Yesterday we processed some miscellaneous cichlids and got a pleasant surprise in a vat of Labeotropheus fuelleborni I’d set aside a while back. They were part of a group of juvenile Blue Marmalades I was keeping as potential breeders. Three of the fish turned out to be almost red, two non-marmalade and one marmalade. Marmalade is a dominant gene caused the fish to look like marmalade, anyway that’s what I suppose. I’m not entirely sure what marmalade is and looks like.
In any event, we’ve been raising L. fuelleborni since 2003 when we got some cichlids from Florida to restock after Hurricane Claudette decimated our fish. From the original Blue Fuelleborni, we’ve developed Gold Fuelleborni and Blue Marmalade Fuelleborni. Now, it appears we may have the beginnings of two new color strains.
We’re tentatively calling the one fish, which is male, a Cherry Marmalade Fuelleborni. He’ll get about 20 female Blue Marmalade females. I suspect their offspring won’t look like their dad, but I’ll mate his daughters and later granddaughters to him until I get Cherry Marmalades.
The other two fish, one of which looks like a male and the other isn’t sexable yet, will be grown up a bit. If they are a pair, I’ll mate them together to try to set the Cherry Fuelleborni strain. If they are both male, I’ll give them a bunch of Gold Fuelleborni females and then mate them to their daughters and granddaughters until I get more Cherry Fuelleborni.
In both cases I’m using tried and proven breeding techniques to develop and set a color strain. It’s possible the red color is dominant. For example, the so-called red of Red Zebras is dominant. If it is, then I’ll get red fish in the first generation. If it isn’t, I’ll line breed to the original fish until I get what I want.