Honey Gourami vs. Sunset Thicklip Gourami

Freshfishguy

I thought I’d make a post detailing how to tell the difference between these two commonly mislabeled fish.
Although wild-type thicklips are very easy to correctly identify, sunset thicklips are very commonly mislabeled at pet stores as honey gouramis or “sunset honey gouramis.”
Here are some of the best ways to spot the differences:

Latin Names:
Honey Gourami - Colisa/Trichogaster Chuna
Thicklip Gourami - Colisa/Trichogaster Labiosa

Coloration:
Honeys almost always come in completely different colors than thicklips.
Honeys most commonly are standard yellow (often referred to as gold), sunset honey where they have a bit of red on the fins, and wild-type where they are grey if female or dark orange possibly with some black on their throats if male. However one caveat to wild type honey gouramis is that often in the store they either haven't hit maturity or don't colour up in the presence of a more dominant male. These wild type males are coloured similar to females and often even have a stripe similar to the females.
On the other hand, thicklips will either be dark red or a dull/rusty orange. Also, honeys will have more coloration on their tail fins, whereas Thicklips' tail fins will be mostly transparent.
I have seen red honey gouramis, in which case their Latin name, body shape, and tail fins must be referenced for proper identification.

Body Shape:
Honey gouramis’ dorsal fins don’t get anywhere near as long, their bodies are much more angular, and they have smaller lips of course.

I’ve included some pictures as well. All the photos are honey gouramis, except the last photo, which has two thicklips and one can see the two colors sunset thicklips come in. If anyone can post pictures of their honeys and sunset thicklips as well, that would be helpful.
 

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JettsPapa

Just to clarify, the last picture, with two fish, is the only one showing thick-lip gouramis, and the other three pictures are honey gouramis?
 
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Deku-Cory

This is a fantastic article and very well written , amazing job!
One thing I've noticed is that Sunset Thicklips always have noticeably less coloration on their tails compared to their bodies, whereas Honey Gourami do not. It's how I tell them apart at a glance.
 
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Freshfishguy

Just to clarify, the last picture, with two fish, is the only one showing thick-lip gouramis, and the other three pictures are honey gouramis?
Yes, correct!
This is a fantastic article and very well written , amazing job!
One thing I've noticed is that Sunset Thicklips always have noticeably less coloration on their tails compared to their bodies, whereas Honey Gourami do not. It's how I tell them apart at a glance.
Awesome, thank you! I just added that information.
 
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wateriswet

Can we make this a sticky in the gourami section? I think this topic impacts a lot of newbies as honeys are often recommended for small, peaceful tank center pieces but lots of stores sell sunsets labeled as honey.
 
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jinjerJOSH22

Lucy
I think it would be a very good idea to sticky this post either in the Gourami section or the Honey section. This is one of those things that come up time and time again.

Great write up = )
The only thing I would possibly edit is the small part on identifying wild colour male Honey's. Often in the store they either haven't hit maturity or don't colour up in the presence of a more dominant male. These are coloured similar to females and often even have a stripe similar to females, though usually slightly faded and not quite as long.

Males (in both colours, though I've heard it's sometimes not the case for Golds) usually have a yellow band at the top of the dorsal fin while females usually have orange.
 
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Freshfishguy

Lucy
I think it would be a very good idea to sticky this post either in the Gourami section or the Honey section. This is one of those things that come up time and time again.

Great write up = )
The only thing I would possibly edit is the small part on identifying wild colour male Honey's. Often in the store they either haven't hit maturity or don't colour up in the presence of a more dominant male. These are coloured similar to females and often even have a stripe similar to females, though usually slightly faded and not quite as long.

Males (in both colours, though I've heard it's sometimes not the case for Golds) usually have a yellow band at the top of the dorsal fin while females usually have orange.
Thank you very much! Great points. I incorporated some of the general info but left out some of the finer points regarding Male vs Female honey gourami characteristics, as this is mainly focused on distinguishing between honeys and thicklips, rather than gender.
 
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Lucy

Lucy
I think it would be a very good idea to sticky this post either in the Gourami section or the Honey section. This is one of those things that come up time and time again.

It already was.
 
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Freshfishguy

Curtesy of Berryblue. Wild-type honey that has not yet colored up.
 

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