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Improving Genetics

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In the last few years I've noticed a steady decline in the quality of Larger American Cichlids in particular. Longevity, Hardiness, Aesthetics and so on seem to be suffering at the hands of people mass producing fish from low quality stock, then people go on to breed from fish with inferior colouring, immune systems or even physical deformities and the cycle continues. All of this seems to be based around sourcing fish as cheap as possible. IMO, fry like these should be feeders.

Apart from Discus, Dwarf Cichlids and the dreaded flower horn it seems being extremely selective with breeding stock is rare, e.g. If it is a Jag, its offspring will be Jags; which does nothing good for the future of the species in Aus.

What I'm wondering is, who is working on improving what and what are there end goals? Jags? Brazilliensis? Texas? Severums? Is anybody working on improving the cichlids common in the hobby.

Also, being in Queensland, the climate seems to have aloud multiple cichlid species to run wild and become established in Semi-Natural systems. You would think, given the immense selection pressure on offspring over generations in the wild, that feral stock would be ideal to mix through aquarium bloodlines if nothing else to strengthen the fish physically.

Examples of Feral caught cichlids from around Aus

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So, who is selectively breeding larger cichlids? Would you or would you not incorporate feral blood into your stock? Any other thoughts on the topic?

Discuss

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If it wasn't for the legislation regarding pool fencing, I would have several ponds in the back yard stocked with fish and let go wild. That is develop each ponds own ecosystem and natural food source. Wouldn't do this in a creek or lake, it would decimate the local fish.

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There are still fish ummm....how can I put it? Swimming to Oz so all is not lost providing they are in responsible breeders hands.

But I think its a losing battle keeping strains pure because of those who want to make a quick buck and don't give a s h I t about pure fish.

This applies to some Americans and most Malawis. Sad hey???

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"Also, being in Queensland, the climate seems to have aloud multiple cichlid species to run wild and become established in Semi-Natural systems." Not just suburban lakes, dams and degraded streams that you find ferals in. It is most disappointing to be up in the bedrock controlled reaches of a pristine national park, the last stronghold of a Galaxiid population and find SA cichlids guarding a nest.

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Unfortunately due to health I do not get out to creeks much but I have done twice in the last year only to find that the creeks have few if any indigenous fish and that the fish that are there are in very poor condition .

Admittedly I am not able to travel far but they were out of the urban areas .

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The hybrid issue is probably the main concern along with the disease risk now that I consider it further.

I spose if I was to use wild fish such as Vieja or other commonly hybridised species I'd just sell/give away as "Hybrid Vieja". While in relatively obvious cases (see the red devil above and Braziliensis) I believe that 99.5% of those will be pure. If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't and id hate to pass on fish as pures when they are not.

Bare in mind almost all Devils in Aus are Midas/Devil hybrids.

That's disgusting that cichlids have reached that far up the water ways, even in national parks. What numbskulls have released then un their.

So pretty well no one is having a red hotcrack at improving quality in the larger SAs?

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I have considered, as with the case or most Americans especially the vega types they are all hybrids now anyway or should be treated as such un less you get fish from a select few.

Personally I'll stick with fish that make the long swim across the brine

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The hybrid issue is probably the main concern along with the disease risk now that I consider it further.

I spose if I was to use wild fish such as Vieja or other commonly hybridised species I'd just sell/give away as "Hybrid Vieja". While in relatively obvious cases (see the red devil above and Braziliensis) I believe that 99.5% of those will be pure. If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't and id hate to pass on fish as pures when they are not.

Bare in mind almost all Devils in Aus are Midas/Devil hybrids.

That's disgusting that cichlids have reached that far up the water ways, even in national parks. What numbskulls have released then un their.

So pretty well no one is having a red hotcrack at improving quality in the larger SAs?

There are some quality fish finding there way to safe hands. Hang around and get to know who's who in the zoo and you can find some gems

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Unfortunately at this rate I can see almost all Large (ish ) new world cichlids declared noxious before long .

Mind you some things never made sense , like banning Crenicichla but allowing Dovii . But I can see them just banning the lot as it is easier to police .

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