Fish follow the same rules as mammals and humans, however this is largely a misunderstood issue and my usual advice to folks is "don't worry about inbreeding with your cichlids. Just cull anything that doesn't look right no matter what breeds with what" .masonv said:What I'm really asking do fish not follow the same threory of being interbred (such as human,dogs , cats, ect.).
I've been harmed by that inaccurate advice, I've harmed others by passing it along back in the day... it's not wise to outcross as you then could be caught in the issue of outbreeding depression.PfunMo said:It would be nice if we could all have access to new F1 fish to mix the gene pool more but not practical. I've never seen harm tha I could trace to that.
Back in the early days of cichlids in Canada, I had pairs of A.jacobfreigi
I used to have a really unique breeding room in that I would breed jacobs then sell them as "proven pairs/trios" for large sums of money! I'd grow out the fry and pair up the best, etc.
Made more money this way than friends were selling fry. From my days on the farm, I 'knew' that one can only inbreed for around 5 or 6 generations and then you had to outcross to avoid hidden genetic defects. Boy was that completely incorrect... I bought some very expensive adult F1 A.jacobfreigi and paired up my best linebred fish with the best F1s. My next batch of fry grew out to be garbage... pure garbage. Of course, I had sold all my breeding adults by that point in time. I had nothing left... I couldn't understand how I had made a mistake! I followed the "right" advice from animal husbandry practices. If it worked with farm animals, why not fish?
Lesson learned... an outcross of a domestic animal is an outcross to something pretty genetically similar (and likely related to my bloodline some short distance back) and one is still breeding tight to breed right. A complete outcross to unknown gene pool "x" is actually a stupid risk. Incompatible alleles, introduction of negative genes, undesirable combo effects, suppression of your "good traits" (and more) can happen.
It turns out, every species on the planet has a balance point between inbreeding and outcrossing that is "healthiest" for the species. Some species inbreed often (Kribs) other outcross very often (shell dwellers) and your breeding strategies have to line up with what is known about each species. The other thing that has been discovered is that females (if given the choice of mates) manage to pick the healthiest male to product the healthiest fry out of any given population. Their programming is better than out artificial selection.
So, what's this translate to? Let your fish pick their mates from a big group in a big tank for the healthiest fry (fewest culls or no culls!) and you won't regret it. I usually mix in some related fry, and then some cousins or second cousins and accept what pairs up.
Try it! You'll be amazed what happens and what males get picked out of your tanks!