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Old 10-09-2014, 11:40 PM   #1
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where do you stand on hybrids?

As a novice in fish keeping who is constantly learning by experience and shared knowledge, I have found that there is a fence in this hobby by which some folks are divided. Some folks keep biotopes, some combine the most attractive fish. Some wish to keep fish with the most striking beauty while some are in search of reproducing a natural environment-- which may be the most beautiful in its own respect. This question could be interpreted as a question of ethics or of preference. which do you keep. the most natural fish in the closest to natural environment as you can create, or the most eye popping visually appealing fish, regardless of origin or natural habitat? your thoughts?
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:07 AM   #2
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For me, the most amazing fishes are the ones found in nature. I would argue that for every hybridized abomination of a fish there is something far nicer that could be found naturally.

Does that mean that every tank I keep is a pure biotope? Nope, they aren't. However, you will not find any blood parrots which can barely swim and open their mouths to eat in my tanks. There are even some line bred fish which I find quite cruel. Almost all the "balloon" fish are simply regular fish which have been specifically line-bred to have a spinal deformity. These fish will almost always be weaker than their wild brethren and it seems quite cruel to deliberately breed a deformity into a fish.

For me, the most fascinating thing about fish keeping is watching their behavior. There is nothing like observing the wide variety of spawning behaviors and parenting. For example, watching a female Apistogramma signal her fry that there is danger and seeing them instantly disappear into the gravel or seeing two females stealing each others fry so they can raise them.

I could spend hours watching earth eaters sift through the sand searching for food while vying for their spot in the group hierarchy.

Just my opinion.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dalto View Post
For me, the most amazing fishes are the ones found in nature. I would argue that for every hybridized abomination of a fish there is something far nicer that could be found naturally.

Does that mean that every tank I keep is a pure biotope? Nope, they aren't. However, you will not find any blood parrots which can barely swim and open their mouths to eat in my tanks. There are even some line bred fish which I find quite cruel. Almost all the "balloon" fish are simply regular fish which have been specifically line-bred to have a spinal deformity. These fish will almost always be weaker than their wild brethren and it seems quite cruel to deliberately breed a deformity into a fish.

For me, the most fascinating thing about fish keeping is watching their behavior. There is nothing like observing the wide variety of spawning behaviors and parenting. For example, watching a female Apistogramma signal her fry that there is danger and seeing them instantly disappear into the gravel or seeing two females stealing each others fry so they can raise them.

I could spend hours watching earth eaters sift through the sand searching for food while vying for their spot in the group hierarchy.

Just my opinion.
This explains my position as well, and probably more eloquently than I could explain it. Well said.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:34 AM   #4
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These fish will almost always be weaker than their wild brethren and it seems quite cruel to deliberately breed a deformity into a fish.
The crazy thing is the most common and popular fish in fishkeeping is one of the biggest examples of this. But I guess they are so commonplace that people overlook them.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:07 AM   #5
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The crazy thing is the most common and popular fish in fishkeeping is one of the biggest examples of this. But I guess they are so commonplace that people overlook them.

Probably because people don't know what they are supposed to look like. They assume the normal kind are a different breed.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:01 AM   #6
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For the moment I just keep the fish I like which are compatible with each other, but longer term I intend creating biotope tanks based around my favourites. I generally already try to keep American fish more than others as much as possible, and all my cichlids are American, either Central or South.


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Old 10-10-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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A true biotope aquarium in a home setting is nearly impossible. What most people don't realize is that a true biotope consists of the plants, natural debris, and the fish/invert species, set up exactly like it is in the area the tank is trying to recreate. Then there is the fact that rivers change dramatically from one stretch to another quite often, so one must pick an exact stretch of one specific river/lake. Saying that I have a Tanganyikan biotope would be wrong, as I have the wrong species of vallisneria, I use holey rock, I use Mexican turbo shells instead of neothauma shells, and I keep fish that are from different parts of the lake. They may all me Tanganyikan (minus a BNP and some nerites) but it's not a true biotope. I prefer to use "theme" over biotope.

With that being said, I agree completely with Dalto. 100% spot on. In my tank, I have no line bred morphs or hybrids (although you could argue the BNP is, but I have been meaning to remove it anyway).

I like a naturalistic setup simply because the fish behave "better". You see much more natural behaviors from them. To build on what Dalto said with his fish, I can sit and watch my multifasciatus battle with eachother and squabble all day. Watching female's try and bury the other female's shells is super interesting, or watching my goby cichlids court.


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Old 10-11-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
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I prefer the natural look of fish( with the exception of some guppies) simply because I feel that it's what makes the fish a true species. What I mean by this is I highly doubt you would come across a large population of calico or longfin bristlenose plecos in the wild. The natural or wild variation of fish appeals to me because I feel like I'm actually keeping an observing fish rather than some mass produced man made creatures.


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Old 10-11-2014, 10:13 PM   #9
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I can't stand hybrids. Partly because I like the natural form of fish, and partly because I like breeding, and what's the fun when most hybrids are either sterile or have serious issues breeding?
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:06 PM   #10
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The problem with hybrids is that most of them are NOT sterile.
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