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Old 05-04-2006, 03:46 PM   #1
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Male or Female, Getting it Wrong!

A couple of months ago i purchased 2 Cockatoo dwarf Cichlids, after being re-assured by the shop assistants of my previous thoughts that the 2 i was looking at were different sexes.

However, now i think that i bought 2 males and today i have bought and added a female!
i wanted 2 females and a male, now it seems i have 2 males and a female.
Today i purchased a definate Female cockatoo dwarf, i say definate because the female i have is tiny! in comparison to the other 2 in my tank, has no elongated front of dorsal fin and is less colourful than the other 2

Im not 100% that i have 2 males and 1 female but im 80% sure of it.
I know for certain i have 1 male and 1 female, i say this because the male is huge compared to the other 2 and has very bright colours and a large front to his dorsal fin, its the most aggresive out of the 3.

I noticed with my 2 original cockatoo's that the bigger one wouldnt get close to the smaller one without chasing it away, it would swim a fair distance just to chase it away. (In heinsite now i realise thats a typical big fish, small fish scenario) I did think that i'd better get "another" female to calm it down a little.

Literally the minute i put the new fish in the big aggressive male was interested and has started swimming close to her, is sitting on the sand and appears to be making a 'pit' I dont know if cockatoo's make a spawning 'pit' by digging but my brothers Blue Rams do.

Also i witnessed a double 'attack' well the 2 originals were being slightly aggressive towards the female! (attack is too strong a word but i couldnt think of a better one) Also i noticed how much smaller the definate female is to the other 2.

I was under the impression that the alleged female was female due to the comparison of the big male's dorsal fin size, and colour. Now i think i have a particularly big bright male and a smaller less colourful male. & a female

So basically i:

Purchased 2 cockatoo's (thinking they were male and female, mainly due to the size comparison)
Added a female today and now i think the 2 originals are both male. Again mainly because of size.












EDIT:
Argh! now the female is as you would expect... in the top corner almost hiding, and i dont blame her!

Exactly what i didnt want to happen and tried to prevent!

A way out would seem to be buying 2 females to make it 3 females and 2 males but they cost 10 pounds each! (not sure what that is in dollars)
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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Sell back one of the males, tell them their expertese was wrong.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:59 PM   #3
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I could do that as another option but i dont really want to give any fish i have back unless i have to.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
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Sexing fish is difficult--especially since the majority of fish sold are juvies. If you don't want to sell a fish back, then you need to buy at least another female, or start a new tank. Two pairs may or may not live in harmony in a 20 gallon tank if they are mating. There is also the possibility that once numerous females are in the tank, the males will begin competing for the harem and you will lose a male.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:46 AM   #5
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I did think about having a total of 3 females with 2 males, but i will be overstocked and it will cost.
The best thing to do would be to take a male back and swap it for a female.
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