General African Cichlid Discussion • Neon Blue Jewel Cichlid

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Neon Blue Jewel Cichlid

Postby grumps » Fri May 07, 2010 10:14 am

My LFS has some very nice looking fish they are calling Neon Blue Jewel Cichlid.
I'm familiar with the common Red Jewel Cichlid but have never seen these before.
They have a single black dot just behind the gill plate and the spots are a bright neon looking blue....very attractive. The LFS says they are just a blue version of the Red Jewel Cichlid.

I have found very little info on this variant so I'm wondering if anyone here as knowledge of this fish?

Thanks,
Dave
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2002 8:00 pm

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Postby scrubjay » Fri May 07, 2010 11:00 pm

hmmm, I did a little googling and it seems unclear exactly what they are.

Some say it is a line bred Hemichromis guttatus (Red Jewel), selectively bred for the blue color. https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1348
Some say it is a hybrid of H. guttatus and another Hemichromis species called the Turquoise Head Jewel (H. bimaculatus).
Some say it is a hybrid, but they don't know with what other species.

There doesn't seem to be much information on them, but they do not appear to be a species found in the wild. And if it is illegal to import wild fish from West Africa, then you should probably think twice about breeding them unless you want to contribute to further confusion regarding the Hemichromis spp. in captive populations.

I trust FishBase to have a full list of species in the genus Hemichromis
http://tinyurl.com/2ef8yw8
But other sites indicate there are undescribed species.

Some quotes I found:

#1
Name: Hemichromis X 'Neon'
Origin: Does not exist in the wild
The Neon Jewel cichlid or Neon head Jewel is a difficult fish to source information on. From what little information I have gathered it would appear that the Neon Jewel represents a inter-species hybrid, although it's parentage remains uncertain. The Neon Jewel is a spectacular fish, however, I must try and encourage people not to keep this fish in place of genuine species of jewel cichlid. In Australia in particular it is important to try and promote the keeping of pure species lines, as the import of Hemichromines from German or as wild caught specimens from West Africa is prohibited. If you are truly interested in keeping a spectacular species why not consider Hemichromis lifalili or Hemichromis paynei? The Neon Jewel cichlid seems to have been accepted by many cichlidophiles as more acceptable than fish like the blood parrot. Although the fish bears none of the gross deformities of the blood parrot, it does represent a hybrid species and in a way I believe this fish poses a greater risk to the variety of species available to the hobby than the aforementioned blood parrot. The blood parrot is easily recognisable as a deformed hybrid species and the risk re-intergration to pure cichlid lines by accident is next to zero. Poor quality 'Neon' hemichromines, however, may be easily mistaken for other species and be interbred with pure species by the well meaning cichlid keeper. Therefore, the keeping of the 'Neon' X hemichromine must be discouraged by the responsible aquarist who wishes to see pure strains of Hemichromines available in Australia in the near future.

#2
I have just borrowed 'The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa' by Anton Lamboj from the PCS library to try and find out more about the Hemichromines.
Here is what he says about Hemichromis sp. "Neon":
'No concrete (only confusing) information has been relayed about this species. It is sometimes viewed in the trade as a species imported from the Congo (or sometimes from Nigeria) and at other times as a hybrid - but if so, of what species?'
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