Kissing Gourami is an ornamental fish that is popular for its habit of ‘kissing’. Scientifically named as Helostoma temminckii, the fish gained its common name from its kissing habit. In fact, the fish’s act is not kissing, but a fight for dominance between two male fish.
Kissing gourami grows more than 30 cm under natural circumstances, but not normally grows more than 14-15 cm when kept in aquariums. The fish is green or greenish grey in colour, but the most popular variety nowadays is pink.
Kissing gourami is very tolerant towards other types of fishes in the aquarium and can be grown even in small sized tanks. The pH value of water should be between 6.5 and 7.5. The fish is able to breathe coming up to the surface of water.
Breeding of kissing gourami is not very difficult. The beginners can easily identify the male and female fish. Adult female fish have bulged belly. Side fin and tail fin of male fish have pointed edges. Unlike other varieties of gourami fish, kissing gourami do not make bubble nests.
Put the healthy male and female fish in a breeding tank for breeding. The female fish lay about 30-50 eggs which will float in the water. It is ideal to separate the parent fish after laying eggs. Also the eggs can be transferred to another tank using syphons.
Kissing gourami can be fed with artificial fish feed. But it is necessary to include algae and other plants in its diet to maintain its health. The fish seems to die when deprived of plant based feed.
Paving stones and pebbles in the aquarium are good for boosting growth of algae. The hatchlings of the fish can be fed with infusoria and later artemia larvae.