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Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.


Giant Gouramis

Osphronemus goramy

ON EXHIBIT: River Giants exhibit in River Journey

Giant Gourami

Giant gouramis are the largest fish in the family Osphronemidae, which includes many smaller varieties of gouramis including pearl gouramis, which can be found in our Tropical Asian Rivers exhibit in Rivers of the World.  Gouramis can live in oxygen poor environments, such as bogs, because they have a specialized labyrinth breathing apparatus that allows them to breathe air.  Gouramis are bubblenest builders, like Siamese fighting fish, or Bettas.  The male builds a dense nest of bubbles and lures the female over to it for mating.  He then guards the eggs until they hatch a few days later.  

Non-threatened; Partly in consequence of its size, the Giant Gourami is a significant food fish.

Giant Gourmi

About This Animal

SIZE: They can grow up to 28 inches in the wild but have relatively short live spans of about 20 years.

RANGE: Native to the Southeast Asian countries of Java, Sumatra and Bornio, but are also farmed for aquaculture.

HABITAT: It lives in fresh or brackish water, particularly slow-moving areas such as swamps, lakes and large rivers.

DIET: Gourami tend towards vegetarianism, preferring algae-based foods but will eat meaty foods such as shrimp brine.