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Female Honey Gourami | 9 Fascinating Facts You Must Know |

Honey Gourami, also known as Sunset Honey Gourami, the Red Honey Gourami, and The Red Flame Gourami are freshwater fish native to the South Asian region. If you are Interested you will find female Honey Gourami has distinctive features which make them unique. 

When Hamilton and Buchanan discovered this species in 1822, they mistook male and female Honey Gourami for two different species.

Hence, they named males as Trichopodus chuna and females as Trichopodus sota. Now they all are called Trichogaster.

Honey Gourami are a small fish species that is excellent for inexperienced fish keepers. They are small, peaceful, and require a small aquarium space to thrive.  Let’s find out all you need to know about female Honey Gourami in this article.

Female honey gouramis

What is female honey gourami?

First named under Trichopodus sota, Female Honey Gouramis are barely paler than males. They are smaller in length than males and have a distinctive shape.

You can find Honey Gourami in tropical waters of India, Bangladesh, and sometimes Nepal.

After initial recognition, experts have found that both Trichopodus chuna and Trichopodus sota are the same species but different sexes.

Then they changed the scientific name to Trichopodus. Honey Gourami typically live in the rivers and lakes of India and Bangladesh.

Their habitats have dense plantations and soft, poorly mineralized water. Female Honey Gouramis are top and middle dwellers.

Unlike male honey gouramis, female honey gourami does not show aggressiveness towards their species.

How female honey gourami looks like?

Female honey gourami has distinct color, shape, and size compared to male honey gourami.

Male honey gourami is honey-orange and black in color, and they reach a maximum of 3 inches mark and have a slim body shape. People tend to think that these fish are another species, but they are not.


Female honey gouramis are paler than males. Their color is silvery grey with a single mid-height darkish band from the eye to the tail.

Males come in a variety of color morphs resembling golden and pink. So, as you can see, there is a distinct difference between male and female honey gouramis color.


Female Honey gouramis are larger in size and rounder than male honey gouramis. Compared to females, males have a slim body shape.

The dorsal fin of female honey gourami is brief and rounded, whereas the male honey gouramis dorsal fin is extended and pointed.


Male honey gouramis grow up to 3 inches long, while female honey gouramis grow only 2 inches long. Although males are longer than females, female honey gouramis are larger than males.

Life span

Regardless of the sex, all Honey Gouramis can live for four to eight years with proper care.

Difference between male and female honey gourami fish

There is a significant difference between male and female honey gouramis. 

  • Male Honey gouramis are longer than females, but they are smaller than female honey gouramis. 
  • Female Honey gouramis are plumber and rounder than males. 
  • Male honey gouramis come in numerous color morphs reminiscent of honey-orange and black. But, females are pale with silvery grey. 
  • The most distinctive difference is the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin of males is extended and pointed, while the female’s dorsal fin is brief and rounded. 

Because of these differences, it is easy to identify male and female Honey gouramis.

Where female honey gourami live?

Honey gouramis native waters are in rivers, lakes, ponds, ditches, and occasionally in flooded fields of India and Bangladesh.

These water fields are usually thick in vegetation, and the water is poorly mineralized and slow-moving.

They prefer acidic and warm waters because they are tropical fishes. Female and male honey gouramis live in the middle and top layer of water. The ideal water conditions for female honey gouramis are,

  • Hardiness: 4-15 dGH
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature:71-82°F

Female honey gourami care

Female Honey Gouramis are tropical water fish that need hot water conditions in order to thrive. They prefer their environment similar to their natural habitats.

The natural habitats consist of dense plantations. So, female honey gouramis prefer heavily planted surroundings with plenty of hiding spaces. For the substrate, it is best to use sand to imitate their natural habitats.

Tank requirement

Female honey gouramis need at least 10 gallons of water to thrive. You can put one honey gourami in a 10-gallon tank.

For two gouramis, you need a 20-gallon tank. For each extra fish, you can increase the tank size by 5 gallons.

Water quality 

Female honey gouramis prefer acidic, warm waters, and they can tolerate some small parameter changes in water.

The water hardness should be 4 to 15 dGH. The pH level should be 6 to 7.5, and the water temperature should be at 71-82°F.

They prefer some water movement in their surroundings. So, install a powerful filter, air pump, or a powerhead in your aquarium.

A filter is necessary to prevent toxic build-up. The ammonia and nitrate levels should be 0. The nitrite level can go up to 90ppm. If you live in a cold area, a heater is also necessary to regulate the temperature. 


Honey gouramis are peaceful and shy species. So, choosing a suitable tank mate is essential if you want your fish to thrive. 

You should avoid active and aggressive fish species like cichlids, Silver Dollars, Pacus Oscars, and large catfish. Also, avoid fin nippers like tiger barbs and clown barbs.

Peaceful fish get along with these species very well. You can add peaceful barbs, smaller loaches like Coolie Loach, smaller catfish like other Corydoras and Otocinclus, and smaller rainbowfish.

You can also add snails but avoid adding shrimps because honey gouramis may eat them.

Female honey gourami behavior

Although Honey gouramis are peaceful and shy species, the male gouramis are aggressive toward other male gouramis.

They become territorial when spawning. So, it is better not to add more than one male gourami in an aquarium unless it is large enough to accompany two gouramis.

On the other hand, female gouramis are peaceful. They do not show any territorial behaviors or become aggressive towards other gouramis.

Therefore, if you intend to keep more than one honey gourami in your tank, it is better to keep female honey gouramis to avoid unwanted hassle.

What do female honey gourami eat?

Honey gouramis are omnivore species that eat everything they could find. They mainly eat small invertebrates, insects, and zooplankton in the wild.

Occasionally, they will graze on plant matter too. But, they are not crazy plant-eaters. Honey gourami loves flesh food more than vegetation.

In the aquarium, they will eat anything you feed because they are not fussy eaters. You can provide them with flesh food like live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and blackworms.

And you also can feed them with fish flakes and pellets. Whatever you throw at, they will happily eat them. But, be sure to provide them with protein-rich food if you want them to thrive.

As female honey gouramis eat plants too, you must pick resilient plant species like Amazon sword, Java fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne.

You should feed your female honey gourami twice per day. Feed them with the amount of food they can eat within 2 to 3 minutes. If you see any leftover food after this time, remove them with a net to avoid water pollution.

Female honey gourami breeding

Female honey gourami breeding is relatively straightforward. You need a male and female honey gourami in a breeding tank.

A dense plantation in the tank helps induce spawning. When female honey gourami is ready to breed, she fills her abdomen with eggs.

The fish get more plumber. When it is time, the male fish will make a bubble nest near a leaf. Honey gouramis are bubble nesters. So, it is easy to determine their spawning time because of this behavior.

When the male honey gourami finishes making the bubble nest, he swims toward the female fish and shows his courting colors.

Then the male fish swims back to the nest to encourage the female to follow. Once they reach the nest, they start spawning.

The female honey gourami releases about 20 eggs per spawn, and the male fish immediately fertilize them. Then the male honey gourami takes them by the mouth and puts them back in the bubble nest. This will continue until the female fish lays about 300 eggs.

After spawning, you should remove the female fish as the male tend to become aggressive and chase her away. In honey gouramis, it is the male who protects the eggs until the eggs hatch.

The eggs hatch within 24 to 36 hours, depending on the water temperature. At this stage, you should remove all adults from the tank.

Otherwise, the fry may become food for the fish (including honey gouramis). The fry will leave the nest within three days.

You should start feeding them at this point. Start providing them with liquid fry food or infusoria, and then when the fry is large enough, you can feed them with baby brine shrimp.

How many female honey gourami in a 10 gallon

You can add one female honey gourami in a 10-gallon tank. Although honey gouramis are not aggressive, a 10-gallon tank is not enough for more than one honey gourami.


Related question

What kind of fish is female honey gourami?

Female honey gourami is the female fish of Honey Gourami known as Trichogaster chuna. It is a species of gourami native to India and Bangladesh.

Can I keep female honey gourami with a betta?

You can keep female honey gourami with a betta as long as the tank is bigger and the personality of both fish is calm.

At least a 20-gallon tank is recommended if you want them to live together. Female honey gourami is naturally not aggressive.

If the betta you choose to introduce is not an aggressive one, they can coexist in the same tank. But, if your betta is aggressive and territorial, you will have to separate them.

Usually, male bettas are more aggressive, so you may not be able to house male betta with any other middle and top dwelling fish species.

Can I keep two female honey gouramis together?

Yes. You can keep as many female honey gouramis together. Unlike male honey gouramis, female honey gouramis are calm and not aggressive.

If the tank is big enough for both fish, keeping two female honey gourami shouldn’t be a problem at all.


Female honey gouramis have distinctive differences from male honey gourami, and some misunderstand this fish as a different species.

They are short but large and rounder than male honey gouramis. Female honey gouramis are pale in color and have rounded dorsal fins.

Unlike males, female honey gouramis are not aggressive towards their own species, making them the perfect choice for a community tank.

So, if you intend to keep more than one honey gouramis in your aquarium, you can add any amount of female honey gouramis, depending on the tank size.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.