Honey gourami gender and behaviour enquiry

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New Member
Mar 9, 2023
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United Kingdom
We have just added 2 honey gouramis to our 65 litre tank. We are new to fish keeping.

Can anyone tell me if they are male or female? I have attached pictures

They have pretty much constantly been following each other around and tapping each other with their ventral fins since introducing over the last 2 days. They are both eating and follow each other. They flay their fins at each other and circle at times.

Is this normal behaviour or anything to worry about? Could it progress into something more aggressive? It does not seem very aggressive atm, more playful maybe, there is no charging or nipping but it is pretty constant.

Thanks in advance!


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It's difficult, because my way of recognizing sexes in honeys is based on the natural colours, and those are a linebred colour variety. My gut feeling says male and female, but gut feelings aren't reliable.
You're lucky, in that they are honey gouramis. Most stores where I am misuse the name to sell a larger hybrid whose behaviour is not fun to see. They hijacked the 'honey' name because that fish has a reputation for being calm and easy going. A lot of people read about honey gourami behaviour and buy them, then become very confused and disappointed. You'll get the behaviour of the real fish with what you have.
The activities you're describing are normal. I used to breed honey gourams, and for some reason I always got many more males than females. I had the extra males in a few different tanks, and they never did each other any harm. The hybrid things are nasty, but the real fish is quite sociable. So even if I'm wrong, and at their current age, it's 50/50 - you could flip a coin, and you have males, it will probably be fine.

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