Lake Tanganyika Species • When to strip gobies?

Discussion regarding only Lake Tanganyika species.

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Postby Dave » Sun May 11, 2008 9:03 pm

One aspect that I never see analyzed is the impact of raising a much larger percentage of fry to breeding age, as compared to in the wild. It would not be unusual for someone to raise 90% of fry to breeding age, something that likely never happens in the wild. How can we be sure that this isn't a factor in these studies?

As for imprinting, I never said it didn't occur, you are assuming stripping makes the fry bad parents, and I have not seen any evidence to support this conclusion. The study you are pointing to says nothing about being bad parents, just that their mate choice is altered. Just because one aspect of breeding is altered does not mean all aspects are changed, or even can be. You cannot make that leap with the evidence presented.

I would like to see the publications that you are referring, either a link to the publication, or the journal reference would be fine.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Sun May 11, 2008 9:51 pm

Goby-fry that have already made the 'swap' from female to male may have got their imprint and there is no additional breeding care once the male drops them, little chance of messing up imprinting if you strip late.
Still do not understand why you would want to strip a male Goby though, when a small tank with lots of cover would do fine for fry protection.

Cyps are among those that release and don't take back; it's impossible for a female Cyp to take back the fry, no imprinting, no maternal care after release, hence few if any effects at all when you strip Cyps.

The theory is: that stripping allows fish to reproduce that would not have successful spawns in the wild. Why breed with fish that have a lack something that should be in their behaviour? Spitting the fry into a safe environment being a key skill? With Cyps I understand this is to sycronise the release with other females?

Why not select here?

Hey I just thought are we talking about Spathodus erythrodon or marlieri?
Ones supposed to be just a maternal mouthbrooder? :lol:
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Postby Darkside » Mon May 12, 2008 12:06 am

I have a 1 male that breeds with 3 females. He spawns with all 3 females, but will only accept the switch between 1 of them. The other 2 females have both produced viable fry, but would end up holding the entire duration (and have) without my interference.
As for imprinting... The mechanics behind imprinting is poorly understood and I've seen no evidence, either published or in my own experiences that would indicate that stripping the male has any effect on the fry.
In North America we strip the fish, I mean how is the fully formed little juvenile going to recognize the difference between being spit out intentionally and being spit out because of human intervention? The process would, in practice, be very similar. In Germany (and I suppose the rest of Europe) stripping is frowned upon, but that seems to be a difference of opinion.
I don't see why we'd bother to exhibit some sort of "selection" in our aquariums when its obvious that we can't provide our fish with a environment that really does emulate the lake. Phenotype is one part genetics and one part environment and until we more clearly understand the relationship between the two in these fish arguing about it is sort of a moot point. I don't think that gobies are a model organism for genetics but I do know that there have been studies using Eretmodus cyanostictus as the model animal where genetics has been linked to monogamy.
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Postby Dave » Mon May 12, 2008 1:02 pm

24Tropheus wrote:The theory is: that stripping allows fish to reproduce that would not have successful spawns in the wild. Why breed with fish that have a lack something that should be in their behaviour?
I do not think that this is a true statement. Though it might allow a fish to produce young that it would not do in the wild, the reason for stripping is not predicated on this. Frontosa are stripped because many are notorious for not holding for term in the aquarium. We don't know why they do this, only that it is common, but this does not mean that these fish would not spawn naturally in the lake. There a many animals that are known to be very difficult to breed in captivity, so we should not be surprised when this occurs.

There are several other reasons for stripping. One is so that the female will become conditioned to breed again much earlier. I do not subscribe to this practise. The another is to ensure that you recover all of the fry by removing them from the holding fish just before release, though some do it earlier in development than others. Finally, removing the holding fish may not be practical due to reintroduction aggression, like in Tropheus. I always stripped my females just before spitting, because my group of Kazumbas would never allow a fish to be reintroduced after a week or more of being out of the community.

Spitting the fry into a safe environment being a key skill?
I understand that this is one idea in Europe, but frankly I do not see this being a very "natural' event when the fry are trapped in such a small enclosure. My experience is that losses are excedingly high when we allow for "survival of the fittest".
With Cyps I understand this is to sycronise the release with other females?
Perhaps, but then I have never seen a home aquarium even come close to mimicking a true Cyp school. I have seen some cyp groups that spit their fry and leave them alone, and I have seen groups that must be separated.

Why not select here?

Because this is just as artificial in the aquarium as stripping, and not all mouthbrooders take their fry back after release.

Hey I just thought are we talking about Spathodus erythrodon or marlieri? One's supposed to be just a maternal mouthbrooder?

Based on S. erythrodon being very common in the hobby, that is where I am putting my money.
Come join us at the Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists (MAAH) meeting. http://madisonaquatichobby.com/
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