Discussion about cichlids from Lake Malawi

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Post by Snausy » Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:21 pm

Hi guys, the trustworthy AC expert at the LFS tells me that all my fish are colorblind. I know about evolution and how color is used in the wild to enhance a species chance of survival(bugs use reds to ward off predators, birds use colors for attracting mates etc etc) So I was a bit confused as to why these fish are so amazing in color if they are colorblind.

Then I see this bit of info in "meeting" section of this website:

"Primarypredator says: The evidence normally used by anatomists suggests that all the fish in Lake Malawi are from the same original stock, since they all share a peculiar set of scales at the end of their lateral lines, that no fish anywhere else have. Now, DNA analysis is being used to better understand which species are more closely related than others. So far, there are not any of the normally clear differences you might find between horses and zebras for instance. Instead, some are suggesting that female fish select the male fish they breed with. In other words, instead of survival of the fittest, it's more like survival of the prettiest."

Survival of the prettiest? How can this be if they are colorblind? What would make sense is that my bud at the LFS was wrong. Other than that I don't get it. Can AC see colors? If they could crossbreeding wouldn't be such a problem is what I'm thinkin.

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Post by Lisachromis » Wed Jul 07, 2004 1:28 pm

Fish are not colour blind at all. See this previous post on the subject here:

So, your helpful guy at the lfs is wrong. :)

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Post by Snausy » Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:03 pm

DOH!....I like this guy too. Now I have to decide if I should tell him this. I'm sure the LFS guys love it when you walk in and prove them wrong about something they supposedly "specialize" in. I mean the guy has a marine biology degree for Pete's sake(btw, who the heck is Pete anyway).

The last time I did that to one of them they hated me. Another guy told me that there was NO WAY I could get an AC500 for 32 bucks at Petsmart. That was above his cost after all. So of course I printed out the online price, they honored it at petsmart and I took it over to the LFS to show him the "trick". Thought he would want that info, hell maybe he needs a cheap filter himself... but NOOOOO...I'm just a big *insert bodypart that is linked to indecent exposure here* for "showing him up".

Whatever, how can you have an ego workin at the LFS? I don't get it.

Thx for the clarification!

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Mate Recognition

Post by z-rock » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:19 pm

Male coloration is thought to be the dominate factor for mate selection but there are additional ways such as the males courting behavior,his territory,they way he builds his nest ,his contours,his scent,or the way he feeds.
All these factors may combine to produce an accurate species recognition 'picture' without male coloration being the sole trigger.

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Post by coelacanth » Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:22 pm

Snausy wrote:I mean the guy has a marine biology degree for Pete's sake (btw, who the heck is Pete anyway
That'll be me. Just don't expect me to peter out.
p.s. If you want any more evidence of the excellent colour vision in most Cichlids, I suggest you read "The Cichlid Fishes: Nature's Grand Experiment in Evolution" by George Barlow, and follow it up with "Fish Behaviour in the Wild and in the Aquarium" by Stephan Reebs.

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