Gourami kissing is a very large fish, whose body length can reach 30 centimeters. Aquarium fish are usually much smaller, but nevertheless the vessel for maintenance should be more than fifty liters. In its homeland, this fish is an object of fishing. It is bred for sale.
At us, he is an inhabitant of aquariums due to his unusual behavior. For his acrobatic somersaults, when he cleans leaves, rocks, glass from algae can be observed for quite a long time. His “kisses” due to which the species got its name are a feature of behavior, which has not yet found a precise adequate explanation.
However, these “kisses” have nothing to do with the relationship between the sexes. “Kiss” can and same-sex individuals, some authors believe that this way fish clean each other’s teeth from the remains of algae. However, this explanation also has the right to life.
Latin: Helostoma temminckii
Habitat.: The kissing gourami likes swamps, slow-flowing rivers, ditches of rice fields in Thailand, artificial ponds; it is also found on the islands of Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java. It prefers water bodies densely overgrown with aquatic flora.
Gourami kissing Description
This is the only member of the chelostome family that we currently know. The name chelostoma was given for the tubercles covering the inner surface of the lips, which are sometimes called teeth. In the countries of Southeast Asia, the fish is an object of pond fish farming. Has a tall, elongated, strongly compressed from the sides of the body. The mouth is slightly elongated upward, relatively large has thick, fleshy lips. The inner surface of the lips is covered with small mobile teeth. These teeth fish scrape algae from plants, rocks, aquarium glass.
The dorsal as well as anal fins are long, not high. Starting approximately from the first third of the body stretch to the base of the caudal fin. Pelvic, anal, dorsal fins have several barbed rays. The fins have a greenish color. But sometimes can have a yellowish color.
Two color varieties are known: gray-green native to Thailand, golden-pink first discovered on the island of Java. Yellow individuals are also distinguished, considering them a separate varietal. Gill covers have two dark vertical stripes. Meet quite often albino. There is also an aquarium varietal in which the body is shortened.
The fish is peaceful. However, if there is not enough space fish can fight for territory, in this case, they become against each other, open their mouths wide. At the same time, they seem to fight with their lips. The strong male drives away the weak one. What we call a kiss, some authors consider a fight for territory. This explanation sounds logical.
Like all labyrinth gourami the kissing gourami needs atmospheric oxygen. It feeds on plant food. Can eat mollusks, worms, insect larvae, small crustaceans. The natural form can have a body length of about 30 cm, aquarium inhabitants rarely exceed 10-20 cm. Life expectancy in captivity is about 5 years. Sexual maturity comes at the age of two years.
Gourami Kissing Gourami Sex Differences
The male has a more convex forehead, his body is more flattened from the sides than that of his mates. Also during the mating season, its coloration becomes brighter, darker, sometimes acquiring a purple cast (in varietals with gray-green coloration). The body length of females may be longer.
Kissing gourami Aquarium Keeping
Gourami kissing gourami is in constant motion. Periodically rises to the surface for another portion of air.
The volume of the aquarium can be from fifty liters. Such a volume is suitable for keeping one male with a pair of females. Of course, the species is large, so the larger the aquarium, the better. Ideal would be one hundred fifty to two hundred liters. But a fifty-liter aquarium is also quite suitable for them. The vessel should have a lid or covered with glass, so that the fish do not swallow cold air.
They don’t care about soil. But they like dense thickets. But representatives of flora will be better if they are planted in coarse gray river sand. Gradually, the sand will silt up, absorbing the products of the inhabitants of the aquarium, and will be an ideal substrate for most rooting aquatic plants.
Any plants with similar habitat parameters are suitable. It is desirable to be able to form dense thickets. Will be suitable for use valisneria spiral, elodea Canadian, peristolistnik herringbone. For spawning pond is mandatory use of floating plants such as cassava, richchia.
Prefers soft slightly acidic water. Temperature 22-26°C. Hardness up to 12°dH. pH 6-7.
Gourami Kissing Compatibility
Gourami kissing gourami is an extremely peaceful fish in relation to representatives of other species. You can keep almost any other species. It is necessary to pay close attention to the number of kissing gourami themselves. As all species, eating mainly plant food they are prone to division of the territory and jealously guard their place in the sun from representatives of their species. To be fair, we note that battles for territory, usually pass without any damage. But it is still desirable to sort the fish by size. Otherwise, a smaller individual, chased without end larger, will be constantly malnourished. This will lead him to chronic stress.
Fish willingly eat small tubeworms, daphnia, cyclops. Moths take very reluctantly, only when there is no other food. Very well eat dry daphnia, prefer tetra-min. Obligatory feeding algae is best nitchatka, without it feel bad, may even die.
Continuously clean plants, stones, aquarium glass from algae. And also can eat snails and shrimp. Saves gourami kissing your pond from hydras. Along with other labyrinth gourami kissing gourami wonderful sanitary.
Kissing gourami Breeding
Before breeding, it is desirable to breed the producers for two weeks. Before spawning, they should be abundantly fed. Feed can be small crustaceans, tubeworm. Be sure to give plant food. Thread algae, scalded and chopped leaves of lettuce, cabbage, dandelion. You can give oat flakes.
A tank of about fifty liters is suitable for the spawning ground. The soil – river sand. Plants are the same as for the usual content plus necessarily a bunch of richchia or other plants floating on the surface of the water.
Spawners can be planted in the spawning ground prepared in this way. Thermostat should be set to 26-30 degrees Celsius. Water should be soft, hardness less than 10 °dH. The reaction should be neutral pH 7.
At first, the female will probably chase the male. Then they will switch roles. This may not happen until the next morning. Around noon the next day, the fish will begin to swim as if synchronized side by side. Closer to evening, spawning will begin. The male will wrap his body around the abdomen of the female, squeezing out of her eggs in small portions. Then the male fertilizes them. This goes on for as long as the female has eggs left. This usually lasts for several hours. According to some data, the female can give up to 6000 eggs during one spawning.
Spawning in a shared tank or in a separate spawning tank?
Gourami kissing gourami does without building a foam nest, does not take care of the eggs. And does not eat neither eggs nor fry, neither during spawning, nor after it. So the producers could be left in the spawning tank. But since for fry should be lowered water level to 10 – 15 centimeters until they begin to act labyrinth apparatus (second – third week), it is better to carefully catch the adult fish and drop off. Eggs are large 1.5 – 2 mm. They float up, stopping at the plates of riccia floating on the surface. Incubation period lasts 15 -20 hours. And after 24 hours, the fry will swim.
Feeding of fry
On the third day they sink to the bottom. Now they should start feeding. Fry large enough, the starting food can be infusoria, cyclone dust, rotifers. You can also feed any small artificial food. After about a week, the fry will gather in a flock. They will lead a gregarious lifestyle until the formation of the labyrinth. When this happens – the fry will begin to float to the surface to ingest atmospheric air, the flock will break up. The fry will start living on their own. You can raise the water level. Gradually increase the size of the food. The fry need to be moved to larger housing.
Here is such an interesting fish – gourami kissing. The species is labyrinthine, and there are many differences from other labyrinthine species. Almost vegetarian. Peaceful, and if fighting, then more for proforma than for bloodshed. Does not build nests, does not care about offspring and does not eat them. And what a wonderful sanitizer! With this fish will not get along with any parasite, neither plant nor animal. She all day long as a conscientious, tireless hostess slightly obsessed with cleanliness snoops back and forth on the aquarium and look where what else should be cleaned. Where algae to remove, where the hydra to destroy. I think you liked this fish. And if you also liked the article – you can tell about it in your social networks.