Praecox Rainbows: Gender Confusion

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Offline TrenchyLs

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Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« on: May 21, 2017, 01:16:38 PM »
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So, after failing to keep 3 male Dwarf Gourami in my tank due to one of them being incredibly aggressive I have gone back to my original Plan A of Dwarf Neon Rainbows.  These are much more community friendly fish and absolutely gorgeous as the iridescence varies with lighting levels around the tank.

After scouring my LFSs I managed to find 3 in one shop and 2 in another.  I know they are happier in larger numbers and I fully intend to increase the group to 8 but I couldn't leave them in there with the chance that they would never find homes with suitable sized shoals!

So, they have settled and coloured up it looks like I have 4 females and one male.  They are too young for the body shape to help in deciding gender, but one of the smaller ones has very red fins and a slightly more lilac tinge to his body while the rest have much paler translucent yellow fins.

Every day at lunchtime the red one gets a little frisky and the gold stripe on top becomes very obvious.  So definitely male.  Today he was displaying to two of the yellow finned rainbows which isn't unusual but then I noticed that they both had very bright gold stripes as well!! :yikes:

I can find nothing on the internet about this, so has anybody here experienced either males with yellow fins, or females with golden stripes when getting ready to spawn?

I really want to know before picking up the remaining 3 fish so that the females don't finish up being outnumbered and harassed to death!

Thanks

Offline Sue

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »
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I have had these fish in the past but none of mine ever had a gold stripe so I won't be much help I'm afraid. (Maybe they didn't like my tank enough to get 'in the mood'  :) )

I just went by the fin colour when buying them.

Offline TrenchyLs

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 03:30:27 PM »
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Thanks Sue

I did find THIS ARTICLE which mentions colour changing dorsal blazes but on other Melanotaenia species.

It says that the blaze seems to be affected by general mood rather than just displaying to females, so I'm going to assume that I have 4 females and they simply weren't in the mood!

I didn't realise how much fish colours can vary until getting this tank.  I've just looked over and my BN plec has suddenly decided that she is covered in pale spots rather than her usual black/dark brown "splodgy" markings.  She looks absolutely stunning!

Offline Sue

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 03:36:03 PM »
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A lot of fish colour up once they've settled in to a tank, and there are also fish that can change colour according to mood and/or preparing to breed.

I'd put your rainbows down to being happy  :)

Offline TrenchyLs

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 04:02:42 PM »
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Well the mystery blazes all faded after about half an hour and it's back to business as usual in the tank with 4 (probably) females loosely shoaling and the (definite) male flitting in and out of the group.

I'm not working until tomorrow evening, so I'll keep an on them at lunchtime and see what happens then.

And, just 'cos she looked so good, a pic of my plec looking more vibrant than usual:

Online Littlefish

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 04:34:04 PM »
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Your plec is looking lovely.  8)

Offline TrenchyLs

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 04:42:36 PM »
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Your plec is looking lovely.  8)

Thanks LF.  I've been genuinely surprised by how much I enjoy having her in the tank.  I expected an elusive night-shift worker but finished up with a very active character who's out and about all the time.

The contrast has faded a little since I took the picture though.  The white has darkened down to a light tan now.

Online Littlefish

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 05:55:51 PM »
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I enjoy mine too. They are a bit skittish if there is movement outside the tank, but apart from that they are out and about with everyone else. I can see both of them at the front of the tank, searching for algae wafers, as I type.  ;D

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 04:19:08 PM »
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@TrenchyLs I haven't kept these fish yet but a rainbowfish tank is up there on my wish list and I've read/seen a lot about them.  Plus Papua New Guinea fish, woot!  The behaviour you've described so far has been about establishing their place within the shoal.  You'll see it again when you add more fish. 

The way to sex neon dwarf rainbowfish is mainly by looking at the colours on their fins.  Males will have a more vibrant red while the females have a more washed out look with orangey fins (so from your description the 4 female and 1 male sounds right).  However, as with all rainbowfish, when juvenile they all look basically grey and mostly colourless.  They colour up gradually so it's possible that if you've got some young fish there may be more males amongst them.  The lack of colour as juveniles is one of the reasons rainbowfish don't dominate the hobby more as they don't make an impression in a fish store.  They're great fish that reward patience and time making them very popular amongst people who have been in the hobby a while.

The neon dwarf rainbowfish bodies will be equally reflective and body markings like the gold stripes aren't an indication of sex.  The females dorsal and anal fins will be slightly shorter but that can be hard to spot and they won't stand still for a measuring tape.

Offline TrenchyLs

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Re: Praecox Rainbows: Gender confusion
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 12:14:22 AM »
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@TrenchyLs I haven't kept these fish yet but a rainbowfish tank is up there on my wish list and I've read/seen a lot about them.  Plus Papua New Guinea fish, woot!  The behaviour you've described so far has been about establishing their place within the shoal.  You'll see it again when you add more fish. 
Lovely fish, aren't they?  Lincs Aquatics has a display tank of mixed rainbows and I'm always drawn to it every time I go in.  Lots of colour and movement but surprisingly calm at the same time.

Once I relocate and have room for something bigger than a 120 I think a rainbow and plec tank is on the cards!

And thanks for confirming the gold bands aren't gender specific.

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