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gingerbeer

Breeding Quality Fish

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.I read a bit on Facey and elsewhere as well as here. One thing that amuses me slightly is the arguments about breeding quality fish and not breeding siblings as if that fixes all the issues.

I do not disagree with the statement in and of itself, if is just it raises other issues. Hybrid lines can look close to the true fish and sometimes you do not find out you have a problem until you start producing fry and seeing the variations within the young. Bringing in new fish just confuses the question as to who has the hybrid blood in the new mixed colony. (Do people then just cull the ones that don't look quite right?)

We also have issues in that we are depending upon the ID of the fish being correct initially, and remaining correct over many pairs of hands prior to getting to our own tank. We do have two different variants of Buescheri sold as Kamakonde in the country. Buying from the two different sources and breeding will just make a bigger mess rather than breeding siblings together.

Maybe breeding quality fish is just not simple......

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agree 100% with you ginger, (omg) hahahaha

been there done that, bought some new blood to add to mine, guess what, yep, hybrids, done some digging and found out they came from a mixed tank, sold at 1cm and then i was going to buy them at 5/6cm, lucky i noticed before adding to my tanks, guy gave me them for free and now they are being used as cat food,

its not the first time either,

for me, i'd rather cull and line breed then to risk my lines, unless i buy from other 100% trusted breeders,

it might be different with fish on the import list, but as 99% of my fish aren't, i'll just breed and cull,

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The irony is that with nearly all Cichlids they became available in this country by way of a few bags of each variety. Hence there would be very few distinct genetic lines in this country. What adds to the problem is when a fish is crossed - then wholesaled out - then those offspring used as breeders. I just can't believe what has happened to Salousi in 7 short years. I have bought countless batches - all supposedly A GRADE - grown them up - then fed them to natives. Years ago when I sold up I never anticipated Cichlid strains disappearing like the have. Hajomaylandi Chizimulu Reef, many former "Afra" varieties, even Protomelas "Fire Blues", Barlowi, Eastern Blue Borleyi.. it's a real tragedy.

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Argree with none, IMO it's because (the majority) people don't want to focus on specific lines or fish (and I have been guilty of this in the past) they want to pump out what ever is selling at the time, whatever is not selling get's put to the bottom tank or sold or given away never to be seen again. I am setting up my new fish room to focus on fish I enjoy keeping & like looking at everyday not what sells. But I have seen it with guys starting up & big breeders within the scene, something that is no longer selling because the market is 'flooded' becomes yesterdays news then they are gone & suddenly 'rare'

Not that I sold many fish in the past but I have had a mind reset about the whole thing & I think the more people that do the better, but just look at the rubbish Facebook groups with threads people posting pics of a couple day (month) old fry 'can somebody I.D these & let me know how much I can get for them' 80% of posts are about how much people can get for fish. I know I am generalising here but its what I am seeing out there & just adding my 2c.

As for eastern blue's, perfect example years ago when I first started up I was at a large breeder/wholesaler's house & he was giving away large females out of bottom tanks because they were taking up room, now I didn't know what they were till years latter but I still think about that. I personally haven't seen any since.

Edited by Craigo
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Agree with all the above comments.When i first started with african cichlids i just thought all the strains would remain. I got out off africans and played around with americans and then out off the americans and stuck with peppermints and swordyz for a long time.

I dont even think i visited a pet store that sold fish for about 4-5years because i was just breeding and keeping what i already had. (apart from AOA for food and equipment etc).

I finally set up another tank and started looking around for some of the africans i use to keep but the whole fish scene had basically changed.

I was looking for the old school otter point jacobfrieborgii's (spelling to the best off my knowledge lol). The only thing i found close to them were eurecka reds/ruben reds. Crossed mongrels.

It all seems to be about the dollar these days and its sad to see strains lost forever.

Another fish i have noticed to have disappeared are the good old Wagtail platys. All mongrel crosses these days. Its a shame.

Keep and breed what you like because when it comes to making a dollar people will name and sell anything for the quick buck.

PS. Has anyone got any true Wagtail platys. PM me if you do. Im looking.

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I was looking for the old school otter point jacobfrieborgii's (spelling to the best off my knowledge lol). The only thing i found close to them were eurecka reds/ruben reds. Crossed mongrels.

It all seems to be about the dollar these days and its sad to see strains lost forever.

Yes I was always worried about preserving the lines of natives I had but never anticipated what has happened with Africans. I am now primarily interested in the Africans from a conservation / preservation point of view. To this end my ultimate aim down the track is to open a public aquarium featuring Cichlids as well as natives etc. Otter Point Jacobfreiberji - excellent example. Originals were amazing fish. They were then line bred into Eureka Reds. Fortunately I have exceptional Eurekas but am still looking for that original "Otter Point" variant.

The other sad side to all this is that Facebook, Gumtree and lets be honest - the forums - have destroyed the industry. So many good - really good - shops gone. People buying on price and word of mouth having no or little knowledge on what they are buying. I hear people complain all the time about the prices in two of Brisbanes leading aquarium shops. No understanding that buying a quality fish at $24.95ea is true value - buying a mongrel at $6 is not!

Edited by none
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What is a quality fish? If we can't agree on a standard or criteria then how do we know when we have it?

There is a large misconception that adding wild caught fish will improve your quality but in actual fact this will almost certainly decrease it. Why?

Well if you captured a wild caught fish and could somehow keep it alive for say... one hundred years and then compared it to another wild caught fish in exactly the same location, you would see differences between them. Everyone knows fish evolve and this means differences. So if you now have two different fish, which is the best one? Is that why cichlid locality is often stressed on top of species? Doesn't this just show how poorly our classification system works? It is also the reason ichthyologists are using population studies instead of species studies nowadays as the exact definition of a species is not clear. And if we catagorise by locality, we should also include time/year. When you look at museum collections, you will always find date records included with location. And fish keepers are collectors just like bird keepers and stamp or coke bottle collectors.

Getting back to the quality fish topic, it is common knowledge the electric yellow Labidochromis caeruleus are a line bred fish from a single pair ( or small group depending on which story is told). And many examples of developed ornamental strains greatly differing from original stock. See http://www.ornamental-fish-int.org/files/Man-made.pdf for some examples. While some dedicated Australian fish breeders do selectively line breed and cull for quality, the majority of fish breeders only cull the obvious deformed fish and strive to raise as many fish as are healthy. Often onselling the juveniles before they even see what they grow up to look like. So if you don't know how good or bad the juveniles turn into, how do you know which parent broodstock are worth breeding from and which should be destroyed? And have you been tracking batches of babies from which parents?

And before we start being critical of breeders, how many of us as customers take the time to educate ourselves on what a "good quality fish" should look like? How many of us buy a group of fish, grow them up and then cull if they are not up to quality? Breeders and sellers would stop breeding and selling fish that they couldn't sell.

So is wild caught better quality than line bred? Are you really expecting an answer when there isn't one? You need to make up your own mind and that's the correct answer for you. Expect others to disagree as they are right (as well).

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