Originating from India it can grow up to 28″ (70 cm). Giant gouramis can adapt to a wide range of water conditions from brackish water, to particularly slow-moving areas such as swamps, lakes and large rivers. Capable of breathing moist air, it can survive during dry seasons due to their ability to “climb” out of water and “walk” short distances in search of small ponds where they can remain for long periods, gulping up air at the surface of the water.
Sold in the aquarium hobby as Juvenal, they can rapidly outgrow medium tanks, growing from 3″ (7.5) cm to 20″ (50) cm in less than four years. A 50 gallon tank with a dark bottom, and densely planted edges is recommended.
Once established, the adult giant gourami will not allow new fish to be introduced in the aquarium, regardless of size, chances are they will be killed. In order to create a community environment, large compatible fish should be introduced at the same time and purchased before reaching adulthood.
An algae-based flake food, along with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp will provide these fish with the proper nutrition while young. As adults, they can be fed legumes, part or fully cooked fibrous or starchy vegetables, or fresh (or off) fruits. They do develop tastes, such as an aversion to acidic or strongly flavoured foods such as tomatoes or onions, or fresh stone fruit or citrus.
Egg layers the male will build a bubble-nest before spawning. The male and female are distinguished by the dorsal fins and body color. The dorsal fin on the male ends in a point, and the body is darker changing to nearly black during spawning. When breeding, the water in the tank should be decreased to about 20 cm (8 inches) deep and the temperature should be 28 °C (82 °F). After spawning the female should be removed to a separate tank as the male will jealously guard the eggs, in a captive environment, sometimes becoming aggressive towards the female. The eggs will hatch in 24 hours and are sensitive to light. They must be kept in a dark aquarium.
Compatible: American Cichlids similar size , and Catfish.