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Old 01-25-2004, 10:40 PM   #1
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Sexing Cherries

I was just wondering how to tell the difference between male and female cherry barbs. I currently have 4 in my 10 gal and when I chose them I picked two small and two larger. I was also wondering about schooling behavior in general. Is there a social order among fish, just as in wolves? I seem to have one fish that keeps to him/herself while another is real active and always causing trouble. He and another fish are either eating, sleeping or chasing each other around.

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Old 01-25-2004, 11:07 PM   #2
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Female cherry barbs are a little plumper, so the larger ones might be your females. The are reportedly loner fish, which is counter intuitive, but that is how they are described in my Baensch atlas. It describes them as being nervous when kept with other cherry barbs. They will definitely have a pecking order, just like our canid friends, and the chasing may continue. The 10 gal may be too small for them to resolve their issues, but it might be just fine in a larger tank like a 30 gal.
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:49 PM   #3
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The most obvious way to determine gender in Cherry Barbs, Puntius titteya is that adult males will develop a rich cherry red color (especially during breeding time) while the females are far less colorful, generally remaining brownish-red. As Tank Girl has already said, the females tend to be a little 'plumper'. This gets REALLY obvious when they are full of eggs. In addition...like most barbs....the males get pretty aggressive with the females when they're 'in the mood'.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:26 AM   #4
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The females even get a little bigger than that before they start dropping eggs

Anyway, Cherries "school very loosely". Most of the day, they each go around doing fishy things in small groups or 2 or 3 in my tank. Sometime they will swim right by each other like the other fish do not exist. I have one male Barb that never seems to fit in. He swims around by himself in the plants, I always think there is something wrong with him, but he has been acting this way for months now. If the Cherries get spooked by anything, they all huddle together in a tight group for about an hour (including the male who never schools).
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