April 17

Giant Goramy Feeding, Breeding, Aquarium Care


The binomial name of Giant Goramy is Oshphronemusgoramy. The common names of Osphronemus Goramy are Giant Goramy, common Goramy, True Goramy and Golden Redfish. The Giant Gourami is scientifically classified as given below:

Kingdom: Animalia
Sub-kingdom: Bilatria
Infra-kingdom: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Sub-phylum: Vertebrata
Infra-phylum: Gnasthostomata
Super-Class: Actinopterygii
Class: Teleostei
Super-order: Acanthopterugii
Order: Perciformes
Sub-order: Anabantoidei
Family: Osphronemidae
Sub-family: Oshphroneminae
Genus: Oshphronemus
Species: goramy

Giant GouramiOshphroneminaegoramyis the biggest of all Gouramies. If you are a fan of large-sized fishes and in need of one in your tank, consider this one. Giant Gouramies have a faint yellow body with silver or blue stripes. While ageing the stripes on their body vanish little by little leaving a dark coloured body behind. While in their natural habitat, they are known to construct nests for themselves to live. Who said only flying beings built a nest?

The Giant Gourami’s native places are the freshwaters bodies and stagnant water bodies like rivers, lakes and ponds of Southeastern parts of the Asian continent. They live in areas where food is abundant to feed on. Some cite that they hail from the Greater Sunda Islands. Now they are widely distributed all around the world by artificial cultivation for commercial purposes.

They are now found in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Mekong, Eastern India, China, Vietnam and Australia. It has the fantastic ability to withstand a variety of climatic conditions prevailing in different countries and adapt itself according to it. Their flesh is said to be tasty and healthy to consume.

This fish is omnivorous like many fishes of its size. Algae-based plant fibre remains its favourite, and occasionally it consumes flesh.

They have an energy level, which is incredibly overwhelming. Usually, these fishes don’t keep slacking off or confine themselves to one part of the tank lethargically instead they curiously vent every nook and cranny of the container they belong to.

Initially, the Giant Goramy grows up to a maximum length of 70 centimetres when it lives in its natural habitat. Contrary to this, the varieties of Giant Gouramies that are cultivated in artificially stimulated conditions grow a bit smaller up to a maximum length of 40 to 45 inches. Their size partially depends on the size of the tank in which they are nurtured.

These fishes comprise the labyrinth in their bodies, which aids them in absorbing oxygen into their blood and surviving in water bodies with less oxygen. 

If you want a group of Giant Gouramies or a single Giant Goramy, it all depends on your opinion and the size of the tank. They do well as loners and also as community being. To be on the harmless side, give them enough space in the tank; otherwise, they might get frustrated and turn dangerously aggressive.

They eat a lot. I mean a lot. So be prepared to feed them lavishly if you want them to be members of your domestic tank. However, many hobbyists suggest that it is good to train them not to eat hoards of food right from the day you put them into the tank. Eating habits are important. Be it fish or any living being of that matter period.

Pisciculturists have developed albino or transparent type of Giant Gouramies which are ravishing and attractive to be kept in a decorating fish tank. However, sadly, some people say these varieties don’t live long and are prone to illnesses.

If you are interested in keeping a large fish as a pet and also wish the care level of the fish to be easy, consider this one. In case you have an idea to buy your own Giant Gourami, this article is worth your time.


In their natural habitat, they feed on anything and everything they find. They feed on algae, plant matter, small animals, dead animals worms and insects found in rivers, stagnant waters like lakes and ponds and wet forests.

In your fish tank, take the liberty to train them to eat whatever you feed. They do not stick to a specific food chart and food chart. Giant Gouramies become flexible to the training given by their master.

Feed them with flakes and pellets every day in the beginning. Here is a list of the food suggestions for your Giant Gourami:

    • Algae-based food
    • Blood worms
    • Earthworms
    • Brine shrimp pellets
    • Tubiflex
    • boiled carrots
    • shelled peas
    • duckweed
    • lettuce
    • krill
    • plums
    • peaches
    • kiwi fruit
    • nectarine
    • squashed vegetables
    • fruit pieces
    • live fishes and small animals
    • dead animal meat

    It would be nice if you can feed the Giant Gouramies with more of plant matter like algae, fruits and vegetables and less of live food as this may help you save money and in taming their wild food habits. Be careful not to buy a big fish because it is difficult to make them adapt to a domestic aquarium when compared to a fish fry.

    If you ask me how many times you should be feeding your Giant Gourami every day, well once or twice will do. Please provide them with edible aquarium plants to chew on during the day.

    There is plenty of canned Giant Gourami fish food available in the market. You can try feeding them too while buying canned or preserved food spare time to read the ingredients column and avoid foods that comprise harmful chemical preservatives.

    Supporting your fish with proper nourishment through a balanced diet every day will result in lengthening the life span of your Giant Gourami.


    You can easily differentiate the male Giant Gouramies and the Female Giant Gouramies by observing the following physical traits.

    • The male Giant Gouramies have a characteristic raised forehead, pointed dorsal fin and are darker in colouration
    • The female Giant Gouramies have rounded dorsal fins, unlike the male ones and also have thick lips.

    Giant Gouramies fall under the category of egg-laying fishes. When the breeding season commences, the males Giant Gouramies start building nests for the female Giant Gouramies to spawn. The construction process of the nest takes a minimum of eight days and a maximum of ten days. These fishes attain the maturity to breed when they are approximately six months old.

    The nests are made up of waste plant materials available in the tank. The nest is generally spherical in shape. The average dimensions of a Giant Gourami’s spawning nest are 40 cm breadth and 30 cm deep with a round-shaped entrance that is 10 cm wide.

    The breeding tank of Giant Gouramies must be shallow and must comprise several hiding places for the female Giant Gouramies. After spawning gets over, eliminate the female fishes from the breeding tank as their work is over. There are increased chances of the female Giant Gouramies getting attacked by the male Giant Gouramies if they are left inside the breeding tank after spawning.

    The temperature of the breeding tank must be set to 80 degrees F.

    The female produces 1500 to 3000 eggs. The male takes up the responsibility to pick up the eggs with the help of its mouth and position them carefully in the nests they have built to hatch. The time mandatory for the eggs to hatch and the juveniles to come out is 40 hours (approximately three days).

    As soon as the young ones come out, you can spot them floating on the water surface as they are lighter than water. The male Giant Gouramies provide intensive protection to the newcomers for at least 14 days. The protection level decreases when the fries absorb their yolk sac.

    The little newcomers must be fed with powdered infusoria and cooked egg yolk in the beginning.

    Their breeding process is easy, but it becomes a bit difficult when it is done in domestic aquariums due to their enormous size. They require considerable tanks to breed without any difficulty. If you are working to be stingy and lock them up in small tanks/aquariums during their breeding season, the male Giant Gouramies will get aggressive and harm other fishes and themselves.


    Smile please, the care level of Giant Gouramies is natural. Only quite expensive things are purchasing a large tank for your Giant Gourami and buying healthy foods.

    The size of the Giant Gourami fish tank must be at least 200 gallons if you want your fish to be stress-free and healthy. As said before, they keep swimming in all areas of the tank. The waters of its natural habitat are slightly brackish so the salinity of your Giant Gourami tank must be set to 10%. Use a saltwater fish tank to nurture them.

    Giant Gouramies are one of the hardy freshwater fishes that are highly disease resistant.

    The tank must be kept clean always. This directly influences the mental and physical health of the fish. Giant Gouramies eat more food, and therefore they leave behind many wastes after feeding. Remove the residues after feeding them and change the tank water now and then. Employ sound biological filtration systems to keep your tank hygienic always.

    The temperature of the tank must be kept between 20 degrees C and 30 degrees C (68 degrees F to 86 degree F). The water gravity of the container must be set to 1.0002, and the pH of the Giant Gourami tank must be established between 6.5 and 8.0. The hardness range of a proper tank must be between 5 and 25 dGH. The flow of water in the tank must be moderate.

    Using a dark substrate for your Giant Gourami fish tank will make your fish tank appear colourful to the observer. Add large-sized décor items like bogwood and aquarium rocks for the Giant Gouramies to rest under them. The plants that you incorporate inside your Giant Gourami fish tank must be plants that have a rapid growth rate since Giant Gouramies keep munching on them.

    Keep in mind that the tank should be decorated in a way that it doesn’t disturb the free movement of the fish throughout the tank. Avoid sharp objects to decorate the tank to prevent your fishes from getting injured. The aquarium plants must be positioned on the sides to allow space for the fishes to venture.

    Add a little antifungal and antibiotic solutions whenever you clean the tank to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases. The water must not be too acidic or too alkaline, and the temperature must not be too hot too cold. Take proper steps when you see the slightest abnormalities.

    Though they have a calm temperament, as their size increases their urge to hunting to increases, so it is vital to be cautious while selecting the tank mates for your Giant Gouramies.

    They live up to 20 years if you provide the utmost care.


    Giant Gouramies are hardy species that do not easily contract diseases. They rarely get infections. I could see the happiness in your face, but there are some exceptional conditions in which they might contract diseases. It all depends on how clean your Giant Gourami’s tank is and how healthy you feed them.

    Several bacterial diseases occur in Giant Gourami. The most prominent among them is Mycobacteriosis, which is a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium sp. It is a fatal disease if not prevented.

    Giant Gouramies that are affected by bacterial diseases show the following symptoms generally. The colour of their skin becomes pale; belly grows enlarged, eyes look like they are popping out, they eat less food than usual and wounds on skin and fins due to bacterial infection. Use antibiotics and prescribed medications to regain their health.

    Parasitic infections rarely occur in large-sized fishes. The younger ones are delicate, so there are increased chances of parasitic infections. The common parasites that infect Giant Gouramies are Argulus foliaceus, Dactylogyrus sp., Piscinoodium pillar, Metacercariaeand  Ichthyophithiriusmultifiliis. Among all these parasites, only one affects the outer skin of the fish to a more significant extent, that is Argulus foliaceus. The other four types of parasites affect the gills and fins of Giant Gourami.

    Costia is also a parasitic infection found in freshwater fishes like Giant Gourami.  The symptoms are dark patches on the skin and the skin becoming cloudy.

    There are many cases of Giant Gourami getting affected by nematodal infections. Nematodes like threadworms stick themselves to the inside of the alimentary canal of the fish causing illness. When the intensity of the disease increases, the worms hang out of the anal opening of Giant Gouramies.

    The fungal diseases found in Giant Gouramies are fungal mouth infection, mouth rotting, flesh decaying etc. Please treat them with antifungal solutions in the initial stage for a speedy recovery.

    The only viral infection seen in Giant Gouramies is the Dwarf Giant Gourami disease.

    The protozoan disease found in Giant Gourami is Ich. Ich is caused by Ichtypthirius. This disease is quite common in all freshwater fishes. You can easily find white patches on your Giant Gourami’s skin if it is affected by Ich. Other symptoms of Ich are being lonely, prefers to stay in lower layers of water, fast breathing rate, inflammation of dermal nodules, loss of appetite and dark eyes.

    The infected fish must be carefully eliminated from the conventional tank and must be treated in a separate tank. In case of severe circumstances, it is healthier to treat them in a hospital tank. Sterilise the tools you use to remove the infected fishes before using them again. Avoid frequent contact with metal tools with aquarium water.

    Aquarium Mates

    Since Giant Gourami is a large-sized fish, choosing fishes of similar size as their tank mates is highly appreciable. If you put them along with small fishes, there are increased chances of them being hunted down by Giant Gouramies.

    Before you search for tank mates for your Giant Gouramies, search for a substantial sized tank. Big fishes need to exist peacefully with their tank mates. Otherwise, they might wage war resulting in death and injuries.

    Compare the average water temperature, pH level, dGH level, salinity level, food habits and temperament of all the fishes that you are going to keep in a single tank. This might help you assess how compatible they will be.

    Listed below are some fishes that are compatible with Giant Gouramies:

    • Corydoras panda
    • Hemigrammuserythrozonus (Glowlight Tetra)
    • Kuhli Loach (Pangio spp.)
    • Brittlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.)
    • Trigonostigmaheteromorpha (Harlequin Rasbora)
    • Amana Shrimp (Caridina japonica)
    • Dwarf Crayfish (Cambarellus sp.)
    • Mystery snail (Pomacea brides)
    • Cherry barb (Puntius titteya)
    • Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp.)
    • Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus, Corydoras hastatus, Corydoras habrosus)
    • Ember Tetra (Hyphessobryconamandae)
    • Other Gourami
    • Clown Pleco (Panaque maccus0
    • Zebra Loach (Botiastriata)
    • Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)
    • Sailfin Molly (Poecilialatpinna)
    • Common Pleco (Hypostomusplecostomus)
    • Pineapple Swordtail (Xiphophorus sp.)
    • Discus fish (Symphysodon)
    • Upside down Catfish (Synodontis)

    You have successfully concluded the article. You are provided with more than enough information about Giant Gourami to start with. If you handle them carefully, keeping all the above instructions in mind while feeding, breeding, and treating infections as well as diseases, your Giant Gouramies will surely be in the pink of health. Kudos to your upcoming fishy adventures!


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