Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) | Care & Tank Mates


The Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) is the largest gourami species, sometimes known as the True or Common Gourami. Their name is not a lie; the Giant Gourami is truly a giant in the aquarium size. Its massive size means that it is not an option for many hobby aquarists. Despite their huge and impressive size, some at-home aquarists want to try their luck with owning one. If that sounds like you, read on for more information about the behemoth that is the Giant Gourami.

The Giant Gourami is known for its massive size; they can reach a whopping 18 inches in length. That gigantic size means they need to be housed in a tank that can accommodate them; on average most aquarists recommend a tank size of at least 200 gallons. It is easy to identify a Giant Gourami by its pointed snout and flathead. Their bodies tend to be yellow with silver or grey stripes, although those stripes fade as they mature. In the wild, Giant Gouramis can typically be found in Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, India, Singapore, and several other places in Asia.

Giant Gourami Care

Caring for a fish the size of the Giant Gourami isn’t always manageable. But, Giant Gouramis are one of the easiest large fish to care for. They don’t require much upkeep or attention to thrive. You need to ensure that the Giant Gourami’s tank has enough vegetation for them to feel comfortable; it needs to resemble their natural habitats in South Asia. Giant Gouramis are also omnivores, although they prefer eating vegetation. But keep in mind that you will need to live food to ensure a healthy and balanced diet.

Giant Gourami pH

pH is a crucial water parameter that is sometimes overlooked by beginning aquarists. Any slight changes in the pH level of your tank can cause a ripple effect that will likely end with your fish species suffering. The pH level of a tank that includes a Giant Gourami needs to be between 6.8 – 7.8. If you check the water regularly, you can ensure that it stays within that range; doing so will help you prevent any major issues.

Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)
Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)

Giant Gourami Temperature

Giant Gouramis can survive in a wide temperature range despite their tropical origins. It would be best to keep their temperature levels as consistent as possible. Most experts recommend keeping a Giant Gourami tank between 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also essential to keep the room temperature where your tank is consistent with the tank’s temperature. Giant Gouramis often surface for air, and any drastic temperature differences could damage their labyrinth organ.

Giant Gourami Size

The Giant Gourami is named perfectly; they genuinely are giants. The Giant Gourami can reach up to 20 inches in length in the wild. However, in captivity, they do grow a bit smaller, reaching only a max of 18 inches, but on average, only around 16 inches. That massive size is what precludes many at-home aquarists from adding a Giant Gourami to their tanks.

Giant Gourami Tank Size

Junvinelle Giant Gouramis do not need a large tank to thrive, but they will grow quickly. When you first purchase a Giant Gourami, it will likely be a juvenile, which will be smaller. It is a good idea to ensure you have a tank large enough for a fully grown Giant Gourami before you purchase. The recommended minimum tank size for a Giant Gourami is at least 200 gallons; ensure you have the space for a tank that size.

Giant Gourami Food and Diet

The Giant Gourami will eat nearly anything in captivity. A Giant Gourami will eat crustaceans, algae, other fish, worms, frogs, and even sometimes dead animals in the wild. It is imperative that as soon as you get your Giant Gourami to train them to eat regular fish foods such as flakes or pellets. You should feed them those pellets or flakes once or twice a day. You can also occasionally feed them boiled potatoes or some other vegetables.

Giant Gourami Lifespan

The lifespan of any pet is directly related to the care they receive. If you mistreat or neglect your pet, their lifespan will be negatively affected; this is especially true of fish species. The Giant Gourami, on average, usually leads a pretty long life. This massive fish species averages a lifespan of around ten years and has lived up to 20 years in some cases.

Giant Gourami Tank Setup

You first need a tank large enough to accommodate a Giant Gourami; most experts recommend a 200-gallon tank. The Giant Gourami is very large and active, which means you need to set up your tank accordingly. You need to make sure you don’t over decorate the tank and leave room for this active species to swim around. The Giant Gourami is usually a pale yellow color; having a dark substrate will help make that color pop. Having plenty of fast-growing vegetation is also recommended; the Giant Gourami loves to nibble on plants.

Giant Gourami Breeding

Breeding Giant Gouramis isn’t too difficult. The biggest obstacle most might have is obtaining a large enough to breed them. Most experts recommend at least a 250-gallon tank if you plan on breeding Giant Gourami. Once you have a male and a female in a tank together, they’re likely to breed independently without any help from you.

How to breed Giant Gourami

When breeding Giant Gourami, the first step is acquiring a tank large enough to house them. A 250-gallon tank is where you should start. Male Giant Gouramis will begin to build a nest before the female lays her eggs. The nest is usually made from bubbles and plants. The female will lay between 3,000 to 10000 eggs. You must remove the female once she has laid her eggs. The Male Giant Gourami gets very defensive once the eggs begin to hatch and will likely attack the female.

Giant Gourami Male or Female

It isn’t too tricky to differentiate male and female Giant Gouramis. The anal and dorsal fins of the male Giant Gourami are more pointed than the females. Female Giant Gouramis, on the other hand, have larger lips, as well as more rounded dorsal and anal fins. Once you’ve figured out to tell them apart, it won’t be difficult at all to start breeding them.

Giant Gourami Disease

Despite their massive size,  the Giant Gourami is very hardy and can avoid most diseases and infections as long as their tank is appropriately maintained. Even with its hearty nature, a Giant Gourami can still get infected with certain conditions. Some of those diseases are bacterial infections, constipation, and hole In the head disease. For the most part, those are all caused by water issues and can be avoided if you regularly check your water for any problems.

Giant Gourami Tank Mates

The biggest issue that may prevent you from adding tank mates to a tank that includes a Giant Gourami is the sheer size of the Giant Gourami. Their large size may intimate and stress out any significantly smaller species. You can consider adding some similar sized peaceful species if you have the room. Continue reading for some options on tank mates to add to a Giant Gourami tank.

Are Giant Gourami Aggressive?

The Giant Gourami is not aggressive, although they may have a bit of an aggressive side while they are young. Giant Gouramis get the most aggreisve when they are protecting their hatching egss, during that time period they will attack anything that gets close. Giant Gouramis can also become a bit aggressive if their tank is too small.

Can Giant Gourami live alone?

In the wild, Giant Gouramis do not school; they are loners. This means that Giant Gouramis can and will happily live alone in a tank. You do not need to give them tank mates if you don’t have the space or if you don’t wish to.

Examples of Compatible Tank Mates

Finding compatible tank mates for a Giant Gourami tank mate isn’t difficult at all. It would be best to start with species that are similar in size and demeanor. Some species to consider are Oscar, Blood Parrot, Redtail Catfish, Pleco, Flowerhorn, Dojo Loach, or the Silver Arowana. Any of the species mentioned above would make a great tank mate for a Giant Gourami. There are plenty of other potential tank mates for Giant Gouramis that you can find with enough research.

Examples of Incompatible Tank Mates

The Giant Gourami is enormous for an aquarium fish, which means it outsizes most other aquarium fishes. Most fish don’t do well when around species that significantly outsize them. You should avoid housing a Giant Gourami with any small species; the small species will likely have a lot of stress, leading to an untimely death.

Giant Gourami and Oscar Fish

Giant Gourami and Oscar are very compatible as tank mates. Giant Gourami and Oscars occupy different spaces in their tank, so they’ll likely get along great. Giant Gouramis also mostly eat veggies, occasionaly flakes and pellets, so they shouldn’t compete with Oscars for food.

Where can I find Giant Gourami for sale?

Despite their large size, the Giant Gourami is quite popular. That popularity means that you can likely purchase them at most specialty aquarium stores and several online retailers. If you buy them online, make sure you use a respected source. The price of a Giant Gourami can range from $20 to upwards of $300; the color of the Giant Gourami usually determines this price.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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