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Author Topic: Sparkling gourami sexing  (Read 9429 times)
coheedandcambriarules
Captain of the Python
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Tanks: A 90 and a 30 and a whole lot of fish I can't afford.
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« on: January 31, 2008, 03:01:04 PM »

I thought I would start this thread since a few of us either own sparkling gouramis or are starting small tanks and thinking about buying these guys for them.  As typical for gouramis, the consensus among us seems to be that 2 females to a male is the best setup.  Sexing is pronounced on most sites as being difficult to impossible, and they claim to need a bright light shining through the fish to attempt to spot the ovaries of the female.  I wasn't sure what a fish ovary would look like, so not seeing a difference in the fish at the lfs, I brought home two fish and watched them to try to determine their sex. 

After a lot of scouring google searches and the like, I came upon a bit of info that made all the difference from an old thread on a different forum.  I would post a link or something but I can't seem to find it again.  What you're actually looking for in these guys is the shape of the internal organs.  Their bellies are translucent, and where the organs stop is where you should focus your attention.  In the males, the organs come to an abrupt halt and are slightly rounded.  The female's organs come to a point and are tapered slightly upward.  I believe this is where the ovaries are located.  It is very subtle, but once I knew what I was looking for, it was pretty easy and I didn't need any extra light shining through them.

It turns out I originally bought two males, so after exchanging my male and purchasing one more female, I'm confident I have a decent little harem set up.  As soon as I added the first female, my male went right over to her, flared and croaked.  If any of you are going to try these guys out, be advised that there is still a fair amount of aggression between the females, at least so far.  I have mine in a moderately planted 10 gallon, and I don't think any more gouramis of either gender would be very welcome.  Nobody is cowering in the corner, but there is a lot of chasing going on about 50% of the time.   

One other difference between the sexes that I have noticed so far is their body shape.  Both my current male and the one I returned have a slightly humped back and a much fuller belly.  The females I have are much more slender with their body shape.  The males are actually much prettier fish.  This body difference may have to do with age too, but we'll have to see how things pan out.  Hope this helps.       
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Taylor
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 05:43:51 PM »

Hmmmmm, interesting. In all honesty, I didn't even bother to sex mine, they are so peaceful compared to other gourami's IMO, that they don't need to be sexed (not including breeding purposes of course). But of course, if you feel the need to sex them, then by all means go ahead.
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gbrboy2
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 10:09:34 PM »

That's weird.  the sparkling gourami that i think is a male is much more colorful with neon blue and red, but smaller than the other two.  It also chases the other two around a little bit.  It's base color is a greyish brown while the others' have gold and much less red.  I will check in the morning to see if I can see the organs, I had never heard of that before. 
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coheedandcambriarules
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Tanks: A 90 and a 30 and a whole lot of fish I can't afford.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 05:03:14 PM »

Yeah - It may just be the age of my fish when it comes to their more slender body shape.  My large male is a bit more colorful and fuller bodied than the other two and defends his territory constantly.  Unfortunately, I haven't had anymore croaking or displaying.  Right now it just looks like an occasional territorial chase.  My three have definitely divided the tank into their own personal sections.  The one I'm pretty sure is male has the lion's share in the center section of the tank.  Sometimes they hang out together but they are usually patrolling their section and looking for stuff to eat that I can't see.  That or knocking my pond snails off the plants.  kewl  I keep hoping to find a bubblenest in there but no luck so far.     
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