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How To Tell If Your Goldfish Is Male Or Female

Most goldfish keepers, whether they are just getting into the hobby, or are experienced breeders, are curious about the sex of their fish. It may be so that the amateur keeper can properly name their fish, or maybe because a breeder is planning to separate the males from the females. Whatever your reason for sexing your goldfish, be aware that it is not the easiest task to accomplish. This does not make it impossible to differentiate though, if you look carefully at a few of the most distinguishing features.

Wait For Spawning Season

Waiting for spawning season is by far the easiest way, especially for beginner goldfish keepers, to identify the sex of their goldfish. Fish act differently during spawning seasons, and even develop differentiating physical characteristics. Males develop white spots on their gills and pectoral fins. These spots are breeding tubercles, and make the males easily distinguishable from the females. At the same time, female goldfish become larger and more solid as their body distends and fills with roe.

Check The Vent Shape

If itís not quite time for spawning season, another way to differentiate between the two goldfish sexes is by looking at the fishís vent which is located on its underside between its anal fins and tail. Males will have a vent which is recessed inward. Females, on the other hand, will have a vent which is out-turned and protrudes slightly from their bodies.

Look At The Pectoral Fins

Another way to tell the difference between your male and female goldfish is by taking a look at their pectoral fins. In male fish, the pectoral fins are normally pointed and stiffer. Females commonly have rounded and thinner fins. Female pectoral fins are frequently also shorter than their male counterparts.

Donít Try To Sex Them Too Early

While all three of these methods for sexing your goldfish will work, they do not apply to juvenile fish. Itís extremely difficult to sex your goldfish before they reach sexual maturity. This commonly happens between one and two years of age, and makes telling the males from the females in your tank much easier for the average goldfish keeper.

The sex of your goldfish isnít going to be very obvious, but with a little research, nearly anyone can identify male goldfish from the females. Once your fish has reached sexual maturity, the best way to find its sex is by observing it during its spawning period. At other times during the year, the sex can be determined through observing the fishís vent and pectoral fins. For the normal hobbyist, the fishís sex will make little difference in its day to day life, but can be important to know if breeding is likely in the future.

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