Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Im having trouble telling what gender my gouramis are (

Phillip J 09-24-2011 11:15 AM

Im having trouble telling what gender my gouramis are
Ive read on the internet that its easy to tell pearl gouramis gender but,Im having a hard time telling them apart. Ive had what im going to assume is a male because hes killed the other gourmi I added ( I redid the tank while I was floeting the new one so I though it would make my gourami less agressive to him) Im going to also assume the 1 I added was a male because I don't thinka female gourami would get killed by my male ( which doesent even eat platy fry so Im shure hes not a rogue fish). I picked the palest gourami there and looked at all 20 of the gourami's fins (at the fish store) and I couldent tell a diffrence.My tank is a 47 gallon high(the gourami murder accured in a 55 long) and. my gourami is at 3 innches and, doesent look like the pretty males on the internet,Do they not get super pretty until 4 inches or somthing?

Byron 09-24-2011 12:41 PM

The male is the more colourful [obviously environment plays into this], and has slightly longer dorsal and anal fins. In very young fish, such as those often in stores, it may be difficult to see fin differences.

Male gourami are territorial and somewhat aggressive to other gourami which can include females. Not all fish will pair, i.e., a male may get choosy. Many things can affect the aggressiveness of fish, so the "general" traits can be lessened or heightened in this or that fish.


Phillip J 09-24-2011 02:09 PM

Oh but how big will my gourami get before he becomes super pretty?This is pretty confusing to me.....he only has trouble with pearls my gold gourami is fine.i also think that in my tank there shouldent of been a territor problem

Byron 09-24-2011 02:29 PM

I can't answer your first question exactly, but in a good environment with balanced foods he should colour up.

To explain "territory" and "territorial" a bit. What area a particular fish views as its territory can depend upon not only the size of the tank but how it is aquascaped. Breaking up a tank's visual length with wood and/or plants sometimes creates smaller areas that a particular fish may view as his territory. But another fish might view the entire tank as his territory. This is very common with angelfish; within a group of 5, one male will be dominant and consider the tank as his space. He may or may not tolerate another male anywhere in the tank. Unless the tank is very large, say 8+ feet in length, this fish might always regard the entire space as "his." Gourami are very similar. Usually breaking up the space helps, and keeps aggression minimal. But remember that in the wild the dominant male can basically own the stream, and other males will likely simply swim off. That isn't possible in the aquarium, and fish secrete pheromones or chemical signals, so even when no physical contact is made, the fish are still interacting and the subdominant males know the dominant is there. And individual fish can be more or less territorial, just as different dogs of the same species can be more or less "friendly." It's all part of nature's wonder.

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