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Old 03-01-2015, 02:46 PM   #81
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I have been following this thread and have to say, some interesting things have come out for sure. But, at what point to we need to qualify the term "Ethics"? Is it ethical to take a species and change it's color via selective breeding? What about changing it's physical shape? What about forcing it to live with other fish or amphibians that do not come from the same areas as they do? Where do we draw the line?
Would we as hobbyists be satisfied with just keeping fish that had only their natural wild colors and shapes? If you look at your tanks, how many fish do you have that could be identified ( or confused) as wild? There would need to be a reduction of probably 75% +/- of the fish we commonly keep to bolster those numbers ( which I am sure are very low.)
Yes, painting a fish is questionable at best ( and I am definitely appalled at the practice) but isn;t changing a fish's body shape to the point that it doesn't or can't swim "normally" also "questionable" or unethical? If it is, then anyone keeping goldfish, anything ballooned, anything veiled or longfinned have to also be considered as being willing co-conspiritors to the problem. Same with simple things like keeping non green swordtails or Platies or fancy Guppies. Do you have a non silver Angelfish in your tank? If so, you are also guilty. So what is ethical to some is unethical to others. Yes, there has to be some common ground but where do we find it? In tank size per fish species? In harvesting practices of wild fish? In harvesting wild fish to protect their existence against habitat loss? As a breeder, I know that the best way to maintain the integrity of a line of fish is to strategically reintroduce wild genetics back into the line to correct deformities and health. What happens when there are no more wild fish to use? Will the entire fish hobby eventually implode from poor breeding practices? I can tell you that the fish I see today don't hold a candle to the fish I kept just 50 years ago. But the selection of fish today far exceeds what was available years ago so is that the compensations for the variety?
Agree with me or not, the same applies to most pets we keep. Look at dogs and cats. They are not anything close to their ancestors in color, shape and, unfortunately, health as well. So was it unethical to make a wolf / fox/ feline into today's dogs and cats? Do we blame the breeder that creates a new variety of dog with multiple problems on the inside but "it just looks so cute!!!!" on the outside or do we blame the buyer who wants something different? To me, it's no different than with fish.

Just my thoughts on the subject.
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:54 PM   #82
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Much appreciate your wisdom on this topic Andy


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Old 03-01-2015, 03:05 PM   #83
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Much appreciate your wisdom on this topic Andy


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It's a touchy subject for sure. Unfortunately, it is easy for one side to dominate the discussion without realizing what they are fighting for is directly opposite of what they are doing. Having had so much experience in the fish field, I just try to show the whole picture.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:32 PM   #84
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My favorite fish are always the more wild-type ones.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:09 PM   #85
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My favorite fish are always the more wild-type ones.

I like wild for the challenge of caring for them but it's also hard sometimes getting them to adjust.


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Old 03-01-2015, 10:33 PM   #86
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I like wild for the challenge of caring for them but it's also hard sometimes getting them to adjust.


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Not necessarily wild-caught, just as close to the wild form as possible. Or is that what you meant?
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:35 PM   #87
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How many people have heard of those keychains with live fish in them? I think for once, we can all agree that that is a horrible thing to do to a living creature.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:35 PM   #88
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Not necessarily wild-caught, just as close to the wild form as possible. Or is that what you meant?

That's what I meant buddy. My ropefish is considered "wild" because they are not near as common in aquariums. Same thing goes for Knifefish, many are wild caught because they are hard to breed and lack of consumers.


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Old 03-02-2015, 12:26 AM   #89
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I found it appalling that anyone would even think of doing this. http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/keyrings.asp
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:37 AM   #90
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Not necessarily wild-caught, just as close to the wild form as possible. Or is that what you meant?
Wild caught is what I was talking about. In my beginnings, most of the fish I was working with were wild caught fish. Many of the S. American cichlids, tetras and barbs I bred were wild ones and I did have wild Scalare Angels to breed as well. The point was when you look at a book of fish and see just the wild forms of these fish we keep then compare them to the tank raised versions we have now, you can see that many of today's fish are not found in the wild. They are totally man made creations or color forms.

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How many people have heard of those keychains with live fish in them? I think for once, we can all agree that that is a horrible thing to do to a living creature.
I have not heard of these but must say, that must be some huge keychain to house a living fish. It doesn't sound all that practical to me.

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That's what I meant buddy. My ropefish is considered "wild" because they are not near as common in aquariums. Same thing goes for Knifefish, many are wild caught because they are hard to breed and lack of consumers.
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If I may interject, what I was referring to were Wild fish caught in the wild. Unless things have changed, to my knowledge, ropefish have not been commercially bred for the trade so yours would have been collected in Africa and THAT is what makes him wild not it's commonality. But actually, what I was referring to was more to the point of: If you look at a fish, let's say a dwarf gourami ( Colisa lalia) for example, there is only one color form of this fish that is found in the wild while, in the trade, you now have flame, powder blue and neon blue and possible others I am not aware of. None of these color variants will be found in the wild. So was it Ethical to change their colors or should we have kept them only as they were found in the homeland? ( FYI, through the creation of these color forms, a disease specific to dwarf gouramis was created. I never had to deal with it before these new colors came about. Talk about Ethical Canundrum!!! ) And that's just one fish. The list of man made colors and body shapes is HUGE compared to their wild counterparts. Discus, Angelfish, Oscars, Swordtails, Guppies, Mollies, Platies and on and on have more color varieties and shapes in the trade than found in the wild. This is why I asked what the definition of Ethical was. To me, many of today's fish were the culls of yesteryear for me. Balloon fish were fed to my "big boys" because they weren't the correct shape for the specie. Now, everything is Ballooned. Mollies, Gouramis, Rams, Tetras, etc. To me, it's a sign that too many captive bred fish were misshapen through poor breeding practices so in order to continue breeding the fish in a profitable manner, these deformed fish needed to be sold as well. Is that an ethical practice? And yet, many people just love their balloon Mollies if you look at the threads on this site. So is this the Yay for the breeder for his creativity or a Nay for the breeder who sold us on the shape as being okay even tho they are known to have a shortened life span and were derived from fish with a skeletal deformity? It makes me wonder......
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