Dot Technology  
  Flower Horn Paradise 
Concept, Design, Maintained by Dot Technology. 1998-2002
  Male / Female Flower Horn? 

Are there ways to determine the sex of a fish? Yes. But, there are also many myths that must be avoided. Determining the sex also depends to a large degree on which breed of Flower horn you are looking at. You can't tell a young Flower Horn gender by looking at its appearance. Flower Horn will undergo changes and it is virtually impossible to tell whether the particular Flower Horn is a male or female. Just as the black markings on its body. When Flower Horn reaches adulthood, the black markings may be gone.

    [ Black dots on Dorsal Fin ]

Contributed by: heat_v, a member of our Flower Horn forum. Thank you heat_v. You reminded us to highlight the matter in here again where we actually mentioned on its "fins" instead rather than the "dorsal fin".

"If the dorsal fin of the Flower Horn have some black dots, it is most likely to be female."

Heat_v is right. It has a higher percentage of accuracy as compared to other methods. It's not hearsay but then, most of the prediction based on this turned out to be accurate.

    [ Body shape and size ]

Generally, in the wild male will be larger than the female. However, some female are definitely larger than some male, so size alone is not a perfect indicator. Female are also rounder, though this difference is easily masked by a belly full of food. Male may have nuchal humps (a hump on the forehead). The size and shape of the hump differs by species. But in aquarium, females can get humps too, even fairly large ones. So the presence of a hump does not in itself identify a male.

[ Coloration ]

The coloration differences between the sexes are mostly species specific, meaning that the difference between male and female of one species will not apply to another species. For example, female Flower Horn could have orange on the belly, particularly when they are in breeding mode. Male lack the orange. For many species, the female changes into her breeding colors sooner in the breeding cycle than does the male.

[ Fins ]

Male often have longer, more flowing anal and dorsal fins (the ones on the bottom and top respectively). Again there are many exceptions to this. So again, the presence of long fins does not necessarily indicate a male fish. The coloration of fin does differentiate between male or female Flower Horn. Female Flower Horn will have black marking on its fin.

     [ The Mouth ]

The upper and lower lip of the adult male tend to be much thicker and more pronounced than the female. Only certain species can be easily sexed by examining the vent but this will help you predetermine the sex as soon as you pick the fish up. This thickening of the lips is much more pronounced in older adults than in young adults.

[ The Stripes ]

This will depend on the Flower Horn breeds. Some female will develop stripes on its body before breeding season. However, this could be a factor that your Flower horn was frightened. Observe your fish carefully. If your Flower Horn tend to hide at one spot, your Flower Horn has been frightened. However, if it behave otherwise, the Flower Horn could be a female Flower Horn.

[ "Venting" Method ]

Telling male from female is one of the most common problem a Flower Horn hobbyist face. For some species, male and female can easily be distinguished by their color, size or shape.

Probably the most accurate means for telling the sexes apart is a technique known as "venting", examining the vent region of a fish to determine its sex. The vent is the opening between the anus and the anal fin where the fish will excrete either eggs or sperm. With experience you will be able to determine the sex of some species as early as three to four months of age with a high degree of accuracy.

The most difficult part of venting is that you need to have the fish in-hand in order to look closely at the vent region. This isn't always possible. While examining the fish do not keep them out of water for more than about 30 seconds. Try to keep the number of times you examine a fish to no more than 3 times. In addition, be sure that when you handle the fish that you have a wet hand. Vent sexing fish is an acquired skill that you will become more proficient at with the more fish you examine. In the beginning you may hardly see the differences in some species, but after some experience they will become much easier to determine.

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