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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I've read male red zebras have 4-7 egg spots while females have 0-3. This little guy only has 2 egg spots, bit he/she is extremely aggressive and has almost taken over the tank. He/she is (3.5 inches) 2nd in command next in line to the largest fish which is my Acei (5 inches). He even will challenge the much larger Acei sometimes. Also, I read males are more yellow than orange. Can anyone tell me if this a male or female? This guy is in a territory dispute with another red zebra that looks exactly like him but maybe 1/8 inch smaller.

 

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Egg spots are not useful in determining gender. And males are not more yellow than orange...males have a sheen of blue (seen with a flashlight). Mature males turn a peach color.

Maybe it is the angle but the fish lacks the blocky shape I expect on Metriaclima. You said the fish is 3.5 inches?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DJRansome said:
Egg spots are not useful in determining gender. And males are not more yellow than orange...males have a sheen of blue (seen with a flashlight). Mature males turn a peach color.

Maybe it is the angle but the fish lacks the blocky shape I expect on Metriaclima. You said the fish is 3.5 inches?
Yes, more than 3, but less than 3.5. I'll get to flash my 1,000 lumen flashlight on it to see if I can see some blue. As for his/her behavior, it's 100% male/aggressive kick everyone's butt in the tank style aggressive. The major head shaking as if he/she having a seizure is also a giveaway. He/she's even challenging the much larger Acei who is currently king of tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I took your advice and flashed my extremely bright tactical flashlight at each red zebra in pitch dark room and I was pleasantly surprised to see extremely blue tint on the dorsal, pectoral and anal fins of all the red zebras that have 2-3 egg spots and the ones I suspected were male. The ones that don't have the eggs spots (some are larger than 3-3.2 inches) don't have any blue except for one or two that have a tiny 1mm tint of blue on the bottom of pectoral fin. I'm assuming these are female because 1)no blue on dorsal/anal fin except for a tiny blue on pectoral 2)no egg spots 3)behavior is mellow and isn't chasing every fish in the tank.

Here are the pics I took.




 

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Males do get bigger, more distinct eggspots. You often can pick out males that way, as well as males get longer pointed ends to their fins. Females can get small eggspots. Males are paler orange with a blue sheen when mature, natural type males can get almost white with pink spots when adult which are kinda cool. Yellow, never.

In any event, those are all prob common Red Zebra X Yellow Lab hybrids. Red Zebras do not have a faint black line in the dorsal, do not have those shiny noticeable scales. Red Zebras have a wide scraper mouth, Yellow Labs a pointed picker mouth, hybrids can be in-between.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
noki said:
Males do get bigger, more distinct eggspots. You often can pick out males that way, as well as males get longer pointed ends to their fins. Females can get small eggspots. Males are paler orange with a blue sheen when mature, natural type males can get almost white with pink spots when adult which are kinda cool. Yellow, never.

In any event, those are all prob common Red Zebra X Yellow Lab hybrids. Red Zebras do not have a faint black line in the dorsal, do not have those shiny noticeable scales. Red Zebras have a wide scraper mouth, Yellow Labs a pointed picker mouth, hybrids can be in-between.
My pics look just like the one in the cichlid species website. The only difference is I had it pitch black in the room and I used my 1,000 lumen Nitecore flashlight at it. Could that explain the details in the scales? Under normal lighting, non of that shows, including the blue dorsal fins. The marking in the dorals is blue, not black. Here is what is in this forum's websites in regards to red zebra (4 different kinds apparently)

 

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What looks different between your fish and the species pic to me is the curve of the forehead...it is more curved on Metriaclima and more straight on Labidochromis.
 
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