I have two 'pearl' gouramis in a 55 gallon tank along with 3 tetras, 3 catfish and 2 hatchet fish. All of these fish live together fine. Today the gouramis started "kissing". I mean no doubt about it; they look like they are kissing. I just don't know if they are fighting or playing or courting or what. I became further confused when I looked up kissing gouramis on wikipedia and it said that kissing gouramis are a specific species, and the one described is not the pearl gourami. But I maintain that my gouramis are indeed "kissing". Can anyone clarify things for me? Thanks! :-)
Fish will often lip lock when establishing dominance or sometimes when courting each other. Do you know if you have males or females? Male Pearls will have a longer dorsal and anal fin and show red in their "throat" area. Females have much shorter and rounded dorsal and anal fins.
There is a species of kissing gourami (Helostoma temminckii) and they get their name from their protruding lips.
They don't lock lips, they are just "bumping" lips repeatedly. They face each other, then "charge" until they bump lips. They repeat this several times until one seems to 'give up' and swim a short distance away. I have seen them do this several times throughout the day.
They seem to have reddish throats and somewhat long anal and dorsal fins (although I have nothing which I can immediately compare them to). They are presumably the same gender.
If I was going to hazard a guess, I would say it's a dominance thing. They don't seem to really hurt each other, just chase the one out of the others' space, and they aren't doing it 24/7. Most of the time they co-exist peacefully just as they have for the last 9 months or so.
I don't currently have a decent camera, hopefully soon I can get one and get a video of them doing it. Thanks again for your help. :)
Yeah, it sounds like you have two males. I've only kept my male Pearls singly or with females. Pearls are not as aggressive as some of the other gouramis like the 3 spot or opalines. But if it gets to where one is getting more and more harassed you may have to separate them. And in a 55 with lots of plant cover you may be ok. I be interested to see a video if you can get it.
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