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Albino B/N, a Warnig of sorts

Boots n all

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This is a copy of a thread from another forum that l visit Plecofanatic, those typing are from all over the world, rather than put the link l thought l might cut and paste so that we, if we are interested can discuss this also.

joegrimes writes........

Hello all, I'm new here and new to breeding plecos. I actually breed show guppies but would never ever be with out my dwarf bristlenose. I have mostly albinos. My question is this, I have a friend (I know that is a cheesy start but this is true) who keeps producing brown fry from albino parents. Now any other species of animal that I have ever bred has albino as recessive and albino X albino gives you albino. How does he keep getting browns from albinos? Are there such creatures as white (non-albino) bn plecos? And could these produce browns? Can plecos store sperm?

Please help the confused.

Later, Joe

Barbie replies.......

You are correct, albino bred to albino should throw only albino fry. The problem with this in albino ancistrus is that there are two or three different species kicking around that are albino. When you cross the two species, queeR, you get brown fry. There is also a "gold" ancistrus with dark eyes that looks like albino ancistrus, in all ways but the eyes. Those too will throw dark fry when crossed with an albino strain.

Basically he's creating hybrids, but in the common bristlenose, it's probably going to be difficult to make sure you aren't unless they're all purchased from the same source, IMO.


End of quotes from that forum


Now when l buy fish l go out of my way to seek from 2 different suppliers, l have done so and are producing 100% albinos, but then again l do not know that the males or females came from which supplier blush.gif they all look the same to me

or is it simply that all the albinos here came from the one blood line?

has anyone had this happen to them? is everyone else producing 100% albino fry?

possibly our import laws are protecting us from getting this problem here in Australia thumb.gif

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albino bred to albino should throw only albino fry

This has to be wrong, right? Surely albino x albino would produce quite a few non albino (recessive) BN. However, these BN would carry the albino gene.

Am I right? Or completely wrong?

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Mike, lets assume albinism is controlled by a simple recessive (all the evidence in most species suggests this) This means there are 2 possible genes ALBINO/NORMAL. And each animal carries 1 pair of genes to command the trait (inherits 1 from mum and 1 from dad.)

To get albino offspring you need two parents carrying the albino gene. These will look like normal's if they carry one of each gene (split A/N). OR they may themselves be albino if they carry a pair of albino gene.


OK so lets assume:

both parents are albino (thats 4 albino genes)- 100% albino fry

1 albino parent, 1 split A/N (thats 3 albino genes)- ~50% albino fry - ~50% split A/N

2 split A/N parents (thats 2 albino genes)- ~25% albino fry,~50% split A/N, ~25% normals

1 normal parent, 1 albino parent -100% split A/N

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Yep, I just find using N for normal and A for albino is easier

You can draw up a simple matrix that helps explain the percentage of each offspring type too.

Also, "yy albino BN" is also homozygous, in that is carries only one type of gene (in that pair anyway).

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I'm not sure Boots, I never got that far with my genetics at school. I do know though, that hybridisation throws most genetic rules out the window, so I guess anything is possible? Perhaps whatever 2 albino species he is crossing do not have a compatible albino middle ground?

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Sounds to me like he's breeding 2 different recessive mutations together blink.gif they may look they same, but....

For instance, i had a pair of zebra finches once, the male was a black-eyed white, and i thought the hen was the same, but they only produced grey (wildtype) offspring, but when i bred the female to a "Chestnut-flanked white" male, i got 100% chestnut-flanked white offspring. Answer: Female Chestnut-flanked whites have no markings, so look the same as black-eyed white females, but because they are 2 different recessive mutations, when bred together, neither mutation could be shown in the offspring.

Or, it could be that he is breeding 2 different Ancistrus species of the same mutation together....

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also.... while Ducksta is right, albinism is normally a simple mendelian recessive disorder - there are instances, in freshwater fish no less - where it is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion! Given how little we know about locariid genetics a little caution is probably advised in the interpretation (esp. without evidence)

Often albino and other artificially selected lines of fish are inbred far too much IMHO. The fish hobby is yet to learn of this word - but its well known to bird breeders etc:


Examples of weak albino lines in the cichlid hobby are albino Dimidiochromis and some of the albino peacocks!

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just thought I'd toss in one extra bit regarding the assumption that the example given is a case of hybridisation.

It coudl also be possible that we do in fact have a single species but two unrelated mutations presenting as albinos.

An example in Cockateils is the Pastel Silver mutation of which we have two here in Australia. they're both simple recessive mutations with essentially the same visible indicators.

If you cross two birds with the same mutation you end up with 100% of the children displaying the same mutation, cross one with the west-australian mutation and another with the east coast mutation and you end up with offspring showing "normal" colouration.

Mix these up a few times and you end up with random assortment of offspring

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Hi Guys

I think i know what is happening (I think LOL wink.gif )

he is breeding from 2 diff types of albinos .....

The male or the female will have a parent not carring the albino gene !!


Note!! its not clear in his post what % are Normal ?

I don't think we have that issue in Aus ..as all the albinos i have seen throw 100% albino...

Just my 2c worth

Hay boots maybe we can ask BT LOL

Cheers thumb.gif

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Or the breeding pair are not both albino !! One parent may be a "Lutino" (black eyed yellow) of the same species. ???

I have a few illustrations of Black eyed yellows with black spots in the caudal !!! an interesting and attractive colour morph.


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Hi All

I am led to believe that the Albino BN we have in Aus came from and Albino colony which was accidentaly cross bred before the Albino female was ready. This resulted in a whole bunch of normals with the recessive albino gene.

The chap that had the Albino's then lost his colony before they bred again but somebody else obtained the recessive normals, grew these up and bred from them to arive back at pure Albino's, be it as recessive.

So if this story is true then we have a good strain of Albino BN in Aust as they have recently had an injection of genetical diversification.

Unfortunately the original owner of the Albino's missed out on any of the initial market for the Albino's as he did not keep any of the Normal recessives.



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If only sadsmiley02.gif

The few albinos I have left are all "long distance swimmers".......None of the local bred fish I bought survived,,,,,,all far too small to be taken from their mother.

I wouldn't even sell normal bristles at that size...5 cm ????? in ya dreams!!!


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"So if this story is true then we have a good strain of Albino BN in Aust as they have recently had an injection of genetical diversification."

But by the sounds of it from that story, they only got outcrossed once! Then sibling were bred together, then of their offspring siblings were bred together (now having albinos) and I guess this is continuing. This is still heavy inbreeding. Outcrossing once will help, but isn't exactly much to write home about!

Bird breeders know this - you have to keep outcrossing - as often as you can! Immune system and fertility problems are common when this is not done.

It doesn't get done often enough (if at all) in fish breeding. Once poeple have got a few examples of the mutation they're after, no one wants to outcross, they just want to produce as many of the mutation fish as possible to make a buck. Then it becomes known as a particular strain and a lot of people have the misconception that iif they outcross the line is no longer "pure", so it still doesn't happen (albino peacocks a good example of this - poeple think to outcross an albino Fort Maguire to a normal one will create hybrids but it doesn't as all the fish, albino or not originated from the same locality).



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I have out crossed my "Emerald Green" cories to albino twice in the past 30 odd years. But then I still have 15 year old fish spawning (prolly not for much longer)

Any "Real catfish breeders" that I have passed these fish on to know, and expect a few albinos to show up in the offspring.

To date there have been no bent fins or incurved caudals (Like the commercialy available bronze) to my knowledge. And this is a line of fish landed in tin cans off a ship from Trinadad in the mid 1950's. Before airfreight!!! It can be done.

The same is probably true of Bristle nose !! all trace back to a single import in the late 1960's. At least I don't remember more than one import of exceedingly ugly (Only mothers dould love them) fish at prohibitive prices (like two week's wages per pair).


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Dave, I should clarify, my first post was to demonstrate the principles of simple Mendellian genetics to Mike, it was not meant to relate at all to the reasoning of why the albino colony would continually throw regular fry. I figured I would leave all the nerdy scientific hypothesising to you and your nerdy mates LOL.gif

Although I guess I did throw out an idea in my third post, even though it was just rehashing one of the original theories.

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