Giant Red Tail Gourami (Osphronemus laticlavius) Species Profile & Care Guide
Giant Red Tail Gourami are usually peaceful, but there can be exceptions to this rule, mainly when they are kept in an inadequately sized aquarium. In rare situations, a large male will become territorial and attack other fish, making them unsuitable for the beginner aquarist. Still, in an appropriately sized tank, they are generally a good community fish with other larger species.
When juveniles are raised with smaller fish such as barbs, tetras, and danios, they don’t consider them as dinner and usually ignore them. However, as they grow into adults, they control the tank and any new additions, regardless of size, will more than likely be killed.
Giant Red Tail Gourami are very large and have a sideways tight, deep, oval-shaped body, and a short head. The bodies of Juveniles are a steely blueish-grey to black that develop beautiful blue-green highlights as the fish mature.
Adults have a blueish-green almost black body colour the dorsal and anal fins are slightly elongated, and the pectoral fins are rounded and extensive as is the tail and the ventral fins are threadlike.
At the base of the pectoral fins, you will see what looks like a black eyespot. Another larger black eyespot appears on the caudal peduncle. The fins are decorated in bright red, and they have filamentous extensions and a hump on their forehead.
|Scientific Name||Osphronemus laticlavius|
|Other Names||Giant Red Finned Gourami, Red Flag Giant Gourami, Crimson Tail Gourami,|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 25 years|
|Temperature||68 - 86 ℉ (20 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 8.0|
|GH||5 - 25|
Natural Habitat of the Giant Red Tail Gourami
The Giant Red Tail Gouramis are native to the island of Borneo in Indonesia and from the Kinabatangan and Segama river basins in Sabah in East Malaysia in Southeast Asia.
They inhabit heavily vegetated putrid waters of marshlands, swamps and sluggish moving canals. They are also found in slow-moving lakes, rivers and flooded forests during the rainy seasons.
Like other gouramis, they possess a unique labyrinth organ that enables them to survive in oxygen-depleted waters.
Other Gouramis of interest
In the home aquarium, the Giant Red Tail Gouramis are not picky eaters and will eat almost any food if encouraged to do so as juveniles. It would be best if you fed this species of Gourami a balanced diet heavy on vegetable material. Besides flakes and pellets, they will gladly accept live, frozen or freeze-dried worms, brine shrimp, fish, bloodworms, lettuce, algae wafers, boiled potatoes, peas and suchlike. Feed them once or twice daily.
Breeding the Giant Red Tail Gourami
The Giant Red Tail Gouramis build spherical shaped bubble nests out of bits of vegetable matter below the surface of the water and anchors it to the subsurface grass or reeds.
The male takes around 7 to 10 days to build the nest usually during April and May at which time the spawning will take place.
Up to 3,000 eggs are fertilized and released into the nest. When hatched both the eggs and the fry are lighter than water and will float to the top of the bubble nest. If any of the eggs start to sink, the male will gather them up with his mouth and put them into the nest where they will be watched over and protected until they hatch.
Approximately 40 hours after spawning the eggs will hatch, and 15 days after that the fry will become free-swimming.
Unfortunately, breeding Giant Red Tail Gourami in an aquarium environment has not yet been reported. However, they probably breed comparably to their cousin the Giant Gourami.