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How to sex. Borellii opal juveniles around 3cm?

David Skelton

New Member
Hello! An Englishman living in Australia
Have just got a "pair" of Borellii opals ordered in from a store who said the suppliers could provide a male & female.
I have doubts whether that's the case. Have asked on a few fb aquarium groups & people seem to think their both males, but what I've red on forums & websites seems to suggest it's a very hard apisto to sex at this size.
It's been suggested that the anal fin is pointed In males and rounded in females?
Females have a black edge to their ventral fins, males don't?
I know as males mature their Finnage is very large compared to females and females aren't as colourful and. Ore yellow. Do the females have any iridescence on their face body & fins?
These are my fist pair of apistogramma and am looking at breeding them & moving in from the other dwarf cichlids I've bred (Bolivian rams, kribensis and Egyptian mouth brooders). Any help would be appreciated.
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TCMontium

Active Member
Everything that you listed are correct. I don't know why people would say Borelli is a species that is hard to sex at this age.
Females have black coloration on frontal area of the pelvic fins. Females also do not have the colorful fins with blue, yellow and red like males do. The facial coloration of the females is also not plenty, mostly just one or two blue stripes around the eye or no blue at all. Also the anal and dorsal fin tips tend to be elongated and pointier on males.
I was able to sex some dwarf cichlid fry mainly looking at the pelvic fin coloration and shape/length, but other factors are needed too when trying to sex for example a sneaker male or "masculine" female.
I would say that I'm pretty sure that all the photos belong to male fish. I can see all the male colors and fin shapes. No female colors.
 

David Skelton

New Member
Everything that you listed are correct. I don't know why people would say Borelli is a species that is hard to sex at this age.
Females have black coloration on frontal area of the pelvic fins. Females also do not have the colorful fins with blue, yellow and red like males do. The facial coloration of the females is also not plenty, mostly just one or two blue stripes around the eye or no blue at all. Also the anal and dorsal fin tips tend to be elongated and pointier on males.
I was able to sex some dwarf cichlid fry mainly looking at the pelvic fin coloration and shape/length, but other factors are needed too when trying to sex for example a sneaker male or "masculine" female.
I would say that I'm pretty sure that all the photos belong to male fish. I can see all the male colors and fin shapes. No female colors.

Yes it's quite clear to me now that they're definitely 2 males. The larger of th 2 is very dominant and has grown fantastically The other has grown but not as fast and is still disguised as a female (bland colouration most of the time & keeps his fins down when. The other is present.
Also now & again he has dark edges on the ventrals By fin shape though, definitely male. A female has arrived in the store from the lady I got them from (there were meant to be 2 but one of the employees sold one of the ones that was on hold for me) but it's just over 1cm in length which is disappointing Can't pick it up yet as our car has issues & the store is an hour & half drive. The lady has said that the supplier apologised (for stuffing up & could have some more females in 2 or 3 weeks time . All very disappointing
 
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