Anomalocaris Posted September 20, 2021 Share Posted September 20, 2021 Hi everyone! I could use some advice about my honey gourami and the gender ratio/breeding situation. *If you don't want to read all my background info, I added a TLDR in bold right above my actual questions below.* A few months ago I bought 4 honey gourami for my planted 29 gallon. When I bought the honey gourami, I was hoping for 1 male and 3 females (to avoid basically the situation I'm in now lol), but they were too young to really tell for sure. At the time, the person in the store thought I might have 2 male and 2 female, but wasn't really confident. What I ended up with were: 1 female, 1 male, 1 that was the smallest for a long time, and therefore of indeterminate gender until the last week or so, when he's developed the brighter colouring and black-ish throat that Male 1 has (and is actually slightly bigger than Male 1 now, but not quite as brightly coloured); and 1 that has stayed kind of small (a runt I guess) - I assume he's male because he's got the slimmer body type but he's pretty small and pale compared to all the others, has a bent ventral fin and doesn't really bother anybody. Male 1 has had some established territory near the top right of the tank for a while now, and would do a little bit of chasing of the others, but nothing too aggressive. About 4 days ago, I saw some mating behaviour between him and the female. After that the chasing got more aggressive. Any time one of the other three gourami gets to the center of the tank, Male 1 will basically dive bomb them, and chase them around the tank before returning to his nest. There are sight blockers and places to hide, but I see this happen basically any time I look at the tank for more than a minute or two. (Yesterday I was able to see tiny baby fry under the floating plants. I'm not really trying to breed them at this point, even though I'd like to try raising fry in the future, so I imagine those fry will probably get eaten) What I'm more concerned about is that today I noticed Male 2 has a small tear on his dorsal fin, I assume from being chased around the tank. This is the first injury I've noticed. I'd like to take him out for now, but the problem is that I have 1 quarantine/hospital tank, and it's currently being occupied by a school of cardinal tetras that I was planning to add to the 29 gallon at the end of this week, so hopefully he doesn't get infected or more injured in the next few days (though I can always use a bucket for him if I absolutely have to) TLDR: I ended up with 3 male honey gourami and 1 female, and one of the males has recently become a tank bully due to nesting. Male 2 has a small fin tear from the chasing. Male 3 is a runt that I'm not too concerned about besides him also getting chased by Male 1. My questions/concerns: 1. Will Male 1 chill out in a few days when the fry are older, or can I expect this level of aggression to continue for longer? I'm worried not only about the levels of stress this is putting on the other gourami, but also that Male 1 will bully the cardinal tetras when I add them once they're out of quarantine. 2. If Male 1 doesn't chill out, I'm obviously going to have to rearrange this configuration of fish. What's my best course of action? Should I remove Male 1, Male 2 or the female? I don't really want to get rid of the female, since I'm kind of attached to her (and like I said, also I'd like to try actually raising fry at some point), but I will if it's the best course of action for the health of the fish. a) If I remove the female, will the males settle down with her gone, or are the issues established now? b) If I remove Male 1, will Male 2 just take up the role of tank bully instead? If I remove Male 2, will Male 1 chill out more? c) If I keep the female, it seems like I need to get 1 or two more females, but how do I go about doing that, since they seem to be sold at too young of an age to tell? Would it be an unreasonable request to make of my LFS to order specifically female honey gourami? 3. Is there another solution to this problem I'm not seeing. I've seen people mention to up the flow to prevent breeding, but I already have a sponge filter and a HOB, and I don't want to blow the little guys around too much. I also know they supposedly breed at higher temperatures- my tank temperature is about 77F - I don't want to put it much lower since I also have kuhli loaches, but I guess I could turn it down to 75/76F if that might help? Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate you folks taking the time to read it and offering any advice you might have. 🙂 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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