Sunset Thicklip Female and Honey Gourami Male concerns

MommyGourami

So I had originally purchased 3 honey gouramis, looking to have 2 females and 1 male. What I was got instead was 2 female honey gouramis and 1 female sunset thicklip that was mis-identified as a honey male. I learned the mistake early on, but by that point I was attached to her awesome personality and decided to keep my sunset thicklip. She and my female honeys get along perfectly well, totally peaceful, they even rest together at night in the same clump of plants like best buds.

HOWEVER. I decided to go for an actual honey gourami male, put him in quarantine for a month, and then added him to my heavily planted 29 gallon back in late June. At first he seemed to dominate the tank, chasing the females away while he tried to build bubble nests. But in the past few weeks, it's kind of like my female thicklip has realized she's the bigger fish and doesn't need to put up with his ish anymore. I'm not seeing any actual violence, but she does chase him around the tank. I'm thinking about trying to float some hornwort in the middle of the tank to add some mid-tank line-of-sight break, as most of my line of sight breaks are from the tall plants and decorations on the right and the left.

Barring that, is this a situation where I should consider moving either my male honey or my female thicklip to my 55 gallon tank in a few weeks? I was envisioning a pearl or moonlight gourami community for it, and right now I have some small schooling fish (rainbows) in there (first fish in the tank, so the 55 IS their quarantine) that are being observed and treated with with antibiotic flake for what I think is a mild bacterial infection. I'm really bad at catching fish out of my 29 gallon with all the plants and decor in there, so I'd prefer it to be a last resort. What else can I try, and what signs should I look for that it's big trouble?
 

awilkinson871

I would move the thick-lipped. They get quite a bit bigger and might cause damage if she wants to. It was working because they were immature. Hormones make fish (and people) do crazy things.
 

MommyGourami

I would move the thick-lipped. They get quite a bit bigger and might cause damage if she wants to. It was working because they were immature. Hormones make fish (and people) do crazy things.
Thank you. I'll wait for the rainbows to get a clean bill of health and attempt to catch and move her then. I don't want to add her before the rainbows are completely clear. For now, I'll try to fill the middle of the tank with hornwort and watch them closely. :'( I feel so bad!
 

MommyGourami

On another note, since I'm planning to move my thicklip female, should I consider adding one thicklip male and a couple more females to the 55 gallon, or would she be better of singly since she's half-grown? I've had her for a little over six months, and she's grown from around 1.75 inches to about ... 3 inches? Maybe a little under.
 

jinjerJOSH22

On another note, since I'm planning to move my thicklip female, should I consider adding one thicklip male and a couple more females to the 55 gallon, or would she be better of singly since she's half-grown? I've had her for a little over six months, and she's grown from around 1.75 inches to about ... 3 inches? Maybe a little under.
Getting more sounds like a good idea to me.
 

MommyGourami

Getting more sounds like a good idea to me.
I'm pretty set on getting her some companions. She'll be living it up in that 55 gallon palace. :) I'm just glad I can move my fish around and have a peaceful solution!
 

MommyGourami

Update: I just brought home 3 more thicklip gouramis that will be my original lady's new companions. They are even more adorable in a group. They're in a 10 gallon quarantine tank for now; I'll be monitoring water quality and their health and administering treatments if I have to. When they're cleared they'll move into the 55 gallon along with my lovely lady. :) I adore these fish. Thicklips are underrated, I just wish the wild-type color were more readily available in the US!

https://streamable.com/b0h8g0
 

MommyGourami

So the thicklips are doing great! But my honey gouramis continue to confuse me.

These pictures are of my honey gourami that I was pretty sure was a wild type female, as I've never seen her fully color up. But right now she's fiercely guarding algae wafer bits from the rest of the gouramis in the tank and looks.... halfway between female and male coloration?

Is she just a highly colored female, or do I have a sneaker male?
 

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awilkinson871

The black on the throat means male. I had sneaky honeys too. I thought initially I ended up with 1 male and 2 females because of the dorsal fins, but they have all turned bright colors and have black on the throats.
 

MommyGourami

The black on the throat means male. I had sneaky honeys too. I thought initially I ended up with 1 male and 2 females because of the dorsal fins, but they have all turned bright colors and have black on the throats.
I have never seen her (him?) color up more than this so it's SO hard to tell! this is the most I've ever seen out of this fish. I've seen maybe one photo of a highly colored female wild type honey gourami that looks almost exactly like her, but it's still confusing and here I am still doubting myself. o_O
 

Hellfishguy

I’ve had older females with the same coloration. The plumpness also makes me think female.
 

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