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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just purchased 2 apistogramma's. We are wondering if we have both a male and a female. Pictures are NOT the best..but I tried to get good fin shots. The male is slightly larger and definitely more colored.

Suspected female:









Suspected male:
Note, the picture that has 2 fish in it, the "male" is on the left, but it shows good fins I think.







 

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Did the store sell them as a pair? I find most stores only carry males for obvious color and size reasons. Female appisto's tend to be very yellow all over. These two to my eye look like two males, one just larger than the other. But wait and see how they grow. Here is a good example of a male and female. The difference is pretty dramatic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apistogramma_Cacatuoides_Male_and_Female.jpg


Here is a photo of my male and female, different species but as you can see the female is very yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah they sold them to me as a pair.

I didn't know so much about the coloring, but I thought it was more about the fins.
 

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That's a good sign if they were sold as a pair. I may stand corrected here. Females are usually grey/brown than yellow up for breeding. It is possible that you have a female since the majority of the dorsal fin is not orange or black. They look like juvies so with time it will be easier to tell. Also watch their behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
THey were sold as a pair, from a tank that had other "pairs".... So who knows when the guy went into the tank to retrieve the fish which ones he grabbed.

I thought the fins were supposed to help determine this as well.

The larger fish is a touch over 1.5 inches the smaller one is just over 1 inch.
 

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Definitely male and female and you have the labeled correctly. Your female's tale is completely colored which is nice, I haven't seen many like that. She will yellow up a lot when she's ready for breeding, they look like a young pair though. The male is small still.

Some shots of mine below, you can tell the two apart clearly.



 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice looking fish!

Ok, I guess I was worried because the female's dorsal fin extends some. I'm not sure why, but I thought that length of fins was a way to tell, ie: the longer extension signified a male, and a short one a female.


I notice that sometimes the male sort of fans the female with his tail, is this a good sign?
 

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Thanks! I love them, I actually recently lost the female to something random, no idea. They were a breeding pair so I'm a bit sad about that. I found another locally who is acclimating now and I hope the male likes her. She's been beat up a bit by my peacock gudgeon since coming in the tank though, her tail got ripped bad.

The dorsal fin can be raised in females, both of mine have been. It's just not as pronounced as the males. Their bodies look much different too as they get older.

It's also still possible the other is a male that hasn't colored up yet. Like I said, kinda strange to have a full tail colored for a female.
 

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Thanks! I love them, I actually recently lost the female to something random, no idea. They were a breeding pair so I'm a bit sad about that. I found another locally who is acclimating now and I hope the male likes her. She's been beat up a bit by my peacock gudgeon since coming in the tank though, her tail got ripped bad.

The dorsal fin can be raised in females, both of mine have been. It's just not as pronounced as the males. Their bodies look much different too as they get older.

It's also still possible the other is a male that hasn't colored up yet. Like I said, kinda strange to have a full tail colored for a female.

Yep, I was thinking it was strange that the tail was so colorful as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I'm still not sure. It is important because if it is a male, then we need to return it for a more definitive female, since we don't want fighting and such.

I emailed Mike Wise from the apistogramma site and am hoping he will take a look also. I didn't want to register there just for this one question.

Like I said earlier, the smaller of the fish (female..) is just a touch bigger than an inch, and the male is just over 1.5 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Still looking for more thoughts, so feel free to share if you know this species!

Question- I have a 29g tank fairly well planted with driftwood and such. If I added a third fish ( a known female) is this tank big enough for the 3 of them? What would this species "typically" react to having either 1 male and 2 females, or if they are both males, 2 males and 1 female in this size of tank?

It is a decent drive to the LFS where we got these 2 fish, and I don't want to return 1 if I don't have to, but I will if they will fight.
 

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I think the general guidelines are 2 females per male with most species of fish, maybe even 3 females per male to prevent the male chasing females constantly. Like you said you may end up with 2 males 1 female which is the worst case scenario. Best case is 2 females with your one male. You can keep a group of males with no female to fight over, just tank territories.

I keep my pair in a 30 gallon as well and I noticed the female is the aggressor most of the time, she scares the male into hiding a lot. Especially once the spawn is complete. Currently my 30 houses a large male and female and 9 juvenile offspring which are getting big fast. The female currently is guarding eggs so there will be another group of babies to care for soon. I think it's best to just start with a male/female combo because you are going to end up with a ton of fry down the road.
 

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Yeah, I'm still not sure. It is important because if it is a male, then we need to return it for a more definitive female, since we don't want fighting and such.

I emailed Mike Wise from the apistogramma site and am hoping he will take a look also. I didn't want to register there just for this one question.

Like I said earlier, the smaller of the fish (female..) is just a touch bigger than an inch, and the male is just over 1.5 inches.
Any response from Mike Wise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mike did respond and since he wasn't sure how large the fish were (I linked him to this post, he must've missed it) his off the cuff guess was 2 males.

I am thinking that is true because I added a 99% sure female into the tank yesterday and the known male acted totally different to this new fish. He was much more showy verses aggressive, at least in my perspective.
 

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Id suggest pulling the the fish that you don't think is a female and see how it looks in a different tank over the course of a few days. Thing is though with cacatoudies it's not hard to tell the difference between the two. My male has 4 females with him and they all have there own section of tank. With most my apisto species once there is eggs fertilized the male guards the top area of the tank and the female keeps low.
 
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