I get all the talk about hybrids, but one thing that bugs me. In the wild some live and breed near others and likely cross breed. It's more likely that's how some became so beautiful. If it's ok for the wild, why not for the guy at home?
Its ok, just makes the fish less valuable in my experience. Much harder to sell an ob peacock for good money versus a pure bred peacock. I would know, my beautiful ob peacock has been for sale for weeks but my flavescent peacocks sell in a day for much more.
The other issue people have with hybrids is people selling them as pure bred. Has happened to all of us, think you have one thing and turns out different when grown up. This can cause people to sell fish that arent what they think they are and muddy the gene pool of otherwise pure fish.
Just out of curiosity, is there a list of naturally occuring hybrids from lake Malawi?
I only keep lake Tang fish myself and can't think of any off the top of my head. I know that certain fish of the same species will crossbreed in the wild but not sure of any species that will hybridize.
When they evolved, populations were cut off from each other by natural events that formed physical barriers (water dropped dramatically. Bars of land north and south...the deep water in the middle does not have enough oxygen for them to just move much further out). Fish had to survive.
In the lake where populations are healthy (not like Lake Victoria for example), the fish have a choice and choose their own species. Ad Konings who observes 1000's of fish and spawns in the lake writes that it is extremely rare to see different species spawn or to see an obvious hybrid.
We just need to make sure the fish have he same choice when we box them in.