7 Kissing Gourami Care Tips & Species profile (Kissing Fish)

The Kissing Fish, commonly referred to as kissing gouramis or kisser fish are tropical freshwater medium-sized fish, comprising of the monotypic labyrinth fish; from the Helostomatidae family.

The species of each have their unique charm, however, Kissing Gouramis are truly unique.

Their mouths that are distinctive attract people’s attention, and people later fall in love with their individuality. They are increasingly popular in comparison to the dwarf gourami.

They may have aggressive tendencies, but they can be easily controlled in the event that their environment is properly designed.

There’s a lot to be learned before you keep your personal Kissing Gourami. Continue reading to discover all you’ll be aware of…

Kissing Gourami Facts & Overview

Care Level:Intermediate
Colour:Green or pink
Kissing Fish Lifespan:5-7 years
Size:12 inches or more 12 inches
OriginThailand, Vietnam, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Cambodia, Malay Peninsula, and maybe in the eastern region of Myanmar
Minimum Tank Size:50 gallons
Tank Setup:Freshwater Heavy planted
Tank LevelTop to mid-dweller
BreedingEgg scatterer
pH6 to 8
Hardness5 to 20 dGH
Compatibility:Community of similar-sized fish
Temperature72 to 82 F (22 to 27 C)
Kissing Gourami PriceMinimum $5 Per Item

The Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminckii) is the sole species in the Helostomatidae family. There is a variety of gourami, however, the majority are members of the Osphronemidae family.

The other name is Pink Kissing Gourami, Kissing Fish or Kissers, Kissing Gouramis are a popular choice for many fish keepers.

They are indigenous in Southeast Asia, originating from Thailand and Indonesia.

They possesswhat’s known as a labyrinth organ, which is utilized to draw in oxygen in the air. It’s an important capability to possess as it allows them to live even in the harshest conditions, where oxygen levels in the water become low.

A majority of pet stores carry Gourami fish. Dwarf Gouramis are the most commonly sold; you may need to browse through several stores before finding Kissing Gourami.

Each fish will cost around $5 per fish and can remain in the water for 5-7 years in an aquarium that is healthy. Don’t be shocked if they last longer. Some have been reported to be 25 years old!

Typical Behaviour

The name of this species comes because fish can be observed “kissing” in the water. Although this might sound romantic, it’s not the case. This is actually an act that is a form of fighting over territory generally between males.

Fighting will decrease as they get older and identify their mating areas.

Sometimes, the aggression may be directed at tank mates. They are able to be kept in a community that is only comprised of similarly size fish. They may ram into the side of the other fish, which takes off the slime coat.

If this is the case, it is best to separate the fish.

The idea of aggression may be off-putting however aggressive outbursts are not common. They are usually slow-moving between the upper and middle levels within the tanks.

You may be able to see your Kissing Gouramis head towards the surface to get oxygen when the water is bad.

What is the price of kissing fish?

Most of the pet stores that fix the price of kissing fish for sale are listed below:

QuantityBulk Purchase Pricing
12 – 23$9.49 Per Fish
24 – 35$8.99 Per Fish
36 – 49$8.49 Per Fish
50 -99$7.99 Per Fish
100 or more$5 Per Fish


The first thing you’ll observe regarding Kissing Gourami is their distinctive mouth. This mouth protrudes towards the outside of the body and is exclusive to the Gourami species that they are.

Their jawis joined by added jointswhich can increase the angle at which their mouths can open, which makes greater food accessibility for them.

Lips appear pouted as if they’re waiting to kiss, which helps in their name. Each is adorned with tiny teeth.

Their bodies have a similar shape as the majority of Gourami. The lateral side is flattened and both genders can grow as high as 12 inches when fully mature (though they’re usually less large in captivity).

They have small dorsal and anal fins that are found along the body from the top of the head down to that of the tail fin. The pectoral fins are larger and have more rounds.

Most often, you will see them in two shades: pinkish and silver-green. A few can be speckled as well as piebald. Natural species are green They have brown fins, and dark lateral stripes across their bodies.

A variety that has been mutated is being bred specifically for the aquarium industry. It is round and short. Although some prefer this type of fish, it is less durable and is not able to last as long.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

The fish are found in those tropical freshwaters in Southeast Asia. They prefer slow-moving waters with dense vegetation Ponds and marshes are the best for them.

The oxygen levels in these habitats could be lower than in rivers that have fast flow. Kissing Gourami can survive this by breathing through their labyrinth organ.

The water is warm and has a relatively neutral pH however, the marine creatures are hardy and are able to withstand different environments. They thrive in areas that receive plenty of sunshine, however, the abundance of vegetation can make the water shaded.

Tank Setup

Choose a soft substrate that will coat the bottom of the tank. fine-grained sands are the best. Sometimes, your Kissing Gourami will scratch into the substrate looking for food, and rough gravel can scratch the surface.

Then, you’ll need to choose and plant some plants.

Plant some densely-planted areas but allow some swimming areas to be open. Don’t block the surface as well, since Fish will take a break to breathe every now and again.

The plants need to be fast-growing and sturdy, otherwise, they’ll be unable to stand up to the nibbling by the Kissing Gourami. Java Fern and Hornwort are the two most durable examples.

This species is found in tropical waters. Therefore, you should heat your water between 72 and 82 degrees F. Its pH is required to be 6-8 and the hardness should be 5-20 dGH.

A heater and a filter are the only two pieces of equipment that you will require.Standard aquarium light is adequate and they do not like powerful currents, which is why you do not require an air pump or water pump.

What Size Aquarium Do They Need?

The minimum size of the tank for a couple of mating with Kissing Gourami is 50 gallons.

After the initial 50 gallons for a pair, you can add another 30 to 40 gallons per additional fish.

Kissing Fish Tank Mates

Which fish can live with kissing fish? Kissing Gourami or Kissing Fish could be a wonderful option for the community aquarium if their tank companions are picked appropriately.

Kissing Fishtank companions must be able to handle the semi-aggressive nature.

Different species of Gourami are not good tank companions because Kissing Gourami is aggressive towards fish that resemble them.

The best choice is hardy or similar-sized fish.

A few good choices are Yoyo Loaches, Clown Loaches, Neon Tetra, Chinese Algae Eaters, Tiger Barbs, Congo Tetra, Archerfish, Swordtails, Rosy Barbs, Angelfish, Pictus, and Catfish.

Avoid species that are small (like Tetras) because they cannot defend themselves, and they are easily eaten.

If you see any signs of bullying fish, you must remove the fish.

It is bestto stay clear of invertebratesbecause they are susceptible to them being consumed.

Keeping Kissing Gourami Together

Being able to keep these fish in a group can be difficult since they are aggressive towards the fish that resemble them.

A couple of males and one female could be kept together, with some quarrels. Larger groups can be maintained however it’s riskier and requires a larger tank.

Can Kissing Fish Live With Goldfish?

No, it’s not an ideal idea. Kissing fish or kissing gouramis (Helostoma temmikii) are not appropriate for an aquarium with goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus). The water parameters the fish species require are not compatible for them to be able to coexist.


Omnivores such as these are the most straightforward species of fish you can feed. They are able to eat both meat and plants, so everything you add to the tank is sure to be gobbled up.

Wild plants comprise a substantial part of their food. Their tiny lips assist in rasp algae off of rocks and breaking down larger vegetation. They also have the ability to consume insects should the chance arise. They also possess gill rakers that filter the water that flows over the gills, allowing themto consume plankton.

It is possible to add green vegetables (zucchini as well as lettuce and spinach) inside the tank in order to fulfill their requirement for plants matter.

Frozen and live foods are the most effective way to reproduce the insects and plankton that are part of nature’s diet. You can utilize brine shrimps, daphnia, or bloodworms.

Dried food items (flakes as well as pellets) can also be utilized for feeding time. They have fewer nutrients than live food, however, they’re generally more efficient.

If you decide to use dried food, you can make sure to supplement them with live or frozen foods and other vegetables to ensure you and your Kissing Gourami get all the nutrition they require. Foods that contain carotenoids aid in helpingkeep their hue.

Be mindful not to feed them. Once or twice per day give them food that they can easily finish in two minutes.


Care to these species is similar to taking care of all other fish in the aquarium, and especially other Gourami.

Every species requires an environment that is clean and healthy for them to thrive. If you keep your tank clean frequently, you are less likely to encounter problems like algae blooms and diseases.

Be sure to keep consistent water conditions since sudden changes in water can endanger your fish or make them much higher prone to illness.

Ideally, the temperature of the room is not too different from the temperature of the water. If there’s a huge variation the Kissing Gourami could damage their labyrinth organ when breathing from the air.

If this isn’t feasible, you can put the lid of your tank to keep some warm air that is above the level of your water.

The right diet to choose is another important element to Kissing Gourami care. If their diet isn’t diverse and doesn’t contain various nutrients, their immune system is weak.

If everything that has been mentioned has been put into place and the disease is not cured, it is unlikely since this is an extremely hardy species. It is sometimes inevitable however, there are a few more common ones to keep an eye on.

Hole in the head disease(HITH) causes small, flaky holes in the head of a fish that is infected. The holes grow larger over time and provide an entry point for other pathogens.

Possible causes are unclear, however, moving the fish into an alternative tank that does not have activated carbon can lead to an improvement.

Ich (white spots) can be described as an ectoparasite that manifests as white spots on the body. Other signs include a decrease in appetite and cloudy eyes. Remove the affected fish immediately after you detect the signs of infection.

Cleaning new fish and removing second-hand tools are two of the most effective methods to stop pathogens from getting into your aquarium.

How Do Kissing Gouramis Mate?

When you want to create a breeding couple of Kissing Gourami, you must first prepare them. You can do this by feeding them high-quality food which is rich in nutrients. This is by increasing the amount of live food that they consume.

It is also essential to make sure that you have the ideal conditions inside your tank. It has to be clean and should be located at the higher part of their preferred temperatures (80-82degF).

If they are ready to be mates when they are ready to be mates, the couple will begin circling one another.The behavior will get more intenseuntil they’re kicking each other’s tails, and then kissing.

For species that are not typically found in the family, Kissing Gouramis do not form abubble nest when spawning.

Males will wrap their body around the female, then turn her upside down after which she will release eggs that will be fertilized through the male. There may have been thousands of kissing fish eggs released.

Remove the parents after the eggs have reached the surface. The fry is expected to hatch after one day. They’ll be too small for adult food, so feed them infusoria and baby brine shrimp or crushed food until they reach maturity.

Are Kissing Gourami Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Kissing Gouramis are a fascinating species that showcases certain unique behaviors.

We’ve discussed their aggression and ways to manage it, but the majority of the time they’re tranquil. If you pick the correct kissing fish tank companions, it will not cause any problems for them at all.

These can be hardy and even novices can manage if they’ve done their homework.

Rare diseases and are able to tolerate a variety of ailments.

Kissing Gouramis can be a wonderful addition to the community aquarium and can broaden the display activities.

Are you keeping Kissing Gourami in a community aquarium? Tell us about the tank you have set up in the comments in the section below…


What does it mean when kissing fish kiss?

Like many ornamental fishes, kissing fish also have a sense of territoriality. If there are more fish within the aquarium, kissing fish recognize the problem.

Since the kissing fish doesn’t have any fighting ability and is not a popular tool is the jagged mouth.

If they kiss, it is a sign that they’re fighting against one another. Additionally being a weapon of war, kissing with a jagged mouth weapon is only designed for the same kind of fish that is kissing. Kissing is a method of testing their endurance. The first one to open its lips fails in this battle. Therefore, the duration of kissing should not be too long.

How can you tell if a kissing fish is male or female?

Kissing Fish (Male Gouramis) tend to be a little smaller than females, and have a slimmer overall girth. Females have a round belly, whereas males have a more rounded. But that frontal (top) fins are the main distinct distinction that is visible between females and males.

Why do fishermen kiss the fish?

Fish kissing is a long-standing custom. Folks believe the fishermen should kiss their fish in order to express their regrets for the catch at all and to accelerate the healing process for the wound caused by the hook.

Although the roots are somewhat shady, the concept is believed to be based on respect for fish and the belief that kissing a fish will bring luck to you and others believe it is an ‘adieu kiss’.

Can you get sick from kissing a fish?

If you kiss a huge fish, you could contract an uncomfortable intestinal parasite.

Giardiasis is a diarrheal illness. The cause is an microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia duodenalis (or Giardia lamblia).

If a pet or a person is infected by Giardia, the parasite is found within the intestine and can be transmitted through feces.

Since the outer shell helps protect the parasite, it is able to be able to survive outside the body as well as in the surrounding environment for extended durations usually for months or even a full year or more.


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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