Honey gourami bad experience

marcov
  • #1
I briefly mentioned this in the serial killer honey gourami thread but I wanted to share a more complete account.

My tank when I got the honey gourami:

20 gallon planted tank
8 harlequin rasbora
6 cory panda
2 otos
1 mystery snail
1 amano shrimp
2 ghost shrimp

I introduce the honey gourami and everything's great! It took him one day overcome being shy, then it was all fun and games. He would swim with the rasboras when they schooled, he would glass surf with the corys and he would zoom with the otos. He was all the things that the online profiles said he would be, a sweet and docile fish.

Well, at least he was for three weeks.

Middle of week 3, he started turning black in the belly. I was worried, but after looking online I found out it was his mating colors. He claimed a corner of the tank as his and started trying to build a bubble nest.

No aggression at the beginning, but as the days went by, he started attacking anyone that came too close to his territory.

The LFS where I got him is 30 minutes away, so I try to plan my trips there for Sunday. I decided I would give the gourami another week; after all, this has to be temporary, right? I couldn't find a precise answer to how long the mating behavior would last, but surely it wouldn't last that long? Besides, all the rest of the tank had to do was to stay out of his way.

Was I wrong about this.

Second week of mating colors was an awful experience. The gourami no longer was limited to his territory, he went swimming through the whole tank looking for trouble. No one was safe. Feeding time was stressful: I had to trick the gourami to one side to feed the rasboras. Previous to that, he liked to share sinking pellets with the corys, but now he attacked them and tried to hoard all the food. Even the snail was attacked for no reason.

I have a windelov java fern and that became his punching (biting) bag when he couldn't find a fight. I saw him biting and spitting the tips of the leaves.

Saturday came and I decided he had to go. Unfortunately, at that point I noticed one of the pandas started to look thin and not as active, and although I didn't see it, I'm pretty sure it was the result of one of the gourami's bites. The panda continued to waste away after the gourami left; I gave it time to see if it healed, but I had to euthanize him after I saw him starting to float upside down. He was down to his bones.

Sunday I finally netted the gourami and took him back to the LFS. Of course, when he arrived at the LFS all signs of the black mating color where gone and he looked like a sweet honey gourami again.

I don't have pictures of him because I just started taking pictures of my tank a month ago, but I'm confident it was a honey gourami because of:

- Visual comparisons I did with online pictures and
- I got him at one of the professional LFS in my area

Now, if everybody says that HG are sweet little guys, I have to believe I got a freak one. He showed all the peaceful traits for a while, and we really liked how he interacted with everybody. I wish there was more information on mating behavior.

I have given up on a "centerpiece" fish for that tank. I got a red rili shrimp that turned out to be berried, so my tank is now full of juveniles and it is awesome. I just wish we didn't have to lose a cory to this whole situation.
 
jinjerJOSH22
  • #2
Hello again :D

I appreciate you making a thread for this it's a shame you don't have any pictures of him. I want to try to discern what I think happened from what you post here and I'll try and give reasons as I go.
Reading this, to me it sounds like you had a Thick Lipped Gourami, the way you describe the behaviour matches them very well.
I introduce the honey gourami and everything's great! It took him one day overcome being shy, then it was all fun and games. He would swim with the rasboras when they schooled, he would glass surf with the corys and he would zoom with the otos. He was all the things that the online profiles said he would be, a sweet and docile fish.
Thick Lips I find generally more interactive than Honeys, which often shy away but when they aren't shy typically don't interact so much with other fish.
Middle of week 3, he started turning black in the belly. I was worried, but after looking online I found out it was his mating colors. He claimed a corner of the tank as his and started trying to build a bubble nest.
For sure this is mating dress, although both Honey and Thick Lipped Gourami have this although Honeys typically have a more full black underbelly. The second part of this is interesting, Honeys will also claim a spot however they are very secretive in building a bubble nest. You often won't notice there is a bubble nest. Thick Lips aren't like this and don't really attempt to hide the effort.
The LFS where I got him is 30 minutes away, so I try to plan my trips there for Sunday. I decided I would give the gourami another week; after all, this has to be temporary, right? I couldn't find a precise answer to how long the mating behavior would last, but surely it wouldn't last that long? Besides, all the rest of the tank had to do was to stay out of his way.
Though it depends on species just how often, Gourami in the right conditions can spawn very frequently with almost no time in between, so it makes sense that the breeding behaviour can last a long time.
Second week of mating colors was an awful experience. The gourami no longer was limited to his territory, he went swimming through the whole tank looking for trouble. No one was safe. Feeding time was stressful: I had to trick the gourami to one side to feed the rasboras. Previous to that, he liked to share sinking pellets with the corys, but now he attacked them and tried to hoard all the food. Even the snail was attacked for no reason.
20 gallons isn't such a big tank, especially if it's like I suspect and is a Thick Lip.
Regardless it's a sucky situation to deal with. Being in spawning condition, building nest etc.. takes a lot of energy so it's not so surprising if he wanted more food, it's also normal for both species to nip at plant matter.
Saturday came and I decided he had to go. Unfortunately, at that point I noticed one of the pandas started to look thin and not as active, and although I didn't see it, I'm pretty sure it was the result of one of the gourami's bites. The panda continued to waste away after the gourami left; I gave it time to see if it healed, but I had to euthanize him after I saw him starting to float upside down. He was down to his bones.
This is unfortunate but unlikely connected to anything either species of Gourami would have done. Pandas often have really poor genetics, while the situation with the Gourami might've been a factor it's unlikely directly the cause.

- Visual comparisons I did with online pictures and
- I got him at one of the professional LFS in my area
It's unfortunate but there is so much misinformation on these fish that online pictures as well as information from fish stores can't be trusted. For LFSs it often comes down to the suppliers, if they have "Honey Gourami" on the shipment then that is how they will sell them.


I don't suppose it's possible for you to link photos that you used as comparison? I'm stretching here but I always find this stuff so interesting. :)

Now, if everybody says that HG are sweet little guys, I have to believe I got a freak one. He showed all the peaceful traits for a while, and we really liked how he interacted with everybody. I wish there was more information on mating behavior.
This is of course possible, for me another factor in this is a social aspect. Social fish that are kept on their own often exhibit behaviour that they wouldn't naturally. That being said people really shouldn't underestimate how Gourami get when they want to breed.

I have given up on a "centerpiece" fish for that tank.
I'm not a fan of this concept anyway, as long as you enjoy your tank and everyone is doing good then that's all that matters.
I don't suppose you could also post a photo of the tank?
 
marcov
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hello again :D

I appreciate you making a thread for this it's a shame you don't have any pictures of him. I want to try to discern what I think happened from what you post here and I'll try and give reasons as I go.
Reading this, to me it sounds like you had a Thick Lipped Gourami, the way you describe the behaviour matches them very well.

Thick Lips I find generally more interactive than Honeys, which often shy away but when they aren't shy typically don't interact so much with other fish.

For sure this is mating dress, although both Honey and Thick Lipped Gourami have this although Honeys typically have a more full black underbelly. The second part of this is interesting, Honeys will also claim a spot however they are very secretive in building a bubble nest. You often won't notice there is a bubble nest. Thick Lips aren't like this and don't really attempt to hide the effort.

Though it depends on species just how often, Gourami in the right conditions can spawn very frequently with almost no time in between, so it makes sense that the breeding behaviour can last a long time.

20 gallons isn't such a big tank, especially if it's like I suspect and is a Thick Lip.
Regardless it's a sucky situation to deal with. Being in spawning condition, building nest etc.. takes a lot of energy so it's not so surprising if he wanted more food, it's also normal for both species to nip at plant matter.

This is unfortunate but unlikely connected to anything either species of Gourami would have done. Pandas often have really poor genetics, while the situation with the Gourami might've been a factor it's unlikely directly the cause.


It's unfortunate but there is so much misinformation on these fish that online pictures as well as information from fish stores can't be trusted. For LFSs it often comes down to the suppliers, if they have "Honey Gourami" on the shipment then that is how they will sell them.


I don't suppose it's possible for you to link photos that you used as comparison? I'm stretching here but I always find this stuff so interesting. :)


This is of course possible, for me another factor in this is a social aspect. Social fish that are kept on their own often exhibit behaviour that they wouldn't naturally. That being said people really shouldn't underestimate how Gourami get when they want to breed.


I'm not a fan of this concept anyway, as long as you enjoy your tank and everyone is doing good then that's all that matters.
I don't suppose you could also post a photo of the tank?
I'll believe it was a thick lip gourami based on this information. It makes more sense than believing I got the worst honey gourami ever.

I'll take pictures later when I get home. I started taking pictures after the gourami left and the amano shrimp came back from hiding to show my wife proof of life (she loves that amano). Lately I have been taking more pictures of the red rili juveniles, but I have to take some of the tank as a whole.

Regarding the panda, it makes me feel a little better to think that he died because of genetics instead of negligence/poor research. I love those guys, I know that "dumb" is not a compliment but that's how they seem to me. Maybe "silly" is a better descriptor?
 
GouramiGirl100
  • #4
Yes unfortunately sometimes thick lipped and honey are mislabeled as they can be difficult to tell apart as young fish. I’m sorry you got a terror of a fish :(
 
jinjerJOSH22
  • #5
I'll believe it was a thick lip gourami based on this information. It makes more sense than believing I got the worst honey gourami ever.
I hope it was and I hope maybe in the future you will find yourself keeping true Honey Gourami. Genuinely really wonderful when you cater the tank to their needs.
I just want to add, I can't say for sure that it wasn't a Honey Gourami, without actually seeing it for myself I can't say 100% what it was. Though given the constant identity crisis these fish have it wouldn't surprise me if that is the case. :D
I'll take pictures later when I get home. I started taking pictures after the gourami left and the amano shrimp came back from hiding to show my wife proof of life (she loves that amano). Lately I have been taking more pictures of the red rili juveniles, but I have to take some of the tank as a whole.
I look forward to seeing them.
Regarding the panda, it makes me feel a little better to think that he died because of genetics instead of negligence/poor research. I love those guys, I know that "dumb" is not a compliment but that's how they seem to me. Maybe "silly" is a better descriptor?
Maybe dopey? Very Panda like I think is the black patch around the eyes.
 
Motherlovebetta
  • #6
I went through the same thing with a male honey gourami! I actually posted on here and no one believed that a honey gourami could be so heartless. I was losing fish left and right…..Cories, tetras, more Cories, more cories my parameters were just fine and I do know that dwarf cories are sensistive but they had body damage. He even struck my finger and drew blood on me once when I stuck my hand in to adjust the heater. (I swear I’m not crazy) It was always when he had a bubble nest. I’m 100% sure it was a honey gourami, when the black breast would go away he was the perfect gentleman. I had him in a very heavily planted 30 gallon with other honey gourami. After about 8 deaths in my tank I rehomed him to one of the girls at the LFS and I haven’t had anyone die on me since then even the dwarf cories, but she lost fish after adopting him. I forget what tank she said she moved him to but it was with larger fish and he’s doing just fine in there. Maybe it was just coincidental, but I think he was a psychopath or a serial killer. I do have one of his offspring in my tank and she just swims around with her mom everywhere and is sweet as can be, but I don’t know that I will ever fully trust her haha.
 
marcov
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I
I went through the same thing with a male honey gourami! I actually posted on here and no one believed that a honey gourami could be so heartless. I was losing fish left and right…..Cories, tetras, more Cories, more cories my parameters were just fine and I do know that dwarf cories are sensistive but they had body damage. He even struck my finger and drew blood on me once when I stuck my hand in to adjust the heater. (I swear I’m not crazy) It was always when he had a bubble nest. I’m 100% sure it was a honey gourami, when the black breast would go away he was the perfect gentleman. I had him in a very heavily planted 30 gallon with other honey gourami. After about 8 deaths in my tank I rehomed him to one of the girls at the LFS and I haven’t had anyone die on me since then even the dwarf cories, but she lost fish after adopting him. I forget what tank she said she moved him to but it was with larger fish and he’s doing just fine in there. Maybe it was just coincidental, but I think he was a psychopath or a serial killer. I do have one of his offspring in my tank and she just swims around with her mom everywhere and is sweet as can be, but I don’t know that I will ever fully trust her haha.
I'm not a fish expert by any means but all the pictures I compared the gourami to made me positive he was a honey.

Maybe you get a psycho honey every once in a while and we won the lottery?
 

Motherlovebetta
  • #8
Maybe you get a psycho honey every once in a while and we won the lottery?
Worst lottery ever!
 
DoubleDutch
  • #9
Hello again :D

I appreciate you making a thread for this it's a shame you don't have any pictures of him. I want to try to discern what I think happened from what you post here and I'll try and give reasons as I go.
Reading this, to me it sounds like you had a Thick Lipped Gourami, the way you describe the behaviour matches them very well.

Thick Lips I find generally more interactive than Honeys, which often shy away but when they aren't shy typically don't interact so much with other fish.

For sure this is mating dress, although both Honey and Thick Lipped Gourami have this although Honeys typically have a more full black underbelly. The second part of this is interesting, Honeys will also claim a spot however they are very secretive in building a bubble nest. You often won't notice there is a bubble nest. Thick Lips aren't like this and don't really attempt to hide the effort.

Though it depends on species just how often, Gourami in the right conditions can spawn very frequently with almost no time in between, so it makes sense that the breeding behaviour can last a long time.

20 gallons isn't such a big tank, especially if it's like I suspect and is a Thick Lip.
Regardless it's a sucky situation to deal with. Being in spawning condition, building nest etc.. takes a lot of energy so it's not so surprising if he wanted more food, it's also normal for both species to nip at plant matter.

This is unfortunate but unlikely connected to anything either species of Gourami would have done. Pandas often have really poor genetics, while the situation with the Gourami might've been a factor it's unlikely directly the cause.


It's unfortunate but there is so much misinformation on these fish that online pictures as well as information from fish stores can't be trusted. For LFSs it often comes down to the suppliers, if they have "Honey Gourami" on the shipment then that is how they will sell them.


I don't suppose it's possible for you to link photos that you used as comparison? I'm stretching here but I always find this stuff so interesting. :)


This is of course possible, for me another factor in this is a social aspect. Social fish that are kept on their own often exhibit behaviour that they wouldn't naturally. That being said people really shouldn't underestimate how Gourami get when they want to breed.


I'm not a fan of this concept anyway, as long as you enjoy your tank and everyone is doing good then that's all that matters.
I don't suppose you could also post a photo of the tank?
Do Thick Lips get a black breast as well Josh?
 
jinjerJOSH22
  • #10
Do Thick Lips get a black breast as well Josh?
It's not usually as much as Honey Gourami but they do have some black pigment.
 
marcov
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I hope it was and I hope maybe in the future you will find yourself keeping true Honey Gourami. Genuinely really wonderful when you cater the tank to their needs.
I just want to add, I can't say for sure that it wasn't a Honey Gourami, without actually seeing it for myself I can't say 100% what it was. Though given the constant identity crisis these fish have it wouldn't surprise me if that is the case. :D

I look forward to seeing them.

Maybe dopey? Very Panda like I think is the black patch around the eyes.
What is the appropriate subforum to post pictures and description of a tank?
 
Mudminnow
  • #13
jinjerJosh22, how can thick lipped gouramis and honey gouramis be distinguished? Is there some key difference? The yellow form of the thick lips look a lot like honeys to me.
 
jinjerJOSH22
  • #15
jinjerJosh22, how can thick lipped gouramis and honey gouramis be distinguished? Is there some key difference? The yellow form of the thick lips look a lot like honeys to me.
A good one to look out for is the colouring of the tail. Thick Lips have greyish looking tails. The Golden Honeys will have yellowy orange. Generally they are longer in body have larger more shaped dorsal and analfins.
 
Hellfishguy
  • #16
True thicklips also grow to twice the size of honeys.
 

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