Name: Osphronemus goramy
Origin: Southeast Asia
These are a truly remarkable fish. My pink giant, Floyd, is about 8 years old now and 64 cm long. He is very thick and shares his 900 liter tank amicably with clown loaches and red hook silver dollars. Osphronemus goramy are, in my view, the most intelligent fish available to the hobbyist. They have strong personalities, and every one is different. I can pet mine on the head, but if he is upset with me (if I have not fed him quickly enough, or if I have just done a big water change and thus intruded on his territory he ignores me. Very moody. If my wife or either of my two dogs enters the fish room he attacks ferociously through the glass. Don't know why. Especially when larger, like Floyd, these are herbivorous fish. Mine eats enormous quantities of different kinds of apples, pears, strawberries (his favourite), banana, lettuce, cabbage, peas, asparagus...basically, whatever is around the house. His staple food is jumbo Hikari koi pellets. He gets a couple of handfuls a day. These are huge, powerful fish and can put an enormous strain on a system. I would never keep an adult in less than a very heavily-filtered 900 L tank. I would also do large (say, 40%) water changes every week. They'll live through anything...but they won't thrive, and these fish deserve to thrive. If you have the money and space to properly care for these fish, it is almost criminal not to have one. If you don't have the money and space to properly care for these fish, it is almost criminal if you do have one.
A very clever and easy to keep giant, will eat almost everything you give: fruits like apples or grapes, vegetables like cabbage, and green peas are their favourite. They take prawn and small fish as well. There are other types available, the red eyed albino, the red tail and the whole body red color type.
These are some of the most magnificent fresh water fishes. They are extremely hardy, but grow extremely big and fast. Make sure your tank is big enough to house them comfortably...i.e. 400 liters per fish.
This fish grows very, very fast. It is a food hog! I thought that if I kept him in a smaller tank he would not get too big - Wrong! I had to separate him from other fish when he was 45 cm long. He stayed in a Hex tank by our dinner table. We would simply clean our plates into the tank and he ate it all. I have even fed jalapeno peppers to him. He loved them! I trained him to come 20 cm out of the water to eat banana pieces. Great pet for many years.
My cousin had a near full-size giant gourami in his equally huge 800 L tank with an oscar, two common plecs, a giraffe catfish, a Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps and a small shoal of tinfoil barbs. Upon visits, I noticed that the gourami was very peaceful to its tankmates, apart from the oscar which it took the odd peck at. This one was quite shy and was rarely seen coming out from behind the big piece of bogwood at the back. The tank was quite densely planted with aponogetons, java fern, vallisneria and water wisteria, and it seemed happy gliding in and out of the vallis round the piece of bogwood which it centered its territory around. Unfortunately though, the plecs and the spotted plec must have got a bit too boisterous as they grew and the gourami died from stress! One word of warning: Don't keep with boisterous fish such as oscars and large plecs as they react to stress badly. Apart from that, keep your LARGE tank (and I stress large) planted with a territory marker and with a pH of around 7.
I have a wonderful Giant Gourami by the name of Tiny (I also have an Oscar by this name). He is very...unique. He loves his peas, bananas, occasional feeder platies (raised by me, so I know they're disease and parasite free). He is almost 2 years old, the family's favorite pet. I'm working on getting him in with the Oscar after I made sure it was safe. I find that his favorite treat, as well as my Oscar's, Arowana's (yes, I specialize in BIG fish), is freeze-dried krill. All my big fish go crazy for it! So, the fastest way to hand feeding them, is enticing them with the krill.