Sexing honey gourami

essjay

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They are both female.

The first one is a female of the wild colour. Pale greyish beige with a dark stripe down the side.

The second is a female of the yellow coloured variety. There is the hint of a black stripe down the side. This colour variety never has a solid line, only a broken patchy line. Males don't have this.
This is a female I used to have, you can see the hint of a line down her side like the fish in your photo.

honey gourami female.jpg

I know this was female because i also had a male and they spawned. The other one displayed to this fish, made a bubble nest and looked after the eggs.
 

essjay

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If you've never kept honey gouramis, it can be tricky. I can't tell the difference with the red ones. Even yellows are not 100% from photos. But after years with honey gouramis (natural and yellow) I can usually spot males and females in a shop tank just by their behaviour.
Lots of places will say to go by their fins but even when I have the fish in front of me and they have spawned so I know which is the male and which is the female, I still can't see enough difference in the fins to be able to say that's definitely a male and that a female.

@Aimee16 Look at their behaviour as well. Males tend to be the bright perky ones, always on the look out. Females tend to swim around calmly, mainly on the look out for food.
How do yours interact? If one occasionally swims in front of the other, upright with its nose pointing upwards, that's a male displaying to a female. Just feeling each other with their 'feelers' could be either. One fish chasing the other could be a male chasing a female or a dominant male chasing a subdominant male.
 
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Aimee16

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If you've never kept honey gouramis, it can be tricky. I can't tell the difference with the red ones. Even yellows are not 100% from photos. But after years with honey gouramis (natural and yellow) I can usually spot males and females in a shop tank just by their behaviour.
Lots of places will say to go by their fins but even when I have the fish in front of me and they have spawned so I know which is the male and which is the female, I still can't see enough difference in the fins to be able to say that's definitely a male and that a female.

@Aimee16 Look at their behaviour as well. Males tend to be the bright perky ones, always on the look out. Females tend to swim around calmly, mainly on the look out for food.
How do yours interact? If one occasionally swims in front of the other, upright with its nose pointing upwards, that's a male displaying to a female. Just feeling each other with their 'feelers' could be either. One fish chasing the other could be a male chasing a female or a dominant male chasing a subdominant male.
The yellow one is definitely more active and is always chasing the grey one trying to feel but never seen it the other way around which is another reason I assumed male and female. The grey one is definitely more shy
 

essjay

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I could be totally wrong of course :)


Watch them and see. If the yellow is a male, he will probably build a bubble nest then you'll see courtship behaviour which can be quite rough on the female's tail. The tail will heal quickly.


It is often written that gouramis should be kept with at least 2 females per male. But honeys are at the less aggressive end of gourami behaviour and I never had a problem with 1 male 1 female. But once I tried a trio. This did not go well as the two females fought each other. So just to warn you that it is possible for 2 females to not get along.
 

Salty&Onion

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It boggles me. I see certain traits and think yep that’s deffo male/female but then there’s other things that make me think otherwise ‍
My first day into the hobby I couldn't tell if my guppies were male or female. Luckily I learned this with time.
 

James7

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I would have said the yellow one was male too! You’re making me doubt if I have a sexed pair now!!
 

James7

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I had the same experience in the first shop, so I went to a second one!
 
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