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So I was thinking about this. Let’s say I buy 16 whatever cichlids from a breeder that all are the same age and came from the same batch of fry. I guess the question is, can I safely breed them with each other? I know with mammals or humans at least if one breeds with a family member (sister or brother) then there can be birth defects. Does this occur with fish as well? Would I need to get the males and females from 2 different sets of parents?
 

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cdavitt said:
So I was thinking about this. Let’s say I buy 16 whatever cichlids from a breeder that all are the same age and came from the same batch of fry. I guess the question is, can I safely breed them with each other? I know with mammals or humans at least if one breeds with a family member (sister or brother) then there can be birth defects. Does this occur with fish as well? Would I need to get the males and females from 2 different sets of parents?
Not my field, but from what I've read from others who are knowledgable, this is not a concern. Breed away. If you go with different sources, be absolutely certain that they are same species, same collection point. Not always as easy as it sounds.
 

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Plenty of mammals are "line" bred! There are some positive reasons to do it.

I've never heard of any health problems with inbreeding fish. The owner of a cichlid farm local to me says that it's important to try to obtain wild caught fish after a few generations, if possible. If the inbreeding is kept up for too long, they will lose some of the features of wild fish that make them so interesting.
 

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Inbreeding does not "cause" problems, just displays them. The problems were there and would have expressed themselves sooner or later regardless of outcrossing if the traits were accidentally being selected for.

Outcrossing (as the breeder suggested to Brinkles) is (no offense to the breeder) stupid in the long run. Masking negative genes is nothing more than a bandaid approach. Pretty soon, no amount of bandaids can cover up a big problem!

The best way to allow fish to select their own mates at all times regardless of how related their choice might be. The fish will pick the best mate available again and again and again.
 

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I think I didn't restate what the breeder was telling me clearly.

He said that he prefers to start over with all new wild caught fish if possible, rather than breed the same line forever. He told me that they will adapt to captivity and stray from the wild genetics over too many generations. Our discussion related to Malawi cichlids and zebra obliquidens, which apparently haven't been available wild caught for a long time (and which I have a bunch of fry of).

I've myself only just started to try to breed african cichlids, and my goal is simply to raise a few of every species I have a group of.
 

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brinkles said:
He said that he prefers to start over with all new wild caught fish if possible, rather than breed the same line forever. He told me that they will adapt to captivity and stray from the wild genetics over too many generations.
Genetic drift happens, this is true and this shows that the breeder is more than just a notch above the rest as far as knowledge. :thumb: Support that breeder! :D

I (personally) don't think that genetic drift is worth trying to avoid, but I am impressed with the breeder none the less. :popcorn:
 
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