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Labyrinth Fish / Osphronemidae / Giant Gourami

Common Gourami, Giant Gourami, Gourami, True Gourami
Osphronemus goramy


Common Gourami, Giant Gourami, Gourami, True Gourami [ ]
Synonyms: Osphronemus gourami, O. gourami, O. olfax, O. notatus
Physical description: A large, laterally compressed fish with an oval-shaped body. Young fish have a pointed head, while older individuals have a small, blunt head. The pelvic fins are long and thread-like, and the anal and dorsal fins are located on the rear part of the body. Young fish are reddish brown to dull orange with a number of brown, transverse bands. The fins are orange. As the fish gets older, it becomes less attractive and loses its handsome stripes. Adults have a dark brown back and brown flanks covered with iridescent silver scales. The fins are also brown.
Size/Length: To 28" (71 cm)
Similar species: Young fish resemble the Chocolate Gourami.
Habitat: Originally from Java and Sumatra, although, now imported from throughout Southeast Asia and Australia where it has been introduced as a food fish.
S: All
Aquarium: A 40" (101 cm), 45-55 gallon (170-209 L) tank is sufficient for small specimen measuring up to 8" (20 cm) in length. Be aware that this species does not stop growing at this size and constantly requires a larger tank. For instance, a 60" (152 cm) tank with a capacity of 90-110 gallons (342-416 L) will only house a specimen to 15" (38 cm). In any case, the tank should be well-planted with a cover of floating plants. Provide retreats with large rocks and pieces of wood. Use a large filtration system, as a fish of this size produces a great deal of waste.
Water chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.0), 5-25°dH (10), 68-86°F (20-30°C)
Social behavior: While small this species can be combined with most other medium-sized community fish. It grows quickly and gradually smaller tank mates may disappear. When the Giant Gourami reaches this stage, it is best combined with other large, peaceful fish.
Suggested companions: Leporinus, Anostomus, Botia, Helostoma , Silver Dollars, Knifefish, Loricarids, Scleropages.
FOOD: Pellets; tablets; oatmeal; vegetables; lettuce, spinach; live; fish, earthworms, larger crustaceans; aquatic insects; flakes.
Sexual differences: The dorsal and anal fins of the male are pointed.
Breeding techniques: Fairly easy in a large, well-planted tank. Fish are sexually mature at 6 months. A large nest is built near the surface, out of grasses, plants, and roots. The large eggs are laid near the nest and are maneuvered there by the male. The male cares for the eggs and may chase off the female. The eggs hatch in 24-36 hours and the fry are free-swimming after 3-5 days. The male continues to guard them for 14-21 days, until the young are able to fend for themselves. Start feeding with newly hatched Artemia nauplii and powdered flake foods.
Breeding potential: 7. This prolific species is easily bred, the only catch being that a large tank is needed.
Remarks: A major food fish, that was introduced throughout Southeast Asia and Australia to stock ponds and lakes. A golden color variant exists. These fish can live a long time- one individual was reportedly 20 years old.
Difficulty of care: 6. This robust species is easily cared for in a large tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com