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Heya! so I've got three honey gourami, one male? in sunset colours who's starting to show some black on the cheeks, one wild coloured variant lady?? who I got from a really renowned fish store but who is now starting to show a black nose to anal fin and white dorsal, is she a he?? and another female(???) wild type who is now also growing a black bottom fin, leaving me confused and worried because the "ladies" are starting to row and I am afraid they are males, of course I can not have possibly three males in my tank so if anyone actually knows about the real wild colour variants and could offer me some insights please do! if they are boys I'll have to return them :(
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Photos 1, and 2 are definitely a male wild colour.
Photo 3 looks like a stressed male wild colour.
Photo 4 is a male of the yellow variant.

The yellow fish at the top of photo 3 - is that the same fish as in photo 4?
 
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Photos 1, and 2 are definitely a male wild colour.
Photo 3 looks like a stressed male wild colour.
Photo 4 is a male of the yellow variant.

The yellow fish at the top of photo 3 - is that the same fish as in photo 4?

OH no, that means I have three males! I'll have to call the store in the morning..
And yeah it's the same fish, the picture makes him look a lot paler then he is though :)

This is so unfortunate! How would I be able to sex the wild colour variants? thanks for the quick reply.
 
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I've always found that the ones with a dark stripe from nose to tail are females of the wild colour. Not all females have this stripe though, but if you can find one with a very definite stripe, that is most likely to be a female.
Watch the fish for a few minutes. In my experience, males and females behave differently. Males tend to be more alert and taking notice of the other fish. Females tend to be just pootling round ignoring the other fish.
 
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I've always found that the ones with a dark stripe from nose to tail are females of the wild colour. Not all females have this stripe though, but if you can find one with a very definite stripe, that is most likely to be a female.
Watch the fish for a few minutes. In my experience, males and females behave differently. Males tend to be more alert and taking notice of the other fish. Females tend to be just pootling round ignoring the other fish.

The grey ones had stripes when they came in.. as they disappeared I assumed they where stress stripes like with bettas :O

They also behave rather calmly, mostly looking around for food and nipping at plants and such.. well until they find each other and the one with the white spinal fin starts to chase the other grey one away, neither of them are aggressive with the yellow gourami.

Is it for sure they are both male? Is there any definite way to tell them apart in case there is no horizontal stripe? Do only males have the black cheeks and bottom black fin?

Sorry for all the questions I just really want to get this right! And thanks again, I hope this isn't tedious but apparently I can't trust my fish stores on this and for the life of me I cannot find any detailed information and pictures :/
 

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Both wild coloured and yellow males get the black throat/black bottom fin - but only when they are mature or not stressed. The males in the shop tank may not have a black throat because a shop tank is a stressful environment and they may well be immature juveniles.
Females never have a black throat. So any individual with even a hint of a black throat or any black in the bottom fin is male.


A lot of people claim that you can tell by the shape of the fins. But even having a pair in my tank that had just laid eggs so I knew they were a male and female, I could never see any difference in fin shape.
The fin on the back is supposed to be longer and pointier in males, but with mine they were maybe slightly longer but definitely not pointed.
There are claims that if you look at the bottom fin right in front of the tail, with a female it it goes straight up before curving back towards the body while with a male it doesn't go straight up at the back edge but slopes from the tip towards the body.

These are photos of some of the honey gouramis I've had over the years.
Male wild colour (slightly blurry I'm afraid)
wild coloured male.jpg


Yellow male
Yellow male.JPG

Yellow female
Yellow female.jpg
 
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Both wild coloured and yellow males get the black throat/black bottom fin - but only when they are mature or not stressed. The males in the shop tank may not have a black throat because a shop tank is a stressful environment and they may well be immature juveniles.
Females never have a black throat. So any individual with even a hint of a black throat or any black in the bottom fin is male.


A lot of people claim that you can tell by the shape of the fins. But even having a pair in my tank that had just laid eggs so I knew they were a male and female, I could never see any difference in fin shape.
The fin on the back is supposed to be longer and pointier in males, but with mine they were maybe slightly longer but definitely not pointed.
There are claims that if you look at the bottom fin right in front of the tail, with a female it it goes straight up before curving back towards the body while with a male it doesn't go straight up at the back edge but slopes from the tip towards the body.

These are photos of some of the honey gouramis I've had over the years.
Male wild colour (slightly blurry I'm afraid)
View attachment 120369


Yellow male
View attachment 120370

Yellow female
View attachment 120371

Super comprehensive thank you so much for your time (your gouramis look wonderful)

I'll be asking the store to take the stressed out grey male back, the yellow male and grey with stripe seem to get along really swell so I'll keep them (maybe eventually get a "real" lady in there with them and see how that goes) if at any time they do end up fighting as well I'll move one to an empty 8 gal (used to be a guppy fry tank), I know that's technically too small but if then he shows signs of stress I'll also find a new forever home for him.

Thank you a lot for all your help, it's kind of the worst case with them all being male but only the newest one is showing signs of aggression so I'll be monitoring the other two and hope they get along! Thank you thank you
 
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Okay! One of the males was send back and I've received a new lady, please tell me, she actually IS a lady... the picture quality is not phenomenal because she's still rather shy. She seems to be the right shade and has a vertical stripe but also a sharp backfin and orange on the tips so... god please. (also the dominant male seems to chase her rather aggressively, is that normal behavior or should I be concerned)


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She looks like every wild coloured female I've had. But time will tell if it's actually a very stressed male.


Males will chase females.......


How long have you had honey gouramis? Are these the first?
 
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Okay, it's nice to know there's a chance with this one hah, thank you.

Yes these are my first Honeys, I've been in the hobby for ten years, but have never had these, thought I had done my research too, read just about every article and care guide I could find before going out to get a pair, turns out most information on them out there is very very basic and not written by people that have them (And none on the wild types) so now I'm scrambling to make sure they are being taken care of best I can, most of the time they seem content and healthy, the only exception was the stressed out male that I've obviously had to return.

Your advice is greatly appreciated and I hope to really get to know this species well enough to get a colony once I've got the dream tank setup in a year or two!
 

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Males chasing females is what gouramis do, though males will also fight and one end up swimming away.
When honey gouramis mate it looks a bit rough at first. Apparently the chasing stimulates gg production in the female. The male may or may not build a bubble nest - I once had a male which just put the eggs in a circle around the heater cable :unsure:

Stage #1 the male chases the female. She may well end up with a nipped tail but it heals quickly.
Stage # the male displays in front of the female by swimming on the spot with his nose pointing upwards. She starts to follow him towards the bubble nest, then swims off, so he chases her again.
Stage #3 male displays to female and she actually goes under the bubble nest before swimming off, and he chases her again.
Stage #4 they spawn. They wrap round each other, she lays eggs and he fertilises them. They both appear in a sort of stupor and the eggs begin to sink, then they wake up, gather the eggs in their mouths and spit them into the bubble nest.
Once he decides there are enough eggs, he chases her away and defends the nest against other fish. But he can't do it 24/7 so they get eaten if there are any other fish in the tank.
 
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Males chasing females is what gouramis do, though males will also fight and one end up swimming away.
When honey gouramis mate it looks a bit rough at first. Apparently the chasing stimulates gg production in the female. The male may or may not build a bubble nest - I once had a male which just put the eggs in a circle around the heater cable :unsure:

Stage #1 the male chases the female. She may well end up with a nipped tail but it heals quickly.
Stage # the male displays in front of the female by swimming on the spot with his nose pointing upwards. She starts to follow him towards the bubble nest, then swims off, so he chases her again.
Stage #3 male displays to female and she actually goes under the bubble nest before swimming off, and he chases her again.
Stage #4 they spawn. They wrap round each other, she lays eggs and he fertilises them. They both appear in a sort of stupor and the eggs begin to sink, then they wake up, gather the eggs in their mouths and spit them into the bubble nest.
Once he decides there are enough eggs, he chases her away and defends the nest against other fish. But he can't do it 24/7 so they get eaten if there are any other fish in the tank.

I've seen the male do most of all that, thanks for the guide! She seems way too stressed out, being new to the tank to follow the male and generally seems put off by his chasing, but giving her some time I think will be just what she needs, she has started timidly exploring the tank and has made her a little territory of her own that she retreats back into when she's been a little too brave.

I was wondering why the male does that strange upwards.. pointy dance, since there is no nest, though he does it underneath the filter output sponge so.. that explains why his nest doesn't work out (he is not the smartest cookie).

...your male putting the eggs by a heater cable is extremely funny by the way, what a lad.

I think that's all I needed to know for now, thanks so much again, if the lady turns black under bellied or releases eggs you'll hear from me again and we can once and for all put this thread to rest, but until then thanks so much and have a wonderful day!
 
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So this is the never ending thread, The lady is loosing the stripe and is starting to show black on her bottom fin, as well as a lighter colour on her spinal and she is turning a darker shade.
....Do I need to call the LFS and ask them how they sex honeys because I'm pretty sure.. they don't know how.

That or there aren't any female honeys and they are just all males and fry just appears out of thin air.

Do female honeys not have any colour on their fins? And if the bottom fin is turning black does that mean 100% they are male?

(In good news, they don't fight and seem to be really good buddies so, that's something at least)
 

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Females can lose the stripe as they settle into a tank.
I've checked all my photos and I don't have any of the wild coloured females I once had. If I remember correctly, that can have a tiny bit of colour, but a lot less than males.

There are photos of wild coloured males and females on Seriously Fish. They do show what I was trying to explain about the shape of the tail end of the fin under the body.

This is a terrible drawing to show what I mean
gourami.jpg

It's not guaranteed but it is another indicator.
 
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Females can lose the stripe as they settle into a tank.
I've checked all my photos and I don't have any of the wild coloured females I once had. If I remember correctly, that can have a tiny bit of colour, but a lot less than males.

There are photos of wild coloured males and females on Seriously Fish. They do show what I was trying to explain about the shape of the tail end of the fin under the body.

This is a terrible drawing to show what I mean
View attachment 121231

It's not guaranteed but it is another indicator.

On god according to the fins they are all females.

I called the store and they refuse to take him back so I've posted an add hoping someone will pick up the lil guy, he's starting to grow the black beard now too, not just the fin and slowly but surely hes growing more orange so... hn.

Thanks for the help, I think ill just.. take some time before trying to find another lady, hope my bachelors will be okay in the meantime haha
 

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