My Fish Doing A Gender Change?

MileyMorkie

Active Member
My friend who is super smart about animals has told me a couple times that fish can change gender.
I looked it up and it is true and can be present in livebearers or ovoviviparous fish.

I requested for 2 female blue Mickey Mouse platys and 3 blue neon wag platys on May 16th from Pisces. Over a month later I find out one of my females is now male. I am very sure that fish was female before. This may explain why the 2 Mickey Mouse platys kept a distance between themselves and others for so long. I looked this up and someone else has talked about this with their platys 4 years ago.

Since I'm down this rabbit hole, I should be asking about 2 of my male guppies. I have watched the guppy fry and none of them bear any relation to Marrow or Sheik. I often notice them flirting with other males or flirting with each other. Behaviour witnessed includes "dancing", pursuit of another fish, attempting to mate, not really mating with females. I have watched them with Echo but again no genetics from them.
Link on some detail on what happened with them can be found here.
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/hostile-or-irreversible-problem.385303/

So would those two male guppies be considered gay or one is transitioning to female? Sheik does not usually want to mate with females.
Did one of my female platys actually change gender? If so, is there any way to get that platy to change back?
I don't know if I actually have platy fry. I mean some have a tiny amount of the "wag" gene colour showing on their tails. They look no different from newborn to 1 month old guppy fry so it is confusing.

Please be respectful when replying.
 

Crimson_687

Well Known
I have once witnessed one of my male guppies trying to mate with another male. More then once. I have an opinion that when you keep male livebearers without females they go insane. Not sure how else to explain it. I’ve also seen both my male platys trying to mate with my male dwarf gourami. I’ve also seen one of my guppies targeted as if he were female when he was clearly male. I’ve also heard of livebearers being both male and female simultaneously. As for the fry not resembling parents, female guppies can save the sperm of the male, and after being mated with several times, choose the best seed. This is meant to prevent inbreeding, but guppies are inbred anyways in the aquarium hobby so I suppose it would explain why despite the sheer extent of their inbreeding they don’t suffer as much by it as other inbred fish. If it was any other fish with the amount of inbreeding as guppies the effects would be exponentially more severe
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
I think I'm 3 generations in with all viable breeding females. This includes Mamba's, Echo's, Shrophire's, and Seiko's branches. As far as I know Seiko has the most batches of fry produced out of the other females that died. She was maybe 2 months old when I got her and not too long afterwards she was pregnant and gave birth.
Yeah, Marrow keeps thinking Sheik is a female. Along with other guppies though he prefers Sheik. I have plenty of females so it shouldn't be an issue though.
Fish are a lot more weird than I originally thought. I was wondering how much inbreeding affects guppies.
Thanks for the help.
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
When you try to line breed guppies it doesn't take long for inbreeding to rear its ugly head. As far as trying to breed I liken guppies to drunk college guys they try to breed with anything. Lol. I don't know if I'm sold on the changing gender thing or its more of a late blooming thing. Even biologists are still on the fence with that one.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Guppies are weird. I mean last night they were sleeping at the surface. When I turned on the tank light they went all to sleep on the floor. I’ve noticed how **** they are.

Edit: I didn’t put “excited”. Umm but that word works too.
 

Fishcat

Well Known
My two teeny feeder tank guppies try to mate with my big orange guppy boy. He has tried to mate with the neons. Conclusion: guppy goggles.
 

CMB

Well Known
Guppies are weird. I mean last night they were sleeping at the surface. When I turned on the tank light they went all to sleep on the floor. I’ve noticed how excited they are.

Edit: I didn’t put “excited”. Umm but that word works too.

lol, I've heard that Livebearers are some of the only fish to exhibit homosexual behavior. In some instances, it's even used to attract females (there's a logic to it, I think).

https://scitechdaily.com/homosexual-behavior-among-fish-increases-attractiveness-to-females/
 

chromedome52

Fishlore VIP
When one male nips at the "vent area" of another male, he is attempting to emasculate him. No gonopodium, no competition. Not homosexual activity. Researchers really need to learn to think like a sex-crazed fish.

BTW, there are also species of livebearer where the females will bite off the male's gonopodium if she doesn't want him bothering her. Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus is one of these. Females are quite large, and males have very long gonopodiums.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Don’t know for sure about who is right. Marrow jumped into a filter the day after I got him. I did isolate him for a while. I do joke about his gender.

Swordtails, platies, mollies, guppies, and endlers aren’t true “livebearers”. They are ovoviviparous.
I don’t know if you misread what I said about the fish or if you were correcting false information in the article.
I do still believe Sheik and Marrow are gay. I know it may not be true but you’d need to watch them to understand what I mean. Sheik is a silver body and orange tail cobra, Marrow is pure yellow.

Just a quick note: I didn’t read that article on homosexual guppies before posting this reply.
 

CMB

Well Known
Don’t know for sure about who is right. Marrow jumped into a filter the day after I got him. I did isolate him for a while. I do joke about his gender.

Swordtails, platies, mollies, guppies, and endlers aren’t true “livebearers”. They are ovoviviparous.
I don’t know if you misread what I said about the fish or if you were correcting false information in the article.
I do still believe Sheik and Marrow are gay. I know it may not be true but you’d need to watch them to understand what I mean. Sheik is a silver body and orange tail cobra, Marrow is pure yellow.

Just a quick note: I didn’t read that article on homosexual guppies before posting this reply.

Yeah, I know they're not true livebearers, but they all fall into that category (or at least that's what I've heard everyone call them). And I would really not be in the slightest hint surprised if your guppies were gay, they have been shown to at the very least engage in supposedly flirtatious sorts of homosexual behavior before. I've also heard some members of the "livebearer" type fish can switch genders if there aren't enough females, so it could really be either. You'll know which happened if your male guppy ends up with fry. If not then he's probably just gay .

When one male nips at the "vent area" of another male, he is attempting to emasculate him. No gonopodium, no competition. Not homosexual activity. Researchers really need to learn to think like a sex-crazed fish.

BTW, there are also species of livebearer where the females will bite off the male's gonopodium if she doesn't want him bothering her. Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus is one of these. Females are quite large, and males have very long gonopodiums.

I feel like you're trying to argue that you somehow understand fish better than researchers. What makes your opinion more valid than that of the people who actually study these animals as part of their job, when these people have done multiple studies to test their ideas? If you have a study or information to back up your opinion, please share it.
 

goldface

Fishlore VIP
I feel like you're trying to argue that you somehow understand fish better than researchers. What makes your opinion more valid than that of the people who actually study these animals as part of their job, when these people have done multiple studies to test their ideas? If you have a study or information to back up your opinion, please share it.
Researches are afflicted with confirmation bias
I went directly to the journal, where it was originally published, and it's only a paragraph long It doesn't confirm anything. Seems like it was written as a hypotheisis, more than anything.
 

CMB

Well Known
Researches are afflicted with confirmation bias
I went directly to the journal, where it was originally published, and it's only a paragraph long It doesn't confirm anything. Seems like it was written as a hypotheisis, more than anything.

Yeah, but the one paragraph was only a summary of what they were proving and then it has a statement saying you have to pay to access the full study.
 

goldface

Fishlore VIP
Yeah, but the one paragraph was only a summary of what they were proving and then it has a statement saying you have to pay to access the full study.
Yeah, I missed that on my PC, but I not on my phone. I thought that was strange. Not interested in paying to read the full journal, though.
 

CMB

Well Known
Yeah, I missed that on my PC, but I not on my phone. I thought that was strange. Not interested in paying to read the full journal, though.

Me either. I will just say that while I know researchers can be biased, we're just as biased if not more, so I will listen to studies, but with a sceptical mind. Besides, I honestly don't see why it would mean anything one way or another to the researchers if guppies can be gay.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
There are things in that article aside my bias of hating its format and website layout that are flawed. Guppies can often confuse even a male platy as their toy. Guppies, especially males depending on genetics and conditions can grow to be either 2/3 of an inch or 1 1/2 inches. The smaller sized guppies I have I still need to look into their factors. Males will gang up on a female. Male and female fry analfins aren’t apparent until 2 months of age.

I didn’t see the paywall just that one little paragraph. I’m not currently on my computer. Also yeah I do agree chromedrome52 was trying to stir up trouble. (Not something new on forums with people)
 

CMB

Well Known
There are things in that article aside my bias of hating its format and website layout that are flawed. Guppies can often confuse even a male platy as their toy. Guppies, especially males depending on genetics and conditions can grow to be either 2/3 of an inch or 1 1/2 inches. The smaller sized guppies I have I still need to look into their factors. Males will gang up on a female. Male and female fry analfins aren’t apparent until 2 months of age.

I didn’t see the paywall just that one little paragraph. I’m not currently on my computer. Also yeah I do agree chromedrome52 was trying to stir up trouble. (Not something new on forums with people)

Yeah, I if you scroll down below the abstract there's an option to subscribe to the website on order to read the full article. I'm not saying it's a perfect study, just sharing what I've heard in case it was helpful. I'm just sorry it ended up turning your thread into an argument. Either way, I hope you have lots of fun with your amusing little guppies.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Thanks for sharing the article. It was interesting to know there was some kind of study on guppies. Luckily nothing actually escalated out of hand for debate to argument. I love observing everything, from plants to fish, to even stuff in video games.

I’m sure I’ll be enjoying 100 guppies being weird and cute. ^u^
 

chromedome52

Fishlore VIP
I am not trying to stir up trouble, I'm trying to expand your thinking. Something I missed at the start of the thread, you asked if one of your males was turning female. The answer to that is no, as these sex changes are invariably from female to male. The most likely explanation for your female platy turning male is that it was a late developing male. This happens a lot, as all Poeciliid livebearers are born with female characteristics, and the male traits develop over time. I've had male Swordtails that were nearly a year old before they showed their sex. People often mistake these as female specimens.

I've maintained, bred, and studied fish for over 50 years, including over 50 species of livebearing fish. I was pointing out that understanding the instincts of these fish produces a far more reasonable explanation than the one they came up with. Researchers often look at these things without actually knowing any background information on the species. And as noted, many researchers these days do have a serious problem with confirmation bias. They often ignore facts in order to support their positions. Not to mention that a great many of them seem to have forgotten the proper way to test their theories. Another possible explanation is that most male livebearers are instinctively programmed to pursue the largest available female shape. This is why they will often chase fat specimens of non-livebearers. Or large males.

BTW, the researchers' fish were not ignoring the females, as your fish were, but were going after larger males to supposedly impress the females. That does not fit my definition of homosexual. I think their use of that term was intended to sensationalize an otherwise boring study. I know a researcher at the University of Ohio who made many trips to observe swordtail species in the wild first, then tested her observations in the lab. Dr. Molly Morris has published several studies on their behavior. I learned a thing or two from reading them.

As far as the use of the word "livebearer", it refers to both ovoviviparous and viviparous species. Both give birth to live young, hence the term "livebearer". Using the word "true" doesn't have relevance, as the term is not a scientific one, but common usage.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Marrow and Sheik have been together since the day I purchased them. Marrow went after other guppies but a lot of Echo’s sons tried to have a little fun time with the male platies that are a little more smarter than them. I don’t think Sheik and my original betta Iycho together in a 1.5 gallon did anything nor did isolating Marrow in a 1 gallon. When there wasn’t as many females it was either Sheik or Echo and Shrophire. They never bothered Seiko as much as she was younger and Malibu was her mate of choice. I that they were mates because of her offspring colours and patterns add up to his help.

I get SUPER chatty talking about fish.
About Malibu and Shrophire, they died while I was on spring vacation. I learn by hands on mistakes and observing things. Guppies for me make perfect candidate therapy fish for ADHD kids like myself. My friend who is very smart can know a lot more about animals than I could. About the "true" livebearer thing, someone was telling me on another thread about it the technicalities of it in another thread.

I like to see opinions on what others think.
 

CMB

Well Known
Marrow and Sheik have been together since the day I purchased them. Marrow went after other guppies but a lot of Echo’s sons tried to have a little fun time with the male platies that are a little more smarter than them. I don’t think Sheik and my original betta Iycho together in a 1.5 gallon did anything nor did isolating Marrow in a 1 gallon. When there wasn’t as many females it was either Sheik or Echo and Shrophire. They never bothered Seiko as much as she was younger and Malibu was her mate of choice. I that they were mates because of her offspring colours and patterns add up to his help.

I get SUPER chatty talking about fish.
About Malibu and Shrophire, they died while I was on spring vacation. I learn by hands on mistakes and observing things. Guppies for me make perfect candidate therapy fish for ADHD kids like myself. My friend who is very smart can know a lot more about animals than I could. About the "true" livebearer thing, someone was telling me on another thread about it the technicalities of it in another thread.

I like to see opinions on what others think.

Yeah, I'm the same way. Don't even get me started on my Bolivian Rams acting as parents, or how cute my African Dwarf Frogs are when the scavenge. Sounds like your guppies are really quite the characters, I've found platys to be rather personable myself, although I had the worst luck keeping them . What is it in particular about guppies that makes them good for your ADHD? Just a bit curious, they're cute little fish but I've never kept them myself.
 

CMB

Well Known
I am not trying to stir up trouble, I'm trying to expand your thinking. Something I missed at the start of the thread, you asked if one of your males was turning female. The answer to that is no, as these sex changes are invariably from female to male. The most likely explanation for your female platy turning male is that it was a late developing male. This happens a lot, as all Poeciliid livebearers are born with female characteristics, and the male traits develop over time. I've had male Swordtails that were nearly a year old before they showed their sex. People often mistake these as female specimens.

I've maintained, bred, and studied fish for over 50 years, including over 50 species of livebearing fish. I was pointing out that understanding the instincts of these fish produces a far more reasonable explanation than the one they came up with. Researchers often look at these things without actually knowing any background information on the species. And as noted, many researchers these days do have a serious problem with confirmation bias. They often ignore facts in order to support their positions. Not to mention that a great many of them seem to have forgotten the proper way to test their theories. Another possible explanation is that most male livebearers are instinctively programmed to pursue the largest available female shape. This is why they will often chase fat specimens of non-livebearers. Or large males.

BTW, the researchers' fish were not ignoring the females, as your fish were, but were going after larger males to supposedly impress the females. That does not fit my definition of homosexual. I think their use of that term was intended to sensationalize an otherwise boring study. I know a researcher at the University of Ohio who made many trips to observe swordtail species in the wild first, then tested her observations in the lab. Dr. Molly Morris has published several studies on their behavior. I learned a thing or two from reading them.

As far as the use of the word "livebearer", it refers to both ovoviviparous and viviparous species. Both give birth to live young, hence the term "livebearer". Using the word "true" doesn't have relevance, as the term is not a scientific one, but common usage.

Hey, can you please link to the studies by Dr. Molly Morris? Now I would really like to read them, and though I managed to find her on the Ohio University website, I can't find a good way to access all her past studies.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
When they haven't been fed yet they get super crazy. They don't fear humans as much and can be scooped up with a hand without the guppies darting away.
They are major balls of energy. They can be hand fed and will nibble on you. They have derpy little faces I enjoy. Guppies also keep me from bugging my dog. Their energy and social craziness amuses me, the wiggly beautiful bodies or the plump bellies with PTSD filled eyes just give me joy. I like how female guppies look like they've seen some stuff, it's so cute.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Zoom in on the female on the right and you’ll see the cutest way to look at a guppy.
EA620177-4218-48DA-A05D-6B4AC44B3129.jpeg
 

CMB

Well Known
Zoom in on the female on the right and you’ll see the cutest way to look at a guppy.View attachment 568949

Yeah, I love it when my fish face me head on, that's the same way my betta looks when he swims up and begs for food.
 

Dch48

Well Known
First off, fish are neither gay nor hetero. They're just fish acting on instinct.

Guppies definitely can change gender and not just males into females. I was raising them about 50 years ago and I had a separate tank for only females. One of the largest females starting developing color and forming a gonopodium. This continued until she looked like the biggest male Guppy I have ever seen with full body and tail color. Back then it was highly unusual to see a female with any color anywhere. Not on the body or fins. I don't think it was fertile though since even though it tried to mate, no offspring were produced.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
Sheik and Marrow are psycho. Sheik hardly wants to have fun with a female and Marrow just chases mostly male guppies. They are of the same size.

My female Mickey Mouse platy is what turned. I now have only one female platy and four males.

The gay guppies thing is because their behaviour is so weird. I have a lot of guppies. When my fry became men they really liked trying to stick it in any female or even Sheik. Karu, Miko, and Nire were also on that bandwagon of thinking Sheik was a fun toy. Sheik is male but is often given the ritual of courtship by another male.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
My friend and I have talked on the concept of gender changing but for seahorses. Maybe males hold onto the eggs that the female produced? Maybe they can switch genders? Something she told me about jelly fish is they can change size and/or age. Maybe that is what makes them immortal?
 

CMB

Well Known
My friend and I have talked on the concept of gender changing but for seahorses. Maybe males hold onto the eggs that the female produced? Maybe they can switch genders? Something she told me about jelly fish is they can change size and/or age. Maybe that is what makes them immortal?

Seahorses are interesting, if I remember correctly males actually carry the eggs in some sort of pouch until after they've hatched, then look like they're giving birth. They're actually the ones to raise those babies, too. I think that the immortal jellyfish literally switch back to being young when they get too old. It's kind of weird, I'm not completely sure how it works. Animals can do some weird stuff, that's for sure.
 
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MileyMorkie

Active Member
It is said the male lays and cares for the eggs and the female fertilizes the eggs. The general public seems to believe that over cold hard science. The male seahorse fertilizes the eggs and takes care of them.
Yes that is what my friend said, when they get too old they can change back to their youth. I forgot about that. Though I think baby jelly fish can become older too. I think she said the age reversing toll/cool down is either 50 years or 100 years.
 

Guppygirl88

Active Member
First off, fish are neither gay nor hetero. They're just fish acting on instinct.

Guppies definitely can change gender and not just males into females. I was raising them about 50 years ago and I had a separate tank for only females. One of the largest females starting developing color and forming a gonopodium. This continued until she looked like the biggest male Guppy I have ever seen with full body and tail color. Back then it was highly unusual to see a female with any color anywhere. Not on the body or fins. I don't think it was fertile though since even though it tried to mate, no offspring were produced.
What year did you start seeing these mutations?
 

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