Giant Gourami "Osphronemus gourami"

Giant Gourami "Osphronemus gourami"

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The Giant Gourami Osphronemus goramy is a stunning fish when it gets large. In their natural environment natives have reported lengths of almost 2 feet (60 cm). This is the largest of all the labyrinth fishes and in its native countries it is affectionately called the "Water Hog". It is an active fish with a high metabolism and it eats a lot. They are believed to have originated in Java, and possibly Sumatra, Borneo, and other islands in the Malay Archipelago, but their range is much greater today.

When they are small they have a pointed snout, a flat head, and an attractive banded coloration. Juveniles have stripes of a silvery blue/gray to black on a cream to golden/yellow background. As they get older they loose the stripes and turn the color of the fish in the photo above, or sometimes completely black. Adults develop a swollen forehead (especially the males), along with thick lips (more pronounced on females), and a thick chin. Other common names they are known by include Common Gourami and True Gourami.