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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

Tank: 70cm x 70cm x 60cm height

Just got my sand and rock work in place creating multiple small (in height) caves.

I am planning on putting 4 neolamprologus buescheri in there soon.
1 is apparently a wild caught and the others tank bred.

I read they prefer smaller caves with multiple levels of rock and have tried to cater for that. I hope they will take a liking to the tank and produce some fry which I can make available as soon as I work out how to catch them between all the rocks.

Has anybody here kept and or bred this species? Any advice?

I'm adding Epsom salt to the water to increase the general hardness (this is done by the current owner). My water out the tap is at 7.8 PH and I hope the carbonate hardness is enough to keep it up there between water changes (no schedule yet). The current owner, who lives nearby, does not intentionally modify his PH.

Fire away! Thanks in advance for any input.
 

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There are many regional variants of Buescheri, quite distinct looking. Do you know which you have? More importantly, are they all from the same region? If not, I would discourage propagation of the fry.

As far as catching the fry goes, it depends on whether they're spawned in a natural or artificial cave. If artificial, while young they'll probably retreat into that same cave if they feel threatened. You can move the whole cave, fry and all, to a grow-out tank. If natural, sucking them through a hose into a bucket might be the best bet.

Anyway, 7.8 pH should be plenty, no need to raise that. Hardness might not need to raise either, depending on what it is?
 

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I've kept a number of variants of buescheri, currently have two. Of course, I wrote the article that you probably read on this website, so beyond that are there any specific questions you have? I agree with Wei Fun, that there really probably isn't any reason to add anything to the water.

They are quite good as parents, and there is no reason to remove the fry from the parental tank. Probability suggests in a tank of this size, you will end up with a pair, and the others will be killed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi again,

I am not sure which variant they are, the fish aren't in my tank yet although I've put down the payment for them. Have not tested my Gh yet... haven't had the cash to get a proper test kit. I will likely keep the fry in with the parents and attempt to remove them as they are sold and when the parents decide they need to go.

Thanks Foglehund. You say in the article "With the proper territory developed, a pair of buescheri will never range beyond their rocks, except at feeding time, even then, only darting out to grab some food to be consumed in their rocks. "

How does one develop the proper territory? The tank bottom is pretty much covered with rocks. I've made small darker caves for each fish (spread out around the tank) and put a few rocks on top of and next to them to form some larger caves and hideouts above and around them. Some rocks piles (caves) sort of "blend" into the other ones, do they tend to treat that as one territory?

1. Do the fish tend to want to stay next to each other or as far apart as possible?
2. I suppose I should create as many hiding spots as possible but just how few can be created for each fish?
3. The fish all reside in the same tank at the moment, I'm hoping I won't have any causalities but might be dependant on them liking their new tank, has moving rocks around ever caused trouble in their tanks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Spotted 20-30 green eggs on a small overhang this morning.

I suspect it is the Gombe and the Zaire Gold that have paired up. I do not think this is detrimental to the fry, I believe it is done often with Discus, hence the great variety of the fish.

Fogelhund, you did not mention how you went about feeding your fry.
Do they manage to find enough foods in the tank?
Could I crush up some pellets, mix it with tank water and squirt it near the fry once they have hatched?
 

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Crossing locations IS detrimental to species bloodlines. This is how you wind up with poorly patterned/colored fish. Discus are selectively "engineered" by expert breeders, not by random cross breeding. If you are mixing locations, use the fry as fish food or keep them for yourself, please don't sell the fry. This lowers the quality of fish available to the rest of us.
 

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People pursue different goals in breeding fish. Some try to keep the fish as close as possible to how they are found in nature. Others try to create fish according to their own tastes and preferences. There is nothing really wrong with either approach, as long as you are open and honest about what you are doing, and sell any fry labeled properly as what they are. Line breeding is important to either approach, meaning you carefully have to select which fish to breed with.

If you want to have fish that are as close as possible to the wild type, you have to select parents that look like that, you avoid crossing local varieties, and you cull fry that look different in any way, for example albinos or other color mutations. That's what most keepers of Lake Tanganyika cichlids do.

If you want to create man made strains, you will look for parents that look like what you want them to look like. For example you might select the most colorful fish you have available, or you pick those with the longest fins. You might experiment with crossing local varieties, and you might select albinos and other color mutations to create interesting looking strains. That's what most discus keepers do, and that's also how for example the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey came to be.

The worst thing you can do is not to be selective at all, but sell everything that hatches, even if deformed or genetically defective. Another no-no is selling fish as what they are not. For example if you cross N. buescheri 'Gombe' and N. buescheri 'Blue Zaire', you should sell the fry as N. buescheri 'Gombe x Blue Zaire'. It would be wrong to sell them simply as N. buescheri, or to sort the fry into two groups, one that looks like N. buescheri 'Gombe' and one that looks like N. buescheri 'Blue Zaire' and then sell them as what they look like, not what they are.

Hope this helps.
 

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I suspect it is the Gombe and the Zaire Gold that have paired up. I do not think this is detrimental to the fry, I believe it is done often with Discus, hence the great variety of the fish.
From a hobbyist perspective, what you have are hybrids. This isn't line breeding. You might as well cross the buescheri with a cylindricus or something else.

Just my .02
 

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Sometimes we take things for granted. I have a couple of tanks with J. transcriptus "Bemba" that are very good looking to me. I have seen pictures of the "kissi" fish, and mine are classic looking. My pair are very prolific spawners and breed true.

Then I read where there is a threat that, due to local polution problems the Bemba "kissi" are in danger of being wiped out in Lake Tanganyika.

I'll tell you what - it makes it real important for me to guarantee my fish do not cross breed with other closely related lamprologine species, like other Julies or my Chalinochromis ndobhoi. If I had my fish do that by accident I would not try to save the spawn.
 

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Calling something a 'hybrid' often elicits a very emotional response, and reasonable discussions become difficult. I try to avoid that term, but if you want to use it, a cross between N. buescheri 'Gombe' and N. buescheri 'Blue Zaire' would be a hybrid between color morphs. Obviously they would not be a hybrid between species, because they are both N. buescheri.

Personally I don't have a problem with people producing hybrids, if that's what they want to do. They just need to label them properly, in this case N. buescheri 'Gombe x Blue Zaire'. If somebody wants to cross N. buescheri with N. cylindricus, the fry should be labeled as N. buescheri x cylindricus. That way everybody can clearly see what those fish are, and many people, myself included, would never ever keep anything with an x in the name for the exact reasons Lestrango pointed out. Other people's goal might well be the creation of a new type of Neolamprologus never seen in nature, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, part of the preservation of biodiversity is that not only species are kept separate, but also local varieties and color morphs. That's why proper labeling is absolutely crucial.

As a side note, line breeding just means that you are selective. The folks who produced the pidgeon blood discus did that through line breeding, because they kept on picking the reddest discus in their stock to breed. At the same time, if we want to make sure that the Bemba kissi julis survive in the hobby, our only chance will be line breeding, and we will have to choose those that look closest to the ones we found in nature to breed. If any fry show up that look different, we will have to cull those. Line breeding can be used for both, the creation of man-made strains, and the preservation of biodiversity.
 

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Calling something a 'hybrid' often elicits a very emotional response, and reasonable discussions become difficult. I try to avoid that term, but if you want to use it, a cross between N. buescheri 'Gombe' and N. buescheri 'Blue Zaire' would be a hybrid between color morphs. Obviously they would not be a hybrid between species, because they are both N. buescheri.
That's why I prefaced it 'from a hobbyist perspective'. And from a hobbyist perspective, that's exactly what it is. I'm not going to tiptoe around that because some people get emotional and unreasnable. People would do best to control their emotions and have mature, adult discussion.

As a side note, line breeding just means that you are selective.
Selective within a species. So, there's the difference again. Science may consider them to be same species, but hobbyists no. So, to a hobbyist, it's not line breeding.

What concerned me is that the OP gave no indication of understanding all that you explained in your post. Thanks for doing that. I don't have a problem with what he's doing either as long as full disclosure is made to 'all' future buyers of that strain. Home hobbyists don't often have that kind of control, so I frown on this practice. They also rarely have the facilities, time, patience, to successfully produce a new strain. As everyone knows, a single cross isn't going to do that.
 

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We have kind of strayed from the intent of the original posting, and I hope we didn't discourage the writer.

In essence when new color morphs are developed it is because the hobbyist has developed a form of synthetic biosphere for the pair to develop in. This holds true also for crossing fish of different species. Not unlike when the 3 palegic lakes overflowed into each other as L. Tanganyika filled - but in our tanks. We are just bringing the process of divergent speciation into our tanks. I too think there is room in our hobby for aquarists to do this, but want to stress the responsibility that goes along with doing it, and that is to keep the distinction clear and not muddy the waters on both sides of the issue.
 
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