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"WILD" or "NEW", what is really the goal?

Peter Lovett

New Member
5 Year Member
If you where to release a pair of Apistogrammas in to a pond or stream with no competition they would probably if conditions where right produce a viable population but with a very small gene pool.

Inbred mutations of a detrimental type would occur but would be very unlikely to reach adult hood or to be able to breed because of the pressures of life in the wild.

I bread Pseudocrenilabrus philander which where kept in a 60†x 18†x 18†community tank. There where three females and two males of over 6 broods removed and raised over 50% had some kind of mutation ranging from no swimming bladder to curved pectoral fins weather or not this was genetic or for some other reason I don’t know.

However of the broods I did not have space for and where left in the tank. Of seven fish that survived not one shows any kind of mutation.

The original stock came from a wholesaler in the Czech Republic and it is this kind of fish I am talking about and not f1 or f2 fish.

Also the mutations mentioned are of a type you can see and not of the internal organs.

The reason I think there is such a big problem with wholesale fish of this type is because you can produce a large number of fish from a small number of breeding fish and only when the number of mutants become so great that it is no longer fanatically viable that they will look to introduce new stock.

I spend a lot of time at my LFS’s and in almost all of the tanks there was at least one mutant.

When I buy my fish they are purchased site unseen. I have to trust the person caching the fish to select the best stock. By purchasing wild I limit my chances of getting any mutants.

Also in the next 6 months I will be setting up 5 – 72†x 24†x 12†tanks for my fish and hope to be able to breed them in a more natural way. Though the numbers may be low, I hope the quality will be better.

Also though genetic mutation is rear it is not that rear to not have an affect on the captive population. In the wild a female fish only needs to have 2 of over a 1000 young to survive to keep the specie going. Of these 1000 fish at least 1 will have a mutation of a type.

Also cichlids do seem for what ever reason more prone to mutation than in other species. Look at Lake Victoria and The number of new Apistogrammas that are being found all the time with out mutation they would not occur.
 

tjudy

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Inbred mutations of a detrimental type would occur but would be very unlikely to reach adult hood or to be able to breed because of the pressures of life in the wild.
BINGO!

In other words, the genes that cause the undesirable traits are ALREADY there, and are not created by the act of inbreeding itself.

By purchasing wild I limit my chances of getting any mutants.
But only because of your first statement. When we get wild, are a getting the survivors. The genes that create the undesirable traits are not avoided, they are just not being expressed in the wild fish you buy. I have imported thousands of fish... I have seen many undesirable phenotypes in the mix. Ever seen a wild Neolamprologus (I hope I have the right genus) leleupi with crossed lips? I have... I have also noticed that crossed lips is a common 'defect' in that species. I had a wild pair that produced a few every spawn.

Also though genetic mutation is rear it is not that rear to not have an affect on the captive population.
A true mutation is extremely rare. Here is why. A mutation in the replication of a cell's DNA occurs once every 5 billion bases or so. That means that a single base mistake occurs about once every time DNA replicates. Admittedly, that is significant. However, for that mistake to end up created an INHERITABLE 'defect' the following would have to also occur:

  • The mistake would have to be in the 25% of DNA that is actually used for anything.
  • The mistake would have to occur in both genes coding for the same trait (the one from mom and from dad), OR result in a dominant gene.
  • The mistake would have to be missed by the cell's 'correction system', which identifies mistakes in DNA replication and corrects them.
  • The mistake, if it meets all of the above conditions, must not cause theimmediate death of the cell.
  • Here is the biggie.... the mistake must happen in a very early stage of embryonic development, before the cell undergo differentiation into tissue types. For a mistake to be inheritable, it must exist in the cells of the reproductive organs. If a mistake happens in a skin cell, a tumor might grow... or cancer... or a little dot of an odd color.

So.. mutations that result in a new inhertable trait are very rare. Genes that are 'hidden' by the expression of another gene are not. The 'mutations' that we see are the expression of gene combinations that we have not seen before.

from no swimming bladder to curved pectoral fins weather or not this was genetic or for some other reason
This is an excellent point. Many gene expressions in fish are directly related to environmental conditions. Gene A might not express in pH 4, but it might in pH 7...
 

Neil

New Member
That is very, very interesting. Many apistos have very different qualities when grown in very acidic water compared to alkaline. Trifasciata, for example, from very acidic water have much more pronounced dorsal ray extensions. Never really thought of it as a genetic expression of a physical characteristic(trait) due to environmental circumstances, but it makes sense.
Neil
 

tjudy

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
:)

The environment plays a major role in the expression of genes. Even identical twins, who have identical DNA, are not 100% identical. But the environmental conditions cannot cause an expression for a gene that is not there. If there is a difference in the finnage of trifasciata due to pH, then the genes to create those fins are in the fish.
 

apisto85

Member
5 Year Member
new

New is the goal the breeders etc. are looking for :lol:

I like the wild types of the fish much more...they have class :wink:
 

apisto85

Member
5 Year Member
forgotta say

atleast whit guppys the linebreeding means breeding the brother's and sister's for 8 generations that means the fish have 99% same blood
 

Eva32181

New Member
5 Year Member
This has been a fascinating thread to read. I took two evolution courses to complete my biology minimum requirement in college - it gives me a little background - enough to be interested in genetics but not enough to pontificate.

I'd like to throw a breeding scenario into the discussion to apply what you have been talking about to a specific situation. Here's what I want to ask:

I got a group of juv. A. cacatuoides "orange flash" from Neil last year. I wound up with one excellent breeding pair and one extra male that I keep in my display tank (the other fish were sold to a friend). The pair spawned very frequently and have produced lots of babies, but sadly the female died. I now have the one male, 20 of his almost fully grown offspring, and his brother in different tanks.

I would like to continue breeding these fish - their colors are exceptional, and the males look like little fireballs when they swim rapidly. Should I pair the male with one of his own daughters, or the other male with one of his own nieces? Because my fish are already line-bred I wonder if this is a good idea (the males are both "triple reds" and probably inbred enough as it is). There aren't any other apistos available in my area, let alone more A. cacatuoides "orange flash" that I could cross in. What would you do?

Okay, this is open to everyone's opinion!
 

tjudy

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
:)
Your strains are already selectively bred strains. I would do both of your pairings that you describe, and not worry about the inbreeding. Go for even more orange!
 

Woodsy

New Member
5 Year Member
I was reading an article the other day that said that wild caught discus display markedly different behavior than captive bred ones. Most people wouldn't even know how their behavior differs, and I won't lie, I wouldn't have a clue myself; but when people read things like that, it makes them think, "Do I want something that every other Joe Blow owns, or do I want something that is exactly how it occurs in nature?" Most people I meet in the shop want something that nobody else has so that they have something to brag about, something that makes them better than the average. Human nature is a funny thing at times.
 
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