Max Size: 10cm

Thick Lipped Gourami (Trichogaster labiosa)

Thick Lipped Gouramis are peaceful, timid and relatively hardy, making them perfect for a beginner aquarist and an attractive addition to a community aquarium. You can keep these Gouramis in pairs or a group of 5 or more individuals.

Good tankmates for the Thick Lipped Gourami could include peaceful Cyprinids such as Rasboras, Danios, and some of the smaller gentle Barbs, so can Tetras and Rainbowfish. Smaller Loaches like the Kuhli Loach, Corydoras Catfish and Otocinclus will also make excellent tankmates. However, it would be better to avoid much larger, more boisterous species or fish that are notorious for fin nippings, such as Tiger Barbs and Clown Barbs. Larger, more aggressive fish like Cichlids would also be best avoided. Make sure you do not keep these Gouramis with the closely-related banded or giant Gouramis, as these can hybridise freely.

The best aquarium setup for the Thick Lipped Gourami would be one that is well planted, so these fish have somewhere to hide if they feel threatened in any way with a dark substrate and a gentle current. Even though these fish will adapt to most water parameters, these Gouramis will display their best colours in an aquarium with softer water.

Thick Lipped Gouramis have compressed bodies and relatively large and rounded fins. The male Thick Lipped Gourami has a rusty orangy brown body colour that is accentuated by bold turquoise bands that run vertically, starting from the back of the head and developing more solid towards the rear of the fish. The fins of this fish are also turquoise with red or orange edges. The colours become brighter when they are in breeding conditions. The females are an olive-brown colour with very dull to non-existent blue bars. These Gouramis have two colour morphs, the Golden and the Red Robin variety.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameTrichogaster labiosa
Year Described1877
Other NamesThicklip Gourami, Sunset Gourami, Sunset Thicklip Gourami, Orange Thicklip Gourami, Golden Thicklip Gourami
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespan4 - 7 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 15
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Thick Lipped Gourami

Thick Lipped Gourami
Thick Lipped Gourami

Natural Habitat

Thick Lipped Goramis are endemic to the Irrawaddy, Sittang, and the Great Tenasserim Rivers in Myanmar in Southeast Asia. These fish inhabit slow-moving waters in rivers, ponds, irrigation channels, and rice fields, usually with weedy areas and tons of aquatic plants and floating vegetation.

What to feed the Thick Lipped Gourami

Thick Lipped Gouramis are largely unfussy and will accept most foods offered; however, these fish are particularly fond of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, white worms and daphnia. However, to keep their diet balanced, use good quality dried foods such as flakes, pellets or granules as the staple and supplement that with live, frozen or freeze-dried foods. These fish will also appreciate fresh vegetables as well as vegetable tablets, such as spirulina wafers. It would be best to feed your Goramis once or twice a day.

How to sex the Thick Lipped Gourami

It is simple to differentiate between the male and female Thick Lipped Gourami. The males are generally larger and more colourful than females and are also marked with oblique thin red and blue stripes along their flanks and have pointed dorsal and anal fins. In contrast, the females are smaller, are much duller in colour and have rounded fins.

How to breed the Thick Lipped Gourami

Thick Lipped Gouramis are one of the most straightforward species of Gourami to breed; however, they will require a separate breeding tank. Like most Gouramis, they are a bubble nest builder, and a pair will most likely spawn if there is plenty of surface area, a decent amount of plants, and the temperature is to their liking.

It is recommended that you separate the pair for a couple of weeks before spawning. Then, you will need to condition them with plenty of live and frozen food several times a day. Once they have been well-fed, the females should begin filling out with eggs, appearing very chubby.

The water in the breeding tank will need to be relatively shallow and the temperature between 80 - 84 degrees Fahrenheit. It's unnecessary, but you can add a small air-powered sponge filter or some peat filtration; however, the current in the tank should be minimal. The Gouramis will need plenty of floating plants or plants with long roots, and make sure you cover the tank well to keep the air above the water warm and humid to help stop harm to the labyrinth organ.

It would be best to introduce the female to the breeding tank a couple of days before the male. First, the male will build a big nest covering half of the aquarium. However, the nest is fragile, and the male will not use vegetation in it but will construct it under a leaf if available. Then once the nest has been created, the male will start a courtship display to encourage the female to spawn. He will then swim around, flaring his fins and raising his caudal fin until the female lets him wrap his body around hers. At the same time, the female releases her eggs and the male will immediately fertilise them. Finally, the male will pick the eggs up in his mouth and place them in his bubble nest.

The pair will then spawn again until roughly 500 eggs are produced. You will need to remove the female once all eggs have been laid because the male will fiercely guard the nest and eggs. He will continue to tend to the nest and guard the eggs until they hatch.

The eggs will usually hatch somewhere between 24 and 36 hours, depending on the temperature. Then two to three days after that, the fry will become free-swimming. You should then remove the male, or he may eat the babies emerging from the nest.

It would be best to feed the fry with infusoria or a liquid fry food until they are large enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworm.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Congo Ctenopoma(Ctenopoma congicum)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
View all Gouramis
Date Added: 22/03/2022 09:20:27 - Updated: 23/03/2022 09:27:15