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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have some newly stocked Protomelas taeniolatus (red empress) and I have a few questions. I had to order 4 from the non-sexed tank, so I will wait for some color to appear. I'll keep one male, and trade back for more females.

My question is...when will the males color up. They are about 2.5 inches now, and all a beautiful silver and black. One might have a touch of color on the tip of his dorsal fin. Would this be my male?

Thanks in advance! I love this website, I've learned so much here!
 

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I've had juvies color up at only 2.5-3" in a species-only growout tank and had others not color up until 5"+ in the presence of larger fish. It all depends who they are in with.

Females will sometimes have some color in their fins, so this is not always a reliable indicator. Watch for a tinge of blue on their head and more elongated or "boxy" fins.
 

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there will be some faint blue in the face and the fins will start to come to more of a point. There sometimes may be a bit of red in the tail and dorsal at smaller sizes too. Mine was about 3.5" when it started to color up. They grow pretty fast and are definately worth it when they color up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks! They are in a tank with mosly smaller fish. I started fresh to make a better chichlid tank. Can't wait for some color!!
 

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amusrobs said:
thanks! They are in a tank with mosly smaller fish. I started fresh to make a better chichlid tank. Can't wait for some color!!
If they're the biggest in there (without smaller aggressive fish), then you'll definitely see some color on the smaller side. Enjoy. :)
 

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papasmurf said:
there will be some faint blue in the face and the fins will start to come to more of a point. There sometimes may be a bit of red in the tail and dorsal at smaller sizes too. Mine was about 3.5" when it started to color up. They grow pretty fast and are definately worth it when they color up.
At 3", mine is showing similar coloration. Red fins and a faint blue on his face. He's not even close to his mature coloration and he's already my favorite fish.
 

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The anal fin should have tints of red if its a male. Then the blue will start showing up in his face and the fins will start to point. Then it's a like a rainbow explosion.
 

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My girls all have a thin red line on the dorsal, but the male (3") first got a touch of red on the anal fin, then colored much more over only a few weeks. I think one of the females is holding now, maybe a month after he colored up!
 
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