Male or Female Mandarin Dragonet? (FIGHTING?!)

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Habachi_Grill

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Do I own a male or female Mandarin?

I recently rehomed 2 mandarins and the one in the pictures below has been picked on a little by its male counterpart. They are about 1.5-2inches. I believe I have a female but I just wanted some assistance with this.

Does anyone else have this experience of 2 mandarins fighting? It’s not to the extreme of them locking onto each other but this is more like a nip and slight chase

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Habachi_Grill

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that looks like a female to me. are you sure the other one is a male?
Almost positive this is a male, the dorsal fin is very apparent!
 

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Habachi_Grill

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Who is bigger? The male or female?
Male is slightly bigger but they are relatively almost same size! Here’s some pictures from when I first brought them home.

However they both are eating so that’s always a great sign! Currently eating live + frozen brine, homeculture white worms, trying ocean direct baby brine shrimp hatch later today
 

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Alexraptor

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I lost my female mandarin years ago from a male that turned hyper aggressive and whipped the proverbial crap out of her. She got so badly beaten up, that she ended up eggbound, and died. :crying-face:

It started out pretty innocently enough, with a little nip here and there, until one day out of the blue he just turned absolutely homicidal.
 
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Habachi_Grill

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Mandarins that are the same size will almost always fight. One needs to be much bigger than the other (I think it was the female that has to be bigger? I can't remember off the top of my head. Maybe it doesn't matter which one
Great point, when ora or biota sells them, I always see one bigger than the other :-/ I guess I will continue to observe and play it out
 
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Habachi_Grill

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I lost my female mandarin years ago from a male that turned hyper aggressive and whipped the proverbial crap out of her. She got so badly beaten up, that she ended up eggbound, and died. :crying-face:

It started out pretty innocently enough, with a little nip here and there, until one day out of the blue he just turned absolutely homicidal.
:-( I’m sorry to hear… may she swim in peace! Did you ever get another female? Will continue to watch over, if they continue to fight I will rehome 1
 
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Alexraptor

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:-( I’m sorry to hear… may she swim in peace! Did you ever get another female? Will continue to watch over, if they continue to fight I will rehome 1
I did not. Broke my heart it did, and in the end I just abandoned the tank, and presume the male eventually starved. Eventually I just tore everything down and re-started the tank as an ordinary reef.

Not my finest moment, but I couldn't even stand to look at him.
 
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homer1475

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My male and female fight from time to time. Not really fighting, but more of a chase. The male is always the aggressor.

Every night before lights out, they do their mating dance(beautiful to watch if you ever catch it), and every morning they are sleeping next to each other.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention. looks to be male female to me.
 
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Habachi_Grill

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I did not. Broke my heart it did, and in the end I just abandoned the tank, and presume the male eventually starved. Eventually I just tore everything down and re-started the tank as an ordinary reef.

Not my finest moment, but I couldn't even stand to look at him.
I’m sorry to hear, I know that feeling tho.. I’m glad you are still in the hobby!
 
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Habachi_Grill

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My male and female fight from time to time. Not really fighting, but more of a chase. The male is always the aggressor.

Every night before lights out, they do their mating dance(beautiful to watch if you ever catch it), and every morning they are sleeping next to each other.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention. looks to be male female to me.
Wow that’s beautiful! I hope I’m able to keep mine like that and to document it! What size is your pair if you don’t mind me asking and how long before they began to mate like that?

thanks for getting back to me!
 
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john92708

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they are more aggressive than I realize. My slightly larger male would pick on the female when I first introduced them and it take a few weeks before they got alone. They live peacefully together for over 8 months now without any incident until 3 days ago when I notice the male is very submissive and not at his usual hangout. I start recording and saw the female attacking the male and almost take his eye out. He's left eye is still healing from the attack. I got a tank divider to isolate the female and hope to reintroduce them next week. Might have to find her a new home if that doesn't work.

IMG_1155.jpeg
 
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blaxsun

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I can't tell from the images, but males will have a spine along their dorsal fin (this usually lays flat so you have to wait for them to get excited and raise their fin up). It looks like a small stingray tail. And yes, if one is larger than the other that definitely helps. I've had a pair where the male was probably twice the size of the female, so I think there are more factors that come into play besides just size (possibly size of the tank, hunting grounds, food supply, coloration, etc.)
 
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