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Male Or Female? How To Tell?


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Sexing goldfish is very difficult before they reach maturity. Sometimes people can tell by looking at the shape of the vent. Females may have rounder convex vents while males have thinner concave vents. The pectoral fins of males may be rather thick and stiff (compared to those of female goldfish) and with a more pronounced outer ray. Some people also believe that male goldfish have longer pectoral fins that do female goldfish.

Male goldfish will develop breeding stars on their gill covers (aka operculum) and along the first ray of their pectoral fins when they reach sexual maturity.

It is the female that really 'controls' the breeding. A female goldfish (not ready to breed yet) will send out pheromones (a type of steroid) which will encourage males to produce the milt. When the female is ready to breed she will release another type of pheromone that stimulates sexual behavior in the male. Males may exhibit this bumping behavior before the females are ready as well, but it will be fairly intense once the female is prepared to spawn. Once spawning starts the males will chase and bump the female until she releases her eggs.

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