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Selecting fish for breeding

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
I currently have offspring from a mix of two separate lines of T. candidi. I would like to keep breeding them but I would also like to try to selectively breed the more colorful ones. There are clear differences in coloration of the fins among the fry I have, they are around 4 months old now.

What is the best way to select? Will coloration be affected by hierarchy or differences in speed of development a lot at this age? And is coloration at age 4 months a good predictor of the coloration when the fish are fully grown?
 

cichlidmac

Member
Messages
146
I currently have offspring from a mix of two separate lines of T. candidi. I would like to keep breeding them but I would also like to try to selectively breed the more colorful ones. There are clear differences in coloration of the fins among the fry I have, they are around 4 months old now.

What is the best way to select? Will coloration be affected by hierarchy or differences in speed of development a lot at this age? And is coloration at age 4 months a good predictor of the coloration when the fish are fully grown?
These are great question, I'll be waiting for answers also.

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gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
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1,491
Location
Wake Forest NC, USA
I've never bred Taeniacara, but based on experience with Apistos, kribensis, and some non-cichlids that I've kept for multiple generations I'd say DON'T rely on the fish that look prettiest at 4 months to be your "keepers" for next generation. They are the most aggressive and biggest eaters, not always the best genetically for color. I would keep as many as you can up to young adulthood (and segregate by size & aggression if possible) so you can judge the "true colors" of the slower growing fish too - they might actually be the nicer ones. And look carefully at head/body shape, jaws, gill covers, fin shape ... not just color. (unless you happen to like deformed fish, as some folks do).

Will coloration be affected by hierarchy or differences in speed of development a lot at this age? And is coloration at age 4 months a good predictor of the coloration when the fish are fully grown?
 

cichlidmac

Member
Messages
146
On this note, how long can you keep fry with parents before Dad sees them as competition? I may have to grow out some fry in the 55 with their parents.

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henkh

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
81
Location
Netherlands
In general you can say that an outcross adds vitality to a breeding line. In cross will decrease vitality. Oké, this looks like it has nothing to do with coloration, but vitality also means power to reproduce and what is needed for reproduction. So in terms of keeping a species/strain healthy, outcrossing once in a while is essential.
 

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
They are the most aggressive and biggest eaters, not always the best genetically for color.
This I've noticed, one of the male offspring grew quite big already and he's not only very colorful but also very aggressive. The father of the offspring died and I wouldn't be surprised if this fish had a hand in it.

In general you can say that an outcross adds vitality to a breeding line. In cross will decrease vitality. Oké, this looks like it has nothing to do with coloration, but vitality also means power to reproduce and what is needed for reproduction. So in terms of keeping a species/strain healthy, outcrossing once in a while is essential.

The offspring I have already is from an outcross but I see quite some differences in coloration among them. I'll let them grow up and then when they're a bit bigger I'll pick a couple to continue with. I'll take your advice and look at other traits of the fish, not just the color.
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
1,491
Location
Wake Forest NC, USA
With careful selection, fish can tolerate inbreeding better than most other animals, simply because they have so many babies and you're only going to raise a select few anyway. So it's possible to gradually "weed out" the bad genes, which is how fancy strains are developed. (Or "weed IN" the bad genes, depending on your perspective) . You certainly would NOT do this if you were "arking" fish for release in the wild, but for pampered aquarium fish it works OK. I've been inbreeding kribensis nearly 30 years and their health, color and vitality seems fine. For animals that have few offspring (like Goodeids, birds, mammals) inbreeding is more risky.
 

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
In my case I wanted to out cross them cause the first fish I got hardly had any color. Then the guy I bought them off brought some more colorful ones and I thought it was a good idea to set up the out cross and then select the prettiest to keep breeding with. I think it's my favorite fish, I love the behavior they show. Both when fighting as well as the pendulum motion the females make when guarding fry.
 

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
I would keep as many as you can up to young adulthood

Young adulthood, would that be around six months or so? Or does that also depend on their size? I've noticed that some of the 4 month-olds already started spawning.
 

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