Lake Malawi Species • Star sapphire fry deformities?

Discussion regarding only Lake Malawi species.

Moderators: Chester B, DJRansome

Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Breezeman » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:22 pm

Hey all,

I have had 3 successful spawns with 2 females and 1 male. The fry are about 2-3 months old and I'm noticing a few weird, potential deformities developing. I want to cull these out if they are, indeed, deformed.

The reason I'm posting is because this is the first time I have bred star saphire cichlids (placiochromis phenochilus Tanzania) so I'd like some of you who have bred this species in the past to look at a few photos and let me know if these are deformities or whether its just a strange body phase during growth.

Thanks so much All, I love this forum.

-Breeze
Attachments
FullSizeR(5).jpg
Large belly, shallow neck(under chin)
Breezeman
 
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:26 pm
Location: United States

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:52 pm

Never seen anything like that, but it does appear to be a deformity. Not a normal phase of growth. I have seen skeletal deformities (like the underdeveloped jaw that appears to be illustrated in this pic) when fry are in water for a period of time that has unsafe levels of toxins...what are your test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Breezeman » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:51 pm

That's the strange part. I'm very good at keeping my parameters in check. Literally everything @ 0ppm aside from nitrate that never reached above 20ppm.

I do water changes every 3-4 days with the addition of seachem safe to convert anything for bio removal.

I'm wondering... If the parameters in my breeding tank (125gal which the BG 5x female, 1x male) were off during conception, perhaps that has some thing to do with it.

The remaining 3 spawns (about 40-60x fry in each) all look relatively ok, but I'm certainly wondering if they will either: A) develop this deformity later on (the younger spawns), B) If the older spawns will "Fill out" as I've seen some other species fry do, further along in development.

I know that most of this is conjecture and I basically need to make the decision to either keep them growing out and see what happens or cull the worst of them and start anew. Like a dumby, I had alot of interest in these little ones so I opened sales to the public and now, of course, I have people asking what's going on. I will take care of them accordingly, as this was never meant to be a money maker but more over a love for the species and a want to spread the love, so to speak.



Thanks to anyone and everyone taking a look and leaving a comment. Its appreciated for sure.
Breezeman
 
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:26 pm
Location: United States

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Breezeman » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:55 pm

Hard to get additional pics, these guys zip around the 20gal they are in. But heres a useable pic, top left, is what most of them look like. The original pic above, is more over the worst of the deformities.

Hope this helps a bit.
Breezeman
 
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:26 pm
Location: United States

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby DJRansome » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:44 pm

If it did not happen after conception then maybe the breeders are passing something along. I would assume all from the same spawn are impacted.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
User avatar
DJRansome
Global Moderator
 
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:30 am
Location: Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby sir_keith » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:29 pm

Microcephaly, a genetic disorder that has been well-studied in zebrafish and other vertebrate species. The mutation can be either dominant, recessive, or sex-linked. As your parental stock look normal, what you are dealing with here is likely a recessive mutation that is being passed through the germline. This means that both parents necessarily carry one copy of the mutant allele, that is, they are +/m heterozygotes. In your case, we know that your male definitely carries the mutation (+/m), and if he mates with a female (probably his sibling) who is also carrying the mutation (+/m), then Mendelian inheritance predicts that 25% of their progeny will be m/m and show the deformity, 50% will be +/m 'carriers,' just like their parents, and will appear to be normal, and 25% will be truly normal, wild-type individuals (+/+) both phenotypically and genotypically, However, if your carrier male (+/m) mates with a female that does not carry the mutation (+/+), then all of their fry will appear normal, but 50% of them will carry the harmful recessive mutation (+/m), just like their father. In this case, the deformity would then reappear in the next generation.

I know this is bad news. I applaud your decision to tackle the problem head-on, rather than ignoring it and passing it on to other hobbyists; more people should be so conscientious. I would suggest the following- (1) Do not distribute any of these fry to other hobbyists, even if they appear to be normal, because many of them are still carrying the deleterious mutation. If you want to keep some of the unaffected 'carriers' for you own pleasure, that's fine, but do not breed or distribute them. (2) Cull all the affected individuals. Clove oil is an effective and humane form of euthanasia. (3) If you are interested in propagating this species, start with new breeding stock, preferably from a different source (or two). Yes, it would be theoretically possible to identify wild-type individuals (+/+) among your existing progeny, but this would be a long, drawn out process that would require at least two more generations. For a fish teetering on extinction in the wild, sure, but more trouble than it is worth for most fishes.

Sorry for the bad news, but as always, there is a silver lining. First, you should feel good about doing something really positive for the hobby; and second, you can rest assured that you are not doing anything 'wrong' with any aspect of you fish-keeping, such as water chemistry. Your fishes have been dealt a bad hand genetically; it's what happens when breeders ignore the consequences of inbreeding.

Good luck.
User avatar
sir_keith
 
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:57 pm
Location: Liberty Bay, WA

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Breezeman » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:03 pm

Boy do I enjoy well written, fully thought out, yet concise responses. Thank you all so very much, with special thanks to @sirkeith, as this all makes sense to me now. None of these will be sold/traded etc. Now that I know, I will be using them as (sadly) feeders for my larger pike cichlids and peacock bass. At least we can consider these "in house, disease free feeders" right? Ha.

Thanks once more. I have no intention on breeding or keeping this species in the future. It is a shame that the Male was the carrier, as he was quite a specimen (attached photo is of one of the 5x females and the male).

Now onto breeding panaques (with some luck and determination)

Thanks all!
Attachments
20190919_155819.jpg
Breezeman
 
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:26 pm
Location: United States

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby jcover » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:03 pm

That is a beautful Male, Breezeman. Sorry for luck.
jcover
 
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:55 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Breezeman » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:16 pm

Also wanted to be clear on some thing, as I re read everything.

1) the females and male were completely unrelated. I got the Male from a lady here in denver, while I ordered 5x females from a guy in buffalo NY who also got all 5x from differnt spots.

I ended up culling all 3 spawns, save for maybe 5 or 6 of the better looking ones. None will be breeders, but since the father was such a good looking fish, I want to see if I get a Male as a show fish. Who knows, might get a looker out of it yet!
Breezeman
 
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:26 pm
Location: United States

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby sir_keith » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:48 pm

Breezeman wrote: ... the females and male were completely unrelated. I got the Male from a lady here in Denver, while I ordered 5x females from a guy in buffalo NY who also got all 5x from different spots.

I ended up culling all 3 spawns, save for maybe 5 or 6 of the better looking ones. None will be breeders, but since the father was such a good looking fish, I want to see if I get a Male as a show fish. Who knows, might get a looker out of it yet!


That's kind of depressing, because it indicates that this problem is widespread in this species in captivity.

No reason you can't keep some of these fishes for your own personal enjoyment, because even the 'carriers' look perfectly normal.

Good luck.
User avatar
sir_keith
 
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:57 pm
Location: Liberty Bay, WA

Re: Star sapphire fry deformities?

Postby Adamson » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:23 am

sir_keith wrote:Microcephaly, a genetic disorder that has been well-studied in zebrafish and other vertebrate species. The mutation can be either dominant, recessive, or sex-linked. As your parental stock look normal, what you are dealing with here is likely a recessive mutation that is being passed through the germline. This means that both parents necessarily carry one copy of the mutant allele, that is, they are +/m heterozygotes. In your case, we know that your male definitely carries the mutation (+/m), and if he mates with a female (probably his sibling) who is also carrying the mutation (+/m), then Mendelian inheritance predicts that 25% of their progeny will be m/m and show the deformity, 50% will be +/m 'carriers,' just like their parents, and will appear to be normal, and 25% will be truly normal, wild-type individuals (+/+) both phenotypically and genotypically, However, if your carrier male (+/m) mates with a female that does not carry the mutation (+/+), then all of their fry will appear normal, but 50% of them will carry the harmful recessive mutation (+/m), just like their father. In this case, the deformity would then reappear in the next generation.

I know this is bad news. I applaud your decision to tackle the problem head-on, rather than ignoring it and passing it on to other hobbyists; more people should be so conscientious. I would suggest the following- (1) Do not distribute any of these fry to other hobbyists, even if they appear to be normal, because many of them are still carrying the deleterious mutation. If you want to keep some of the unaffected 'carriers' for you own pleasure, that's fine, but do not breed or distribute them. (2) Cull all the affected individuals. Clove oil is an effective and humane form of euthanasia. (3) If you are interested in propagating this species, start with new breeding stock, preferably from a different source (or two). Yes, it would be theoretically possible to identify wild-type individuals (+/+) among your existing progeny, but this would be a long, drawn out process that would require at least two more generations. For a fish teetering on extinction in the wild, sure, but more trouble than it is worth for most fishes.

Sorry for the bad news, but as always, there is a silver lining. First, you should feel good about doing something really positive for the hobby; and second, you can rest assured that you are not doing anything 'wrong' with any aspect of you fish-keeping, such as water chemistry. Your fishes have been dealt a bad hand genetically; it's what happens when breeders ignore the consequences of inbreeding.

Good luck.


Hopped on here to say thank you for this in-depth reply. The hobby is lucky to have knowledgeable people like yourself.
Adamson
 
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:34 am
Location: United States


Return to Lake Malawi Species

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests