Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminckii)
Category: Aquarium Fish Other
The Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminckii) is also known as the Pink Kisser, Kissser Fish or Gren Kisser and is a member of the family of Helostomatidae, and mainly originates from the Indonesian island of Java. It can, however, also be found in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo and Malaysia. It became a very popular aquarium fish in the 1950s when it was first introduced to the hobby by commercial breeders in Florida, US. In southern region of Indochina, the fish is cultivated as food.
Kissing Gourami has thick lips that can be pursed or extended (as in kissing). The fish has three color variations; silvery-green, mottled or piebald color, and a pink or flesh variety. The Kissing Gourami is a generally tolerant fish, though the males do occasionally engage in a harmless fight by pressing their lips together i.e. kissing. Scientists are yet to understand the true purpose of the “kissing” behavior.
The fish are surface breathers, meaning they must be provided with access to the surface of the aquarium. In other words, their gills are not capable of obtaining adequate oxygen from the water for survival. However, they also have specialized organs known as labyrinth which enables them to survive in waters with low oxygen supply.
The pink variation isn’t very common in nature, and is believed to be the result of pigment reduction or leucism. The green species, however, is a naturally occurring coloration with a single dark bar bordering the anal and dorsal fins.it is not very easy to distinguish between the male and females with the only distinct difference being the weight; the female is often heavier that the male.
For breeding purposes, the Kissing Gourami prefers soft water and doesn’t build a nest. It is thus recommended that lettuce leaves be laid on the tank’s surface so the fish can use them as spawning materials. As the eggs float on the lettuce, the fry gets nourished from the infusoria and bacteria found on the lettuce.