Is my female peacock cichlid really a male

Amatyi1

So I originally thought I had one male peacock cichlid and two female peacock cichlids, they're usually pretty easy to tell since the males have such bright colors and the females are a dull golden or brown color. My two females schooled together in the beginning and the male would chase them around. They both were Brown with very light stripes. Now that they've gotten used to the tank they've all separated and one of my females keeps chasing the male. When this was happening he was getting more vivid colors and his face is turning blue along with his tail and some of his body. Now he's digging a hole in the substrate and I push it back and he redigs it. I've read that males do that trying to get a female to lay eggs. I was hoping to get some opinions on what y'all think. I'm totally stumped at this point. Is this a female or has this been a male in disguise the whole time?
 

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Demeter

Yes that’s a male, remember that they all looks like females until they sex out and some males can be late bloomers.
 

Amatyi1

Yes that’s a male, remember that they all looks like females until they sex out and some males can be late bloomers.
I didn't realize that. When I bought them my male definitely looked like a male and the other two looked like females so I thought it was a given with peacock cichlids. I didn't realize there could be late bloomers. What I thought were my 2 females cichlids were so incredibly shy and wouldn't go near the male peacock. He tried and tried to get near them, finally he learned to go super slow and they wouldn't run away. Now the Dynamics have switched and what I thought were the two females are now chasing the male peacock. The 1st pic used to be my shyest fish and now she hangs out with my two Oscars, the tank bosses, (I'm wondering if she'll end up being a male as well) the 2nd pic is the 1 I showed earlier and the 3rd is definitely a male peacock cichlid. Now, what I thought were the two females, are chasing the male away from there territory and the male is acting scared now. Complete opposite behavior from when I first got them. How long does it take for males to show there colors. I thought they were the only fish it was easy to distinguish between male and female.
I did get rid of a few African cichlids though after I realized they didn't get along with my Oscar's well and it took a while to catch them which severely stressed the other fish. I'm sure that's the reason those two peacock fish were so shy and stressed. I think they thought I was going to get rid of them for a couple months.
 

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MacZ

How long does it take for males to show there colors. I thought they were the only fish it was easy to distinguish between male and female.

Depending on the species and the growout conditions (food, temp) it takes between 5ish months and a year.
Also you have an OB (the orange/spotted one). Those can only be sexed by venting (looking at their privates) before females are holding the first time and males starting to show dominance behaviour.

I also have to tell you, that you should have a closer look at the fish in the first picture in that post. I see whitish stringy poop. Check for parasites.
 

Amatyi1

Depending on the species and the growout conditions (food, temp) it takes between 5ish months and a year.
Also you have an OB (the orange/spotted one). Those can only be sexed by venting (looking at their privates) before females are holding the first time and males starting to show dominance behaviour.

I also have to tell you, that you should have a closer look at the fish in the first picture in that post. I see whitish stringy poop. Check for parasites.
Are you saying that my orange spotted one could be a male or a female? Everything I have read says the colorful peacocks are definitely male but I've been wondering about the female ones.
That first pic (with stringy poop) was taken when I first got the peacock and she was getting used to the tank and wasn't eating much. They say when they don't eat much that you see the mucus covering their poop and it appears whitish. She/he poops normal now. That's what the fish looked like 4 months ago and the fish turned into that blue face with yellow body that I posted with my question above. I guess I need to name all my fish so it's not so confusing lol. I've only named the orange spotted one Sharpie cuz it looks like someone wrote on him with a sharpie lol
 

MacZ

Are you saying that my orange spotted one could be a male or a female? Everything I have read says the colorful peacocks are definitely male but I've been wondering about the female ones.

For wild coloured species your sources are right, but:
The OB, Marmelade cat and dragonblood colour morphs are tankbred hybrids that have lost clear differences between sexes in their colouration. They are best told apart either by behaviour or venting.
 

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