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Re: NFC: gender identity crisis

  What species are you working on?

-> Mark Binkley
-> Columbus Ohio USA          <))><
-> mbinkley at earthling_net

I have three longears, the largest I believe to be a female because she?
is not as aggressive as the second largest fish and is not quite as
colorful as the dominant fish.  The smallest one I believe is a male
also, though he seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order. (I guess
I oughta get some gravel in the tank huh!)  The biggest one does try to
defend herself also.  When the temperature of the tank was under 60
they more or less got along without much aggression, but when there was
a temp spike (like when the outside temp got up to over seventy two weeks
ago, they began to color up and they became more aggressive.  I just am
not sure if I even have one female or not.  What I was hoping for was
sexual dimorphism in finnage ... I guess its not there, or other male
specific features.  I don't think any of them are old enough to show a
well defined hump, so that isn't useful.  

I wish that I didn't have to collect my longears the barbaric way with
rod and reel, I think that selects for males also and damages the fish
to boot. 

For years I avoided collecting sunfish as aquarium fish but concentrated
on minnows and the other smaller species. 

Now that I have some, I find my ability to determine their sex is
somewhat on the poor side as you might expect of the novice that I am
with sunfish.

I have them in a 38 and I am beginning to think the tank is too small
for them to sort out as a pair without them killing each other.   I do
have a 150 gallon vat I can put them in.  I could also add a pile of
gravel at the other end.

I also have them in with some orangespotted sunnies and compared to the
longears the OS's are very timid though they are holding their own.
There is very little aggression between the longers and OS's.