Helostoma temminckii



    One of the widely available aquarium fish, the kissing gourami has been around for many years. Although often sold as a community fish they can be quite aggressive and get very large they should not be kept with smaller fish.

Quick stats:

Size: Up to 12 inches (20 -30 cm)
Tank: 55 gallons for young.
Strata: Middle, top
pH: 6.0– 8.0
Hardness: Soft to hard, dH range: 5 – 19
Temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22°-28° C)


Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Anabantoidei
Family: Helostomatidae
Genera: Helostoma
Species: Temminckii

Common name:


Kissing Gourami 

    , Pink Kisser, Green kissing gourami


Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra


General Body Form:Generally oval in shape when looked at from the side. From the front it appears very thin and compressed. In younger fish the forehead area is dimpled. Perhaps best known for the thick lips, these are protruded when the fish is grazing algae. The so called kissing behavior is not affection but a form of challenge, probably related to reproduction. The dorsal and anal fins start at the front of the body and go back to the start of the tail fin. The tail fin is somewhat concave in shape.

Coloration:The Basic background color of the the Pink kisser is a pale pink. There are no other distinguishing color variations that can easily be seen. The Pink kisser is just a variety of the Green Kissing gourami. The green kissers’ basic ground coloration is a shinny green interlaced with dark reddish horizontal stripes. Two short up and down bars run across the gill covers. In well maintained specimens there is a dark bar that runs from the tail fin along the dorsal and anal fins soft rays that forms a border to the fish. Looks like a picture frame. The fins themselves are a pale green to gray in color.

Maintenance:Kissing gouramis need to be kept large aquariums, I would say a 55 gallon minimum. They should be densely planted to mimic their home waters. You can use Java fern and Java moss as well as some floating plants. Artificial plants are better, as the kissers are basically vegetarian in nature and will consider your live plants food. The use of driftwood and rockwork will be beneficial as these tend to promote an area for algae growth, one of the kissers favorite foods. The kissing gourami accepts a wide range of easily available foods, including small live foods, Tubifex worms, earthworms,and brine shrimp. They also will accept flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods. Supplement with vegetable matter in the form of Spirulina-based foods. You can also add romaine lettuce, zucchini or peas as a treat.
Water conditions are not overly critical and they will adapt to most aquariums, what does seem to matter is temperature and they do best when this is not allowed to drop below 75°f.

Biotope:Mostly still, murky and heavily vegatated waterways of Southeast Asia


    Not much is known of the sexing or breeding of the kissing fish. It has been said that the female is plumper than the male. Because of the sexing difficulty it is best to purchase a group of at least six young and let them choose their mates. Unlike other members of the Anabantoidei family they do not construct a bubble nest. They are open water breeders and can lay large amounts of eggs ( 1000+ ) They float to the surface and some add a lettuce leaf for the eggs to adhere to. You should remove the parents after spawning. The eggs hatch in a couple of days and should be fed the smallest of live foods.


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