At what point will I be able to sex my Red Empress? (don't want to vent)
I have two that are just over 3 inches now. I've been looking for signs of egg spots or the back fin coming to a point but I'm not seeing any of that yet. I've read that they won't start to color till about 4 inches but I wasn't sure if any of the other signs would start showing before then.
If you don't want to vent them, you'll have to be patient 4 Inches sounds about right to me, maybe a little less if you have a dominant specimen.
A male Red Empress may or may not develop clearly visible egg spots I think, but as soon as you something blue on the head, you can be pretty sure it's a male. That doesn't necessarily mean that fish without blue are females though....
mhertzfeld wrote:What about the anal fin coming to a point? Should I wait to see that grow out as well? Sorry still pretty new to this all. Thanks for your help.
Yes, the anal fin will grow into a pointy shape. That's pretty much a generic feature with Malawi cichlids. Same for the dorsal fin. Eggspots are definitely not always a good guide line. For several species, the females may also have eggspots, although the ones that the males have are usually brighter coloured and / or larger.