Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

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Darrell Ullisch
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Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:54 pm

When I first saw a Flowerhorn, my impression was that they were just hormoned Trimacs. I later learned that they were, indeed, hybrids, and the biggest problem from them is the dumping of inferior stock on the market just to make a buck, rather than feeding off or using them for fertilizer. The "lesser" flowerhorns in the LFS for $3-$5 often look identical to Trimacs, and anyone who believes he can always tell the two apart from a photo is fooling himself. I've also seen some very colorful purebred fish, and this was 35 years ago (I have slides, but they are too dark to scan into digital), before flowerhorn was even an idea. A really "good" (sic) Flowerhorn does stand out from trimaculatus, but a really good Trimac can also be mistaken for a medium grade Flowerhorn. So there is not only a risk of contamination by the hybrid, but also a risk of not breeding the best stock of pure bred lines out of fear that they were mislabeled.

I do not, nor am I likely to ever have, the space for a fish this size. That doesn't mean I don't care about others screwing up the genetic purity of the species. The problem is in labeling the fish properly, and honestly, and being able to trust that someone who brings in fish knows and also trust his sources. Right now there's only one source of trimaculatus that I would trust in the US. There are others who are themselves honest and dependable, but I cannot always be 100% certain of their sources. However, if anyone could assure me his fish came from the one source I consider accurate, I would not hesitate to accept their identification.

On the other side, I have yet to see empirical evidence that Bloody Parrots are hybrids. Hybridization very, very rarely causes deformities, and the specific deformity involved is commonly seen within many species of fish. So while it is not exactly a wild type form, I have no problem with those who keep it, as they are the same people who keep fancy Goldfish, Balloon Mollies, and "Angel" Rams. None of which will ever pass through the door of my home. I do, however, like albino fish, which some of our European friends consider "abominations". :lol:
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:09 pm

Darrell Ullisch wrote:When I first saw a Flowerhorn, my impression was that they were just hormoned Trimacs. I later learned that they were, indeed, hybrids, and the biggest problem from them is the dumping of inferior stock on the market just to make a buck, rather than feeding off or using them for fertilizer. The "lesser" flowerhorns in the LFS for $3-$5 often look identical to Trimacs, and anyone who believes he can always tell the two apart from a photo is fooling himself. I've also seen some very colorful purebred fish, and this was 35 years ago (I have slides, but they are too dark to scan into digital), before flowerhorn was even an idea. A really "good" (sic) Flowerhorn does stand out from trimaculatus, but a really good Trimac can also be mistaken for a medium grade Flowerhorn. So there is not only a risk of contamination by the hybrid, but also a risk of not breeding the best stock of pure bred lines out of fear that they were mislabeled.
Never made a mistake to identify pure Trimac from FH looking at the pictures yet.
Been in the hobby over 35 years as well.
Does any one see FH simmilar to this Trimac. ??? Dont think so
I had breeding pair for years.
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TrimacR.jpg

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:12 am

Never made a mistake to identify pure Trimac from FH looking at the pictures yet.
Since the only basis you have is your own identification, how could you possibly verify that statement? At most you can be suspicious of a fish, which is exactly the problem I have with these fish in the first place.

Alex, not meaning to insult you or your fish, but that's not a very well colored trimaculatus. And I have seen juvenile flowerhorns with no spots on the sides. The good ones have markings down the side, very much like Flowerhorns, and the red breast is also variable by individual, probably based on diet. Would you call the fish in this photo trimac or Flowerhorn?
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Amphilophus trimaculatus.jpg
Amphilophus trimaculatus.jpg (28.22 KiB) Viewed 12419 times
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Alex Odesit
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Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:13 am

Darrell Ullisch wrote:
Never made a mistake to identify pure Trimac from FH looking at the pictures yet.
Since the only basis you have is your own identification, how could you possibly verify that statement? At most you can be suspicious of a fish, which is exactly the problem I have with these fish in the first place.

Alex, not meaning to insult you or your fish, but that's not a very well colored trimaculatus. And I have seen juvenile flowerhorns with no spots on the sides. The good ones have markings down the side, very much like Flowerhorns, and the red breast is also variable by individual, probably based on diet. Would you call the fish in this photo trimac or Flowerhorn?
Darrell, the fish you posted is Flowerhorn.
And it's not because only the markings down the side, color, but also the body shape, even mouth looks different.
I wont argue here, and if you insist that this fish is true Trimac thats be it.

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Hudson Ensz
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Hudson Ensz » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:13 am

I think it wasnt a hybrid heres the picture, was it a hybrid?




His reply i guess i deserved it. not a hybrid you ignorant fool, its a pure trimac i bought from a friend who bought it from ken if it is a hybrid i want my money back .
lets see if it will show up.
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by dogofwar » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:52 am

Trying to ID a fish solely via a picture is not the best method.

I don't have great faith in the purity of just about ANY fish - especially ones that are really close to other species / subspecies - without a known provenance back to wild fish.

And even a lot of "wild" fish aren't what they're supposed to be (or even...actually from the wild).

I place little faith in LFS labels. On ANY fish. Least of all on trimacs.

That doesn't mean that they're not very nice fish for keeping and enjoying. It just means that they're not verifiably "pure"...and shouldn't be sold/distributed as such.

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:31 pm

Hudson Ensz wrote:I think it wasnt a hybrid heres the picture, was it a hybrid?




His reply i guess i deserved it. not a hybrid you ignorant fool, its a pure trimac i bought from a friend who bought it from ken if it is a hybrid i want my money back .
lets see if it will show up.
Man, where the picture? :) I can't see it

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:15 pm

Alex,

That picture is 35 years old. I took it in 1973 at a friend's house, and the fish is pure Amphilophus trimaculatus, guaranteed.

Thank you for proving my point! :shock:
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:21 pm

And Hudson, if the fish originated from Ken Davis, then I would assume that it is pure. Hopefully he will jump in here, but I believe he breeds his own fish, which he either collected or had collected. I know his stock is the only verifiably clean line of trimaculatus in the US.

Still, your friend was a bit sensitive; merely correcting your misconception politely would have been a better idea. :)
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:30 pm

Darrell Ullisch wrote:Alex,

That picture is 35 years old. I took it in 1973 at a friend's house, and the fish is pure Amphilophus trimaculatus, guaranteed.

Thank you for proving my point! :shock:
Are you sure Darrell? 8)
35 years old? Well I am not sure about it, sorry.
No offend, but I didn't take this picture nor sure if you did.
So, I didn't prove anything to any one

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:11 pm

Since I still have the slide, with a date stamped on the cardboard frame, I can prove the origin. Suggesting that I might have falsified this information is tantamount to calling me a liar. I do not take kindly to such aspersions upon my character.

That's one of those dark slides I wasn't sure would scan, so body color is slightly off. He was only about 8 inches at the time of the photo. I can also give you a history of the individual fish: belonged to Mary Ellen Collins of South Bend, IN, received from James K. Langhammer, who bred the wild caught fish. Siblings to this individual were placed in the juvenile Crocodilian tank at the Reptile house of the Detroit Zoo, and some grew to over 24". They were quite adept at stealing mice from the baby caiman, as reported by Hammer.

I did not call you a liar, I simply said you were being naive. You calling that fish as a Flowerhorn only shows that you may not be as familiar with the variation within the species as you thought you were, and/or proving my point that the two are visually so close as to be easily confused, even by experts. And again, your misidentification doesn't make you a liar, it makes you incorrect. Which leaves it open as to whether or not you might have been incorrect at other times, as well.

I'm sorry I said your fish wasn't good quality. :( It was obviously a large, healthy fish. My comment was on the fact that the coloration was abnormal for the species.
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:38 pm

Thank you for giving all the details.
I wasn't mad about calling my old female poor colored.
I may step back and say that it was unnecessary to question the origin of your picture, I am sorry.
I never been stubborn and say that I know everything, but base on many years of my experience, I did not made a mistake on Trimac identification, yet. And numerous people, users of this and other forum can say that I precisely identify their FH even labeled wrong and coming from very reputable sources.
So, calling me foolish when I state that I can identify FH vs Trimac, caught my eye a little, since I didn't recall being wrong in many occasions, again yet. ..
So going back to civil route, I will post picture (it's not my fish), which I think is the pure Trimac should look, at least that’s what I learn seeing many of them for years.
I never seen one looks like the one you posted.
Alex
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Trimac.jpg

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:07 pm

If you want to hear something funny, my first impression of that fish is that it could be a Flowerhorn! :lol:

I have a shot of a similar individual that was entered at the ACA '05 convention, with the red well up into the shoulder and some color in the Dorsal. It was entered as trimac, as well. However, there were definite misidentifications at that convention, so I questioned the ID based on the heavy red. Right now, I don't know.

As I have said from the beginning, the mixing of colors and patterns on the hybrids, combined with the very real variability of the natural species populations, makes it extremely difficult to separate the two; virtually impossible by a photo. And that is, of course, my biggest concern in the continued presence of Flowerhorns. Some of the newer types, with bright yellow or totally red colors, are more obvious in their unnatural origins.
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:35 am

Darrell Ullisch wrote:If you want to hear something funny, my first impression of that fish is that it could be a Flowerhorn! :lol:
Indeed it's very funny, if you had this first impression :lol: :lol:

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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by PepoLD » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:31 pm

Does this one looks like a trimac or flowerhorn? ._.

i was sure it was a trimac till i saw this post...

sorry about the blurryness..

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Lisachromis
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Lisachromis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:47 pm

I don't see your images.

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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by PepoLD » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:41 am

Lisachromis wrote:I don't see your images.
My bad, should be working now
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Alex Odesit
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Alex Odesit » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:58 am

IMO it is a Flowerhorn. Too much iridescent color around ocelatus spots and all over the body.

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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by blackghost » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:44 pm

I still cant see them. :(
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Re: Flowerhorn/Trimac ID

Post by Bas Pels » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:59 am

Alex Odesit wrote:IMO it is a Flowerhorn. Too much iridescent color around ocelatus spots and all over the body.
This is precisely what's the problem with flowerhorn: They destroy the real species

Trimaculatus have a very large distribution, and therefore one would expect them to have local varieties. Further, in all group of cichlids one will find more and less colored fish

But, due to the flowerhorns, nobody would touch a very colorfull trimaculatus with a 8 feet pike - because we don't trust its purity

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