Sexing sparkling gouramis

Sergey

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6 Mar 2019
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Helsinki, Finland
Hi guys,

I've been desperately trying to get a pair of sparkling gouramis. Was buying them from my local shop, but the owner seemed to be pretty bad at sexing them, so I ended up with 3 supposedly females, but can't tell their sex for sure. I believe I can see the ovaries in one of them (the biggest one, others look much younger). However, this "suspected" female is quite aggressive towards younger ones, chasing after them if they get into its territory.

I wonder if it's common for females to be territorial, or it's exclusively male behaviour and I ended up with 3 boys in a single tank?
 

Kevin2016

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12 Nov 2016
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Netherlands
I think all gouramis behaviour are the same. But my pearl gourami female is not territorial at all, the male is.
i can see the difference between them by color. The male is much more colorful and bigger than the female.

Maybe because i just have a couple and not 3 of them.
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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As far as i know, there is only one way for a definitive determination.. And that is put the fish in front of a strong backlight. This way it seems to easily spot the females ovary. :) That is if you know what to look for and know what you see.

The expert does it like this and says it's quite easy.

But it's a hearsay in my case and never tried myself to see it. And i can not realy seem to find any documentation on it.

Tho i had T. Pumila's in the past, saw them mate and build a nest and also raised fry without intervention. Thus the expert i got them from definitively sold me what i asked for. And asked for 1 male and 2 females.

Seriously Fish also does refer to this technique.
https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/trichopsis-pumila/
Sexual Dimorphism
Can be tricky to sex, but sexually mature males are normally exhibit a more intense colour pattern and develop longer ventral, anal, dorsal, and caudal fins than females. Sexually mature individuals can also be sexed by placing a strong light behind the fish, with the ovaries in females clearly visible below the swim bladder.

Maybe @Edvet can shine a light through this and tell how to go about and what to look for. :)
 
Last edited:

Sergey

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6 Mar 2019
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Location
Helsinki, Finland
Oh if only I knew how the ovaries look like :/ Best I could find on the Internet is "yellow triangular thing pointing towards the tail" (but no pictures). I think I saw something in one of the "female candidates", but can't say for sure, but it behaves towards others like I suppose a male would. Totally confusing.
 

sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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Going by the ovary or the fins is more reliable with mature fish, very difficult with young fish from the shop.
It's usually best to buy a small group, and let them pair off naturally.
 

Hanuman

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4 Jan 2019
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506
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Thailand
I think all gouramis behaviour are the same. But my pearl gourami female is not territorial at all, the male is.
i can see the difference between them by color. The male is much more colorful and bigger than the female.

Maybe because i just have a couple and not 3 of them.

Indeed. Pearl gourami are easy to sex once adult. In my 90cm tank I have 3 of them. 2 females and 1 male. The male is bigger, has a deep orange neck color and dorsal and anal fins are also different. The fins are « spiky » and longer contrary to those of a female. The male is territorial not the females. I can even touch the females when feeding. Never ever have I been able to touch the male. He is very cautious and swims away when he sees my fingers to close to him.

Now when they are younger it’s a totally different story. It’s close to impossible to deferenciate them. Maybe the backlighting approach mentioned by @zozo might work but then again you would really need to know what you are looking for. In fact one of my femals died some time ago as she jumped out the tank during the night (probably the male chasing her). So I went to the shop to buy a new one. The shop only had young pearl gouramis so their features had not yet developped. The shop owner and myself did the best we could to find a female but were never sure it was one. Well after a few months it ended up being a male and that didn’t end up well. The males got into a street fight during a night and the younger one got injured. I tried my best to save it but he started developping an infection and all treatments I tried failed. He died on a Thursday during the night.

I wont be getting any gourami any time soon. I know these fish prefer living in groups but I have learnt my lesson. These fish need big spaces and can be quite jumpy. The surviving female jumped out at least 6 or 7 times out of the tank. Luckily I was alway around to put her back in.
 

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