Rules of Hybridization In American Cichlids
I notice a lot of people asking whether or not their fish can breed with this or that so consider this a guide to answer your question. Assuming you can get two fish to pair up and spawn, this will help determine whether or you not you will get viable fry from the pairing.
Remember that American Cichlids are essentially split up into two categories: Central American and South American
1. All Central American Cichlids can hybridize with any other Central American Cichlid - Until it is proven otherwise, assume all Central Americans can hybridize with one another.
2. All Central American Cichlids can hybridize with any Hybrid Central American Cichlid - Most commercially sold hybrid cichlids are of Central American descent and should be considered Hybrid CA Cichlids. This includes Parrot Cichlids, Flowerhorn Cichlids, and Red Texas Cichlids.
Exception to the rule: Sterility occurs in hybrid cichlids commonly in males and occasionally in female, Parrot Cichlids being a great example of this as nearly ever single male is sterile. A sterile parent will not produce viable fry.
3. No South American Cichlid can hybridize with any Central American Cichlid - Until it is proven otherwise, assume that no South American Cichlids can hybridize with any Central American. No South American Cichlid has ever been confirmed to successful hybridize with any Central American Cichlid, any case of this happening successfully has been word of mouth.
Exception to the rule: Cichlasoma Festae can successfully hybridize with any Central American Cichlid. Cichlasoma Festae is essentially a Central American Cichlid living in South America.
4. No South American Cichlid can hybridize with any other South American Cichlid - Until it is proven otherwise, assume that South American Cichlids can not hybridize with any South American. No South American Cichlid has ever been confirmed to successful hybridize with any South American Cichlid, any case of this happening successfully has been word of mouth.
Exception to the rule: Same genus South American Cichlid can potentially hybridize with one another. For example a Green Terror (Aequidens Rivulatus) can hybridize with a Blue Acara (Aequidens pulcher).
Firemouth (CA Cichlid) x Green Texas (CA Cichlid) = Viable FryFlowerhorn (HCA Cichlid) x Jack Dempsey
(CA Cichlid) = Viable FrySynspilum (CA Cichlid) x Festae = Viable FrySeverum
(SA Cichlid) x Red Devil (CA Cichlid) = No Fry (And no this is not how Blood Parrots are made...)
Green Terror (SA Cichlid) x Oscar (SA Cichlid) = No Fry
Now there is the occasional rumor about CA Fish A breeding with SA Fish B and getting fry. One notable example of this is Convict x Severum, there have been a few reports of this happening. Until it is 100% proven to be true, I choose to be skeptical.
And as always, practice safe hybridization. Please do not breed similar fish and pass them off as one or the other. Midevil is a good example of this.
List Of Known Hybrids
- Flowerhorn - Thai Silk,King Kamfa,Red Dragon,Golden Monkey and the list goes on
- Red Texas - Short Body Red Texas
- Blood Parrot - Parrot Fish
- Rose Queen
- King Kong - KKP
Here are some beautiful Hybrid Cichlids but i must note that i take no credit for these amazing picture and only using these for educational reason.
King Kong Parrot
Breeding Hybrid Cichlid
Five Step's in Breeding Hybrid Cichlids
1. Think of what you want your hybrid to look like. Have a goal in the hybrid. Your Goal is to make the hybrid how you envision it.
2. Choose the species you will believe will create the fish you are imagining. Not all Cichlids can hybridize with each other. South American cichlids can only hybridize with certain cichlids. Nearly all Central American cichlids can hybridize with each other, so using CA cichlids is recommended. There are many species to choose from. Cryptoheros, Parachromis, Vieja, Amphilophis, Thorichths, and Herichthys are just a few genera of CA cichlids that could be used.
3. Research the requirements for all species you are thinking of using. Joining a fish forum with a section dedicated to hybrids can be helpful as some members likely have experience with breeding hybrids.
4. Decide the steps in which you want to create your hybrid. Some things to consider when planning out the process is that often in intergeneric hybrids(A hybrid across different genera, ie a Parachromis Managuese X Vieja Synspilum)is while females are fertile, males tend to be sterile. To introduce fertility in the males you would breed a female of the hybrid to one of its parent species(ie, "P. Managuese X V. Synspilum" X V. Synspilum)and the resulting fry would have fertility in both sexes.
5. Breed the fish. Preferably you would be breeding a large male to a smaller female. Breeding two fish of the same size or where the female is the larger is possible but can be difficult. Sometimes the fish will spawn without any triggers or special setups and other times it can be very difficult. Don't give up.