Dwarf Gouramis are beautiful fish with long, flowing fins. They come in a variety of color forms and it can be hard to determine the sex of some. Females are plumper than males but both sexes will flare their gills at one another during the breeding season. If you need help determining if your Dwarf Gourami is male or female, read on for tips.
Step 1 – Observe the Dwarf Gouramis Fins
You can tell if your Dwarf Gourami is a male by looking at its fins. Most dwarf gouramis have fairly long fins that are not hard to spot. Males have longer dorsal and anal fins than females.
They also have a slightly wider tail fin at the top and a more pointed one at the bottom. Also, males tend to flare their gills out when displaying for females or maintaining dominance over another male.
Females expand their fins as well but they don’t have as wide tails nor do they flare them up as high nor do they flap them as much.
Step 2 – Check the Dwarf Gouramis Bubble Nest
Males will usually create a bubble nest when they are breeding or intend to breed. Females do not tend to make a nest but some may if they feel the need to protect their eggs.
Dwarf Gouramis build a large, floating mass of bubbles that they add to frequently during the day. Females will create a dish-shaped area under plants or in open water when they are not breeding and add bubbles to it sparingly if at all.
Males make their bubble nests in the front of the tank near the surface and always keep them well maintained with new bubbles added every few minutes or so.
Step 3 – Take a Closer Look at the Dwarf Gourami
Male Dwarf Gouramis have slimmer bodies than females, though both are fairly slim. Males tend to be more brightly colored than females, though their color can vary significantly between subspecies and rapidly change based on lighting conditions and views.
Females’ coloring is more uniform, though they also change color to some degree. Males have longer dorsal and anal fins than females. Females have more rounded tails at both the top and bottom of the fin while males’ tails are more pointed on the top but rounder on the bottom.
Step 4 – Observe Other Behaviors
Male Dwarf Gouramis are extremely aggressive to other male Dwarf Gouramis. If you have more than one male in your tank, they will fight often and their aggression can result in the death of one or both fish.
Females don’t tend to be as aggressive towards each other; however, they may still nip at each other’s fins. Male Dwarf Gouramis also tend to be more active than females. Females are occasionally active but males are extremely curious about their surroundings.
Males aren’t as easily startled by sudden movements or changes because they are constantly on the lookout for female Dwarf Gouramis, ready to breed with them when the moment is right.