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How to Breed Kissing Gourami Fish?

Kissing gouramis are a medium-sized tropical fish and a favorite among aquarium hobbyists. This species got its name from its puckered lips and a unique tendency to ‘kiss’ or touch other fish with its mouth. This behavior, though it appears affectionate, can also be a sign of aggression. If you’re intrigued by this fish and thinking of keeping them, you may also be wondering how to breed them?

To breed kissing gouramis, You will need a large, planted tank with moderate lighting as well as a heater and a filter. A temperature of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 is recommended. A protein-rich diet including brine shrimp and blood worms will also promote successful breeding.

Now that you know what gourami need to breed, let’s explore this topic together in more detail. We’ll learn more about their mating rituals, what conditions are required for breeding success, and if they can spawn in a community tank. We’ll also discuss how to tell if the female is pregnant, what the eggs look like, and how to care for offspring.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about kissing gourami fish and how to breed them, then let’s be!

How do Kissing Gouramis Breed?

Like other gourami fish, kissing gouramis often breed late at night or early in the morning. The process begins with what looks like a dance. The female will nudge the male in the stomach and the two will begin to ‘kiss’ each other on the lips. This is followed by the male cupping himself around the female in an embrace.

After the female releases her eggs, the male then fertilizes them. Together they’ll produce hundreds of fertilized eggs – up to 600 in a singe spawning! Breeding is often successful provided the tank conditions are correct and the fish feel safe in their environment.

What is the Best Way to Breed Kissing Gourami Fish?

The best way to breed kissing gouramis is to place 4 or 5 fish (or 2 mated pairs) in a separate tank. A 4-foot aquarium that’s 24-inches deep with floating plants and other vegetation is recommended. You’ll also need a sponge filter, heater, and some moderate lighting. You can install an aquarium light or place the tank near a window or under a lamp.

Set the temperature of the tank to 82 degrees and soften the water a bit with rain or reverse osmosis water. The pH should be stable at around 7. Feeding kissing gourami fish a combination of both plant- and meat-based foods is preferable. Live foods like brine shrimp or blood worms supplemented with cucumber or lettuce is ideal.

After the eggs have been released and fertilized, take the adults and place them back into the community tank. Prepare infusoria for the fry to eat once they hatch. As soon as the babies are free swimming, you can start feeding them finely crushed fish flakes and micro-worms. When the juveniles reach an inch or two in length, move them back into the community tank with their parents.

How do I Know if My Kissing Gouramis are Mating?

Unlike other gourami fish, kissing gouramis don’t build a bubble nest when they’re ready to breed. There are other signs, however, which demonstrate this species readiness to reproduce. For example, the female will start to round out and both will appear slightly darker in color just prior to mating.

kissing gourami's

What do I do if My Kissing Gourami Fish is Pregnant?

A pregnant kissing gourami female will look as if she’s swallowed an entire golf ball! This species gets quite large around the mid-section just prior to releasing eggs. You’ll be able to distinguish between the male and the female by this rounding out of the belly. As well, the dorsal fin will help you tell the two apart – the female’s is short and round whereas the male’s is long and pointy.

How Long are Kissing Gourami Fish Pregnant for?

After mating, kissing gourami females carry their eggs for up to 24 hours before releasing them to be fertilized by the males. The eggs are scattered onto vegetation in the tank and remain there until they hatch on their own which usually takes only a day. Two days after that, baby fry will be free swimming. Kissing gouramis aren’t mouth-brooders and don’t tend to their offspring.

What do Kissing Gourami Eggs Look Like?

Kissing gourami fish eggs look like tiny transparent-to-white spheres with black dots in the center. These spheres are scattered about and adhere to floating plants or other objects in an aquarium. Hundreds of eggs can be released in a single breeding season and though 95% of the eggs will likely hatch, only a small fraction (35% approximately) of fry will live longer than a week or two.

Can Kissing Gouramis Breed in a Community Tank?

In a community tank, a pair of healthy adult male and female gouramis will usually breed quite easily. However, the chances of fry surviving are low in this type of environment. They’ll often fall prey to bigger omnivorous fish looking for an easy meal.

Regarding temperament, kissing gouramis can become aggressive with smaller fish and therefore it’s best to keep them in a community tank with fish of like size or bigger as well as other types of gouramis like blues. If you intend to breed them in a community tank, you must remove the eggs and place them in a separate nursing tank prior to hatching.

Do Kissing Gouramis Eat Their Babies?

Kissing gourami fish have been known to eat their own offspring. Therefore, it’s imperative that you remove either the eggs or the parents from the breeding tank following fertilization. Otherwise, the chances of fry surviving will be minimal.

If you have a community tank, then the parents can be placed back into it shortly afterwards. If the adults have spawned in the community tank, then you must collect the fertilized eggs (take the entire leaf or plant the eggs have adhered to) and place them in a separate nursing tank until they hatch.

How to Care for Kissing Gourami Offspring?

Caring for kissing gourami offspring is easy. Make sure the breeding tank is planted. Adding dried grass from your lawn (provided it hasn’t been treated with any chemical fertilizers) to the aquarium is good for two reasons. One, it provides cover from hungry parents should the eggs be released prior to you noticing them. Two, it acts as a home for infusoria which can later be used to feed young fry.

You’ll need to feed hatchlings often (up to 6 times a day) to ensure their survival. Once fry are 5 to 7 days old and swimming freely about the tank, you can stop giving them infusoria and offer them brine shrimp instead. Offspring can be introduced to your community tank once they’ve reached a length bigger than the mouths of their parents or other fish in the aquarium.


To conclude, under the right aquatic conditions, kissing gouramis will breed fairly easily in an aquarium. To increase the chances of success, you’ll need a large, planted tank with moderate lighting. A heater and filter are also required. Since kissing gouramis are omnivores, a variety of both plant- and meat-based foods (especially live edibles like brine shrimp and bloodworms) are also recommended.

I trust this article has answered your questions regarding kissing gouramis and how they breed. Thanks for reading and good luck with your aquarium hobby.

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