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Maximum size : 10 cm

Thick Lipped Gourami - Trichogaster labiosa : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Thick Lipped Gourami (Trichogaster labiosa) embodies peaceful and timid qualities while demonstrating commendable hardiness, rendering it an ideal choice for beginner aquarists seeking an attractive addition to their community aquarium. Keeping these Gouramis in pairs or groups of five or more individuals is recommended. Suitable tankmates for the Thick Lipped Gourami include peaceful Cyprinids such as Rasboras, Danios, and smaller, gentle Barbs. Tetras and Rainbowfish can also coexist harmoniously. Smaller Loaches like the Kuhli Loach, Corydoras Catfish, and Otocinclus make excellent companions. However, it is prudent to avoid housing them with significantly larger, more boisterous species or fish notorious for fin-nipping tendencies, such as Tiger Barbs and Clown Barbs. Additionally, larger and more aggressive fish, including Cichlids, should be excluded from their tank mates. Ensuring they are not kept with closely related species like banded or giant Gouramis is crucial to prevent interbreeding.

Creating an optimal aquarium setup for Thick Lipped Gouramis involves a well-planted environment that offers ample hiding places for these fish to seek refuge if they feel threatened. In addition, utilising a dark substrate and implementing a gentle current further enhances their habitat. Although adaptable to various water parameters, these Gouramis exhibit their most vibrant colours when housed in an aquarium with softer water conditions.

The Thick Lipped Gourami boasts a compressed body structure complemented by relatively large, rounded fins. The male exhibits a beautiful rusty orangy brown body colouration accentuated by bold turquoise bands running vertically from the back of the head, gradually solidifying towards the fish's rear. The fins of the male Gourami also exhibit turquoise hues with striking red or orange edges. These colours become more pronounced during breeding conditions. In contrast, the females exhibit an olive-brown colouration with subdued or absent blue bars. Notably, two colour morphs exist, namely the Golden and Red Robin varieties, each showcasing unique and captivating hues.

Thick Lipped Gourami Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Thick Lipped Gouramis is a straightforward process. Males exhibit notable differences in size, colouration, and fin morphology compared to females. Generally, males are larger and boast a more vibrant colouration, enhancing their visual allure. Their distinctiveness is further accentuated by oblique, slender red and blue stripes adorning their flanks. Additionally, males possess pointed dorsal and anal fins, contributing to their overall striking appearance.

Conversely, females exhibit contrasting characteristics. They are typically smaller in size and exhibit a considerably duller colouration compared to their male counterparts. The fins of females are rounded in shape, further distinguishing them from males. These discernible variations in size, colouration, and fin structure facilitate the differentiation between male and female Thick Lipped Gouramis.

Featured Male
Featured Female
Male Female

Quick Facts

Scientific NameTrichogaster labiosa
Year Described1877
Other NamesThicklip Gourami, Sunset Gourami, Sunset Thicklip Gourami, Orange Thicklip Gourami, Golden Thicklip Gourami
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
ReproductionBubble nest
LifespanUp to 7 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 15
72 - 82
22 - 27

Natural Habitat

Enigmatic and captivating, the Thick Lipped Goramis originate from the mystical waterways of Myanmar, nestled within the enchanting landscapes of Southeast Asia. Their natural habitat encompasses the graceful currents of the Irrawaddy, Sittang, and the Great Tenasserim Rivers. These resilient fish thrive in the tranquillity of slow-moving waters, where a symphony of life unfolds in rivers, ponds, irrigation channels, and vibrant rice fields.

Within their aquatic domains, Thick Lipped Goramis seek refuge amidst the lush embrace of weedy areas, where aquatic plants flourish in abundance. These captivating fish find solace amidst a tapestry of aquatic vegetation and floating foliage, creating a picturesque scene of tranquillity. It is within these serene and verdant landscapes that the Thick Lipped Goramis reveal their natural grace and adaptability to their captivating surroundings.


Breeding Thick Lipped Gouramis is considered relatively straightforward, albeit requiring a separate breeding tank. Like most Gourami species, Thick Lipped Gouramis engage in bubble nest-building behaviour. To encourage spawning, providing ample surface area, abundant vegetation, and maintaining suitable temperature conditions is essential. Preparing for breeding entails separating the pair for a couple of weeks beforehand. During this period, the Gouramis should be nourished with frequent feedings of live and frozen food.

Once the female displays a plump appearance, indicating the development of eggs, the breeding tank should feature relatively shallow water and a temperature between 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. While adding a small air-powered sponge filter or peat filtration is optional, minimising the tank's current is advisable. Adequate floating plants or plants with long roots must be available to create a suitable environment, and ensuring the tank is securely covered maintains warm and humid air, protecting the labyrinth organ of the Gouramis.

Introducing the female to the breeding tank a couple of days prior to the male's introduction is recommended. The male will initiate the process by constructing a large nest, typically covering half of the aquarium. It is important to note that the nest is delicate, and the male typically avoids incorporating vegetation, opting to construct it beneath a leaf if available. Subsequently, a courtship display ensues, with the male showcasing fin flare and caudal fin elevation to entice the female.

Upon successful courtship, the female releases her eggs while the male promptly fertilises them. The male diligently collects the eggs in his mouth, depositing them into the bubble nest. The pair will continue this spawning process until approximately 500 eggs are produced. Once all eggs have been laid, removing the female from the tank is crucial, as the male vigorously guards the nest and eggs. He will diligently tend to the nest, providing care and protection until the eggs hatch.

Typically, the eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours, depending on temperature conditions. Subsequently, the fry will become free-swimming approximately two to three days later. At this stage, it is prudent to remove the male to prevent him from consuming the emerging fry. In addition, nourishing the fry with infusoria or liquid fry food is recommended until they reach a size suitable for accepting baby brine shrimp and microworms as their diet.

Diet & feeding

Thick Lipped Gouramis exhibit a largely accommodating nature when it comes to their dietary preferences, readily accepting a variety of food options. While they display a particular affinity for small live and frozen fare, including bloodworms, white worms, and daphnia, it is crucial to maintain a well-rounded and balanced diet. Therefore, incorporating high-quality dried foods such as flakes, pellets, or granules serves as a suitable staple, supplemented with live, frozen, or freeze-dried offerings.

To further enhance their dietary variety, Thick Lipped Gouramis derive benefits from the inclusion of fresh vegetables and vegetable-based tablets, such as spirulina wafers. A feeding regimen of once or twice a day is recommended to meet their nutritional requirements effectively. By ensuring a diverse diet that encompasses a range of food types, these Gouramis can thrive and maintain optimal health.

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