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Re: Evolutionary advantages

Gary writes:

> What I've been trying to get across is option three. My problem with the
>  conventional approaches is they assume the fish eliminates possibilities
>  and sizes up the picture. Now, I wish I could cite it, but I read an
>  article on an experiment with Hemichromis sp that showed they do
>  recognize their own fry, through chemistry. The recognition seemed not
>  to be visual, but it was conclusive. We can make a working assumption
>  that applies to cichlids in general, which pretty well knocks out the
>  second camp.
But not so with Apistos.  It has been observed over and over again that two 
broodcaring females will "swap" fry, each leaving half a brood with the other 
female and carrying off a mix of the two broods.  They also have been known 
to herd daphnia, guppies, gouramies, and any number of other critters.  I had 
one cacatuoides actually herding BBS and keeping her mate and fry from 
getting to the ones she had clained for her own, leaving the fry sitting in a 
cave, while she drove herself nuts protecting shrimp for most of a day.  The 
instinct is to herd and protect whatever she sees. 
<snip>>  A fishes' line of vision doesn'r end at the
>  glass, and my pure speculation is some pairs basically lose it, faced
>  with the water, decoration, big room, the stimuli, tankmates etc.
There is some validity to this, based on my own observations.  I used to keep 
the back and one side of the tank painted black for this reason.  Les Scott, 
on the other hand has had good luck using the pair in one tank as "dithers" 
for the pair in the adjacent tank.  He discovered this trick serendipitously 
when keeping tanks sideways.  I have since tried it and found that it works 
pretty well.  The male will attack the glass to get to the fish in the next 
tank when they get too close to the fry

<snip>>  There was a local blue ram breeder who turned them out by the dozens 
>  month who showed me his set-up. The breeders were in 10 gallon tanks
>  with lots of potted plants. They were in a dark corner, facing a wall.
>  he checked the progress of things with a flashlight. The fish always
>  raised their own broods. 
>  I suppose I'm taking an environmental approach. I could be totally
>  wrong. But if we don't float these possibilities, how will we gwt all
>  these informative and interesting responses? 

Dave Soares tells me Apistos won't spawn in a pink or bright orange cave.  
I've seen fish moved from a white gravel tank to a black gravel tank go from 
nothing to spawners, or from egg-eaters to care-givers with no other change 
except the color of the gravel.  They show their colors better when the 
surroundings are to their liking, without necessarily using color enhancing 

Bob Dixon

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