behavior.

However, it’s important to make sure that your tank is large enough to accommodate multiple Kissing Gouramis.

As a general rule, you should have at least 20 gallons of water per Kissing Gourami.

Personally, I keep five Kissing Gouramis in a 75-gallon tank, and they seem to get along well with each other and with the other fish in the tank.

Overall, if you choose your tank mates carefully and provide plenty of space and hiding places, Kissing Gouramis can be a great addition to a community aquarium.


Feeding your Kissing Gourami the right diet is crucial for their health and happiness.

In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about their diet, including what to feed them, how often, and some tips to keep in mind.

What To Feed

When it comes to feeding your Kissing Gourami, a varied diet is key. I like to feed mine a mix of flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods. Some good options include:

  • Flakes or pellets specifically designed for omnivorous fish
  • Frozen or live brine shrimp
  • Frozen or live bloodworms
  • Frozen or live daphnia

It’s important to avoid overfeeding your fish, as this can lead to health problems. Be sure to only give them what they can eat in a few minutes, and remove any uneaten food from the tank.


How often you feed your Kissing Gourami will depend on their age and size. As a general rule, adult fish should be fed once or twice a day, while younger fish may need to be fed more often.

I like to feed my fish once in the morning and once in the evening, but you can adjust the frequency to suit your fish’s needs.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when feeding your Kissing Gourami:

  • Rotate the types of food you feed them to ensure a varied diet
  • Consider using a feeding ring to keep the food in one place and prevent it from spreading throughout the tank
  • Don’t feed your fish for a day or two each week to give their digestive system a break

Overall, feeding your Kissing Gourami a healthy and varied diet is crucial for their health and happiness. By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your fish are getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

Personally, I love watching my Kissing Gourami eat. They have such unique personalities and watching them swim around the tank and gobble up their food is always a highlight of my day.

By taking the time to feed them the right diet, I know that I’m doing my part to keep them healthy and happy.

Common Diseases

As much as we love our Kissing Gouramis, they are not immune to diseases. It’s important to know the common diseases that affect them, their symptoms, treatment, and prevention measures.


Some of the common diseases that affect Kissing Gouramis include:

  • Ich: This is a parasitic infection that causes white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and gills.
  • Fin Rot: This bacterial infection affects the fins, causing them to fray, rot, and fall off.
  • Mouth Fungus: This is a fungal infection that affects the mouth and lips, causing white patches and sores.


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The symptoms of these diseases may vary, but some of the common signs to look out for include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty swimming or staying upright
  • Abnormal swimming behavior
  • Visible signs of infection or injury


If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately. The treatment for these diseases may involve:

  • Isolating the affected fish to prevent the spread of the disease
  • Administering medication, such as antibiotics, antifungal, or anti-parasitic agents
  • Adjusting the water parameters and temperature to promote healing


Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures you can take to prevent diseases from affecting your Kissing Gouramis:

  • Keep the aquarium clean and well-maintained
  • Monitor the water parameters regularly
  • Quarantine new fish before introducing them to the main tank
  • Feed your fish a balanced and nutritious diet

Personally, I’ve had to deal with Fin Rot in my Kissing Gouramis before. It was heartbreaking to see their fins deteriorate, but with prompt action and medication, they were able to recover fully. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you notice any signs of illness in your fish.

Signs of a Healthy Kissing Gourami

As an avid fish enthusiast, I have learned that one of the most important things to look for when caring for Kissing Gouramis is their overall health. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Active and Alert: A healthy Kissing Gourami will be active and alert, swimming around and exploring their environment. If you notice your fish is lethargic or not moving much, it could be a sign of illness or poor water conditions.
  2. Bright Colors: Kissing Gouramis are known for their vibrant colors, and a healthy fish will have bright and bold hues. If you notice your fish is dull or discolored, it could be a sign of stress or disease.
  3. Clean Fins and Scales: A healthy Kissing Gourami will have clean and smooth fins and scales. If you notice any frayed fins or white spots on the body, it could be a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection.
  4. Healthy Appetite: A healthy fish will have a healthy appetite and eagerly eat their food. If you notice your fish is not eating or has a decreased appetite, it could be a sign of illness or poor water conditions.
  5. Clear Eyes: A healthy Kissing Gourami will have clear and bright eyes. If you notice any cloudiness or discoloration in the eyes, it could be a sign of infection or disease.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can ensure that your Kissing Gourami is healthy and happy in their home aquarium. Remember to regularly test water parameters and maintain a clean and healthy environment for your fish to thrive in.

Signs Your Kissing Gourami is Sick

If you’re a Kissing Gourami owner, it’s important to keep an eye on your fish’s health. Here are some signs that your Kissing Gourami may be sick:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your fish is not eating, it may be a sign of illness.
  2. Erratic swimming: If your fish is swimming erratically, it may be a sign of a swim bladder problem or other illness.
  3. Visible sores or growths: If you notice any unusual growths or sores on your fish, it may be a sign of a bacterial or fungal infection.
  4. Changes in color: If your fish’s color changes dramatically or becomes dull, it may be a sign of illness.

I once had a Kissing Gourami that stopped eating and became lethargic. I immediately noticed that something was wrong and took it to a vet.

The vet diagnosed my fish with a bacterial infection and prescribed medication. After a few weeks of treatment, my fish made a full recovery.

If you notice any of these signs in your Kissing Gourami, it’s important to take action quickly. A sick fish can deteriorate rapidly, and early intervention can make a big difference in your fish’s health and wellbeing.


Breeding Setup

Before breeding Kissing Gouramis, there are a few things to consider when setting up their breeding environment.

I recommend using a separate breeding tank, as it will be easier to control the water conditions and monitor the breeding process.

The breeding tank should have a neutral pH level and a temperature between 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding a breeding cone or a flat surface for the fish to lay their eggs on is also recommended.

How To Breed

When it comes to breeding Kissing Gouramis, there are a few steps to follow. First, introduce a male and a female into the breeding tank.

Once they have established their territory, they will begin to court each other by swimming together and nipping at each other’s fins.

Eventually, the female will lay her eggs on the breeding cone or flat surface, and the male will fertilize them. After the eggs have been fertilized, remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.


After the eggs have been laid, it is important to take proper care of them to ensure they hatch successfully. The eggs will hatch within 24-48 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming within 3-4 days.

At this point, you can begin feeding them small amounts of baby brine shrimp or powdered fish food. It is important to keep the water in the breeding tank clean and well-oxygenated to prevent any health issues for the fry.

As the fry grow, you can gradually increase the amount and frequency of their feedings.

When I bred my Kissing Gouramis, I found that patience was key. It took a few attempts before they successfully laid eggs, but once they did, it was a rewarding experience to watch the fry grow and develop.

With proper care and attention, breeding Kissing Gouramis can be a fun and exciting process.

Product recommendations for Kissing Gourami:

  1. Hikari Cichlid Gold – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Kissing Gourami. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Water Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Kissing Gourami and other fish.
  4. Hikari Micro Pellets – These small pellets are perfect for Kissing Gourami, as they are easy to digest and contain a balanced mix of protein, fat, and fiber.
  5. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  6. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  7. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Kissing Gourami healthy.
  8. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Kissing Gourami. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  9. Marina LED Aquarium Kit – This is another great aquarium kit that is perfect for Kissing Gourami. It includes a filter, heater, and LED lighting, and is easy to set up and maintain.


Overall, taking care of Kissing Gouramis can be a rewarding experience for any fish enthusiast. With proper care and attention, these beautiful creatures can live for up to 10 years and provide endless entertainment and joy.

From my personal experience, I have found that Kissing Gouramis are very social and enjoy the company of other fish in their tank. They are also very curious and love to explore their surroundings. To keep them happy and healthy, it is important to provide them with a well-maintained tank, a balanced diet, and a comfortable environment.

Remember to monitor the water parameters regularly and do frequent water changes to prevent any health issues. Also, make sure to provide plenty of hiding places and plants for them to feel secure and comfortable in their new home.

In conclusion, Kissing Gourami care requires some effort and attention, but the rewards are well worth it. With proper care, these fish can thrive and bring joy to your life for many years to come.


As someone who has kept Kissing Gouramis for a while, I have encountered several questions about their care. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: How big do Kissing Gouramis get?

A: Kissing Gouramis can grow up to 12 inches in length. However, they usually only reach about 6-8 inches in captivity.

Q: What is the best tank size for Kissing Gouramis?

A: Kissing Gouramis need a minimum of a 50-gallon tank. However, it is best to provide them with as much space as possible. They are social fish and will appreciate having plenty of room to swim around.

Q: Can Kissing Gouramis live with other fish?

A: Yes, Kissing Gouramis can live with other peaceful fish that are similar in size. They may become aggressive towards smaller fish or those with long fins.

Q: What should I feed my Kissing Gouramis?

A: Kissing Gouramis are omnivores and will eat both plant and animal matter. A balanced diet of flake or pellet food along with occasional live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms is recommended.

Q: How often should I do water changes for my Kissing Gouramis?

A: It is recommended to do a 25% water change every two weeks. However, this can vary depending on the size of your tank and the number of fish you have.

Overall, Kissing Gouramis are relatively easy to care for as long as their basic needs are met. With proper care, they can live for up to 10 years or more!

Personal Anecdote: I remember when I first got my Kissing Gouramis, I was worried about their compatibility with my other fish. However, after doing some research and observing their behavior, I found that they were a great addition to my community tank. They are such fascinating fish to watch and I am so glad I decided to add them to my aquarium.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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