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Discussion regarding only Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species.
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Hybrid Jewels

Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:21 am

Recently I purchased 10 juvenile jewel cichlids from 5 different locations in hopes of providing some genetic diversity when breeding them. I purchased two mated pairs of Hemichromis lifalili and three different color strains of Hemichromis guttas (normal, turquoise, and high red). I read that Jewel cichlids form life long monogamous pairs so I didn't see a problem with mixing the two species, that is until one of my Hemichromis lifalili males decided to pair up with one of my turquoise jewels and leave his original mate. Has anyone else encountered this type of behavior? I have gone back and forth on removing they eggs in the hopes of breaking up the pair bond but at the same time I don't want to traumatize them. I have already removed the remaining three Hemichromis lifalili. Any advice on the situation would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Hybrid Jewels

Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:51 am

Hi Mixing together in the same tank two close species leads to this mess.Now yu have to separate the two species and let the fishes pair .That's simple.

Re: Hybrid Jewels

Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:44 am

I'm going to take some pictures today of the fish in question just to be 100% they are in fact two different species. From what I've been reading I'm starting to question the validity of the identifiers at the stores. Everything I've seen so far says a pure Hemichromis lifalili would be a rare find at a local store. I've also read that the Turquiose or Blue Jewel Cichlid may already be a hybrid species anyhow. Oh the confusion. Good thing I have some hungry African cichlids in other tanks to keep any unwanted populations of fry at bay.

Re: Hybrid Jewels

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:16 am

Indeed most "lifalili" are simply hybrids to begin with. If I wasn't raising the fry, I'd just leave the tank alone, and enjoy the different colours.

Re: Hybrid Jewels

Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:03 pm

Actually, these 3 varieties are most likely all forms of H. guttatus. Lamboj in his book states that truly separate hemichromis species are most reluctant to hybridize & my experience seems to bear this out.
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