Mandarin goby sold as pair but is it?

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stoney7713

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Okay so I have had them for a week, they was sold as a pair, they was in the tank at the store for several weeks, probably a month, before that, quarantined and conditioned. I know one is a male, no doubt. The other one I believe is a female. The largest is 3 inches, smaller one is 2.5 inches and is the known male.

I've found them together at nights in a cave sleeping. During the day the larger presumably female (?) Sometimes chases the smaller one. Tonight during tank maintenance they was biting fins and just sitting there, or gill plates.

I'm confused a bit on the larger one being female or maybe a male with a broken first spine or undeveloped? Or are they just squabbling or mating?

FW cichlids territorial battles we're easy to see, some of them were very mean...lol

Here's some pics of you can help I would appreciate it.
20221204_214334.jpg
20221204_215033.jpg
20221204_215053.jpg
 
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blaxsun

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Males will have a spine that extends from their dorsal fin; females don't have that. Usually two males or two females will go at it non-stop until one or both die, so if they're sleeping together that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you can post a video of any aggression it would be easier to make a determination.
 

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The one definitely appears to be female. Neither has as tall of a spike as my male does.

I have had problems with pairing Ruby Red Dragonets in both my 110g and my 210g. Finally have a pair one male one female in my 110 but the females never seem to survive in my 210. I can’t be sure that it is the dragonets causing the issue, but the male is still in the 210 but I don’t ever see any females, and only see one in the 110.
 
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The one definitely appears to be female. Neither has as tall of a spike as my male does.

I have had problems with pairing Ruby Red Dragonets in both my 110g and my 210g. Finally have a pair one male one female in my 110 but the females never seem to survive in my 210. I can’t be sure that it is the dragonets causing the issue, but the male is still in the 210 but I don’t ever see any females, and only see one in the 110.
The first 2 pics are the same fish, the 3rd is the male, hard to see on that pick unless you zoom in but the long spine is there. They are in a 75 gallon now.
 

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Left one is the male right is female. The male has a more spiky dorsal fin while the females is rounded. Your male seems to have lost some of the first spine but is definitely male.
 
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Males will have a spine that extends from their dorsal fin; females don't have that. Usually two males or two females will go at it non-stop until one or both die, so if they're sleeping together that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you can post a video of any aggression it would be easier to make a determination.
Yeah I was in the middle of vacuuming when it happened, so I took the tube between them, then they drifted off into a cave where I couldn't get a good picture.

A video would be better but I was worried what was happening... Lol. I'm not like some people who whip at their phone to film at the first sign of things.

I'll try and catch it on video next time.
 
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Yeah I was in the middle of vacuuming when it happened, so I took the tube between them, then they drifted off into a cave where I couldn't get a good picture.

A video would be better but I was worried what was happening... Lol. I'm not like some people who whip at their phone to film at the first sign of things.

I'll try and catch it on video next time.
If you're every in a LFS and see two of them in adjacent tanks - you'll have a good idea with aggression. They're literally both at the glass glaring at each other.
 
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Left one is the male right is female. The male has a more spiky dorsal fin while the females is rounded. Your male seems to have lost some of the first spine but is definitely male.
It looks shorter in that pic, but there's no doubt it has a spine. I think he was flaring and I caught it mid flair.
20221204_214658.jpg
 
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Salty_Taste

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Male and Female in the pictures! I recently picked up my wild male and female back around June 2022 and had the same issue where one was getting chased and nipped at. Lasted around 3 weeks before it died down and within another 2 weeks, I noticed them begin the mating ritual dance! Super unique.

Just make sure one is significantly larger than the other. But if fighting continues, just have a spare tank set up to nurse one back to health.

Check out my IG @ Salty_Taste650 if interested in watching the mating dance ritual! I have a clip posted
 
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stoney7713

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If you're every in a LFS and see two of them in adjacent tanks - you'll have a good idea with aggression. They're literally both at the glass glaring at each other.
Yup they had 2 males side by side in tanks too. This just threw me off seeing them just biting a fin and hanging on as the other one swam about casually. Then holding onto the check/gill plate.
 

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The first 2 pics are the same fish, the 3rd is the male, hard to see on that pick unless you zoom in but the long spine is there. They are in a 75 gallon now.
Yes I was fairly certain the first two pics were truly female. My male has a spike at least twice as tall as the fin. Yours looks like there is a spike, just not as pronounced. So I think it’s a male.
Mines not out right now, but it looks more like this pic I got off the internet.

You seemed to be asking if both were the same sex, from your picture I do think they are different.
 

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stoney7713

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Yes I was fairly certain the first two pics were truly female. My male has a spike at least twice as tall as the fin. Yours looks like there is a spike, just not as pronounced. So I think it’s a male.
Mines not out right now, but it looks more like this pic I got off the internet.

You seemed to be asking if both were the same sex, from your picture I do think they are different.
Thanks, yes I was just making sure they were different sex. I just want to be able to go to bed and not worry as much. I'll watch out for aggression and separate them if need be.
 

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Looks like a male and female to me. They can sometimes chase or act aggressively (in either direction), but shouldn't be persistent enough about it to do damage.

FWIW, they don't really pair, as they're typically harem spawning fish in the wild, but that means if a male and a female can tolerate being around each other, they will likely spawn (and they can be repaired later if needed). That said, from my limited experience, I think spawn conditioning is primarily nutrition for the female. It can take months to get them eating enough to produce the eggs needed to spawn several times a week, but they certainly can. It appears males don't need as much conditioning to spawn.
 
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Looks like a male and female to me. They can sometimes chase or act aggressively (in either direction), but shouldn't be persistent enough about it to do damage.

FWIW, they don't really pair, as they're typically harem spawning fish in the wild, but that means if a male and a female can tolerate being around each other, they will likely spawn (and they can be repaired later if needed). That said, from my limited experience, I think spawn conditioning is primarily nutrition for the female. It can take months to get them eating enough to produce the eggs needed to spawn several times a week, but they certainly can. It appears males don't need as much conditioning to spawn.
They were eating dry and frozen foods at the LFS. But have largely ignored that in my tank due to the pod population I think. They do really enjoy gut loaded brine shrimp.

What's odd is the larger one, female, tends to be the aggressor. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a male in sheep's clothing so to speak.

From what I have gathered if it was 2 males it would be more like 2 Bettas going at it nonstop.
 

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I had a pair where the male was larger and chased the smaller female a bit especially in the evenings. He eventually passed away, and I got a new male, now a little smaller than her, to join her. The first few hours in the tank and she chased him so much I scooped him out of the tank from against the back overflow. Gave him a week to recover elsewhere, reintroduced him in an acclimation box. They acted pretty aggressive for a couple of hours, mildly so for a few hours, and were pretty relaxed around each other from there, so after a day I opened the box and let him out.

Neither of them act aggressively to each other now (not even chasing), and they spawned the night I let him loose the second time. :grinning-face-with-sweat:
 

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Okay so I have had them for a week, they was sold as a pair, they was in the tank at the store for several weeks, probably a month, before that, quarantined and conditioned. I know one is a male, no doubt. The other one I believe is a female. The largest is 3 inches, smaller one is 2.5 inches and is the known male.

I've found them together at nights in a cave sleeping. During the day the larger presumably female (?) Sometimes chases the smaller one. Tonight during tank maintenance they was biting fins and just sitting there, or gill plates.

I'm confused a bit on the larger one being female or maybe a male with a broken first spine or undeveloped? Or are they just squabbling or mating?

FW cichlids territorial battles we're easy to see, some of them were very mean...lol

Here's some pics of you can help I would appreciate it.
20221204_214334.jpg
20221204_215033.jpg
20221204_215053.jpg

In the wild the male is a good bit larger than the female during mating rituals. It would be unnatural to have a pair with a larger female and small male. Certainly possible in our artificial environment as they have no other choice but… the female wants a mate that is the strongest and biggest healthiest on the block. She might be just rejecting him as a suitable mate hoping to find a beefy hunk instead..

It’s not uncommon for places to label fish as pairs but are really just two fish of opposite sex they put together.

Here is a video of them in the wild where they are spawning and fighting. I guess at one point, a male tried to impale another male onto an urchin. They don’t play around!

 
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stoney7713

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Just to update and to thank you all for your help.

I started a pod culture and it has worked well keeping my tank overstocked with pods. I feed them mysis shrimp too and they like reef roids. I still fix BBS for them occasionally.

I think it was because the male was smaller, the female was picking on him. It didn't happen often, never any damage to fins or anything, and I kept a close eye on them. They have both have really grown and plumped up since then.

Tonight just after lights out I found them doing the mating dance, swirling and swimming together. It was identical to the video.

So good news! All is going well! Maybe too well!

Thanks again!
 
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