YouTube video of the week: Collection of hybrid cichlids

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Hybrid cichlids - or clever Photoshop? This week's video makes interesting viewing...

I was staring into a fish tank while waiting for my Chinese takeaway last night and realised that the Convict cichlids I was staring at were actually hybrids, most likely a Convict/Jade eye cross.

Once home, and with a full belly, I did some googling and stumbled upon this YouTube video of more suspected hybrids.

As an ex-cichlid retailer, hybrids can be problematic if you wish to keep your species pure, especially when many young Central American species like Vieja, look so similar.

Flowerhorns we know about, and parrot cichlids, and increasingly we see species such as the man made "red texas."

But this video shows just how widespread Central American cichlid hybridisation is in the aquarium, and just how hard it will be, even for experts, to identify the difference between a new or lesser known species, and a hybrid.

The sceptic in me wonders if some of the examples are a result of Photoshop, as some look dead ringers for two different cichlid parents, yet virtually in a 50:50 split, when we know that crossing fish doesn't always work like that.

But it makes for interesting viewing anyway, and hopefully will raise awareness of cichlid hybrids in the UK.

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