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Albino Peacocks
by Marc Elieson
Requirement-wise, albino peacocks are just like any other peacock. They are best kept with other peaceful cichlids, like C. moorii, O. lithobates, Protomelas spp., and Copadichromis species. Aulonocara Albino Eureka fed with Cyclops-Eeze They should also be kept in tanks no smaller than 50 gallons as they reach adult lengths of 4-5 inches. They can be kept over sand or a fine gravel, but I personally recommend a darker substrate so as to best bring out their colors. Diet is important if you want your albino peacock to show its best color. Cyclop-eeze (freeze-dried cyclops) is spectacular at getting your fish to shine as are many of the Cichlid foods made by Hikari. These foods rely on natural ingredients (such as cyclops and krill) to bring out the best color in your fish. The fish to the right has been raised on primarily Cyclop-eeze and spirulina.

Where do albino peacocks come from? you may ask. Well, it may come as a surprise to many, but most albino peacocks (at least the good-looking ones) are in fact hybrids! Albinos do occur naturally, albeit infrequently. When this happens, the albino progeny are then bred, looking for particularly appealing traits before they are crossed back to the original stock. Or...imagine this scenario: Want a cool albino peacock developed from a location that no one has? Just take a albino from Aulonocara Albino Eureka another variant, breed it to the one you want and work the fry from there. Once you see the albinos, work them back to the orginal peacock to get the look of the original fish and you're in business (pun intended). The tale of albino peacocks gets really interesting with the Eureka albino (pictured here). The Eureka is not found in nature. Someone first presented this jacobfreibergi as a freak, but experienced breeders believe it to be a cross (most likely between a jacobfreibergi "Otter Point" and a Sunshine Peacock). Now we have an albino form of the Eureka, and it has become a VERY popular fish. One look at it, and you'll see why.

Note, not all albinos are true albinos, especially those that have been bred back into the normal (i.e., wild type) stock to get white blazes or some other partially colored trait. Instead of having a true albino, you get Albino Peacock an oligomelanic species. Oligomelanic individuals are known in many herptiles and fishes including Pelvicachromis pulcher, swordtails, mollies, etc. Oligomelany is a different physiologic condition where the fish is capable of making pigment, but it's restricted in its ability to distribute the pigment-containing melanosomes over its body surface. Albinos, on the other hand, have a normal distribution of melanosomes throughout their body surface, but these cells lack the ability to make melanin. Phenotype among individuals varies depending upon the species and whether the individual is homozygous or heterozygous for the oligomelanic condition.

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