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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some Metriaclima estherae of the blue male, red female variety. In general is it "wrong" to mix the different varieties? If I were to breed my blue males with females from the red x red variety would the offspring be considered hybrids?

If I could ever find them, I would like to add some OB's. I've read that only females are OB so what kind of male is used to product OB offspring? What should I expect if breed my blue males with OB females?

thanks,
Anthony
 

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If I'm understanding you right, I don't see why you would be making hybrids, since all are the same species - the red males and OB females are all just color morphs - not a different species.

Males can be OB also, they are just naturally rare(r) in the wild. It is the same with most species of mbuna that have OB morphs in their species. Generally its a "standard" colored male with OB females.
 

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It would be like mixing to differnt Aulonocara stuartgranti from different locations and totally different color patterns. What is the result? Maybe not a "hybrid" but clearly not a distinct morph. In the case of the red zebra maybe not such a issue as with the peacocks?

I would be interested in knowing the results however for curiosity sake.
 

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Mixing the mMinos Reef variant (blue males and red females) with the all red variant (which is really more of a line bred aquarium strain as red males are very rare in the wild) is exactly like mixing two Aulonocara stuartgranti from different locations with different color patterns. Or mixing two Cyno. afra variants together from two different locations. ie. Cobue and Jalo Reef. These are considered hybrid afras so the zebras would be hybrid zebras.
 

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If they all come from the same location - how are they hybrids. The red males were just bred to be more prevalent from what I understand. And after enough breeding - all red males were produced - similiar to spawning a marmalade cat (OB male) with an OB female enough times to get all OB offspring. That would not be considered hybridizing - but it would be somewhat taboo to then go and cross the "all OB" strain with an standard strain again.

That's how I see it.
 

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why_spyder said:
If they all come from the same location - how are they hybrids.
They do not come from the same location. Excerpt from a Belgian web site about cichlids (http://www.cichlidae.be/Metriaclima_estherae_f.htm Belgian French is a bit more dificult for me than regular French, so this is a rouigh translated, adjusted for grammar differences.
Distribution: Endemic Species of Lake Malawi whose distribution area is limited to the east coast. Females with the deepest red coloration, those which were used to describe the species, are from Minos Reef, located a few kilometers from the beach Meluluca. Another population of Metriaclima estherae at Chilucha Reef, located south of Metangula, are not as red as those of Minos Reef. Orange or OB fish living north of the river Nsinje, near the border between Mozambique and Malawi, and identified as Metriaclima zebra actually belong to the species M. estherae.
The red males were just bred to be more prevalent from what I understand. And after enough breeding - all red males were produced .
It was the groups with the few naturally red males that were in turn further line bred to get consistently orange male from every spawn. Its that line that we see most often in the pet store.
 

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From my understanding, the most common Metriaclima estherae available in the hobby, are collected from Minos Reef or descendants of Minos Reef, including the Red x Red variety.

The common red variant (male and female) available are all line bred somewhere to achieve their colour. Red x Red are further line bred to achieve a deeper red. All of these fish are considered Minos Reef variants although as with any line bred fish, their lineage is always suspect.

That said, if we assume all or certainly most of the M. estherae commonly available in the hobby are Minos Reef, you can cross tank raised blue males with red females without fear producing hybrids. They all remain common Metriaclima estherae.

However, on the more high-end scale where one is purchasing WC or F1 stock for breeding, it's important to be sure to breed M. estherae with others from the same collection point. Breeding of two fish of the same species, but from different collection points, are indeed hybrids.
 

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Since we're talking about mixing the natural colour morph of a species with a line-bred strain of the same, I would liken it to crossing an Aulonacara jacobfreibergi "Otter Point" to an Aulonacara jacobfreibergi "Eureka Red". What do you call the result?? A half-undone line-bred strain of jacobfreibergi "Otter Point"? Whatever it is technically correct to call the result, I believe any informed purchaser of fish wants either the original variety or the full extent of the line-bred strain, not something in-between.
 

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That's not really my answer to the original question, in regards to Amp's fish.

My answer was that because neither fish were purchased as WC/F1 Minos Reef or anything more than ordinary tank raised M. estherae, there's no fear in crossing a blue with a red simply because they'll only ever be sold as run-of-the-mill M. estherae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate all the replies. This info is very helpful.

The red/blue estherae that I have were sold to me as F1's on aquabid. Of course I have no way of really knowing if they are but they are some of the nicest ones I've seen. I didn't ask the seller where the parents were caught. I don't really plan on doing a lot of breeding and selling of the offspring. I would maybe take some to the local fish store if my tank got too overcrowded but that about it. The main reason I asked is that I would like a few more females to even out the male to female ratio but don't know where to find more of the red/blue variety.

I'm still a little confused on the OB estherae. I see them from time to time in the local fish stores. Since male OB's are rare I assume the ones I see aren't the offspring of a male OB and female OB but of a female OB and something else. Is that assumption wrong? Do the breeders who supply these fish stores have these rare males? If they are the result of breeding a female OB with something else, what is that something else? Red male? Blue male? Doesn't matter?

thanks again,
Anthony
 

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in nature at Minos Reef there are suppossed to be...

Blue Males (greyish when juveniles)
Orange Males are rarer
OB males are possible but are probably even rarer than Orange ones
Orange females are normal
OB females are also present

other races of M. estherae away from Minos Reef may have brown females. They have been avoided from being collected,

in theory it should be fine to breed all these forms, but if you have wild or F1 stock you would want to avoid the mass market stock for interbreeding

They could have bred an Orange morph male with an OB female to get more OB males, if they did not have an OB male to start with (they may have had one anyway). Could they have bred an OB Zebra of a similar species in some cases... maybe, i dunno. It is hard to be 100% of some fish.
 

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Afishionado said:
Since we're talking about mixing the natural colour morph of a species with a line-bred strain of the same, I would liken it to crossing an Aulonacara jacobfreibergi "Otter Point" to an Aulonacara jacobfreibergi "Eureka Red". What do you call the result?? A half-undone line-bred strain of jacobfreibergi "Otter Point"? Whatever it is technically correct to call the result, I believe any informed purchaser of fish wants either the original variety or the full extent of the line-bred strain, not something in-between.
In the case of Aulonocara jacobfreibergi (Otter Point) and a "Eureka Red" crossing, you can pretty much consider them hybrids.

Line bred M. estherae are more likely to be pure species, as there are red males in the wild. They aren't line bred to produce more intense or different colours, just to produce more males of a particular colour than is commonly found.

"Eureka Red" are not found in the wild and are entirely man-made. Like all red peacocks, their lineage is far more suspect. They should be considered a tank raised breed that should only be bred with the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
noki said:
in nature at Minos Reef there are suppossed to be...

Blue Males (greyish when juveniles)
Orange Males are rarer
OB males are possible but are probably even rarer than Orange ones
Orange females are normal
OB females are also present

other races of M. estherae away from Minos Reef may have brown females. They have been avoided from being collected,

in theory it should be fine to breed all these forms, but if you have wild or F1 stock you would want to avoid the mass market stock for interbreeding

They could have bred an Orange morph male with an OB female to get more OB males, if they did not have an OB male to start with (they may have had one anyway). Could they have bred an OB Zebra of a similar species in some cases... maybe, i dunno. It is hard to be 100% of some fish.
What do the OB Males look like? I found this picture on a listing on aquabid for OB Zebras. Does this look like a male/female pair?



thx,
Anthony
 
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