Aquarium Fish

Kissing Gourami

The Kissing Gourami gets its name from the way it will kiss other gouramis and other fish in your tank. They are not kissing but they are in fact acting aggressive and having a showdown. When they do this it means that one is trying to establish dominance over the other.

The Kissing Gourami can get quite large, often 10 - 12 inches in length. We do not recommend them for the beginner because of their potential adult size and because they can become very territorial in a community tank. They will often chase your other fish around the tank, especially after food has entered the aquarium. This behavior can get very annoying.

They are not picky eaters and will go after flakes, pellets, frozen, freeze dried and live foods.


Helostoma temmincki Kissing Gourami


Gourami Care

Scientific Name : Helostoma temmincki

Common Names : Kissing Fish, Pink Kissing Gourami

Care Level : Easy to Moderate

Size : Up to 12 inches (30 cm)

pH : 6 - 8

Temperature : 72°F - 82°F (22°C - 28°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 20° dH,

Lifespan : 5 - 7 years

Origin / Habitat : South East Asia

Temperament / Behavior : They can be territorial at times and will fight with their mouths. We've found that it is good to get a pair so that when they are feeling aggressive they will chase each other around instead of the other tropical fish.

Breeding : Very difficult to breed because they require large tanks.

Aquarium Size : 50 gallon or larger.

Tank Mates : Because of its potential adult size and because it can become territorial, use caution when selecting tank mates.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Foods : Will take many types of foods, including flakes, pellets, freeze dried and especially live foods.

Tank Region : Middle and Top

Gender : Can not be determined by external features.

References :

Fish Lore Forum : Kissing Gourami Forum

Forum Avatar :
Kissing Gourami

Gourami Tips

From: Dave
Wish I would have read this profile before getting mine. I got one of these and that has to be the most obnoxious fish I've ever had. I took him back to the store.

From: Lei
Ours is a lovely character. I have read on various websites that a lot of people do own peaceful kissing gouramies, although there are still many many people who own troublesome ones. Perhaps it is just chance, and the behaviour depends on the individual fish?
Thanks for the comment Lei. It could also be that the aggressive behavior may be lessened if you keep them in a larger tank. Putting them in too small an aquarium may lead to territorial problems with many fish.

From: Angela
I was given one by someone who had no idea what it was. It looked like a fish in her father's tank that had died while he was away and she was asked to look after the tank. I had never had fish and had no idea what I had. It took me a month to ID the fish. In the meantime, I got 12 tetras, 8 platys and 1 algae eater ( 75 gal tank) to keep it company. It gets along fine with everyone except the algae eater and I think that is because they both like the algae wafers I put in the tank to supplement the diet of the algae eater because there is very little algae in the tank and I think the other fish could use a little vegetation in their diets and they turn their noses up at the veg flakes. Maybe because it has lived with the other fishes since it was about the same size as the others, it doesn't try to bully anyone. The tetras live in their own world and the gourami interacts with the platies mostly or keeps to itself, but no terrorital problems at all.

From: Raye
I put a baby and an adult kissing fish together and the adult kept picking on the younger one so it never got to eat and ended up dying, but now I have a parrot fish, and they get along great together.

From: Joe
I bought two and they are housed in a 55 gallon community tank. They get along well with the other fish and when feeling aggressive, they kiss one another in a type of duel. Interesting fish.

From: Tom
I wish I would've known about this site before I bought mine. They are extremely obnoxious, and even though I have 2, they still pick on the other fish. I am not able to take them back, and they are affecting the health of the other fish, because of the 'kissing'. I'd be careful when buying these fish.

From: Paul
I put 2 kissing gourami in a tank together with other various fish including fighters, angels, tetras and swordtails and 1 of the kissers kept chasing the other and is now so quiet and still and not eating. I think it is going to die and do not have another tank so I cant remove it. When I first put the two fish in they looked happy swimming together but its now not the case after 3 days. Although he bullys the other kisser he doesn't seem to bother anything else.
This is a common experience when keeping multiples of this species in the same tank. Take one of them back to the store for a refund or store credit and do tell them about your experience so that they don't sell multiples to others that plan on keeping them in the same tank.

More Tips

Related Fish Profiles

Paradise Gourami
Macropodus opercularis
Paradise Fish
Considered one of the more aggressive gouramis. Be careful when choosing tank mates.
Pearl Gourami
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Male Pearl Gouramis may bicker with each other, but overall this is generally a good community fish.
Sparkling Gourami
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Sparkling Pygmy Gourami
A smaller gourami species with very nice colors.

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