Kissing Gourami
(Helostoma Temminckii)
Alternate Names:
Kissing Fish
Pink Kisser

Kissing Gourami

(Helostoma Temminckii)

Size: Can grow to 12 inches

Temp Range: 72°F to 82°F

pH Level: 6.8 to 8.5

Lifespan: 8 to 20 years

Tank Size: 75 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen, Live

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Geographic History

This fish ranges from Thailand to Indonesia. They live in still, murky waters that are filled with aquatic plants.


You should keep slow moving water with good filtration. Scatter large rocks over the substrate and plant your aquarium with tough aquatic plants. You will need a large, spacious tank. These guys are sold as little fish and rapidly grow to several inches.


These are generally peaceful fish, but they will eat smaller fish that will fit into their mouths. Males will be aggressive toward each other and other species of Gourami. They are best kept with similar sized fish in in small groups of one male to several females. Do not keep with large Cichlids.


There are no external differences that are readily observed on these fish. The female adults may have a more plump appearance when carrying eggs.


Although Kissing Gourami are a generally peaceful fish, the males will try to establish dominance over their own kind and other Gourami species. They do this by displaying the teeth on the outside of their lips in a kissing fashion. This kissing can hurt fish of other species if they turn their flank to show submission. Other Kissing Gourami will usually push back with thier kissing display, in a mouth to mouth fashion, and no damage will be done.

These fish will swim at all levels of the aquarium during the daytime and sleep on the bottom at night. They have a labyrinth organ and will surface many times a day to breath air.

Be sure that you have tough plants if your aquarium is planted. These guys like to nibble on plants and graze the bottom for algae. They will also eat the protective slime off of large slow moving fish, so take care to only keep them with species that can swim away quickly.


Kissing Gourami are open water breeders and need a very large tank to spawn. Place floating plants or lettuce in the aquarium before breeding.

When spawning, the females lay over 1000 eggs that float to the top of the aquarium and stick in the leaves of plants. Remove the adults after spawning because they will eat all the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in a couple of days and the fry will swim soon after. Feed the fry baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food. Leaving the breeding lettuce in the tank may allow bacteria to grow that the fry will eat.

Keep excellent water quality until the fry become juveniles by doing daily 10% water changes. Also be sure to keep the water level in the aquarium fairly close to the hood so that a layer of moist air will be maintained. The fry will need this for their labyrinth organs to develop properly.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Kissing Gourami page.

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PetSmart - Fish