A commonly kept freshwater aquarium fish
. Most varieties are rather peaceful, but a few are more aggressive
, especially to other gouramis. They coexist
well with barb
s and catfish
. The species can grow to be quite large, so it is advisable to buy them small, and provide a roomy tank
The gourami is shaped more or less like an oval, with largish fins the length of the body to the tail. All gouramis except the kissing gourami have a long thin pair of fins that look like feelers as well. These trail under and behind the fish, and give them a very graceful appearance.
The kissing gourami is so named because its lips constantly open and shut in a kissing motion. They are usually pale pink and are found in great abundance in pet shops. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has mammoth kissing gouramis. Prior to my visit there I had no idea the fish could acquire such an impressive size.
Other gouramis often available are the dwarf, giant, blue, gold, opaline, moonlight, and pearl leeri.
Because of their size and flashy colors, gourami watching is one of my cat's favorite pastimes.