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Sexing Croaking Gouramis (Trichopsis vittata)

froggo_boggo

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Hi All!

First post here after lurking for a while :)

Just wondering if any gourami experts could help identifying the sex of my croaking gouramis (Trichopsis vittata)?
My LFS tried to give me 2 females, 1 male but they weren't 100% sure of them and from all my research online I'm pretty sure I have 1 female, 2 males, but would love some input!
Ive tried shining a torch behind them to look for ovaries but can't see anything obvious?

Imgur link for photos as well
So I've uploaded a few photos and a video with labels (Fish 1, 2 and 3) for review, but behaviourally this is what I've seen:
  • 1 is smaller than the other two, and is the least aggressive and most curious and photo friendly
  • 2 is middle sized, has never initiated a display but sometimes displays when the others are croaking
  • 3 is the largest is quite aggressive to 1, often displaying and croaking to 1 then chasing it off, but will also display and croak to 2 but doesn't seem to be as aggressive even though it chases it sometimes.
Physically:
  • 1 has always had very defined lines and bright colours whereas the other two are less defined except in the sunlight.
  • 2 also has a slightly less rounded head/up turned mouth, not sure if this is indicative of anything?
  • 3 has very red edges to it's fins, 2 has some red edging, 1 has none
  • All of them have some extended rays on their fins, but 2 appears to have slightly more rounded dorsal fin.
Any advice would be awesome!

Cheers
Chris
 

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Colin_T

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The behaviour of the 2 fish displaying to each other in the video/ gif would suggest they are both males.

No idea about the pictures, they all look the same to me.
 
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froggo_boggo

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The behaviour of the 2 fish displaying to each other in the video/ gif would suggest they are both males.

No idea about the pictures, they all look the same to me.
so a female should not flair fins at all? 2&3 definitely spend a lot of time croaking and circling and sometimes they almost embrace but there’s no bubble nest yet so I can’t imagine they’re ready to breed?
 

Colin_T

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Females might flare their fins when breeding but the 2 fish circling each other looked like 2 males displaying to each other.
 
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froggo_boggo

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Aaaah damn so I suspect I might have 3 males then :/ any tips for picking out females in the LFS?
 

Colin_T

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If the shop has young fish, buy a group of 8-10 fish and grow them up.

If they have adult fish, look for ones that are brightly coloured and have big long fins, these will be males. Fish that are less colourful and have shorter fins are more likely to be females, but they could also be subordinate males.

Sparkling and croaking gouramis can be a pain to sex unless they are actually breeding.
 

Byron

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The two times I have had this species I acquired a group of six and both times there was spawning and fry survived (on their own). I agree with Colin's approach, and that the video is likely two males challenging. You will hear the "croaks" like a rapid series of clicks, when excited and during courtship, and these can easily be heard outside the aquarium. In a 1992 study, Friedrich Ladich et.al. determined that this sound is important not only in breeding displays but also in antagonistic displays of males to establish dominance. The "croak" is a series of double pulses generated by rapid beating of the pectoral fins. Another study by Ladich in 1998 established that the sounds vary according to the individual fish and the sound frequency had a role in determining the outcome of the encounter between rival fish.
 
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froggo_boggo

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Awesome info thanks Byron and Colin!

So thinking I had all males, I went to return them to my LFS who had agreed to give full store credit. I lifted the lid to find them and managed to get one out but couldn’t for the life of me find the other two. Then I look at the duckweed and boom a bubble nest and eggs! I must’ve disturbed the nest as some eggs dropped and 1 went around picking them up in his mouth and putting them back in the nest! given number 3 previous behaviour I decided to return him to the store and keep 1 & 2.
Later on I caught them paired up and croaking and doing the gourami embrace!
So excited to see how this progresses!

thanks for the help guys!

Cheers
Chris
 

LindaJanie

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so a female should not flair fins at all? 2&3 definitely spend a lot of time croaking and circling and sometimes they almost embrace but there’s no bubble nest yet so I can’t imagine they’re ready to breed?
I've sat here watching my 3-spots conclude four successful hatchings, over the last two months & can say that if the croaking gouramis behave at all like the 3-spots, the female does display & circle. She even opens her gill covers and circles the mate ~ that phase of the courtship reminds me of the fight scene in the Michael Jackson "Beat It" video. This is the first time any anabantid has spawned in any of my tanks, so I'm a beginner, not an expert. That said, I spent countless hours sitting here & observing their behavior. I saw them do things I'd never read about or heard of, especially the "seductive" behavior of the female. I only saw her open her gills and circle the male once, but that's what she did. She was posturing like the male.
 

LindaJanie

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Awesome info thanks Byron and Colin!

So thinking I had all males, I went to return them to my LFS who had agreed to give full store credit. I lifted the lid to find them and managed to get one out but couldn’t for the life of me find the other two. Then I look at the duckweed and boom a bubble nest and eggs! I must’ve disturbed the nest as some eggs dropped and 1 went around picking them up in his mouth and putting them back in the nest! given number 3 previous behaviour I decided to return him to the store and keep 1 & 2.
Later on I caught them paired up and croaking and doing the gourami embrace!
So excited to see how this progresses!

thanks for the help guys!

Cheers
Chris
This is SO exciting. As one who's just experienced her first gourami spawn (well 4 back-to-back spawns), I can't wait to hear about how your fry develop. I've had such a great time watching four separate groups growing (the oldest 2 months, it's AMAZING how much bigger they are than the newest batch).
moby and sibs.png

Don't forget: photos, please! Sincerely, Linda
 

PheonixKingZ

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I've sat here watching my 3-spots conclude four successful hatchings, over the last two months & can say that if the croaking gouramis behave at all like the 3-spots, the female does display & circle. She even opens her gill covers and circles the mate ~ that phase of the courtship reminds me of the fight scene in the Michael Jackson "Beat It" video. This is the first time any anabantid has spawned in any of my tanks, so I'm a beginner, not an expert. That said, I spent countless hours sitting here & observing their behavior. I saw them do things I'd never read about or heard of, especially the "seductive" behavior of the female. I only saw her open her gills and circle the male once, but that's what she did. She was posturing like the male.
You seem to be an expert with 3 spot Gouramis! How come I’ve never seen you around TFF before?
 
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