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Maximum size : 30 cm

Pink Kissing Gourami - Helostoma temmincki : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temmincki) is a fascinating and charismatic species that captures the attention of any aquarist. Its unique behaviour of kissing other fish in the tank may seem loving, but it is actually an aggressive display of dominance. While not the ideal choice for beginner aquarists, these Gouramis have grown in popularity due to their hardiness and adaptability to a wide range of water conditions. However, they can be territorial and chase other fish around the tank, making them best kept in a species-only tank or with other mild-mannered fish. The Pink Kissing Gourami has a flattened lateral body and short dorsal and anal fins that run along the body. Their elongated and rounded pectoral fins are a distinguishing feature. There are two colour variants available, including a pinkish-silvery variety with speckles and natural ones that are green with brown fins and dark lateral stripes. One of the fascinating features of the Kissing Gourami is its labyrinth organ, which allows them to take in oxygen from the air. This unique organ enables the fish to survive in low oxygen conditions and is a remarkable adaptation for this species.

Pink Kissing Gourami Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Pink Kissing Gouramis is quite a daunting task due to their subtle sexual dimorphism. Males exhibit a more pronounced forehead than females, and their bodies are flatter from the sides. During the breeding season, males display a more vivid and deeper colouration, occasionally taking on a violet tint, while females typically have slightly elongated bodies.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHelostoma temmincki
Year Described1829
Other NamesKissing Fish, Kissing Gourami, Kissers
OriginsIndonesia Thailand Malaysia Cambodia Vietnam
Max Size30 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan5 - 7 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
72 - 82
22.2 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Kissing Gourami originates from the Indonesian island of Java and can also be found in Borneo, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. Although they are farmed as food fish in the southern Indochina region. The Kissing Gourami is commonly found in slow-moving waters, such as lakes, backwaters, marshes, ponds, and bogs, that are covered with dense vegetation. Their ability to thrive in these challenging environments is a testament to their adaptability and resilience. One of the most remarkable features of the Kissing Gourami is their unique behaviour. They are known for their affectionate behaviour towards other fish in their tank, often nuzzling and \"kissing\" their tankmates. This endearing behaviour has made them a favourite among fish enthusiasts and a joy to observe in any aquarium setting. Join us on a journey to explore the captivating world of the Kissing Gourami and discover the incredible beauty and diversity of this remarkable species. From their origins in Southeast Asia to their unique behaviour and adaptations, the Kissing Gourami is a true wonder of the natural world.

How to breed the Pink Kissing Gourami

To breed Kissing Gouramis, it is recommended to slightly raise the temperature by a few degrees and soften the water with reverse osmosis water or rainwater. Prior to breeding, the fish should be conditioned by feeding them live food, lettuce, and cucumber. Unlike other Gourami species, Kissing Gouramis do not build a bubble nest, making it more challenging to determine when they are ready to breed. Signs of readiness include plumping up in females and darker coloring in both males and females. Observing the fish \"kissing\" each other may also indicate that breeding is imminent. Once breeding occurs, the female will nudge the male in the stomach, and they will engage in a unique \"kissing\" behavior, with the male embracing the female and fertilising the eggs as she lays them. It is crucial to monitor the aquarium closely during this time and check for fertilized eggs amongst the floating plants. Typically, spawning occurs late evening or early night, with potentially thousands of eggs produced, which will stick to plants and other objects near the surface.

Diet & feeding

Kissing Gouramis are herbivores and have rows of delicate teeth in their mouth that they use to nibble on vegetable matter and algae. It is highly recommended to provide them with freshly cooked vegetables like zucchini, peas or romaine lettuce to maintain their optimal health. However, caution should be exercised while providing fresh vegetables, as uneaten bits can quickly contaminate the water. To keep these fish healthy and happy, they should be offered plenty of spirulina-based food, and their diet should be supplemented with a variety of protein-rich foods, including granules, flakes, frozen, freeze-dried, and small live foods such as brine shrimp or Tubifex.

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