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 Amphilophus Hybrids

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Wyomingite
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PostSubject: Amphilophus Hybrids   Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:44 am

Pics of the Amphilophus hybrids I got from saint_felony, now that they're all grown up. A number of folks felt the female was possibly an A. zaliosus, including one Jeff Rapps, from whom saint bought the father. The father was a wild caught A. zaliosus, but the female was definitely not a zaliosus based on the orange morphs of the offspring, as A. zaliosus does not have an orange morph. If she was, the orange morphs would not have appeared in the offspring.















Pics 1 and 2 are females each 'bout 7" long, pics 3 and 4 are pics of the same barred male at 10" long, pic 5 is a 10" piebald male, pic 6 is an 8" piebald male, and pic 7 is a 9" orange male. None of them have remained as dark as their zaliosus father, though the big striped male will become all black at times. As deep and blunt as the head is, as well as the red markings on the breasts of both striped individuals (which is common in barred midas cichlids), I'm 95% convinced saint's mystery female was a barred midas. Only DNA sequencing could prove it, and I ain't curious enough to pay for that. Smile

Any of these fish could easily pass as RDs or midas cichlids. The variations in these fish, from the same parents, and their similarity to known species in appearance, is interesting. Really emphasizes the potential dangers of hybrids gettin' into the mainstream.

As everybody here knows, I do not condone hybridization, but I do accept it happens. I see no reason not to learn from it when it does occur. I don't have the heart to put these fish down simply due to the circumstances of their heritage, and they all have good personalities. They all will live out the rest of their lives in my fishroom, and then be buried under one of Mrs. WYite's rose bushes.

WYite

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saint_felony
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PostSubject: Re: Amphilophus Hybrids   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:59 am

I've got to say I'm wishing I had kept some of the fry from those. They don't look much like the parents at all, but the coloration in the first two females and the piebald male in six are really awesome.

While I have no idea how big the problem is I think hybrids are already somewhat of a problem. For example I've heard from a few places that a lot of what's labeled as Trimac these days are supposedly low quality Flowerhorn. If there's already that suspicion and if the experts are having a hard time telling one species from another due to recessive traits or subtle changes or even if they just up and make a mistake, what chance does the average fish keeper have?

A lot of the people who've adopted fish from here don't know what fish are what and just don't care what they are so long as they're healthy, compatible and won't outgrow their tank. We get far more "I'd like a fish that's red." over anyone asking for anything specific. Stores are going to (not maliciously I think) use what sells well, and what the average person wants, hybrid or otherwise. to keep their customers happy and stay in business.

Just so long as none of the crazy gets released into wild populations and everything for sale/trade is healthy I'm fine with it.
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Wyomingite
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PostSubject: Re: Amphilophus Hybrids   Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:29 pm

You're right with the trimacs, and with RDs and midas as well, though the debate has been raging for decades whether midas and RDs truly are two separate species. As lately as 2010, the argument has been made that the two are genetically indistinguishable and are synonymous. They exihibit less genetic variation than is exhibited by the various races of Homo sapiens. My real issue with hybrids is people irresponsibly distributing them in the hobby as something they are not, since so many can look like a pure-strain fish of a true species. That was my point here, as well as gettin' the pics of what yer babies grew into up so ya could see.

I've actually altered my view of hybrids significantly from a few years back, thanks largely to you saint_felony and conversations we've had in chat. I've accepted that flowerhorns, parrots, and OB peacocks are established and aren't goin' anywhere, 'cuz people like them. Likely other hybrid strains are gonna be developed over time as well. I believe folks like myself who are purists and wanna keep pure strain species intact and available in the hobby need to recognize these aquarium strains and accept them into the cichlid culture, much like the ALA accepts aquarium strain platies, swordtails and mollies (most all of which are derived form hybrid ancestry originally used to insert or fix a particularly genetic trait into the domestic strain). I've come to think maybe the way to combat hybridization, actually more to combat the contamination of pure genetic strains rather than hybridization itself, is to embrace hybrid proponents in general cichlid culture. This would give purists the opportunity to teach these folks about the danger of hybridization or the insertion of aquarium strain genetics into pure strains, while still legitimizing their own part of the hobby. Set specific show guidelines for genetic aquarium strains of angels and such and for established hybrids and let these aquarium raised fish be included as a legitimate aspect of the hobby, and ya gain greater access to the folks participating in these practices and a better chance to educate them.

As long as purists like myself continue to treat those people who favor hybrids as despicable scum, all we are gonna do is anger them and turn off their listening skills. Not gonna gain any ground that way. Most folks are reasonable, if treated reasonably, and can appreciate and be taught the problems that can be created by irresponsible breeding and distribution practices. Recently got into a heated discussion over this on another forum (ya woulda been proud of me, saint Wink) with a guy who is as hard 'bout it as I used to be. Needless to say, I didn't make a friend. Happened a coupla times on a coupla subjects, and he resorts to pointin' out my "hillbilly" dialect, and accused me of thinkin' I'm the "second coming of Ad Konings", rather than addressing the points I've made with any logical counters. He has a definite "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality on just about any issue.

WYite

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dirtydawg10
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PostSubject: Re: Amphilophus Hybrids   Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:53 pm

They are cool looking fish!
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Wyomingite
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PostSubject: Re: Amphilophus Hybrids   Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:12 pm

How 'bout them there koks, dawg? Smile

WYite

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"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
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dirtydawg10
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PostSubject: Re: Amphilophus Hybrids   Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:53 am

lol...very nice!
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