Kissing prochilodus Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The kissing prochilodus, also known as the kissing gourami, is a freshwater fish that is native to South America.

This fish gets its name from its habit of “kissing” other fish in the tank. The kissing gourami is a peaceful fish that is relatively easy to care for.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about caring for your kissing prochilodus. You will learn about their diet, tank setup, and more!

Species overview

The kissing prochilodus (scientific name: Prochilodus scrofa) is a freshwater fish that’s native to South America. It’s found in rivers throughout Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

This fish is a bottom-feeder and scavenger, which means that it will eat just about anything it can find on the river floor. This includes plants, small insects, and even other fish.

The kissing prochilodus gets its name from its habit of “kissing” other fish. This is actually just a way of cleaning them, but it looks like they’re kissing!

This fish is a popular choice for aquariums because it’s relatively easy to care for and is very tolerant of different water conditions.


Kissing prochilodus

The first thing you’ll notice about the Kissing Prochilodus is their lips. These fish have very large and noticeable lips that protrude out from their mouths. These lips have given this species their name since “prochilodus” means “lip-bearer” in Greek.

While their lips are definitely the most striking feature, there’s a lot more to this fish than meets the eye. For starters, they have a long and thin body that’s silver in color.

This fish has a black stripe that starts at their snout and extends all the way back to the base of their tail. Along this stripe, you’ll find small black spots.

The dorsal and anal fins are both long and thin. The dorsal fin has a black edge that really makes it stand out against the silver body.

The caudal fin is forked and fairly tall. The pectoral fins are also quite long and thin.

All in all, the Kissing Prochilodus is a very elegant-looking fish that’s sure to add a touch of class to your aquarium.


The average lifespan of a kissing prochilodus is around 10 years. However, there have been some reports of these fish living for up to 15 years in captivity.

As with any fish, the lifespan of a kissing prochilodus can be affected by a number of different factors. Poor water quality, stress, and a suboptimal diet can all lead to a shorter lifespan.


The Kissing Prochilodus reaches a maximum length of around 12 inches, but is more commonly found at lengths of 6 to 8 inches. These fish are relatively slender, with males being slightly larger and more slender than females.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for a single kissing prochilodus is at least 75 gallons.

This fish is a little bit larger than your average freshwater fish and will need a little more space to swim and explore. If you want to keep more than one fish in your tank, you will need to add at least another 55 gallons for each fish.

Kissing prochilodus are also known to be a little bit more aggressive than other freshwater fish. So, if you’re planning on keeping them with other fish, you’ll need to make sure you have a large enough tank so everyone has enough space and there are plenty of hiding spots.

Water Parameters

The kisser fish, or prochilodus, is a popular choice for many freshwater aquarists. They’re beautiful, peaceful, and relatively easy to care for.

Prochilodus are native to South America and can be found in a variety of habitats, from slow-moving rivers to fast-flowing streams.

In captivity, they do best in an aquarium with similar conditions. That means a moderate water flow, plenty of hiding places, and a water temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

pH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.5, and water hardness should be between 4 and 12 dGH.

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the interior of their tank, you have a lot of options. These fish don’t have any specific needs so you can really go wild with the decorations.

One thing we always recommend is including some plants. These fish love to nibble on vegetation, so you’ll want something that can bounce back (Hornwort, Water Wisteria, or Java Moss are all great choices).

You can also add some driftwood or rocks to their habitat as well. Kissing prochilodus are known to nibble on these things as well, so you’ll want to make sure they’re big enough that they can’t be swallowed whole.

The substrate in your tank should be soft to account for the likelihood of digging. Anything hard or sharp can lead to cuts on your fish (they don’t have a lot of self-control).

A classic gravel substrate is always a good choice, but you can do with something soft and sandy if needed too (use other species you keep as a guide with this).

Common Diseases

The kissing prochilodus is a freshwater fish that’s native to South America. They’re a popular choice for aquariums because of their interesting appearance and peaceful nature.

Like any other fish, they can fall ill if they’re not properly cared for. The most common disease that affects this species is parasites.

Protozoans, nematodes, and trematodes are all common parasites that can affect freshwater fish. They’re usually not fatal, but they can cause a lot of discomfort for your fish.

Another thing to look out for is fungal infections. These are caused by poor water quality and are usually not fatal either. However, they can cause a lot of stress for your fish which can make them more susceptible to other diseases.

The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain a clean and stable tank. Doing regular water changes and using a high-quality filter will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy.

Behavior & Temperament

The kissing prochilodus is a peaceful fish that loves to socialize. It’s not uncommon to see a group of these fish swimming and playing together in the wild. The same behavior happens in aquariums.

They are bottom-dwellers that love to scavenge for food. You’ll often see them sifting through the substrate or eating algae off the glass. When they’re not eating, they’re usually resting.

The kissing prochilodus is a relatively calm fish, but it can be a bit nippy. It’s not aggressive, but it may nip at the fins of other fish. This is most likely to happen when the fish is feeling stressed.

Tank Mates

The kissing prochilodus is a schooling fish. In the wild, they stick to large groups for safety in numbers.

You should try to replicate this in the aquarium by adding at least six of these fish to the tank. If you don’t, the fish will be stressed, and this can lead to health problems.

Since these fish are schooling, they’re best kept with other fish that school. This way, they can stick together and feel safe in the aquarium.

Some compatible kissing prochilodus tank mates include:


The kissing prochilodus is a freshwater fish that is found in the rivers of South America. These fish are known for their unique breeding habits.

Before breeding can take place, the male kissing prochilodus will prepare a nest. He will do this by collecting leaves and other debris from the bottom of the river. He will then use his mouth to create a bubble nest at the surface of the water.

Once the nest is complete, the male will start to court the female. He will do this by swimming in front of her and flicking his tail. If the female is interested, she will swim towards the male and they will touch mouths. This is where the fish gets its name from.

After the two fish have kissed, the female will lay her eggs in the male’s nest. The male will then fertilize the eggs and guard the nest.

The eggs will hatch after about three days. The fry will be able to fend for themselves and will start to look for food.


The kissing prochilodus is a great fish for anyone who wants a little bit of everything. They’re beautiful fish that are easy to care for and get along well with other community fish.

They’re also a good size, so they won’t overcrowd your tank.

Overall, we think the kissing prochilodus is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a new fish to add to their tank.