My 3 Zebs. Not sure of age or sex

We all know how difficult it is to identify the sex of these fish, so please post a picture in here and we'll try to help you (or at least give an educated guess!).
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greenneedle
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My 3 Zebs. Not sure of age or sex

Post by greenneedle » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:44 pm

Hello guys. I bought these 3 zebras in November 2014 so I have now had them for about 19 months.

As a guide the bucket I have them in below is 9 inches which would make them in the 2.5 to 2.75 inch range at the moment. This is the first time I have ever taken them out of the tank and unfortunately I didn't get a picture with all 3 nor one of the full bucket which was annoying because I thought I had when I did it. They look a bit pink in these pictures but they weren't in the tank and they have gone back to pure white and black again since I returned them. I need to use a better recepticle next time than a deep 10 litre bucket because the picture haven't come out very well.

I have read the guides on various sites on shapes etc but I can't tell from my pictures.

As a brief background:
They were from 2 different sellers. I bought specimen A from 1 seller and specimen B & C from a second seller. I have 6 caves in the tank with a few cobbles on top of them (pictured below)

Specimen A and B tend to stay on the lip of their slate caves most of the time. Specimen C tends to sit on top of caves or between them.

I'm not sure if specimen C is displaying female behaviour or is just smaller than the other 2 and is being chased away from the caves. Specimen C did at one point have faded stripes on one side from fighting but that has recovered now. Sometimes it will be inside or on the lip of a cave but most often it will be sat on top of one.

I feed them on a variety of foods dry one day, frozen the next. All taken from advice(s) off this site.

I was wondering if anyone would have any idea of age or sex from the pics below. Not sure which is which specimen in each picture though. Maybe next time I will take them out separately:

This is one cave. there are six like this lined up along a 125 ltr 80cm tank with cobbles in between them. This pic was taken about 6 months ago
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And poor pictures from today:
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Thanks in advance for any help.

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: My 3 Zebs. Not sure of age or sex

Post by TwoTankAmin » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:08 pm

Hard to tell from the pictures. The clues which can help are head shape, odontile growth in the gill area and on the front edge of the pectorals. However, the most reliable method for sexing is to vent them. That means a view from their underside. If you move them into cooler water to take such a picture, it usually induces them to extend their tube. If they do, the female had a fatter and more rounded tube- it has to pass out eggs after all. the male's is more pointed looking as all it need to do is squirt out sperm. Also, the male will often have a black spot on its at the end of its tube. But this is not 100%.

It is also possible to sex them on their behavior as they approach or reach sexually maturity. Males will always try to claim a cave and you will see them in it regularly. Now and then one may take the cave of another and if he can hold it, he keeps it. Females may shelter temporarily in a cave or may spend the night in one, but they do not claim them and more often they will be seen hiding under/in wood or rock work.
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

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