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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can vent if I have to, but I was wondering if there was any visual cues for male and females.

I just got a Lion's Cove Lab and I think it's a male. He is about 2 inches long, and his pelvic fins are completely black and extend to past where his anal fin begins. But he has no egg spots.



I am hoping to trade some existing fish for 4 more labs and would like to know: if this guy is a guy, and helpful tips in distinguishing male and female within this monomorphic species so I'm not constantly running back to the LFS to exchange fish. Thanks!
 

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My hunch is yes but with Labs you just never know...

Is there anyway you can get a confirmed female? Can you vent?
 

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I'd guess male....guess.
All my females have rounded anal fins

and the males have more pointed ....and more solid black on their pec fins and dorsal..

But venting would be more accurate....or wait till they spawn like me. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If I absolutely have to. I'm not keen on it though. Would I be wrong assuming females would have rounded pelvic fins and not be as black? I'm almost certain he's a male because his pelvic fins are so much longer and end in pronounced point. He's not flared in the picture but after 20 shots this was the only crisp picture I got (darn iPhone). If I had to guess his pelvic fins are over a centimeter long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess a follow up: how conspecific aggressive are they? Would it be okay to (unluckily) end up with 5 males in a tank before I exchange for females (every other week is when the LFS I trade with gets new Africans)?

The only experience with building a community is with mainganos and it takes about 5 minutes to figure out if what you added was a male or female! :D
 

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I guess a follow up: how conspecific aggressive are they? Would it be okay to (unluckily) end up with 5 males in a tank before I exchange for females (every other week is when the LFS I trade with gets new Africans)?
I will answer it this way.. If 5 males & 1 female = bad, but not disastrous. If 3-4 males & 3-4 females = smooth sailing in all likelihood.

I can say though that despite the claim that Labs are not aggressive, I have had subdom males sent into the upper corners hiding & beaten up but never killed. probably because I removed them quickly though. ANY mbuna can be nasty given the right set of circumstances.

I have 20+ in my 180 that are anywhere from 1' to 2.5" because I don't know how to vent & afraid that the one I remove will eventually be "the" lab that is perfect. Some of them are obvious males & females because they have spawned. The others? No idea. :x
 

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I kept a colony of 3 males and 3 females for over a year without any troubles. 5 males and 1 female might be a bit harsh on the female, but it might work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay good, I just wanted to make sure time wasn't an important factor (like with Auratus and Kenyi) when tweaking a colony since it is 2 weeks between getting new stock to trade for.
 

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I only have 3 yellow labs left in my tank. The dominant male killed a new juvenile I tried to introduce in about 3 days, so yes, as cantrell stated, they can be aggressive.

I now have 1m and 2f. My male is big, very nice black, and strikingly yellow. A great looking lab. But, his egg spot is very very pale. I can barely see it verses the females who have nice ones. So, I can't rely on egg spots any longer.
 

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nategg..

First of all, that is a awesome Avatar. That has to be the funniest movie of all time! Anyway..

I had two at around 2"+ that decided that they were both dominant when a female was ready to spawn...

One of the two ended up with a nasty cut/scrap/laceration on the top of his head. I was able to get him healed. They don't fight now because the sub knows his place. For now.

There is now a 3rd half their size that is starting to assert himself & isn't bashful. He is a beautiful fish so I am keeping my eye on him.. As soon as the 3 holding females spit, I am afraid that the battle will resume.. We'll see.
 

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Yeah cantrell, that is how it happened with me. Two at about 2"+ that fought bitterly for dominance. I removed one luckily before injury, and insta-spawn. Your subdom Scar will be back :)

Thanks for the compliment on he Avatar :thumb: I love that movie.
 

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No really no other way. You might have 51% chance by look for some of these visual clues but it would still be just a guess. I wait until I see them spawn.
 

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I find that females can be just as vibrant. We have a post by Joea long ago showing males and females: guess which are which? All were vibrant with black fins. Venting is more reliable IME.
 
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