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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a group of 11 Saulosi that I am trying to get a feel for the male:female ratio.
As of now I have one dominant, fully colored up male, one sub-male that is partially colored up and two females that I have confirmed from them holding eggs. The rest are quite a bit smaller which has been the case since purchase, so I’m uncertain of their sex.

watching the dominant male, it seems pretty clear what is courting behavior (flashing/shaking followed by a tail wag swim back to his cave) vs aggressive behavior (flaring fins and throat and chasing the sub male into corners).

Based on this behavior, if I see the male “courting” one of the smaller unsexed fish, is that a pretty good indication they are female? Or does the male simply see all yellow coloring and assume it’s a female?
 

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I think the behavior you are calling aggressive can be also used toward females...whether to put them in their place in the pecking order, or a frustrated attempt to spawn with an unwilling partner.

The unsexed fish could still be males. The dom male would want to harass them out of the colony.
 

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...In that regard, the behavior I’m calling courting could also be used towards males? That is more what I am wondering about...
Yes, I understand what you're asking, and the answer is it is unlikely that a dominant male would 'court' another male. The dominant male knows which fishes are female, even early on, and he will pick out the most likely partner(s) to display his courting behaviour. If she is not receptive, he may become aggressive, so that's not a foolproof indicator of gender, but courting behaviour towards a particular fish is a pretty reliable indicator that that fish is a female.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I understand what you're asking, and the answer is it is unlikely that a dominant male would 'court' another male. The dominant male knows which fishes are female, even early on, and he will pick out the most likely partner(s) to display his courting behaviour. If she is not receptive, he may become aggressive, so that's not a foolproof indicator of gender, but courting behaviour towards a particular fish is a pretty reliable indicator that that fish is a female.
interesting, thanks for the reply!
 

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I think since this is a group of the same species, the behavior can be more predictable as how the dominant male treats males and females. In mixed species tanks the fish behavior can be more confusing.The problem with an aquarium is that the fish can't swim away from the male, it is a fixed space, and the male gets frustrated and harasses fish. Don't be in a hurry to get rid of males, use the group dynamic as long as it works, and hope you have more than 2-3 females.
 
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