Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) Species Profile & Care Guide
Giant Gouramis are a hardy fish that can handle a variety of water conditions, are easy to keep and are very active with a voracious appetite. However, because of their adult size, they will require a large aquarium. They make an excellent choice for an experienced aquarist with a huge tank and a strong filter, to handle the bioload these fish produce.
These Gouramis need to have large and relatively non-aggressive tank mates. They are worth the time and energy required to keep them as they have great personalities that are not seen in many fish.
You can keep these Gouramis singly or in pairs and groups are possible if you have a large enough aquarium. Males are territorial and will wrestle amongst themselves, and become aggressive when breeding.
The Giant Gourami is sideways compressed with a deep oval-shaped body and a blunt head. As juveniles, their heads are flat and pointed, but as they mature, they acquire a nuchal hump which is a swollen lump or knob on the forehead, along with a thick chin and thick lips.
Juveniles have a golden yellow body with yellow fins and display 8 to 10 dark bars. The bars vary from a silvery-grey to bluish-black, giving them a striped appearance. However, their colour fades as they develop and they become rather dull and plain, usually with a brownish-black or even an overall pinkish to white colouration.
The Giant Gourami likes to have areas to hide in which can be provided with bogwood and a few rock structures. Providing plants along the sides and back of the aquarium also benefit these Gouramis.
|Scientific Name||Osphronemus goramy|
|Other Names||Common Gourami, True Gourami|
|Aquarium Level||All Levels|
|Difficulty||Intermediate - Advanced|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 20 years|
|Temperature||68 - 86 ℉ (20 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 8.0|
|GH||5 - 25|
Natural Habitat of the Giant Gourami
The Giant Gourami is endemic to Java, Borneo, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Indo-China and Thailand in Southeast Asia. They inhabit lowland medium to extensive swamps, rivers, marshes, lakes and canals with stagnant water that flows sluggishly as well as flooded forests during the wet season. Their habitats are usually heavily vegetated.
Other Gouramis of interest
Giant Gouramis will readily accept most foods offered; however, to keep the right balance, you should offer them high-quality flakes and pellets daily. It would also be beneficial if you provided them with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or blood worm occasionally.
Besides regular fish foods, they will happily eat cooked meat, bread, boiled potatoes and other vegetables but only offer these on an odd occasion as they are not able to properly digest these foods.
Breeding the Giant Gourami
Like many Gouramis, the Giant Gouramis is a bubble nester. Breeding these fish is relatively easy but challenging to perform in the home aquarium as they require a large breeding tank.
These Gouramis reach sexual maturity at around six months old. In the wild males will build an oval-shaped nest out of twigs and plants anchoring it to reed stems just below the surface of the water. These nests vary in size and usually have a circular entrance where the water is most profound. These nests are typically built in April and May, and usually takes 8 to 10 days to construct.
After spawning anything up to 3,000 eggs will be released. These eggs are lighter than the water so will float to the top where the male will assemble them and place them in the nest.
The eggs hatch will usually hatch in around 40 hours, and the male will guard and protect the offspring for about 14 days after the spawn.