Sexing A Gold Honey Gourami

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PascalKrypt

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So about a week and a half ago I bought Hamlet and Ophelia, a pair of golden honeys. Normally I trust advice from this LFS, but the dedicated guy I always talk to had gone home for the day and this person I had never seen before helped me with the purchase. So I've been a bit doubtful if I really got a female and male instead of two males. Help me check if Ophelia is really Mercutio?

I've looked up a ton of threads on sexing but a ton seem to either refer to wild colouration or give conflicting advice - the guy in the shop told me finnage shape was not a reliable way to tell because the difference was miniscule, and he said he could tell for sure which was female because only females have those dark lateral stripes and males do not. I just don't know, I see some of the earmarks of a male and some of those of a female on her.
The reason that I got concerned is that they are either fighting or coutring since earlier today, and I cannot tell which it is. Ophelia chases Hamlet and they circle each other head to tail. I thought they were fighting also because there is no bubble nest, but then I spotted Hamlet seemingly inviting her, turning to find her when she stops chasing and leading to the surface, mostly the same corner, where he hangs still with his mouth pointing at the surface and appears to be waiting for her. But then the circling happened at the bottom of the tank, not near the surface, and they haven't wrapped around each other either. Ugh. So confused. I just don't want them to stress each other to death. Honeys were supposed to be the most peaceful gourami's, that is why I got them in the first place D:

Pics of Ophelia attached, first two on the left is from the day I put them in the tank (in both, she is on the left), other three are from today (4th pic is Ophelia chasing Hamlet). Last pic is when I spotted them circling each other on the tank floor (Ophelia on the left).


(edit: the thumbnails are there, if you click where the s should be they will pop up in a window)
 

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PascalKrypt

PascalKrypt

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OhDaniGirl said:
The one with the bright yellow stripe along the top of his dorsal fin is male. You do indeed have a boy and a girl!
Thank you! I went by a different LFS today and they told me the same, gave a thorough explanation on sexing
Though I wonder if that means it was courting behaviour, the temp is far too low for breeding. I haven't seen Hamlet yet today (unusual), is it possible eggs dropped on the floor and having no nest to put them in, he is guarding them somewhere?
 

chromedome52

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Honey GouramI eggs float, so they are not on the bottom. TBH, your female has a male colored analfin, but other characteristics do say female. Could simply be an aberrant individual, though which sex I would not be certain. What temperature do you consider "too low for breeding" ?
 
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PascalKrypt

PascalKrypt

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chromedome52 said:
Honey GouramI eggs float, so they are not on the bottom. TBH, your female has a male colored analfin, but other characteristics do say female. Could simply be an aberrant individual, though which sex I would not be certain. What temperature do you consider "too low for breeding" ?
Ikr? There is a bit of a shadow of a black stripe there, which is what made me doubt in the first place. What you can't see well in the photos is that Ophelia has a clear female body type with a round and broad chest compared to Hamlet who is nearly flat.
The temp is at the low end of their range, 23C/73.5F. Though I guess not all need the ideal 79+ temp range to start breeding, this seems like too much of a gap.
Anyway I've acquired a new pair today. They are in QT, in a few weeks I guess we'll find out for sure if I have an aberrant female or a very feminine guy.
 

OhDaniGirl

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I don't think you have an aberrant female as both of my females have that exact same coloring on their analfins. She is definitely a girl.
 
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PascalKrypt

PascalKrypt

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OhDaniGirl said:
I don't think you have an aberrant female as both of my females have that exact same coloring on their analfins. She is definitely a girl.
Really? That is very surprising, pretty much everywhere I have read and asked I was told the black colouring is a dead giveaway when it comes to sexing. I guess not on Golden honeys...
 

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Lol..unless we both got really unusually colored females. All I know is both of my girls have a tiny smidgen of black on their fins.
 

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