To Honey Gourami Or Not To Honey Gourami

alexandramew

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Hey everyone!

So I currently have a 24 gallon tank that has been running for a few months. We are stocked with 5 cory cats, 5 platies and 6 bloodfin glass tetras. Our centrepiece dwarf gourami died a couple weeks ago from what seems to be iridovirus. Since then we have been looking for another colour pop centrepiece fish for the tank.

Someone on here suggested I consider honey gourami, which seems like it could be a nice idea after some research, however I noticed they need to be kept in small groups. How many could I keep in my tank? We have plants and a large ornament for hiding.

Also open to other suggestions for new fish, however not after anything that is likely infected with hidden disease or the like, I felt too awful after the death of the dwarf gourami.

Thank you!
 

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Don't do more than one male Mine is super territorial. Also, since he has lady around, he wants to spawn all the time. His life is basically to do bubble nest day-night and protect it from other fishes, getting angry when other fish runs into it and trying to seduce the female (usually he is in different tank than the lady but Im using it for quarantine now). If you get more than one male, the smaller one will not develop the orange color at all most likely (but maybe with your size aquarium I could be wrong). He will stay pale with black line. This also brings me to another point. When you will be choosing them in the pet shop. Identify males and females by their top fin not by suggestive coloration. Some people will tell you that females should be identified by black line and males by orange tones. But, stressed male is also pale and will show black line just as female. (This is how I ended up with two males and one female by bad advice in shop). Otherwise I really recommend them They are sweethearts with personality. They come to the glass whenever they see me close to the tank and just roll their eye on me
 

bitseriously

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Katarina said:
But, stressed male is also pale and will show black line just as female. (This is how I ended up with two males and one female by bad advice in shop)
Same experience here.
Females seem to be the limiting factor when shopping. You're probably aware there are 3 strains of honey gourami: wild type, gold, and sunset. The golds have yellow bodies with varying amounts of red in the rear finnage (dorsal, caudal, anal). The sunsets are red, but lack color on the caudal fin, which IMO gives them a washed out appearance. The wild types are my personal favorite, being a classic honey yellow/brown color, with the males adding the blue-black face, throat and stomach when they're in breeding condition. My problem (and I'm writing this so that you can avoid it being your problem too) is that I've never seen a female anywhere I've looked. And I'm in an urban centre, with fairly good shopping options. I've asked managers, and it seems to be an availability/wholesale issue. Females are deemed not desirable or sellable, so they're not caught or shipped. "I just can't get them in" is the typcial conversation-ender.
So you're left browsing the tanks, looking for a female to be in there by accident. The wild type is the easiest to sex, assuming reasonably mature fish. The females are grey in body, with strong grey-brown line down the middle. In the gold honeys, the males and females are, as written above, hard to sex. But I've thought I had gold females and been burned. If you do a modicum of internet research, you'll probably be more knowledgeable than all but the most experienced lfs staff, who will be more than willing to pitch a 'I think maybe' female as a 'yeah, definitely' female.
So. I'd go with a single male, until you can find at least one female to go with him.
Alternatively, and this is a question for the forum in general, how would a group of 4-6 males fare together (assuming one has space)? Would it be like guppies, where there's enough fellows around to disperse aggression to the (usually) satisfaction of all?
 

DaleM

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Honeys are one of the most chilled gouramis around, but you still need to be careful having a group of males. They tank would need to be large enough, densely planted and lots of hiding spots so the less dominant males can hide or at least have a broken line of sight between them and the dominant male
 

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bitseriously said:
Same experience here.
Females seem to be the limiting factor when shopping. You're probably aware there are 3 strains of honey gourami: wild type, gold, and sunset. The golds have yellow bodies with varying amounts of red in the rear finnage (dorsal, caudal, anal). The sunsets are red, but lack color on the caudal fin, which IMO gives them a washed out appearance. The wild types are my personal favorite, being a classic honey yellow/brown color, with the males adding the blue-black face, throat and stomach when they're in breeding condition. My problem (and I'm writing this so that you can avoid it being your problem too) is that I've never seen a female anywhere I've looked. And I'm in an urban centre, with fairly good shopping options. I've asked managers, and it seems to be an availability/wholesale issue. Females are deemed not desirable or sellable, so they're not caught or shipped. "I just can't get them in" is the typcial conversation-ender.
So you're left browsing the tanks, looking for a female to be in there by accident. The wild type is the easiest to sex, assuming reasonably mature fish. The females are grey in body, with strong grey-brown line down the middle. In the gold honeys, the males and females are, as written above, hard to sex. But I've thought I had gold females and been burned. If you do a modicum of internet research, you'll probably be more knowledgeable than all but the most experienced lfs staff, who will be more than willing to pitch a 'I think maybe' female as a 'yeah, definitely' female.
So. I'd go with a single male, until you can find at least one female to go with him.
Alternatively, and this is a question for the forum in general, how would a group of 4-6 males fare together (assuming one has space)? Would it be like guppies, where there's enough fellows around to disperse aggression to the (usually) satisfaction of all?
I have the 100% the wild ones and I I have 100% one male and one female and 1 which is most likely an oppressed male. AND I even have one 19 days old fry that I'm desperately trying to keep alive The guy at pet shop thought all of the ones that have a slightest sign on a black line are females ...he was so sure about himself and even told me that he doesn't think it is right to judge them by fins because that would mean he has all males ....well that is the point ...he does have 99% males and deosn't even know it. I only seen two females in the whole tank (after I bought the 2 males and 1 female by accident).
 

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Katarina said:
I have the 100% the wild ones and I I have 100% one male and one female and 1 which is most likely an oppressed male. AND I even have one 19 days old fry that I'm desperately trying to keep alive The guy at pet shop thought all of the ones that have a slightest sign on a black line are females ...he was so sure about himself and even told me that he doesn't think it is right to judge them by fins because that would mean he has all males ....well that is the point ...he does have 99% males and deosn't even know it. I only seen two females in the whole tank (after I bought the 2 males and 1 female by accident).
I'm having a very tough time trying to find some girls here in Australia . The ones at my LFS are VERY oppressed males to say the least
 

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DaleM said:
I'm having a very tough time trying to find some girls here in Australia . The ones at my LFS are VERY oppressed males to say the least
Maybe I should ship you one from Denmark haha (just kidding, I dont think I should be shipping anything live with my (non)experience But, this is my first aquarium and it is super exciting for me to see their natural behavior and I was sooo happy that they liked the tank enough to even spawn Funny is that all my sources on them say that they need high temperatures for spawning like around 28C ... my tank is constantly at 24 and they are happy fishes, even the fry survived so far, which is a huge surprise to me.
 

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I'll have no dramas getting my tank to 28, it's hard to keep it much below that! Although things are cooling down slightly, so I'm around the 26 mark at the moment. I had to stock warm water fish for that reason, so Sterbais, Pristellas and Cherry Barbs. I wanted 2-3 HGs to be my centrepiece, but just need to find a decent girl (story of my life really, hahaha).

To ship to Australia they'll probably want to know your Mum's maiden name, your first friend, the name of your Auntie's friend's dog and probably a fingerprint scan as well, lol. Our quarantine laws are VERY strict! . Do you have photos of your HGs spawning?
 

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Katarina said:
Maybe I should ship you one from Denmark haha (just kidding, I dont think I should be shipping anything live with my (non)experience But, this is my first aquarium and it is super exciting for me to see their natural behavior and I was sooo happy that they liked the tank enough to even spawn Funny is that all my sources on them say that they need high temperatures for spawning like around 28C ... my tank is constantly at 24 and they are happy fishes, even the fry survived so far, which is a huge surprise to me.
And awesome that you have fry!!
 

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DaleM said:
I'll have no dramas getting my tank to 28, it's hard to keep it much below that! Although things are cooling down slightly, so I'm around the 26 mark at the moment. I had to stock warm water fish for that reason, so Sterbais, Pristellas and Cherry Barbs. I wanted 2-3 HGs to be my centrepiece, but just need to find a decent girl (story of my life really, hahaha).

To ship to Australia they'll probably want to know your Mum's maiden name, your first friend, the name of your Auntie's friend's dog and probably a fingerprint scan as well, lol. Our quarantine laws are VERY strict! . Do you have photos of your HGs spawning?
Also I have no idea what would Danish post do to me if I come there like hi I want to ship a fish to Australia I just have lot of videos, which it won’t let me sent so here are some print screens from them here come my babies
 

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DaleM

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Katarina said:
Also I have no idea what would Danish post do to me if I come there like hi I want to ship a fish to Australia I just have lot of videos, which it won’t let me sent so here are some print screens from them here come my babies
Just sent you a PM so I don't hijack this thread. Sorry to the OP!
 
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alexandramew

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It's all good, loving the discussion going on in here!
I'm also in Australia so it sounds like I'm going to have a hard time sourcing some females as well. I'll have to check out my local warehouse and see what they have in stock, but maybe I should also look at other options. Fingers crossed though I can find some lady honey gourami!
 

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alexandramew said:
It's all good, loving the discussion going on in here!
I'm also in Australia so it sounds like I'm going to have a hard time sourcing some females as well. I'll have to check out my local warehouse and see what they have in stock, but maybe I should also look at other options. Fingers crossed though I can find some lady honey gourami!
Awesome, nice to have another Aussie here! They are around, but many of the honeys look quite bland at the store due to stress, etc, so you need to look at the fins a bit closer to determine the sex. I'm hoping to add 3 honeys to my tank soon
 

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I find them to be rather peaceful, even among same sexes. When I do see aggression, it's all bark. I used to have three, now only two.
 
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