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Aboslutely not a hongi, and not a red zebra (metriaclima estherae).

Those fish ARE a metriaclima zebra of some sort. "red-top zebra" can refer to several species. Greshakei, pyrsonotos, emmiltos. Greshakei may be correct for this fish. Or I suppose it could be a cross. Some of these metriaclima zebra species are so similar it is difficult for me to tell. Luckily, every aspect of care, requirements and breeding is so similar that unless you are worried about keeping pure strains of a single species, it really doesn't matter a whole lot. And if you are worried about that, you are best off ordering a single group of wild caught fish.
 

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Those do look like a "Red Top Zebra" of some sort... but those may not be pure.

Pure males below, whcih are natural fish found in Lake Malawi


 

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There ARE some acei's in the background and edges of some pictures in the link. However, the fish that are the central focus in those pictures are absolutely not acei's. They are metriaclima.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most people are going with greshakei for the fish in that link, a friend owns them and i may be buying them too, so just trying to figure out what they are.
 

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aaronjunited said:
Most people are going with greshakei for the fish in that link, a friend owns them and i may be buying them too, so just trying to figure out what they are.
Personally I would not pay much or anything, as they might be hybrids and the male is not that impressive looking so far. They don't really look like good Greshakei so far. The male should get have better defined reddish orange dorsal, and a male should get a bright light blue with only a trace of barring at times.

If the breeder has no idea what these common fish actually are, I would not put much trust in knowing they are pure fish. They are not worth a high price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
£3.00 a fish is what he charging, cheaper than any LFS here, a LFS would be charging around £4-£8 for any malawi fish really.

You they dont look really look like good Greshakei so far, what do you mean by this?
Could you elaborate please mate.

Thanks.
 

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aaronjunited said:
a collection point? What you mean?
The site the original fish were collected from. Without this folk are just guessing what species you have as there are so many similar looking variants from more than one species in the lake. These could be from one of those or the general unknown cross that is sold as red top cobalt zebra or ice blue red top zebra ect ect.

All the best James
 

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As I said on the Malawi forum.
Postby 24troph » Fri Jan 28, 2011 02:02

"Clare wrote:Looks like greshakei to me.

Same here or at least what is sold as this fish in many LFSs. For sure dunno the exact make up of em but do not see any thing that suggests Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" over the stuff more usually sold as Metriaclima greshakei. Lab mouth vs Metriclima mouth for sure looks more Metriclima to me. Though for sure not saying these are pure anything.

All the best James"

Not all bad news you can happily breed em and sell em as Ice Blue Red Tops. Same fish as lots about just getting back from that to the wild species and variant may well be impossible as they have been Tank bred in the UK for at least 20 years. I should know one of the first Mbuna I bred and sold in huge numbers. Never did find out what species and variant they might have been. I guess the originals came in without this info generations before I got my hands on em.

All the best James
 
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