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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My largest yellow lab (chuck) is starting to get some black on his face. Is this a sign of stress or something else? It comes and it goes. One day its there and the next, its not. Also, he has been digging a pit in sand which is something that it just started doing.

And how do I sex him/her?

55g
3 yellow labs
2 red zebras
2 convicts (males)
1 common pleco
1 rafael catfish
4 tiger barbs
6 danio

Also, how often do these spawn per year?
 

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Venting is the only way to tell what sex it is, unless you see it holding lol. The black or "bearding" on it's face is just something some labs get as they get older. It's really not a desireable trait but I think even some wild caughts have it. I have 3 labs and one has alot of black on it now (real dirty looking) the second one has a little and some barring too. My 3rd one still looks pretty good but it could end up looking that way too as it gets older. I really don't know how often they spawn. My 3 are almost a year old and I've never had one holding so I'm thinking all 3 of mine might be the same sex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats a good way to describe it....a dirty beard.

Just wanted to make sure that something wasnt wrong. Do yellow labs get bigger than red zebras?

Thanks!
 

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I have 4 yellow labs and only 1 of them have the dirty beard look...LOL.. My guess would be that yours is a male only because mine is a male which is always chasing the others. He tends to also dig down to the glass bottom when it comes time to spawn. As long as you do your regular water changes and check your water levels they will spawn often enough. I do agree the best way to determine if you truely have a male lab is venting.
 

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I've always heard it has something to do with breeding dress, though apparently females get them too. Wouldn't worry, I've seen big YL's with them at stores quite a bit.
 

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its usually associated with a poor quality strain if you have a lot of black and brown - most people like myself want fish that never get anything on their faces or bars on their side, even when breeding. Most local fish store quality labs get the bearding.
Yellow labs are not supposed to get bigger than red zebras, but i've seen some that are - over feeding?
 

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One of mine that acts like the dom male gets it. Most noticable when he is peeking out from under a rock ledge. Once he comes out into the full light it fades quite a lot. "Dirty Beard" is a good way to describe it, looks like a 5:00 shadow.
 
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