a few dwarf gourami questions


I have 2 dwarf gouramis. one is a neon red, the other neon blue. both male (we think, they're very vibrantly coloured)

at first, they were kept with a male siamese fighter, who took a shine to the red gourami. he was constantly flirting with it, and occasionally the other gourami, so we thought the gouramis were female. (the fighter has been put into another tank now, as his fins were ripped to pieces (not by the gouramis))

we also thought they were female as they had rounded dorsal fins, which is a sign they're female, with males having a pointed dorsal.

on reading a bit more about dwarf gouramis, I found the males to be the more vibrant sex, so then assumed we had two males.

at first they both had rounded fins to suggest them being female, however I was told that this means nothing (all the books I have are apparently wrong!)

anyways, now the 2 gouramis are trying to breed with each other. there's a bubble nest been built, and they do that whole breeding ritual, except I can't see any eggs being produced and put into the nest.

the neon red looks to be fat with eggs!

I know the males are supposed to be the more colourful of the sexes, but is it possible for females to also be so vibrant?

is it also possible for a male fish to turn female? sounds weird at first, but I believe it has happened.

both their dorsal fins are starting to grow to a slight point, although they are mostly still rounded.

anyone have any ideas what my 2 fish are up to??

also, when the tank was first set up, we had a few deaths (guppies and tetras) and we took the apparent culprit out. no deaths since, except yesterday, another (female) guppy was killed.
it had a massive bite out of it's back, near the dorsal fin.

there is a red tailed shark (not a black one) in the tank, but his mouth is not big enough to make that bite, he's about 2 inches long, and a placid fish. the only other fish it could have been, are the gouramis. could they have killed the guppy?

I sit every morning watching the fish while I eat breakfast (this particular tank is in the dining room) and this morning I can't for the life of me find my shark it's not in it's usual cave and I couldn't see it anywhere else in the tank. granted it is planted and I can't see every nook and cranny, but the shark is not that small!!

is it possible, if he is dead, that the gouramis have been the killers all along?

i'm at work posting this, so am not sure if the shark has reappeared. I hope he has, he's a gorgeous fish!


Possibly they are...you may need to observe a bit more. For instance my male gourami was actually timid around the bloodfins in his tank until at some point he became territorial about areas where he'd blown bubbles or something and would chase them when they went to investigate.
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possibly they are??? the killers, you mean? it was a massive post I posted, so not sure which bit you are referring to.

the shark is still alive, thankfully. he's taken to hiding behind the filter.

the gouramis have calmed down a bit, they're at least not trying to breed with each other any more!

we'll keep an eye on them and see how things progress.


The killers, yes.

I think it is possible for fish to change sex but as you've discovered they are actually rather hard to sex. For instance I thought mine was female but it might be that you can only tell the sex easily at certain times or something, because mine is definitely acting like a male labyrinth fish, blowing a nest and so on.

I got a gf of mine a rainbow shark and it spends a lot of time hiding, even now, so I guess they can be a little shy sometimes.


Hello TQfan
I saw your post and it reminded me so much of my situation. I also had two dwarf gouramis. One female and one male. I had a male betta in with them in the community tank. It seemed that the betta was constantly harrassing the male gourami. Not fighting just chasing around. I believe it was because they were both male. the betta did not bother the female gourami as a rule. Its possible that you also have a female and male gourami if the betta is chasing one and not the other. Also the male gourami would egg the betta on as well. I also took the betta out and put it in its own 10 gallon tank. the community is peaceful once again.
Hope that I was able to be of some help!


Sometimes with the red flame gouramis it's difficult to sex them by color...The make Neon blues are much easier to tell apart from the females....They will build bubble nests regardless of whether or not they are trying to mate.....It's just what they do....It could very well be though that you have one of each sex....

I've seen far more that say the sex of the dwarf gouramis can be determined by the shape of the fin than not...We bought our male neon blue from an all male tank that was right next to the all female tank...What a difference in color and the shape of the dorsal fin was pretty accurate.

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