Pink Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temmincki) Species Profile & Care Guide
This species of Gourami is known as the Kissing Gourami because of the way they kiss each other as well as other fish in your tank. They are not kissing, but they are acting aggressive and having a confrontation. When this happens, it means that one is trying to confirm dominance over the other.
This Gourami is not recommended for the beginner aquarist because of how big they can get at the adult size and because they can become very territorial in a community tank. They will frequently chase your other fish around the tank, especially after food has entered the aquarium. This behaviour can get very irritating. However, their distinctive mouths draw people in, who then fall in love with their personalities. They are growing more popular in the hobby as an alternative to the Dwarf Gourami as these are relatively hardy and can adapt to a vast range of water parameters.
Their body is flattened laterally, and they have short dorsal and anal fins that run along the body, from the back of the head to the tail fin. The pectoral fins are more rounded and more elongate.
You will usually find them in two different colour variations. One has pinky, silvery colouration with speckles whereas the natural individuals are the green variety, with brown fins and dark lateral stripes along their body.
They have a labyrinth organ, which they use to take in oxygen from the air. This organ is useful as it allows the fish to survive in extreme conditions when oxygen in the water gets to low.
|Scientific Name||Helostoma temmincki|
|Other Names||Kissing Fish, Kissing Gourami, Kissers|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||5 - 7 years|
|Temperature||72 - 82 ℉ (22.2 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 8.0|
|GH||5 - 20|
Natural Habitat of the Pink Kissing Gourami
These fish originate from the Indonesian island of Java and can also be found in Borneo, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. It is usually farmed in the southern Indochina region as a food fish. These fish inhabit slow-moving waters in lakes, backwaters, marshes, ponds and bogs covered with dense vegetation.
Other Gouramis of interest
Kissing gouramis have rows of fine teeth inside their mouth which are used for grazing on vegetable matter and algae. You should regularly provide them with freshly cooked zucchini peas or romaine lettuce to keep your fish in optimal well-being. Don't forget to take care when providing fresh vegetables, as uneaten pieces will quickly pollute the water.
This species should be provided with plenty of spirulina-based foods, and they also accept a variety of protein-rich foods, including, granules flakes, frozen, freeze-dried, and small live foods, such as brine shrimp or Tubifex etc.
Breeding the Pink Kissing Gourami
When the Kissing Gouramis are ready to breed slightly raise the temperature by a few degrees and soften the water with reverse osmosis water or rainwater. Kissing gouramis should be conditioned before breeding by feeding them with live food, lettuce and cucumber.
The kissing Gourami does not build a bubble nest. So it takes experience to know when the fish are ready to breed.
Keep a close eye on any fish that starts to plump up this will be a female. The male and female will get slightly darker when they are ready to mate. Another way to tell is if you see any of the fish kissing each other, this could be a sign that they are engrossed in one another. When these signs happen, watch the aquarium every evening and night, and you may be lucky enough to catch them breeding. It is also advisable to check early morning each day for any indications of eggs or fry amongst the floating plants.
When breeding occurs, the female will nudge the male in the stomach. Then the male and female will kiss on the lips and the sides of the body then the male will embrace the female by curving his body around her and squeezing.
The male will end up under the female as she lays her eggs, and he will fertilise them. They will produce groups of fertilised eggs until they are fatigued. Spawning ordinarily occurs late evening or early night. There may be thousands of eggs produced, which float up and stick to plants and other objects near the surface.