A Group Of Gouramis: A Question Of Sexing That Is Beyond My Experience

The June FOTM Contest Poll is open!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to vote! 🏆


New Member
Nov 7, 2012
Reaction score
Baden-Wuerttemburg, Germany
Complete Aquarium Newbie Looking for Insight:

I recently put together a 54 liter freshwater aquarium for my daughter's birthday. Essentially, it is my aquarium until she learns to take complete care of it... we'll see how that plan works out.

I have been speaking with the team at my local aquatic supplier about the necessary details to achieve success and longevity for the tank with definitely positive results all around. Unfortunately, I now find myself doubting their advice for the first time through this process.

The area of my question surrounds their recommendation to hold some Gouramis in the tank.
My understanding is that male Gouramis are very competitive: they may be paired with one (or two) females of their species, but any additional males are certain to cause problems.
The recommendation / selection was two pairs of Gouramis: one pair of Dwarf Blues, and a pair of Red Honeys.

I THINK I have one male Blue, one female Blue, and two female Red Honeys... but am looking for feedback on my pictures to aid my decision to possibly return one (or two) of the little beasts before the fighting begins. If the general consensus is that I have an MFFF situation, I'll probably wait it out until there's some misbehavior...

Please forgive the Colorization of these pictures, lighting and situation were unfavorable, and I didn't want to hassle the fish unnecessarily with the flash. From my reading it's more about the shape of the dorsal fin than anything else, so I hope these images are useful...

The Blue Dwarf that I believe to be Male (regardless of the photo, the fish is bright blue with orange diagonal striping and orange edge to all major fins):

The Blue Dwarf that I believe to be female (predominantly silver with blue accents):
The photo makes it look REALLY blue, but this is misleading...

The two Red Honeys, that I believe to be female, are almost identical in coloring and fin shape (both have a similarly rounded rear end to dorsal fin):

It's been a few days and no one has commented on whether they agree with my call on the sexes of these little swimmers... I hope this means that some of you agree! :)

Whatever the actual sexual breakdown of my four fishes may be, they appear to be getting along very well so far. The first one pictured above spends most of his time pacing the front glass of the aquarium eyeing his reflection, and the other three chill out in quiet corners for the most part... No nipping, no agression; only a little sizing and comparing among the presumed females, for now.
Sorry I didn't see this earlier or I would've responded. The first is def. a male, he looks very healthy too. The second is a female, and she looks a bit stressed for some reason. Maybe she's getting too much attention from the male? The third and forth pics of the Honey G's it's a bit harder to tell for sure since they look kinda young, especially the first of those two. I'd say they're both male if anything, female Honey G's tend to be less colorful. The real male characteristics don't really show their full potential until they're a bit older.
For what it's worth, I was thinking M/F/M/M too. It's hard to see the dorsal fin of the last one, and the third one is rounded, but the colouration seems too intense for females. Females tend to be silvery.
Also, the male's body is longer while the females is shorter & taller, if that makes sense.

Most reactions