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sexing young angels

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sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 17:43

Hi all. I asked just over a week ago about sexing my new angelfish but I was told they were too young to sex just yet.

At what age/size is it possible to start sexing? I ask because two of my older ones have started pecking at each other and it looks like early attempts at lip locking.

I can photograph them both but does it matter when I photograph them? It's easiest to get photo's just after they've eaten as they're more chilled out then but will fat bellies make it more difficult to identify a possible sex of them both?

I've been reading a bit online about sexing but I'm getting confused. Some seem to go by the shape of the head (I've read this advice on here but I can't fathom it) other's go by the shape of the chest and belly area.

If someone can let me know and I'll get the camera out. Thanks in advance Smile
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 18:18

I have 4 photographs now - two of each angel. Both were fed within the last hour so they've got fat bellies. If you need alternate photo's without fat bellies then let me know

Angel 1 - purchased approx 6 weeks ago now a good 5cm across






Angel 2 - purchased approx 5 weeks ago now about 3 - 4cm across






Hopefully we can work out what sex they are and figure if the pecking at each other is lame attempts at lip locking or if it's aggression.
Thanks very much  clown


Edit: the first picture is obviously too big. I don't know how to re-size them. If someone can tell me what numbers I need to type into the link from photobucket then I can re-size them. Thanks Smile
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 23:11

Our resident expert on sexing angels is Phil "Wildreddeer" I'm not sure I fully understand his method, but he usually calls them correctly.
In some cases I've been pretty confident of the sex of some of my fish from a few months old, and smaller than yours are. On the other hand, I have some that are several years old and I haven't been able to decide.

There are many characteristics that can sometimes help in determining the sex, but none are total foolproof. In the same way that someone with long hair, who's fairly short, with narrow shoulders and wide hips, is probably but not necessarily female.

The most reliable method is looking at the breeding tubes, but in some cases even these can be misleading.

Here's a female spawning....


and a male....


Some males develop a nuchal hump (a big bump over the eyes) like this one...


but some females can have a head profile that looks similar


Other males have little in the way of a bump....


and whilst often females can have smaller bodies and shorter fins, that doesn't always follow, this female is only marginally smaller than the male in the previous photo


I thought this male was a female


Fortunately I paired him with this female, I mistook for a male....


A lot of the clues you get to sex is simply watching behaviour, who's paired with who, which fish get chased, etc. However even this is unreliable as sometimes two male will pair up to defend a territory which neither could defend on his own.

I really wouldn't like to guess about yours at the moment.

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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Wed 06 Aug 2014, 09:50

okay, thanks for that Pterophyllum. It's sounds like I need to wait and hope that the other member you mentioned looks at my post and can call it for these two.

From my previous experience of cichlids the males tend to be more bossy and 'angry' than the females. If I use that as a guide to the angels the angel in the first picture is male and the 2nd one female but as you've rightly said ... they can fool us.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had a pair of angels for a little while so I did familiarise myself with some things regarding their care etc. Whilst I had them the smaller of the two dropped a breeding tube and laid some eggs so I got to be able to see that with my own eyes. The larger of the two also dropped a breeding tube and it was a different shape so I took that to mean they were a male and female but he went on to eat all the eggs rather than fertilize them!

I'll keep an eye on these two angels of mine and see if I see any more of the pecking at each other ... as I was watching them yesterday I was thinking "these two are gonna start lip locking in a minute" but they never did ... they just backed off. I'll watch to see if there's any sign of tail slapping too which with my old (now dead) rams was a sign of a pair forming

You mentioned the hump on the head... well the other two baby angels that I got last week both have a slight bump on their heads but at the moment they are both still very small so I'm just watching to see if that develops. You were right about adding another 2. Since I added the two babies the aggression from the first angel has really calmed down
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 15:33

Hi Akasha it's Phil. I spend al summer in the Scottish Highlands and can not always pick up a signal on my note book. But if you just leave a post I will pick it up at some stage. Providing you don't mind the wait.

Lets take your four pictures first. The first three are no good as they show the back of the fish. The forth could be a female but I would like another picture to confirm.

Have you tried to read my topic on sexing angels. Basically what I require is a good side on picture of the whole fish. What I look at is the fish from it's nose to the base of the upper fin. I copy ans save this picture and enlarge it as far as I can (hence the reason why it has to be a clear Picture)

Once it has been enlarged I look at the fish and determine if the line from the nose to the fin is one line or two. This can be the confusing part as you have to see if it is one continuous line or two. It all come with practice.

Phil
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 16:01

Just copied and saved your pictures, it appears they never came out on the site as a full picture. Anyway I have them now.

What age are they? I ask this as you say they are young, and this can reflect on the sex.

At the present moment it time they are showing as females.

What you have to bear in mind is that all angels show as female when tghey are young. As the get older the males start to show.

If you notice any change in there shape later, please post a picture.

Phil
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 18:18

Hello Phil! I didn't realise you were in Scotland and had a bad reception ... I thought perhaps you'd missed my thread and Pterophyllum said you were the man to sex them for me.
I did read your topic on sexing them yourself - a very interesting read. I had a go but I didn't feel confident that I was doing it right which is why I decided to ask instead.
The angel in the first two pictures arrived on 26th June this year. It was around 3cm in size when I bought it and doubled in size within two weeks ... it's a very greedy angel.
The angel in pictures 3 and 4 arrived 17th July this year. Again it was around 3cm in size. It's difficult to say how old they both are exactly as I have no experience of breeding angels and I don't know how long it takes for them to get to 3cm. Perhaps you can help me there?

I now have 2 more angels which I got last week after reading angels were better kept as a group of 4 to 6. They are both very young, not much bigger than a 50 pence piece so no sexing there yet! I had a small amount of bickering between the two angels in the photo's and since adding the two babies the bickering has virtually stopped. Now I am seeing the two in the photo's following each other around and a couple of nights ago one was pecking at the face of the other ... it looked like lame attempts to start lip locking. I have kept bolivian rams until recently and I have a male and female pair of laetacara curviceps so I know about cichlid breeding signs.
All that prompted me to wonder even more about the sex of the older angels in my photo's.

Are you able to tell me roughly whether your sexing is right for their approximate age or if they are likely to change sex in the weeks/months to come? I have no idea at what age they 'decide' on their sex
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 20:24

Akasha I don't live in Scotland just spend most of my time there. One day I hope to live here. At the moment I have to make do with Yorkshire. Angels do not change sex as they get older its just very hard to tell when they are young. I normally find that they start showing signs at about the 50p size. Even though they can sometimes be seen earlier and smaller. You say yours are about the 50p size therefore I can confidently say picture one and two with the green plants behind it is a Female. Pictures three and four with the tetras is a male.
Hope thats useful to you. Please feel free to ask if you need advice on sexing.

Phil.
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 20:47

Yorkshire lass me sen ... nowt wrong wi Yorkshire lol ... although if I had to leave Yorkshire Scotland would be on my list. I've been just twice (Edinburgh) but I liked the place ... very chilled out Smile

Right ... so the two smokey blushing angels in the photo's, which are both much bigger than a 50 pence piece ... the first one is a good 5cm's now, the 2nd one is a bit smaller but not much. You're confirming they are a male and a female now? .... so the pecking I saw could have been what I suspected and early attempts at lip locking? I've been watching for tail slapping signs too but nothing like that yet.

The two babies I got last week are the one's that are 50p sized. Am I as well to get you to try and sex them too? It would be good to know as I'm now worried I'm gonna have dominance issue if the babies are male too
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 21:03

Post the pictures lass but make sure they are side on.

Do you intend to breed from any of these or are you just keeping them as community fish.
The reason I ask is because Black neons adore other fish eggs.
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 21:16

I've managed to get you a couple of side on photo's of one of the new babies. Going by your sexing topic I think this one is male ... it's head looks 'bumpy' .... go on ... tell me I'm wrong lol






I hope these arn't too big, I cropped them but I've not got to grips with posting pictures yet despite reading the 'how to' post lol


As for breeding. I didn't intend to breed them, I lost my rams and I've fancied some angels for a while so I decided to go for just two angels and hope they were the same sex as I've bred my curviceps and my cories and I know how much hard work is involved. But two angels turned into four angels and now it looks like the two smokey blushing angels are pairing up and I'm not going to be able to stop them breeding if that happens.
I've already considered that my black neons might have to be re-homed as I know adult angels can see them as a nice snack. I do have a 100 litre tank in the shed though so I have options
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 21:40

Nice try. I can see where you have got that idea from but it's a female. I should not worry too much about there sex if you are not going to breed from them. The neons will keep any eggs clear or even fry if it comes to that. It will be a while before your angels will be large enough to feast on the neons. Also a well planted tank will give the neons room to hide.
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 08 Aug 2014, 21:49

you see .... now you can see why I needed your help lol!

I'm trying to get a really clear shot of the other little baby but he/she isn't playing ball. This is the best I could manage, hope it's clear enough






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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Sat 09 Aug 2014, 19:35

A bit hazy, but she is a female.
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Sat 09 Aug 2014, 20:02

great. So that means I have 3 females and one male? .... that's good. I was worried I'd have more than one male and have all out war from them when they hit adult size.
I'm happy with 3 female and a male. I've chosen well. Thank you very much for your help Phil, you've been brilliant. Hopefully I'll learn as time goes on to sex them myself as well as you do!

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Re: sexing young angels

Post  wildreddeer on Sat 09 Aug 2014, 20:20

Your welcome lass. Good luck with your venture.
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Re: sexing young angels

Post  Akasha on Sat 09 Aug 2014, 20:23

thanks, I'm not going anywhere so I'll keep you all up to date with how they go Smile
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Re: sexing young angels

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