Banded (Giant) Gourami
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

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Giant Gourami

Quick Stats:   Banded (Giant) Gourami

Family: Belontiidae
Range: India, Bangal, Assam, Burma
Size: Up to 4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Plants
Tank Conditions: 72-80°F; pH 6.0-7.5; dH 4-15
Minimum Tank Capacity: 30 gallons
Light: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful
Swimming Level: Top to middle
Care Level: Moderate
Reproduction: Egg Layer - Bubblenest Builder

The Banded Gourami, also known as the Giant, Rainbow, or Striped Gourami, is pale to golden yellow with silvery, pale-blue stripes running vertically along its body. Banded Gouramis are considered labyrinth fish, meaning that although they are equipped with gills, they also have a special organ which allows them to also breathe directly from the air. As a result, they must have access to the surface of the water in the aquarium. In some parts of India, the Banded Gourami is used as a food fish, where it is dried and then eaten.

The Banded Gourami requires a tank that is 30 gallons or larger with densely planted edges, with preferably a dark tank bottom. There should be plenty of room left in the center of the tank for this gourami to swim. It prefers the company of other fish that are similar in size and temperament.

The Banded Gourami is an egg layer and the male will build a bubblenest 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 8 inches deep and the temperature should be 82°F. After spawning, the female should be removed to a separate tank because the male will jealously guard the eggs, sometimes becoming aggressive towards the female. The eggs will hatch in 24 hours.

The Banded Gourami is an omnivore and prefers algae-based foods as well as meaty foods. An algae-based flake food, along with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp will provide this fish with the proper nutrition.

Ideal tank mates include:

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