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Maximum size : 70 cm

Giant Gourami - Osphronemus goramy : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) is a robust fish species that can thrive in various water conditions. These fish are relatively easy to maintain, and their dynamic nature, coupled with their insatiable appetite, make them a joy to keep. However, their large size means they require an ample-sized aquarium, making them an excellent option for experienced aquarists with extensive tanks and robust filtration systems to manage their high bioload.

These fish prefer large and non-aggressive tank mates and possess charming personalities that set them apart from many other fish species. Giant Gouramis can be kept singly, in pairs, or groups, provided the sufficient room is available. However, males are territorial and will engage in tussles with one another, becoming aggressive during the breeding season.

The Giant Gourami has a sideways compressed body with an oval-shaped form and a blunt head. Juveniles have flat, pointed heads, but as they mature, they develop a nuchal hump, a swollen knob on the forehead, thick lips, and chin. Their golden yellow bodies and fins display 8 to 10 dark bars that range from silvery-grey to bluish-black, giving them a unique striped appearance. As they age, their colouration fades, and they take on a plain brownish-black or overall pinkish to white hue.

Providing areas for these fish to hide, such as bogwood and rock structures, is recommended. Additionally, planting along the sides and back of the aquarium can benefit these Gouramis by creating a more natural environment, although they are prone to eating vegatation.

Overall, the Giant Gourami is a fascinating and rewarding species to keep for those who are up for the challenge of providing the right conditions for their well-being.

Giant Gourami Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Identifying the sex of Giant Gouramis can be achieved with relative ease, following a few distinctive physical traits. Male specimens tend to display elongated and pointed anal and dorsal fins, in conjunction with a more pronounced nuchal hump on the forehead. On the other hand, female Giant Gouramis exhibit rounded anal and dorsal fins and possess a more substantial lip structure when juxtaposed with the males. This dichotomy in physical characteristics assists in the reliable differentiation between sexes within this species.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameOsphronemus goramy
Year Described1801
Other NamesCommon Gourami, True Gourami
Max Size70 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asPairs
LifespanUp to 20 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH5 - 25
68 - 86
20 - 30

Natural Habitat

The captivating Giant Gourami, a majestic fish species, is endemic to Southeast Asia. Its natural geographical range spans across diverse regions, including Java, Borneo, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Indo-China, and Thailand.

This remarkable fish thrives in a wide array of environments. Lowland swamps, expansive rivers, marshes, lakes, and slow-moving canals are all familiar habitats for the Giant Gourami. In the wet season, these adaptable creatures are known to inhabit flooded forests, demonstrating their resilience and versatility.

The habitats of the Giant Gourami are characteristically lush with vegetation. This abundance of plant life provides both shelter and nourishment, contributing to the overall well-being of these enthralling creatures. The combination of serene waters and rich greenery encapsulates the natural habitat of the Giant Gourami, making it a truly awe-inspiring sight.


The Giant Gouramis, akin to several Gourami species, exhibit bubble-nesting behaviour. Breeding these fish is relatively facile, although challenging to carry out in a domestic aquarium owing to the need for a substantial breeding tank. Sexual maturity for these Gouramis is achieved around six months of age.

In their natural habitat, males construct an oval-shaped nest using twigs and plants, securing it to reed stems just below the water surface. These nests vary in size and have a circular entrance where the water is most profound. Typically built during April and May, these nests require approximately 8 to 10 days to construct.

Following spawning, the male releases up to 3,000 eggs, lighter than water, and floats to the top. The male then gathers and places them within the nest.

Incubation of the eggs typically lasts around 40 hours, after which the male guards and defends the offspring for approximately 14 days post-spawn.

Diet & feeding

The Giant Gourami, being an omnivorous species, will readily accept a wide range of food offerings. Nevertheless, to ensure their optimal health, it is crucial to provide them with a daily diet comprising high-quality flakes and pellets.

In addition to their staple diet, incorporating live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms into their feeding regimen from time to time can be beneficial. These protein-rich foods contribute to a balanced diet, promoting the overall health and vitality of the fish.

While these fish may also show interest in consuming cooked meat, bread, boiled potatoes, and other vegetables, it is important to remember that such offerings should only be occasional treats. The digestive system of the Giant Gourami is not adept at processing these types of foods efficiently. Hence, moderation is key when introducing these non-traditional foods into their diet.


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