Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Discussions on cichlid behaviour in nature & captivity.

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Irv
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Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by Irv » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:06 pm

I have a strange Red Zebra reproducing with no other cichlids in the tank. Please explain!

I have had the Zebra for over 4 years. I moved the aquarium to a new office 2 years ago. The 45 gallon tank has one cichlid, one clown loach and 3 tetras. No other fish have been introduced into this tank in 2 years.

I have observed new babies several times over the past year. Two months ago I started removing the young. I now have 3 two month old zebras (easily identifiable) and 6 that were free swimming this week.

Please explain what is going on here.

Thanks....Irv

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SergeS
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Location: Breda, The Netherlands

Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by SergeS » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:45 am

I have seen females building nests and spawning eggs (unfertilized obvjously) when there were no (willing) males in the tank, but I think a lot of people would be extremely curious about explanations for what you are telling us.

I know there has been some research and discussion (also here) about sex changes in Lake Malawi.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=776&start=0

http://www.springerlink.com/content/q1g1q18w6564m13t/

However, even if they can change sex, it still implicates that you need both sexes... unless a female can lay eggs and change into a male in a matter of minutes :)

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:53 am

I am aware of at least two verified instances in New World Cichlids where a presumed male, in isolation, laid eggs and fertilized them (the best known being Ginny Eckstein's "Tootsie", a Caquetaia spectabile). A self-fertilzing hermaphrodite is quite rare, and this is the first time I've heard it claimed of an African species. The condition does not seem to be genetic, as many people got young from "Tootsie", and none ever became like their Daddy/Mommy. Given the known ability of some Mbuna to change sex, it is not inconceivable that your isolated fish simply stopped midway while both sexes were present.
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

Irv
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Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by Irv » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:53 pm

I have moved the zebra to a new tank with new gravel and rocks.
I am waiting to see what happens in this more tightly controlled environment.
Irv

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SergeS
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Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by SergeS » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:06 am

I am very curious. If it reproduces your fish will become a tourist attraction :)

Irv
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Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by Irv » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:53 pm

This lone female keeps producing health broods of 6 to 8. Have new swimmers this week.
Any scientists out there who could benefit from this strange cichlid?
Irv

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SergeS
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Re: Unicell Reproduction - Zebra Cichlids

Post by SergeS » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:41 am

:shock: :shock: :shock:

I am anything but a scientist, but you may want to point Ad Konings to this thread... I presume he would be interested at the very least :)

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