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Thread: Where to find wild-type female honey gourami?

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Where to find wild-type female honey gourami?

    Basically what the title says. I have a wild-type male that I got right before covid as part of a pair, but the female got sick during quarantine and didn't make it. Then with covid and everything things got crazy and I didn't replace her. I recently re-scaped and am starting to add new fish again, and I'd like my gourami boy to have a friend or two. I don't love the look of the red and gold variants, and I've been trying to stick to wild-type fish only in this tank overall, anyways.

    I asked at Nature Aquarium, but the owner said wild-types, especially females, are rare and he doesn't know when he might next have some. I don't think Petco/Petsmart sell them, and I don't know any other decent local stores that might. Online, every big seller seems to sell only unsexed groups, and my tank isn't big enough to risk getting another male. Anyone have an idea where I might look?

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Check with The Reef in Anaheim. I am not sure if they have "wild-type" but I do recall seeing Honey Gourami there at some point.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll try calling them. Is it the sort of place where employees would know the difference between a natural-colored honey and a color morph? It's a rather long drive for me to make just to return with no fish!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny_Fish View Post
    Thanks, I'll try calling them. Is it the sort of place where employees would know the difference between a natural-colored honey and a color morph? It's a rather long drive for me to make just to return with no fish!
    I would say yes, the owner and his son are usually very informative. I'm going to need to go there today or tomorrow so now I'll be looking for them lol

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    I would say yes, the owner and his son are usually very informative. I'm going to need to go there today or tomorrow so now I'll be looking for them lol

    Let me know if you see any!!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny_Fish View Post
    Let me know if you see any!!
    They had golden honey and a few other types but I didn't see anything labeled wild type or that looked like what they come up as on google. You should probably call them to confirm, I could have missed them.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    They had golden honey and a few other types but I didn't see anything labeled wild type or that looked like what they come up as on google. You should probably call them to confirm, I could have missed them.
    Thank you so much for checking! Wild types look sliver or silver with a brown stripe when they're young/stressed, they're not very pretty until they grow up and get comfy
    I'll call just in case, maybe if they don't have them they might know where I could get some.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny_Fish View Post
    Thank you so much for checking! Wild types look sliver or silver with a brown stripe when they're young/stressed, they're not very pretty until they grow up and get comfy
    I'll call just in case, maybe if they don't have them they might know where I could get some.

    I checked another small store I go to sometimes, they didn't have them either. Good luck, gonna need to see them when you finally have a pair.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    I checked another small store I go to sometimes, they didn't have them either. Good luck, gonna need to see them when you finally have a pair.
    I'll try to remember to post them, if I can find what I'm looking for!

    Honestly, I'm starting to doubt I actually have a male. "He" has been in a quarantine tank as my re-scaped main tank cycles, and he's now lost what little color he had, and is showing a pretty prominent brown stripe from his eye to his tail. I know they do that when they're stressed, but I thought in males the stripe should stop at the gills? When he was happy in my main tank, he had no stripe, a brownish-silver body, and a darker stripe on his anal fin. Since the other honey gourami I got him with had a much more prominent stripe, and less color on the fins, I thought this one was male, just not a very bright one. Maybe I was wrong.

    Do you have any idea how well male honey gouramis get along with each other? It seems like a lot of of information out there is kinda contradictory, and honeys being hard to sex seems to add to the problem... I guess I'm gonna go through with my plan of getting one more (hopefully female) honey, and hoping that keeping 2 together gets them to show more prominent sexual dimorphism. Hopefully that way, I can avoid the issue of getting two males and realizing they can't live together! If it turns out I have two females, maybe I'll have to get a 3rd one to try for a male, haha.

    Here's some photos of my "boy" as he looks now, maybe someone can chime in what sex I actually have. Sorry for the quality, he's pretty skittish in quarantine and hard to photograph!
    Last edited by Tiny_Fish; 10-15-2021 at 04:35 PM.

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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Is nature aquarium still around… if so it’s in west LA and closure to you… a bit pricey though… but have neat stuff there…

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongox3 View Post
    Is nature aquarium still around… if so it’s in west LA and closure to you… a bit pricey though… but have neat stuff there…
    I love Nature Aquarium, but like I said in the first post, I asked there and he didn't have any in stock, or any immediate plans to get some.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    I moved my current fish back to my main tank and now I'm back to being sure my gourami is male, at least. He's now a brown-orange color with a charcoal-gray anal fin. This is honestly the most color he's had in a while, so I guess he likes the re-scaped tank! Still hates being photographed, though...

    I checked another few stores this weekend for female gourami, Tokyo Aquarium, Allan's Pet Center, and Nature Aquarium (again). Everyone said they either never stocked wild-type fish, or had last stocked them months ago with no current plans to get more. Looks like the only way my guy will get a wild-type girlfriend is if I find somebody breeding them or looking to re-home one [emoji20]

    If I don't find one in the next few months, I'll probably give up and get one of the lemon yellow ones, and hope my dude brightens up so the pairing doesn't look too odd. I don't want him to spend longer than he has to with no buddies of his own species!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Jena's Avatar
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    If you're still looking, I found some at West Lake Aquarium today, 710 E Whittier Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631,(562) 694-3335.

    He's got a couple females and 5+ of the male orange with black bar. Don't miss out on picking up some live babe brine shrimp as snacks for your fish.
    52g Planted Show Tank: 8 x ! Rasboras | 12 x Pygmy Corydoras | 3 x Male Black Moscow Guppy (Moe, Larry II & Curly)| 9 x Kuhli Loach | 4 x Java Loach | 1 Gold Mystery Snails | Amano Shrimps | 2 Albino Bristlenose (Larry & Henrietta)

    29g (Retired) Planted Breeding Tank: 2 x Female Black Moscow Guppy (Big Bertha & Lucy) & Fry Nursery | 7 x Gold Mystery Snails | 3 x Yellow Rabbit Snails

    Birbs: 1 x Canary | 9 x Button Quail

    Carnivorous Plants: Pings

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    Oh, no, I just saw your post! I probably won't make it that far from home until the weekend, and they'll probably be gone by then

    Thank you so much for letting me know, hopefully I can still get one!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Jena's Avatar
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    Give him a call before you head out. I don't believe there is that much turnover at his shop, it's pretty much fish only with none of the tanks / supplies / ornaments that attract the general public (non-fish folk).

    I'm really curious if your gourami is really a boy, the males at West Lake looked like someone sharpied a thick line on a slice of carrot. I think the gouramis were $6 each and either 2 for $10 or 3 for $15 I forget.

    Other notable goodies from his shop were the $10 java moss cups which were just crammed full and his tank bred chili rasboras for $3.5. I would try the next size up live BBS next time, I had to leave the filter off too darn long for my fish to catch the tiny treats.
    52g Planted Show Tank: 8 x ! Rasboras | 12 x Pygmy Corydoras | 3 x Male Black Moscow Guppy (Moe, Larry II & Curly)| 9 x Kuhli Loach | 4 x Java Loach | 1 Gold Mystery Snails | Amano Shrimps | 2 Albino Bristlenose (Larry & Henrietta)

    29g (Retired) Planted Breeding Tank: 2 x Female Black Moscow Guppy (Big Bertha & Lucy) & Fry Nursery | 7 x Gold Mystery Snails | 3 x Yellow Rabbit Snails

    Birbs: 1 x Canary | 9 x Button Quail

    Carnivorous Plants: Pings

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Tiny_Fish's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure mine is a boy now. I had a female with him for a short time when I first got him, and she showed a stripe on her body even when she wasnt stressed, and her "happy colors" were brown, tan, and silver, no black or orange. My boy shows a stripe when upset, as you can see in the photos above, but in my display tank he reverts to a brownish orange with black on his anal fin. He's not the brightest male, but I think that might be because he's been without a mate for almost 2 years, and he's a very timid fish (the female I lost was much bolder). Honey gourami males use color to show dominance in a social hierarchy, so afaik it's not uncommon for males to revert to a female-like coloration when young, stressed, or feeling submissive. I've never heard of females showing male-like colors in the wild-type fish, only the tank-bred color morphs.

    Even if I'm wrong about "his" sex, at this point I'd rather have 2 females than two males, since I don't have a large enough tank to prevent conflict, or space for a second permanent tank to separate fighting males.

    I'll be sure to call ahead before I go, and I'll keep my fingers crossed I can snag a female!! Thank you again for letting me know!
    Last edited by Tiny_Fish; 11-15-2021 at 11:23 PM.

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