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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Hi Ed
I was referring to the first pic in the thread,IMG_1623.jpg, the one labelled "juvenile from new breeding of wildcaught Altum X tank bred Altum from Siegrist Line". So I indeed had a good clue it was a juvenile.
When I compare it to a very newly imported wild caught juvenile Image
At face value there are quite a few differences as you can equally well see.
The head band through the eye is usually a good first marker, and that plus the general shape an patterning of the fish look rather different to me.

The fish in the pic IMG1623 may indeed be an altum.
If the caption had said "Rio Negro scalare, or hybrid scalare-altum I could equally well have believed it.
If it was a mis-identified pic I could also believe that.

So while I don't doubt for a moment what Simon may says, nor do I doubt he is an exceptional fish breeder, I would still want to see more to feel confident it was a true-bred Orinoco altum.
Exceptional claims do require exceptional proof in my book.

A fish just like typical young wild-caught altums? Not really, in my eyes.


Alec


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:58 pm 
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Simon has placed many new photos on his site http://www.skalarezucht.de/


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:07 pm 
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Thanks Phill.
There are some truly great fish on the site.

But some make me really scratch my head , especially the one mentioned above, and the one on Simon's site next that same pic. It just doesn't look right to me for a purebred Orinoco altum.

It might be of course, but that one too doesn't look much like a typical altum to me.
I'd like to see some more recent pics of the same two fish just to see how they developed.

Alec


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:01 am 
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Hi Alec, Phill and Ed,

I have now followed these discussions about what constitutes our definition of what is actually an altum, and I think that there is a lot of confusion here. We talk about lines on body and head, notches in the head and concave versus convex tail fin. Biologists would refer to this as our species concept of P altum. What is actually lacking is a more precise description of the characteristics of each of the altum types that occur in each of the tributaries of the Orinoco. We have an additional problem in that if we recognize each of these variants, we also do not know what the result may be if we cross them. This would then be an intraspecies cross and would could not be referred to as a interspecies hybrid. What one might also find is that if you cross the variants between different tributaries of the Orinoco you might get some hybrid vigor (this is a genetic term means that the cross is more robust that either of its parents, hybrid can then also refer to intraspecies crosses) and this offspring may then again look slightly different to what we may think is a "classic altum" and we would also have difficulty in assigning it to a specific variety i.e. coming from a specific tributary.

Then there is another factor that we know from classic genetics and this is almost written as a mathematical formula: Phenotype = genotype + environment. What this means is that what we see is the result of the genotype, in other words the sum of all its genes, and then the environment which obviously includes feeding. If I look at Simon Forkel's angels the size and health of these fishes is striking and because of this optimal feeding which may be different to what occurs in nature, the final product looks different to anything in the wild. So, this could also be misleading and open to misinterpretation.

Then we have also interpreted that hybrids which are crosses between species apparently are found, and it is this grey area that is also causing a lot of confusion. We have referred to these as paradox fishes coming from the Rio Negro and have hypothesized that these are crosses of P altum and P scalare. In view of the flow of the river, it appears that these some P altum may move on an ongoing basis into the Amazon drainage system (Ed says there is presently a barrier, but maybe they moved before this barrier arose) and this would then result in a grade of hybrids from the top of the Rio Negro that contain more P altum genes to those further downstream that contains very few P altum genes and mainly P scalare genes. All this is very confusing. Again those hybrids which contain a high proportion of P altum genes are the ones that are causing the confusion with pure P altum. Additionally there appears to be considerable variation in P scalare, if I am to gauge by all the pretty new angel variants that are appearing on the forum (those from the Tapajos for example). These hybrids (I am referring to those along the Rio NEgro) will also result in novel altum and scalare genes that are combined and these will also result in phenotypes that are not distinctive again leading to confusion.

What also is perplexing is that when altums appear on the market, we are never told what their original locality data are, so we are only guessing as to where they come from, and then imprint this type as what we think should constitute a typical P altum. With P scalare it is better because we are given better origins, but still not definitive locality data but the differences between these types does appear larger. So it would be very helpful if we did have better data about which variants occurred in which localities. Unfortunately the Amazon and the Orinoco are so huge that this is a task that someone can hardly cope with in a lifetime so it will take some time before this will happen, but as more and more angel types are being documented, I do think this information will eventually become available.

So, in my opinion, this whole issue is a powder keg, because it leads to opinions about what characteristics a species should conform to and unless we perhaps write this down somewhere and perform these comparative measurements this is going to be debated without end.

A DNA analysis would give us many answers in this regard, as it would separate phenotype from genotype and be able to clearly distinguish between P altum and P scalare. It could also give us information on the regional variants of both species. However, the complex grade of what we have interpreted as hybrids along the Rio Negro, may be quite difficult to unravel. However, this will be the only way to address all this confusion. It would also allow one to analyze which types are the ones that have been bred in captivity, although scientists normally steer away from this. Let us hope that a DNA analysis may materialize in the not too distant future, but it would also assist someone like Heiko Bleher in placing all the variants that he is catching in nature.

Kind regards,

Dirk

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Dirk Bellstedt wrote:
Hi Alec, Phill and Ed, *and especially Dave*

Then there is another factor that we know from classic genetics and this is almost written as a mathematical formula: Phenotype = genotype + environment. What this means is that what we see is the result of the genotype, in other words the sum of all its genes, and then the environment which obviously includes feeding. Kind regards,

Dirk
Hi Dirk.

I'd like to explore this for a second - though it doesn't conflict your statement either way.

Since "phenotype" is the observable traits, and * the genome is now observable* , the genotype can be considered a phenotype.


Thus a formula can be considered : Phenotype = Genotype ( which can be phenotype) + environment.

So in the case where we consider the genes to be traits, we have phenotype = phenotype + environment

or

0 = environment.

D


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Hi Dave,

We are wandering off the topic of Simon's beautiful altums here, but perhaps someone can actually put this on a separate thread called "What is a an angelfish phenotype?".

However, your question needs to be answered to not have misunderstandings here.

Phenotype in modern computer terms is as much as "what you see is what you get". In living organsms there is always an effect of the environment and therefore when we consider the equation that I wrote before "phenotype = genotype + environment", you just simply cannot remove the environmental factor, although it can be small it will always be there. Just a simple example would be that an angelfish type from river X genetically could have spawns of 500 eggs. Now there just needs to be a season of poor food availability and then the spawns will go down to 100 eggs say, and then this reduction is the result of the environment and not the genotype. So then you would not describe that this strain of angelfishes has the genotype of 100 egg size spawns, this was just an environmental influence.

The bottom line is that although we now determine the genotype, by definition phenotype implies an environmental influence is incorporated in this "what you see is what you get".

Having said this, I think I can see where you are heading for, by saying that genotype can be determined or measured, and therefore you are implying that we can "see" it. What we should perhaps rather do with this formula is rewrite this as: Phenotype = genotype (determinable) + environment. If one were therefore to have determined the genotype of different species of angels, what has been referred to many times now as "the DNA analysis" then one could make hard factual comparisons with which you could compare different angelfish populations and then assign them to different groups which would conform to the species descriptions of different species.

This argument gets pretty academic, which may not interest many angelfish keepers, but there is unfortunately no way around this if we want to resolve all these sticky issues such as possible hybrids between different species of angelfishes.

Kind regards,

Dirk

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Dirk Bellstedt wrote:
Hi Dave,

We are wandering off the topic of Simon's beautiful altums here, but perhaps someone can actually put this on a separate thread called "What is a an angelfish phenotype?".



This argument gets pretty academic...
Kind regards,

Dirk
Hi Dirk. I'll open a thread where we can subtle the differences. :lol:
D
http://www.finarama.com/forum/viewtopic ... 0432#20432


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Oh, so this is where the spin off started. So I didn't need to write all that stuff I already did onm the other thread. You owe me 5 minutes Dave...I WILL GET YOU!

Ed

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Sorry Ed,

I just opened the door slightly for Dave and he ran with it....... onto the other thread, where he is threatening to corner me.....

Kind regards,

Dirk

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Alec, you are a man with fine eyes...No wonder you've had a long and happy marriage. You picked right the first time...fine eyes...

I guess I can't see what you mean in regards to image 1623. This looks like a typical 3-4 month old to me. Then maybe at this age they do vary a bit enough to be hard to distinguish from a good looking Rio Negro Altum, but since I have not seen their juveniles, I have no point to compare.

I have to give you the benefit of the doubt.

But then, and again, the tank bred adults in image 1642, you can directly compare the wild Orinoco's at middle and bottom as per Dirk's translation, to the tank bred on top.

The top fish are to me typical Orinoco and the fact that the tank bred fish have a redder eye in the pic (something anyone might pick up on), could be explained by the simple fact that they take to aquarium conditions naturally...tank bred and born after all.

One last thing...and by no means am I doubting of Simon's work and deeply appreciate his collaboration...but you might remember, and I am sure Dirk does, about those P. altum X P. scalare crosses done by a fish vendor in South Maracaibo (I posted on this several years back).

Most were sold by the breeder early on as Altums. Some of those fish were grown and were bred back to altums and these fish were also sold.

Most fish breeders have at least a very basic knowledge of genetics. When these people intentionally breed P. altum to P. scalare (or S. discus X S. aequifasciata, i.e.), they will aim at filtering out the bad and magnifying the good to a point viable for their purposes.

It will take a few years, but they will do it.

I've seen so many things happen, that I can only hope no one has dumped a good batch of P. scalare into some good ponds with P. altum in order to make some quick money.

We did this many years back near Maracaibo BUT we made sure to keep P. scalare no where near the farm where the pond was at, two hours out of Maracaibo...but that was Wil and me.

Could have anyone done the opposite in a larger scale, in ponds. If so, they would have been looking at the foreign trade market. The South Maracaibo breeder did it in concrete tanks in his backyard and her sales were for the local pet shop trade.

Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:51 am 
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Hi Ed
Well, it's just that if you look at the black stripe and the angle it takes to go to the forehead it looks more angled than a typical juvenile altum - see my pic - at any rate compared to the ones I've come across. That sort of striping looks to me rather more like a Rio Negro fish than an altum.

Comparing te general shape of the fish to the pic I posted, there's a lot of difference but than can be entirely down to feeding and environment.

For sure it might be a true altum. But with the observable differences I'm very uneasy about drawing that conclusion for definite without some secondary confirmation that no other genetic material (ie scalare) has got into it.
Without that secondary supporting evidence the questioning probably won't stop.

Both of us know perfectly well that Orinoco altums must be breedable, they aren't magic. The biggest problem seems to be getting hold of decent quality wild fish.

Looking on the other side of the coin, the pictures of the wild caught fish also point to very considerable variation within the Orinoco system.

Alec


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Well, there are several parties out there offering tank bred altums and I will tell you that I am convinced that at least one outfit located in Asia is using either hybrid fish or inducing true Orinocos to breed and spawn with hormones, or both.

These fish do look like typical Orinoco but we can observe broken bar syndrome in a very high percentage, even in their breeders, and this is a very undesirable trait.

They breed them in relatively small tanks, discus style and are flooding markets in the region.

I can't discuss with you on the need to be really objective when giving an opinion on who is doing what or, what a fish truly is.

Here in the forum we have pictures of Paolo's Santa Isabels that I can say, if these fish were bred to Orinoco Altums, I would most likely not be able to distinguish them at any reasonable point.

And here, we approach those specimens which we theorize come from the Uppermost Rio Negro and which can only be told apart from P. altum via DNA studies - if they are really different at all.

Regards
Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:54 am 
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puertoayacucho wrote:
Oh, so this is where the spin off started. So I didn't need to write all that stuff I already did onm the other thread. You owe me 5 minutes Dave...I WILL GET YOU!

Ed
5 minutes it is. I can commend the brevity of your effort. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:10 pm 
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New message from Simon Forkel:

Hallo Phill,

anbei schicke ich dir aktuelle Fotos.

Foto 2249 zeigt einen Pt. Altum Nachzucht aus der Siegrist Linie im Alter von 13 Monaten, die ich auch auf der „Interzoo“ in Nürnberg ausgestellt hatte.

Foto 2228 zeigt einen Pt. Altum im Alter von 10 Monaten aus einer Kreuzung Siegrist Linie mit Linke Linie.

Foto 2213 zeigt einen Pt. Altum im Alter von 16 Wochen aus einer Kreuzung Siegrist Linie mit Wildfang Rio Atabapo.

Foto 2145 – Flossenaufnahme zum Altum auf Foto 2213

Diese Fotos dokumentieren die Entwicklung der Pt. Altum Nachzuchten. Hiervon habe ich dir bereits vor einigen Wochen Fotos zukommen lassen.

Ich hoffe, du kannst das übersetzen lassen. Vielleicht kannst du mir auch die Kommentare der User dazu übersetzen und übersenden.

Schöne Grüße – Simon Forkel

And Dirk's translation:

Hi Phill,

I am sending you the latest photographs again.

Photo 2249 shows a P. altum offspring of the Siegrist line at the age of 13 months. I exhibited these at the Interzoo exhibition in Nürnberg.

Photo 2228 shows a P altum offspring aged 10 months from a cross of the Siegrist line with the Linke line.

Photo 2213 shows a P altum offpsring aged 16 weeks from a cross between the Siegrist line with wild caught Rio Atabapo.

Photo 2145 shows a closeup of the fins of the altum on photo 2213.

These pictures document the development of the P altum offspring of which I have previously also sent you photographs.

I hope that you can have this translated. Perhaps you can also translate the comments on these pictures made by the users and send these back to me.

Kind regards – Simon Forkel


Looks like there is some translating work that I need to do again.....

Kind regards,

Dirk


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:07 am 
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Absolutely stunning fish!


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