Cichlid Room Companion

Tribe Ectodini

Venting sand-dwellers

By , 2007. printer
Last updated on 15-Jan-2007

Thomas Andersen, 2005

The figures below show the vent area of various sand-dwelling cichlid species. Determination of sex by venting sand-dwellers can be done with a varying degree of success; some of the species are small, and so are the differences in the vent area, making a determination difficult - a magnifying glass can be a good help. Juveniles and adolescent fish that have not yet spawned can be very difficult to sex, while females that have spawned several times are much easier to tell apart from equally sized males.

Please note that great precaution should be taken when trying to sex sand-dwellers by venting. Anyone that has tried catching a sand-dweller in the aquarium, will know that this group of fishes can react very nervously, being very jumpy and easy to stress. The time out of the water should be kept at a minimum, and it is very important to make sure that your hands are wet before handling a fish.

Figure 1
Figure 2 Figures showing the vent area of various sand-dwellers - originally published in Poll (1951).

References (1):


Andersen, Thomas. (January 15, 2007). "Venting sand-dwellers". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on December 07, 2021, from: