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Picked up some new fish today, have been debating on doing an angel tank for awhile and finally decided it was time. So I converted my live bearer 38 gal into a planted angel tank. Took a bunch of anubais rock structures out of another tank along with some crypt, hornwort, and Java ferns etc.. My question is this.. I love never had angels before and couldn't find any solid info on sexing these guys, so I bought six juvenile. I know I can't keep them all in there once paired or matured, but I'm not exactly sure how long that takes and what to look for. Same thing goes for the bolivian rams I got. Couldn't tell the difference in any of them so I bought 4 and am hoping to get a pair out of them. Checked for normal signs such as second Spike on dorsal fin, longer tail flukes etc.. Can't see a difference.. Is it possible that I happened to get the only four left and they were all males or females? Any other signs I might be able to use to tell? Also, would I be a smart move to pick up a couple different juvenile angels to mix in since these all came from the same lfs? And the ones I have are marble or All white, could I mix in say a snake skin and have them pair with the marble? I know I know.. Lots of questions, just excited to have some different variety in my tanks for a change. Thanks in advance.

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You won't be able to sex them for some time. By the time they reach maturity, most angels will be about the size of a silver dollar in the body area only. That's just a general rule, some will mature earlier, but the vast majority will follow this. With four fish, you could certainly end up with a sorority, but that's absolutely impossible to predict. The only true way to sex them is once they've decided to spawn. The female's tube is thicker in order to deposit the eggs, and the male's is notably thinner. At the much larger sizes, females will be smaller and more uniform in shape (in properly grown specimens) while the males will usually be larger and some will grow crowns called nucile humps on the head. So you probably have a few months if not more depending on how small and their age right now and how well you maintain them. Before they get to sexual maturity, don't be surprised if one just develops a mean streak. They are cichlids and it's not uncommon to have a tank bully in the mix. There is a forum out there dedicate to Angels specifically and there's a wealth of information there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You won't be able to sex them for some time. By the time they reach maturity, most angels will be about the size of a silver dollar in the body area only. That's just a general rule, some will mature earlier, but the vast majority will follow this. With four fish, you could certainly end up with a sorority, but that's absolutely impossible to predict. The only true way to sex them is once they've decided to spawn. The female's tube is thicker in order to deposit the eggs, and the male's is notably thinner. At the much larger sizes, females will be smaller and more uniform in shape (in properly grown specimens) while the males will usually be larger and some will grow crowns called nucile humps on the head. So you probably have a few months if not more depending on how small and their age right now and how well you maintain them. Before they get to sexual maturity, don't be surprised if one just develops a mean streak. They are cichlids and it's not uncommon to have a tank bully in the mix. There is a forum out there dedicate to Angels specifically and there's a wealth of information there.
Thanks for the info, I'm down to 3 angels at the moment. Pretty sure they picked up something at the lfs, though only the first dead one had any signs on its body of decay, and it was slightly cloudy. Still got them in qt by themselves water parameters all normal and drip acclimated them for almost two hours. Had one die day one, and two die since then. Hoping the last 3 pull out, though the odds seem to be against them.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As far as my bolivian rams.. I Fricken love these guys.. Such awesome personalities already. As of right now, looks like I may have one female and three males.. Though none of the males are showing any love for the female. Though the tank bully does attack her with less veracity. Gonna give it a few weeks to hope they pair up quickly, or else I may just have to swap out two of the would be males for Def females. Amazing how quickly they adapted and got comfortable in that tank. All sorting out territories and each one recognizes me when I walk into the room and comes to the front of the tank to watch me.

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Sorry to hear about your troubles with the angels. LFS angels are just horrible specimens for the most part. There are numerous breeders out there right now, it can make your head spin. In all honesty, you would be better served looking for a breeder that's as close to home as possible and give it a try. From your description, you got angels with velvet. It's easy to blame the LFS, but it's really the fault of the supply chain. The big box stores have an even worse track record with them.
 

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Sorry to hear about your troubles with the angels. LFS angels are just horrible specimens for the most part. There are numerous breeders out there right now, it can make your head spin. In all honesty, you would be better served looking for a breeder that's as close to home as possible and give it a try. From your description, you got angels with velvet. It's easy to blame the LFS, but it's really the fault of the supply chain. The big box stores have an even worse track record with them.
Unfortunately I bought the angels from a big chain lfs.. We don't have many small time lfs around here anymore, and the one we do have generally only carries saltwater. I checked with them for weeks about getting my angels from them, but they never had any in and weren't keen on ordering. I've never bought fish online before, but I guess it might be time to research that area a bit. Just super expensive to ship fish the proper way. I haven't been able to find any breeders locally, I seem to be in the fish black hole where I'm at, or maybe just looking in the wrong areas.

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the only sure fire way to sex angels is to watch them breed. and see the breeding tubes. even 2 females have been know to follow each other as if it was male and female.
 

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Unfortunately I bought the angels from a big chain lfs.. We don't have many small time lfs around here anymore, and the one we do have generally only carries saltwater. I checked with them for weeks about getting my angels from them, but they never had any in and weren't keen on ordering. I've never bought fish online before, but I guess it might be time to research that area a bit. Just super expensive to ship fish the proper way. I haven't been able to find any breeders locally, I seem to be in the fish black hole where I'm at, or maybe just looking in the wrong areas.

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I'm not endorsing any of them, but sift through the angelfish offerings on Aquabid and see where they are located. You may find something there. I know there a couple out west. When the weather clears a bit, if you can deal with juveniles, two-day shipping is the way most folks go about it. It's FAR more reasonable and works out really well. Adults need to go overnight, and yes, become an expensive proposition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not endorsing any of them, but sift through the angelfish offerings on Aquabid and see where they are located. You may find something there. I know there a couple out west. When the weather clears a bit, if you can deal with juveniles, two-day shipping is the way most folks go about it. It's FAR more reasonable and works out really well. Adults need to go overnight, and yes, become an expensive proposition.
I've looked on aquabid a few times, just not sure of good sellers opposed to bad ones I guess. I'm one of those show me guys I guess.. Lol

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You're absolutely correct in being cautious with AB and just about anything of that nature. The one thing I can say with relative certainty with AB vendors is that the feedback scores really do tell a story. The story is incomplete where there's little feedback as a vendor, so that needs to be considered. If someone has 100's of positive feedback responses as a vendor, and negligible negative, that story is complete to me...... And there's only a handful of them.
 
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