The kissing gourami is a peaceful species that should be housed with fish of similar size and temperament. Males will occasionally fight by “pressing” their mouths together — hence the common name.
The kissing gourami should be housed in large aquariums (i.e., 75 gallons or more) that are densely planted with Java fern and Java moss on the sides and back of the aquarium, as well as floating plants, such as Riccia species. Artificial plants are recommended, as live plants will be regarded as food. Decorate with bogwood and rockwork to provide sufficient area for algae to grow on, as this species will browse algae-covered surfaces as a supplement to its diet.
The kissing gourami accepts a wide range of foods, including small live foods, such as bloodworms, Tubifex worms, earthworms, glass worms and brine shrimp, as well as flake and freeze-dried foods. Supplement with vegetable matter in the form of Spirulina-based foods or parboiled vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, zucchini or peas.
Because it is difficult to differentiate between the sexes, it is best to purchase a group of six or more and let them pair up. This fish does not build nests, but it is capable of producing large spawns — up to 10,000 eggs per spawning. The eggs will float to the surface and attach themselves to various surfaces (i.e., plant stems, leaves). Some aquarists float a lettuce leaf in the aquarium as both a site of attachment for the eggs, and a source of infusoria, which the fry will feed on as an initial food. The parents should be removed from the aquarium after spawning, and the eggs will hatch in about four days.