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aqc247

Keep your Ps. saulosis and breed them true

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ok guys, this is an old thread, but as I have been playing around trying to take and add a couple of photos, thought I would share with you. Please excuse photo quality, I just grabbed my daughters Iphone and did my best.

Photos are of my current Ps saulosi colony. I have been selectively line breeding this strain for a few years now.

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Cheers, Doug

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You see Doug, this is the reason you need to take more pics and become more photo savvy.

Even though you are not that interested in spending time photographing, these will become invaluable in years to come as a reference.

Nice Salousi !!!

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There is nothing wrong with culling and selective breeding for shape and colour but if the intention is to breed them true, how does this help?

Perhaps in the wild, wavy or indistinct bars are best. In the wild, albino morphs wouldn't last very long (not proven, just hypothesizing ).

Almost all fish raised outdoors have stunning vibrant colours which fade when kept indoors. Its hard to beat wild caught fish but pond raised fish go close.

Just adding some controversy to this thread. On the same vein, if protecting wild fish stocks is the actual intention then we should not be trying to breed true species, rather we should be developing artificial hybrid strains so the hobbyist want those and the fish farms have more demand.... and wild fish collectors find other occupations.

Yes - pure speculation. No idea how realistic.

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I was lucky enough to get hold of one of a colony off of Doug but something went wrong and for the first time in over a year I lost a fish....actually I lost EIGHT! I was gutted an although I have spoken with Doug and other members on here with regard to the way these guys dropped off one after the other, water params, disease, aggression etc. I still have no answers as to what went wrong with them. I lost only the girls and only the new girls I got from Doug (my older female is 100% health as far as I can tell) all other tank mates seem to be unaffected by what was going on with the girls....but I won't hijack this thread I'll start another one. Doug's saulosi are a beautiful deep yellow/orange and the male I have from him is also lovely.

In any case here is a pick of my washed out female...she is strong as an ox and isn't highly aggressive, is a good mum (although her fry meet my MJ I allow her to breed as Mr Jackman enjoys eating yellow dinners) but she just lacks that true vibrant yellow as has been discussed. And a pic of my old male.

While the two pictured fish started my fascination with saulosi, the unexplained losses I've endured over the last few weeks has really put me off.

I've seen a few females as washed out as the pictured girl coming through on the GC and I even saw a few saulosi in GC pet centre at burleigh selling saulosi mixed into a tank of lombardoi....when I asked why the kid said he didn't even know they had lombardoi!!! Umm... It's really no wonder this fish is getting so mixed up with all the look a likes and ability to cross breed.

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How such an attractive and prolific species could go so far south so quickly is beyond me. It wasn't much more than 10 years ago that prime specimens were plentiful in oz, and now they're all but gone.

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Again, the African keepers didn't learn from the Americans. At least you don't have the flowerhorn mob to compleat with that cross everything under the sun.

No, we have the "gumtree mob" instead

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Here's a couple of young males I've bred that are looking up to par. I get about 2 out of 10 that have quality thick symetrical bars like this. Thats enough of a challenge to get me interested in improving these some more.

[MENTION=2649]goldenswimmers[/MENTION] what you think mate?

[MENTION=57]DFishkeeper[/MENTION] my breeding colony is from you Doug :)

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[MENTION=3737]kasman[/MENTION]

They are starting to look very nice :esmile:

I suspect saulosi are similar to frontosa in the wild, in that very few males have perfect bars and females don't care about perfect bars when looking for someone to breed with. It is only us humans that want everything to be perfect.

Like you I am still working towards increasing the proportion of males in each spawn with perfect bars. When selecting breeding males I look for 6 evenly spaced thick bars on each side and I even look down on them from the top while holding them in my hand to make sure they line up :crazy:

Unfortunately this can't be done with the females, so it is a long process. But it is challenges like this that keep the interest and fun in breeding for me :esmile:

Cheers, Doug

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and I even look down on them from the top while holding them in my hand to make sure they line up :crazy:

I remember you telling me this and im doing it now too lol. The male i got from you is perfect so iv naturally adopted the same standards:beer:

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No disrespect but I completely disagree with some of the above comments RE: barring. Prior to the pollution of the bloodlines there was zero issue with the stripes being uneven (side to side) in the males. In fact I never pulled out a single cull in all the fish I bred with my original colony that was sold when I sold up years ago. It is within the last 8 years or so that the problems have emerged. The Salousi in the above pics are very far removed from the Salousi in the wild - and that were available in Australia. The bars were approximately double the thickness of the fish around today and there were 5 prominent body bars plus the one large one on the head and smaller one between the eyes, and one near the mouth. That is not the only issue - the "stumpy" (Deformed) bodies are a massive problem and that seems a female specific genetic fault. The top female in the photo above shows that fault. There was a guy breeding Salousi in Logan two years ago who had literally 300 fish on Gumtree. They were perfect. The sad part is he couldn't even get $2ea for them at 5-6cm and gave up. I couldn't get down there to buy them so I missed out. I have culled nearly every batch I have bought from every supposedly excellent source - and that is a LOT of fish. I do have some I'm working on but it's going to be a very long term project without fresh lines. In the meantime I truly believe that the majority of fish should NOT be sold as Salousi but as Pseudotropheus sp.,, c.f salousi (if not outright HYBRID). People continue to sell these sub-standard fish - buyers breed them - and on it goes. This is how the problem started in the first place!

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See above at Post #19 for a wild specimen - 5 bars under the dorsal. NB the head shape is small in relation to the body. Most of what we have presently has a different head shape i.e. have lost the Pseudotropheus characteristics and have maybe Lab or other mbuna mixed in. I'll dig up a pic from 10 years+ ago.

@ DFishkeeper Doug has done a great job in keeping at least consistency and may not have started with true specimens. Only he can comment on this...

Regards

McDiver - that helped to repopulate saulosi in 2013 at Tawainee Reef :)

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nice work Doug and Mat...when you can't get wild caught fish you have to do your best with the genetics available and selectively breed/cull to enhance characteristics..I don't think any reputable fishkeeper would work from a hybrid base to get a "true" representation of a species...but there is always the unknown heritage factor out there :noidea:

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@none and @aqc247 thank you both for your interesting input into this discussion.

Can I first mention that I believe the correct name of this fish is Ps saulosi, not Ps salousi as many people including none in his post above, are calling them. I recall reading that the fish was named after one of the native porters accompanying the team who first discovered it, and that porters name was Saul, hence the allocated name saulosi.

You guys are correct, I cannot guarantee the purity of my original breeding stock, which I sourced from both SE Qld and Sydney some years ago when I became disenchanted by the very poor quality saulosi available in the hobby at that time. I actively sourced the best stock I could locate at that time and have been selectively line breeding them since, primarily using descriptions and photos by Ad Konings in various publications to aid in defining my desirable characteristics. Wild caught specimens were not available to me and as @goldenswimmers says above, "when you can't get wild caught fish you have to do your best with the genetics available and selectively breed/cull to enhance characteristics." The alternative is not to try at all and let the fish disappear from the local hobby.

As I sit here, I am looking at a photo in Ad Konings book "Back to nature guide to Malawi Cichlids" of a male Ps saulosi on page 177, according to the label photographed in the wild at Taiwan Reef. This fish looks to me almost like the twin of the male in my colony (photo in post #29) right down to the 6 bars under the dorsal. Which is not surprising, as this particular photo has been one of my main reference templates for my selective breeding programme. I have also just done a quick google search of a half dozen sites including some well known international forums and found that not only did the male saulosi pictured on 5 of these 6 sites have 6 bars under the dorsal (the back bar might be faint in some photos but it is there, just before the tail), the overall quality of the barring in the males on these sites was non-uniform.

To be honest, after this thread stimulating me to do a quick review of where I am at with my selective breeding programme, I am happy with where I am at currently, considering where I started. Not totally happy, I still wish to perhaps make the bars a little broader on the males and continue improving consistency of barring across spawns. If anybody is able to supply me with a couple of perfect wild caught males or perfect tank bred males guaranteed as pure to assist with this, I will happily accept. Otherwise, I plan on continuing with what I am doing.

I don't believe the answer to ensuring the ongoing survival and popularity of Ps saulosi in the hobby in Australia is to tell everybody we don't have any here as we only have hybrids, and you shouldn't have any until someone finishes their personal breeding project to their own specifications. The fish I am breeding are a big improvement on what was commonly available in the local hobby a few years ago and by making them available to other hobbyists and encouraging them to continue my work, I believe I am aiding in their survival and popularity. Without this, there would only be obvious poor quality hybrids available with no real similarity to Saulosi.

No disrespect none, while I acknowledge your personal experience with fish you bred, I can't accept your statement about consistency of barring quality in the wild without further evidence. I have read articles in multiple places from multiple sources regarding the inconsistency of barring quality in wild frontosa populations, and have personally seen a tank full of freshly imported wild caught frontosa at Bay Fish years ago with terrible barring consistency overall. It seems logical to me that similar issues would arise with other barred fish in the wild. It may not be as evident in what apparently is a very small wild population of saulosi or a probable very small gene pool in Australia for a fish that is not an allowable import. You may just have been lucky with the genes of the strain you had 8 years ago, or somebody else may have selectively bred them for consistent barring before you got them. Too many unknowns for me.

Finally, none could you please clarify for me your comment about "That is not the only issue - the "stumpy" (Deformed) bodies are a massive problem and that seems a female specific genetic fault. The top female in the photo above shows that fault". I am not sure which photo you are referring to, could you be more specific and quote post # so I can examine it further. I am genuinely interested in this if it is indeed as big an issue as you say in your post, I have not been aware of it previously as a major issue in this fish.

Sorry about the rant guys, but I put a lot of time and energy (and love) into breeding my fish and I do take it seriously. I am genuinely interested in any constructive feedback that assists me.

Cheers, Doug

Edited by DFishkeeper

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ok, just found a story about the correct name (link below) : "When he described it as Pseudotropheus saulosi, he named it after one of the local guides who helped him discover it – Saulos Mwale."

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/p_saulosi.php

Might be my tired old eyes, but I'm pretty sure I can see a very faint 6th bar just before the tail on the male :roll:

Anyway, there are lots of other photos online showing 6 bars more clearly on males, seemingly the majority of photos.

Edited by DFishkeeper

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ok, just found a story about the correct name (link below) : "When he described it as Pseudotropheus saulosi, he named it after one of the local guides who helped him discover it – Saulos Mwale."

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/p_saulosi.php

I haven't read that article as yet, but as soon as I saw your earlier post from this afternoon I was thinking of Saulos Mwale (pictured below.) I might have it wrong but I recall that he was a diver working for Stuart Grant who was the first to successfully net specimens which were then given to Ad to describe. As a side note - the 'i' at the end of the species name indicates that the fish was named after a male (eg saulosi, demasoni, moorii, meeki,) whereas 'ae' indicates it was named after a female (eg estherae, gertrudae, festae.)

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In regards to the barring on wild specimens, much like with P. demasoni and other barred fish, our ideals of perfect barring are not shared by the fish in Lake Malawi. Just from viewing a few of Ad's photographs you will see fish with 5 bars, incomplete bars, a mix of thick and thin bars etc. To my knowledge I haven't seen any photos of both sides of a wild fish to confirm whether or not the 5 bars one side/6 bars the other side phenomenon exists in the wild, but common sense would suggest it does.

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In regards to the barring on wild specimens, much like with P. demasoni and other barred fish, our ideals of perfect barring are not shared by the fish in Lake Malawi. Just from viewing a few of Ad's photographs you will see fish with 5 bars, incomplete bars, a mix of thick and thin bars etc. To my knowledge I haven't seen any photos of both sides of a wild fish to confirm whether or not the 5 bars one side/6 bars the other side phenomenon exists in the wild, but common sense would suggest it does.

My thoughts exactly Matt

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I can't accept your statement about consistency of barring quality in the wild without further evidence. I have read articles in multiple places from multiple sources regarding the inconsistency of barring quality in wild frontosa populations, and have personally seen a tank full of freshly imported wild caught frontosa at Bay Fish years ago with terrible barring consistency overall. It seems logical to me that similar issues would arise with other barred fish in the wild. It may not be as evident in what apparently is a very small wild population of saulosi or a probable very small gene pool in Australia for a fish that is not an allowable import. You may just have been lucky with the genes of the strain you had 8 years ago, or somebody else may have selectively bred them for consistent barring before you got them. Too many unknowns for me.

Finally, none could you please clarify for me your comment about "That is not the only issue - the "stumpy" (Deformed) bodies are a massive problem and that seems a female specific genetic fault. The top female in the photo above shows that fault". I am not sure which photo you are referring to, could you be more specific and quote post #

10 years ago I had never seen a Salousi with mis-matched bars side to side. I was running an aquarium business (as well as breeding) and purchased from numerous sources - zero mis-match issues.

I'm quite surprised you haven't seen the "stumpy" issue given its prevalence. Have a look back through #38..

As I stated at the start of my post - no disrespect to anybody - as aqc247's photos show - the wild photo (just like the fish we had in Aust.) and the "now available" fish are miles apart..

Edited by none

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