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FAQs on the True/Giant Goramis, Genus Osphronemus

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish

Related FAQs:  Gouramis 1, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish,

Giant Gourami (small sized) along with Discus     7/5/19
Hi Team,
<Hey Shriram>
Everything has been peaceful in my tank so far.
I recently went to my LFS and saw a fully grown Giant Gourami, and was stunned by the size.
So as a trial I got a small sized specimen of the giant gourami to add to my existing Discus tank.
<Mmm; not really compatible... water conditions or temperament-wise>
So he first started chasing my albino angel like crazy. I though it must have been because of the same colour, as he was not disturbing my discus then.
<Oh oh>
Now I have moved my angel as his fins were torn and bit by the mean guy.
Now he has started to chase my discus, seems like he is the only one who wants to swim in the whole tank.
I have now started to worry if I should probably return him back before causes more harm.
Any advice and suggestions appreciated.
<I would return the Gourami>
Thanks and regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Elephant ear Gourami - Osphronemus exodon   6/4/19
Hi Neale,
<Hello Nathaniel,>
I’m the proud owner of a new custom tank with a 28 sq foot print. I’m looking to get a bigger fish and have identified a giant Gourami.
<Interesting fish. Very friendly, quite smart, but no looker, and massive!>
I have found a shop that claims to have a very rare giant Gourami - the exodon. It looks like one (a darker mark near its tail and looks to have a more open jaw with some small teeth).
<Osphronemus exodon; yes, the eyespot on the caudal peduncle is distinctive, as are the easily visible teeth on its jaws.>
It’s about 9 inches, so although well off adult size, big enough to get a good identification.
I can’t seem to find much about them other than they are extreme rare.
<Rare in the trade, at least; no idea how rare they are in the wild.>
I know with giant gouramis aggressiveness varies from fish to fish, but from my research, the ‘standard ‘ giant Gourami tend to be more peaceful and the ‘red tailed’ tend to be very aggressive.
<Not sure I'd call any Osphronemus peaceful, to be honest. They are generally tolerant of dissimilar fish (L-number catfish, for example) given sufficient space, but if cramped, they can (the males, perhaps?) become a bit spiteful. I'd call them unpredictable more than anything else, and would tend to choose either robust tankmates (cats, loaches, etc.) or else species far too active to be bothered by them (large barbs, characins). I'd tend to avoid similar-looking fish that might compete for space; obviously other large gouramis, but cichlids too.>
Do you by chance know where the exodon features in the aggression scale?
<Hard to say with so few of this species kept, but Osphronemus are mostly robust rather than overtly hostile, so long as tankmates are non-threatening.>
Will it like be able to tolerate tank mates?
<See above.>
I’m think of moving him in with a Florida gar I have and maybe an Arowana / bass.
<The Gar is a good choice, given space, especially if 2-3 are kept (Gar are fairly gregarious). Arowana should be fine. Peacock Bass might be a bit too similar in shape.>
It is currently in with some smaller cichlids and I’m told no aggression, though sometimes it can be worse with bigger fish as they are seen as more of a threat.
I know it’s dietary requirements are different, but I’m aware of that and will plan accordingly.
<Not sure these fish are wildly different from other Osphronemus; a mixed diet, biased towards fruit and vegetables. Meaty foods used sparingly.>
Any other advice on how to identify it or generally about the exodon would be much appreciated.
<See above.>
Thank you very much in advance
<Most welcome! Neale.>

Osphronemus goramy   4/13/14
Greetings WetWebMedia Crew, I have a situation I wanted to run by you guys.
I've recently purchased three giant gourami.
I have them in a 75g tank at the moment but will move them to an outer pond eventually.
<Indeed you will, sir.>
I filter this tank with a AquaClear 110 (modified) and a trickle filter. I do weekly 50% water changes so nitrate levels are zero. I've had these fish
about two months and I've noticed black spotting around and above gill plates. To me it looked like some kind of bacterial pitting or parasites.
<Are these actually holes in the gill covers, or patches of dark pigment?
If they're confined to the gill covers and aren't causing any problems to your fish, I'd not worry about them. In all likelihood they're simply
normal features of "the change" as the cute baby Osphronemus turn into the somewhat less cute giant adults we love so well. That said, would keep a close eye on them, and in particular review vitamin content of their diet, recalling that plant material should make up a substantial part of their
diet. Lack of vitamins is often implicated as a triggering factor in HITH and HLLE.>
I've researched online and most pics of adult giant gourami have this. I would send a pic but am unable. Is this a natural pigment or a very common
disorder? Thanks so much. Aloha Brandon
<Good luck with these impressive fish. Can make great pets, and glad you've got a plan for their long-term care. Cheers, Neale.>

What are they?    9/7/12
Yo Expert!!!
What is this species?
<Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy). These are an artificial colour variety.>
I'm buying 2 they r damn beautiful!!!
<When young, yes; they are famously ugly when fully grown! They get extremely large (50-60 cm is typical) and weigh as much as 8 kg. Growth is very rapid -- expect 30 cm within the first year, and full size within 2-3 years. Eat a huge amount of both animal and plant material and need a colossal aquarium (at least 900 litres/200 gallons) with extremely powerful filtration (likely several external canister filters). On the plus side, they are quite hardy if kept properly, and are basically peaceful fish, though males are territorial and need space. A few male specimens can so aggressive they must be kept alone, but that's rare.>
Sent from my iPhone
<Who cares? Neale.>

Baby giant red tail Gourami    9/8/10
I have a baby red tail Gourami which has a patch of skin missing.
<On the flanks? If that's the case, it's either a burn from the heater, chronically poor water quality, or damage by a Suckermouth catfish such as a Plec.>
I questioned someone about it and they suggested to use Betadine on it. I wasn't sure if I should use it so I didn't.
<Anything used against Finrot should be adequate to promote the healing of superficial damage to the skin. If the muscles underneath are visible, then you have a bigger problem and will need ultra-clean water and the use of antibiotics.>
About 2 days later the upper right side of the lip is swollen. The spot is on the left on the chin.
The Gourami eats fine and interacts with all the fish. I thought she got the missing patch from an injury from something in the tank.
<Possibly. Giant Gouramis are poor aquarium fish, and the usual reason they get sick is inadequate water quality. Let's remind ourselves we're after 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. Water chemistry isn't critical, but shouldn't be extreme; 5-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8 is fine.>
Now I'm not sure what it is. I just started to give aquaticre Ampicillin. I am wondering if this is correct.
<No idea without knowing what's actually going on here. What are the tankmates? If this is physical damage through attacks by a cranky catfish or cichlid, then medication is only useful if the Giant Gourami is also rehomed away from these tankmates.>
I could send a picture if needed. Is there something else I should try?
<By all means. But do note our request images be kept down to 500 KB or thereabouts. Please use iPhoto or whatever to resize your images before sending them. Folks sending big image files clog up our e-mail account, bouncing back the messages send by other visitors to the site, and that's not fair.>
Its 150 gallon tank.
<Much too small for this species in the long term. Should be okay for the first year or so.>
The red tail Gourami is 4 inches. There are other tank mates everyone under 5 inches. No one is aggressive.
<Say you. But clearly something is causing harm here. Please tell me what fish you have.>
A few plants in the tank.
Some snails.
A protein skimmer.
A Fluval fx5.
A wet dry sump.
Air bubbles.
Uv filter.
<Do need more data. Cheers, Neale.>

Fin Rot on giant Gourami (the trouble with Melafix!) Hi Bob, Ii have written you before but not for a while. I gave up on Gourami's a year ago when I could not keep them alive. I finally have two big blue Gourami's that have lived quite well for 2 years. I have been treating one of them for fin rot for several weeks now with now improvement. I have been using Melafix in a 55 gallon tank, about 20 total fish. The other Gourami is fine. Water quality, nitrate 20ppm, nitrite 0, chlorine 0. I have been treating for 7 days then doing a water change with vacuum. Also have removed the carbon from the filters. I'm not sure what else to do. Pondering moving the fish to a hospital tank and continuing treatment. This all started with his front left fin starting to wear away a little bit, I noticed some flaking of his scales and what appeared to be some rot on his tail. His left fin almost entirely wore away, it appears to have healed slightly, but his color is off. He still feeds voraciously. Suggestions? Fungus perhaps? No other fish seem to be affected. Other treatments for fin rot? Thanks for your help. Jason <Jason, the short answer here is not to use Melafix. The problem with Melafix (and tea-tree oil generally) is that it is unreliable. While some aquarists have success with it, many don't. In my opinion, a useful medication is one that works consistently. So, stop with the Melafix. Switch to something else. In the UK, I'd recommend eSHa 2000, in the US, Maracyn seems to be the drug of choice for Finrot. But wherever you are, look for a medication that is either a relevant antibiotic (such as erythromycin) or proven antibacterial (typically copper and formalin). Remember to keep carbon out of the filter while treating, and when using copper/formalin medications especially, take care not to overdose. Giant Gouramis (Osphronemus spp.) grow rapidly, and at two years of age, they're going to be getting too big for the 55 gallon system. Water quality is likely less consistently good than you imagine, for example there may well be ammonia/nitrite peaks after feeding time. Adult Osphronemus are around 50 cm (20 inches) in length, plus or minus, depending on the species, and even singletons are extremely messy animals. Finrot tends to follow on from either poor water quality or physical damage. Since Osphronemus are territorial and potentially aggressive, I'd also be looking at how they interact, just in case one of them is damaging the other, allowing Finrot to get established. Either way, males rarely end up coexisting in home aquaria, so besides needing a bigger tank, you will in all probability need two tanks, unless by some miracle both of yours are females. Cheers, Neale.>

Osphronemus Gourami Hi Fenner, I'm currently located in Houston and have been looking for some Osphronemus Gourami, but I couldn't find any. I'm not sure if you stock these fish at all, if not would direct me to stores or farms where I can get some. <Hmm, the true Gourami... shouldn't be that hard to source locally... even "albino" ones... Have you checked with your local fish stores? Look up a larger specialty one in your area and ask them if they'd "special order" one/these for you... almost all shops have a mechanism (order book) for placing such requests. This is what I would do... if there are troubles, delays in delivery... they will be able to rectify it. If no luck this route, please re-contact me. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much, Lap

A red spotted albino Osphronemus Gourami I have a red spotted albino Osphronemus Gourami about 6" long. I am looking for information on him so I can better take care of him. I know he will get appx. 2' in length, but that is all, other that what I have observed. Right now I have him in a 30 gal. <Too small> tank and know I will have to transfer to a bigger tank. I have another tank, 125 gal , with assorted discus, 2 moonlight Gouramis, 1 pearl Gourami, 1 Synodontis catfish, and 1 Plecos. <Don't mix with the Discus...> Would the red spotted albino Osphronemus Gourami do OK in the 125 or would he eventually pick on the discus. Any information on him would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, Donna C. <Please see WWM re... The "spotted" types are the same species as the wild type. Bob Fenner>

Osphronemus Gourami Hi Fenner, I'm currently located in Houston and have been looking for some Osphronemus Gourami, but I couldn't find any. I'm not sure if you stock these fish at all, if not would direct me to stores or farms where I can get some. <Hmm, the true Gourami... shouldn't be that hard to source locally... even "albino" ones... Have you checked with your local fish stores? Look up a larger specialty one in your area and ask them if they'd "special order" one/these for you... almost all shops have a mechanism (order book) for placing such requests. This is what I would do... if there are troubles, delays in delivery... they will be able to rectify it. If no luck this route, please re-contact me. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much, Lap

Giant Red Finned Gourami... comp.   12/12/06 Hi there, <Hey there> I have a giant red finned gourami in my 100 gallon aquarium.  Since I've added him a year ago, he has grown at a fast rate. <Ah, yes... the "true" goramy (not a mis-spelling), Osphronemus> He is currently 13" from lip to tail.  The problem is, since he has grown he has become very aggressive towards a large albino Oscar. (around 9" long).  He is fine with the regular Oscar and Green Severum. <Need much more room... The albino is more similar to the Gourami in appearance> He just doesn't seem to like this Albino Oscar.. he behaviour has been getting worse recently, and he took out one of the eyes on the Albino. <!>   I don't have room in my apartment to separate them, what can I do to calm his aggression?  I've tried rearranging the aquarium, it works for a few hours at most. Thanks for your time, Justin <A much larger volume might help, but at this point, removing either the aggressor or the losing Albino is the route to go. Bob Fenner>  

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