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fishboydanny
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Discussion Starter #1
I do know that Hybrid african cichlids are usually undisireable, but I never heard of this cross before! The dominant male Kenyi (no female kenyi), of three, decided he wanted to breed with the only solid red zebra I own; a female!!! in fact,this is the second time they've paired and I plan on rescuing the fry this time. I want to know what you guys think! I think it's really cool!
 

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Hi - I wish you good luck with the hybrids.

The whole subject of hybrids has always been a controversial one for cichlid keepers - especially rift lake fans. The traditional consensus seems to be that there's nothing wrong with keeping these fish: but, as a rule it's considered bad form to sell or distribute them. The underlying thought is that we should keep wild gene pools intact. ACA, for example, has traditionally banned hybrids from their annual show and auctions.

My own feeling is that this prohibition is a little behind the science... it is increasingly clear that our notion of "species" is out of touch with the incredibly complicated speciation processes and gene flow dynamics in wild cichlid populations. In other words, it is clear that "keeping the gene pool intact" is something which doesn't necessarily occur in the wild. There is also a growing realization that some of our most desirable cichlids (my best example would be the OB peacock) are hybrids, and there seems to be little point in trying to regulate "species" in captivity when the identity of any particular "species" in the wild is open to substantial question.

Of course (in my opinion) there are also monstrosities among cichlid hybrids (e.g. blood parrots and most flowerhorns) - but even some of these are hugely popular.

The question is being actively reviewed at the ACA. Chuck D. has been active in this discussion. To some extent, the traditional view reflects the scientifically-minded members of the Association, and the still-unsettled knowledge base about rift lake cichlids. On the other hand, though, there doesn't seem to be any good reason why hybrid cichlids cannot be shown in ACA shows or studied, discussed, etc.

As a practical matter, it's not likely that a cichlid hybrid produced in the aquarium hobby will ever be released into the wild (at least rift lake cichlids), so there is no actual danger that hobbyist-generated hybrids will ever injure a natural population. Interestingly, if you look, you will find that there's some discussion and interest in the "species" designation for local south Florida oscars - the thought being that the fish dumped in our local waters represent various species of oscar prevalent in the aquarium hobby over the last several decades, with the result that some of the wild fish now may be hybrids of several oscar varieties in their natural habitat.


My own practice is to allow hybrids to be born and to grow; for my own interest, I note their behaviors and colors, etc. relative to the parents -- and expecially the colors and behaviors of the F2 generations -- as another enjoyable aspect of cichlid-keeping. However, I won't distribute hybrids.
 

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fishboydanny
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Discussion Starter #3
the red zebra released the babies........:mad: I have been tryig to catch her for a week!!!! she still seems to have 1 or two fry still in her mouth, but she's starting to eat again...... I found and rescued one of the freed babies, who's now in a breeder:


shows the blue iridesence in the fins well, they are usually clear......


shows the blue bars on his body.......


shows how small he is!! the breeder is 8 1/3 inches long, he is about 1 cm! (both were measured)

I saw another baby in the other pile of rocks, but was unable to find him again...... any suggestions on catching mom?
 
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Hello Danny:
Congrats on your hybrid cross, looks like they might grow to be very colorful fish.

In order to capture and isolate the remaining fry from the mother. Try drawing down the water to about 10% of total volume. Mom should be fairly easy to catch. Locating and catching 'all' the fry will still prove difficult given their small size. You will need to retain about 60% of the water drained off to refill the tank; replenish the balance in the same manner as you would your normal water change.

While you have this 'pair' who have successfully bred. Why not set up a breeder tank for them? This will allow you more control over future spawns and opportunity to examine a true representation of the cross. You may then wish to select the most desirable of these (more blue, more red???) and selectively breed them to see what you can create.

Good luck,
SSS
 

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fishboydanny
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Discussion Starter #5
problem: 120 gallon tank
solution: I can set up a tank for the parents like you said...... I'll never catch the other fry..... always next time!

will a heavily planted 10 gallon work for the pair? the male is 5 in, female 3
 

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10 might work...? But, 20L would probably be a minimum; dither fish such as Giant Danios should be kept with the pair to relieve some breed aggression pressure until the female is receptive. Plants and lots of structure are also helpful. You may want to set up a breed colony, 3 female Zebras with your cross breeding Kenyi. Have fun!
 

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Fred- A very well thought out response. I agree with you fully. When I end up with hybrids I like to raise a few and see what they look like like and how they act, but I make sure they stay in my home.

Fishboy- Cool looking fry. Please post pics and comments on their behavior as they grow. Hybrids can be very interesting.
 

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fishboydanny
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Discussion Starter #9
the one fry i saved has doubled (or tripled) in size and eating well. It eats powdered fry food with 1 or two small pellets a day. sometimes i add a piece of an algea wafer; man, the little guy loves that stuff!!
 
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