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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time keeping these fishes and I'm super confused about their sex. They are about 1.5" head to tail. I want to try and breed them, just not sure I have a pair here. I think these are either 3 females, or 2 females and a young male. TIA.
 

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The females of most Apistos turn a bit of a chrome yellow overcast depending upon their condition and species. Looks like two females and a male who's not yet mature enough for full coloration.

Can someone who's keep Cacatoides comment a rumor I heard about them being 'eye-biters'?
 

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Hi quark,

I have to go +1 for abrooks12376; they look like 3 females to me as well.
@GrampsGrunge - I have kept Apistos (including A. cacatuoides) with Cardinal tetras, Rasboras, German Rams, Rainbowfish, and never suffered an eye loss....but they will defend their territory if preparing a breeding site, guarding eggs, or herding fry.

A. cacatuoides 'Triple Red' juvies; males just starting to show color
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm still perplexed that I have 3 females. Today, the smallest of them has started to show more color, and started to try and turn sideways to one of the other fish, as if it was displaying its color. The biggest of the bunch also bullies all of them, specially the smaller fish. So even though on my second picture, that female is showing elongated spines on its 2nd and 3rd dorsal fin, that is still a female? If I do have 3 females, how should I introduce a male? I haven't seen in my LPS adult cacatuoides, wouldn't want to throw in a juvi and have it get beaten up.
 

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What size do they start to mature for males? Mines are all around 1.5".
Depending on genetics and food they will start coloring up around 2-4 months old. Wild ones will get less color while domestic tank bred or line bred will color up faster and to a larger extent. Both will get a varied amount of pattern too, but that takes longer to finish developing.

The dorsal fin will start growing a bit after they start coloring up.

When housed with a larger and more dominant male, apistogramma cacatuoides males can suppress their color and fin growth, to look more like a female. These are called sleeper males.

If you know the genetics and previous housing conditions you can get a pretty confident guess as to their sex.
 

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I'm still perplexed that I have 3 females. Today, the smallest of them has started to show more color, and started to try and turn sideways to one of the other fish, as if it was displaying its color. The biggest of the bunch also bullies all of them, specially the smaller fish. So even though on my second picture, that female is showing elongated spines on its 2nd and 3rd dorsal fin, that is still a female? If I do have 3 females, how should I introduce a male? I haven't seen in my LPS adult cacatuoides, wouldn't want to throw in a juvi and have it get beaten up.
Very tough to tell when they're young. But the description of the one fish turning sideways as if to display is exactly what my female does when she is ready to spawn. The dorsal rays on the females will be extended; just not as much as the males. Time will surely tell though. Males grow much much larger. Another month or so and you should have your answer for sure!
 

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I agree with what others are saying. Give it time and see how they develop. I have 4 males, the alpha looked a lot like the one you suspect to be a male when he was a jouvie. Give it some time, let them "cook" before going out and trying to get more males.

Also, the only fish my apistos have gone after is each other. I've never seen a fight, just chasing and displaying. No eye loss, fun nip, or anything of that sort in my tank. These fish are best described by my LFS guy "they're super chill".
 

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Yeah, guess time will tell. What I'm worried about is not having enough apisto for a chance of a pair. These 3 were the last ones in my LPS. So I have no clue what they were breed like, surely not wild caught I think.
I'm almost certain you have a male and 2 females but wait and let them grow out. I doubt they are wild caught as the cacatuoides are probably the most bread apisto out there. I have a pair and they breed constantly.
 
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