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Old 08-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
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Tank raised versus wild caught

Does the idea of wild caught fish bother anyone else? I just can't get it out of my head that we should be tank raising more fish rather than taking them out of the wild for the average hobbyist. I know tank raised have to start somewhere but I prefer to leave that to expert breeders. What does everything think?
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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it depends on what fish i am getting, most of my fish are tank taised. it only bothers me if it is a fish that is endangered or collected too often. at least 90% of saltwater fish are wild caught it also bothers me when people get them and don't know their care requirements. i.e. keeping hippo tangs and clown fish in small tanks because they watch finding nemo and decide they want them....
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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wild caught are also usually pretty expensive for fresh water, but you know that your getting a pure bred and you can sell the fry for more money
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:15 AM   #4
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I have been thinking about this topic because I am looking at corys on Aquabid. There are a lot of people offering wild caught. Don't they use cyanide to wild catch? I thought I read that on here somewhere.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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A few places in Asia use that method. I like captive bred fish but getting pairs of wild caught fish can bring out amazing results especially in cichlids
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:20 AM   #6
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I agree, I wish that I new that 100% of the fish I buy are captive bred. But that is not always possible. Arguably the most popular community fish, the neon tetra, is 99% wild caught. Its sad but its a business. I believe that we should try harder to keep all fish tank raised but its not a near future achievement.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:22 AM   #7
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I agree Dubs. When I had a salt tank I only had captive raised fish. It was really limiting but it was what I chose to do.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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Most cardinal and rummy nose tetras are wild caught. I would say if a fish can be bred fairly easily or by dedicated Fishkeepers, they shouldnt be collected from the wild. Take the zebra plecos for instance. Collection has been restricted but breeding them can be achieved
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:32 AM   #9
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Most cardinal and rummy nose tetras are wild caught. I would say if a fish can be bred fairly easily or by dedicated Fishkeepers, they shouldnt be collected from the wild. Take the zebra plecos for instance. Collection has been restricted but breeding them can be achieved
+1!

I am not a big fan of wild caught for the new/average hobbyist. It's unfair to the fish to be caught from the wild and then stuck in a tank with an owner that is clueless or semi clueless on how to care for WC specimens.
I do own, and would own a few WV species though, my Cory metae's and Apisto Trifasciatas are WC, I had some WC Betta's for a while, and will buy more eventually. But my purchases of WC are strictly for preservation. I would love to see a day where they are all captive bred and wilds are where they belong, but until then preservation is necessary in case some species go endangered there would still be some that exist and maybe even some that could be released back into the wild at some point.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:38 AM   #10
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I do have a problem with fish taken from the wild if they are not a threatened endangered species, or they have had significant drops in numbers. It's one of many reasons I don't want salt water fish. One other instance is that some fish will not breed in captivity, like the pictus catfish. My girlfriend bought me 3 of them about a year ago. I lost one to ick, but the others are healthy. I don't like the idea of these fish being sold, but I will buy them because I know that I will take care of them. Walmart is the only place I have seen them, and I feel at that point I am rescuing them. I feel like any one that I buy isn't going to someone that has no idea how to care for it. I am sure some feel different.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:01 AM   #11
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A major disadvantage to keeping wild caught fish is the fact that they can have a hard time adjusting to captive conditions
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:29 AM   #12
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I don't like taking things from there home... But some times they would have died there due to not having help...but I would love to know that all my fish are captive breed
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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i was reading tropical fish hobbyist and they took a poll about wild caught fish. 90% of professional fish keepers say they will only keep wild caught specimens
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by brennae View Post
I have been thinking about this topic because I am looking at corys on Aquabid. There are a lot of people offering wild caught. Don't they use cyanide to wild catch? I thought I read that on here somewhere.
They used to use cyanide primarily to catch salt water fish but it's a practice that's destroying the reefs and kills most of the fish collected that way. Organizations are working to change their fishing methods and it's quickly falling out of favor for catching fish.

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I agree, I wish that I new that 100% of the fish I buy are captive bred. But that is not always possible. Arguably the most popular community fish, the neon tetra, is 99% wild caught. Its sad but its a business. I believe that we should try harder to keep all fish tank raised but its not a near future achievement.
Sadly, there's a large amount of fish that just wont breed in captivity. Siamese algae eaters and Otocinclus come to mind.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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They used to use cyanide primarily to catch salt water fish but it's a practice that's destroying the reefs and kills most of the fish collected that way. Organizations are working to change their fishing methods and it's quickly falling out of favor for catching fish.

Sadly, there's a large amount of fish that just wont breed in captivity. Siamese algae eaters and Otocinclus come to mind.
I have a few pictus catfish and they don't breed in captivity.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by brennae View Post
Does the idea of wild caught fish bother anyone else? I just can't get it out of my head that we should be tank raising more fish rather than taking them out of the wild for the average hobbyist. I know tank raised have to start somewhere but I prefer to leave that to expert breeders. What does everything think?
The reconstruction of fish bodies bothers me more than them being wild caught. Balloon shapes , genetic engineering glow types, tattooing seem more cruel to me than taking wild fish. And what's with Angelfish Rams and Gouramis? Before these shapes were developed, only goldfish held the record for unusual shape vs natural form.
Second point, ALL AQUARIUM FISH today started out as wild caught fish at some point. If they could not survive the change, there would be no tropical fish hobby or industry as we know it today. Over collection is the only problem with wild caught specimens that we hobbyists should be concerned about. If there is a question as to availability for the wild, DON'T BUY the fish. That's the only guaranteed way to stop their collection.

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I have been thinking about this topic because I am looking at corys on Aquabid. There are a lot of people offering wild caught. Don't they use cyanide to wild catch? I thought I read that on here somewhere.
Cyanide was used to catch Salt water fish back in the 1960s and 1970s. There have been tremendous strides to eliminate this practice and to my knowledge, the biggest offender countries of using this practice have switched to other means of collecting fish.
As for Freshwater fish, to my knowledge, the use of chemicals to collect fish was with some African Cichlids. In the areas of S. America where the Cory cats come from, nets are used and dragged in the rivers to collect them. One of my former employers described the whole process to me and my staff as he went collecting fish every year. 2 species either he or his family discovered are the Corydoras schwatrzi and Corydoras adolfoi. No chemicals were used to collect them.

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I agree Dubs. When I had a salt tank I only had captive raised fish. It was really limiting but it was what I chose to do.
You'd be amazed at how many saltwater fish are now being tank raised. There is a list of over 25 types ( I believe) that are found in the aquarium trade now. The list can be found at: CORAL Magazine's Captive Bred Marine Fish Species List for 2013

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+1!

I am not a big fan of wild caught for the new/average hobbyist. It's unfair to the fish to be caught from the wild and then stuck in a tank with an owner that is clueless or semi clueless on how to care for WC specimens.
I do own, and would own a few WV species though, my Cory metae's and Apisto Trifasciatas are WC, I had some WC Betta's for a while, and will buy more eventually. But my purchases of WC are strictly for preservation. I would love to see a day where they are all captive bred and wilds are where they belong, but until then preservation is necessary in case some species go endangered there would still be some that exist and maybe some that could be released back into the wild at some point.
I think it's wrong for ANY fish, wild or tank bred, to be kept in a tank by clueless aquarists. There should be mandatory lessons when someone buys a tank. ( I made my customers buy books on fish keeping before they bought fish. )
Reintroduction of domesticated fish into the wild has not always had a good result. ( Trout and Salmon releases have met with some disasters in some areas.) Unfortunately, in tank raised conditions, pathogens and diseases in morphed forms have developed and introduction of these organisms into the wild habitat can cause total destruction of wild stocks. Preservation of wild habitat is a better solution ( IMO ) than reintroduction of tank raised fish.

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A major disadvantage to keeping wild caught fish is the fact that they can have a hard time adjusting to captive conditions
If this were true, there would be no fish for the hobby. As stated above ALL FISH TODAY in the hobby originated from wild caught fish. Those fish were maintained "properly" and carefully enough that they have provided progeny for the future. While there are some species that do not do well in smaller aquariums, in the right sized tank, I'm sure that result would be different. Possibly that " Right sized tank" is too big for the average home or hobbyist so those fish should not be a collected item anymore. (Anyone have a tank at home large enough for a fully grown Arapaima? lol )

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i was reading tropical fish hobbyist and they took a poll about wild caught fish. 90% of professional fish keepers say they will only keep wild caught specimens
In today's hobby, if you walk into almost any pet store and look at the fish, close to 90% of the fish being sold today are tank bred fish that bare little resemblance to their wild counterparts. What has happened over the years is new shapes and colors have been developed which are not always the best results (IMO ) or the reason why people want to keep the fish in the first place. There is a limited number of color forms to a lot of the fish we keep from the wild. Take FW Angelfish for example, in the wild their are no veiltails or colors other than Silver ( or silvertypes.) All wild mollies are green, same with swordtails. Guppies would look more like Endlers than what we see in tanks at the store. Oscars would all be commons, no albinos, tigers, reds, etc. Even many African Cichlids have been changed by haphazard breeding. The only natural variant that I've seen lately is the electric blue Jack Dempsey. This is a natural color morph and not a hormoned induced color variation. Speaking of hormones, have you looked at Discus lately? More color varieties than ever found in S. America.
But the need for wild fish in the hobby is somewhat 2 fold. #1- The fish tend to look and act better than the multigenerational tank bred fish we have available today. #2- Over the course of time with breeding, "new blood" needs to be mixed into the genetic line in order to sustain the fish's natural characteristics as well as breed out some of the deformities that constant line breeding produces. In order to sustain the tank raised lines, wild fish need to be part of the process I'm afraid.
On a recent documentary I saw about Big Cats in Africa, The Cheetah was found to be the only cat with NO GENETIC variation. Blood tests from zoo kept animals around the world and wild caught cats in the multiple countries they are found in all were identical genetic matches. No variation. It is believed that this, along with habitat destruction, will be the eventual demise of the specie. I see this as the same with not having diversity in the Tank Bred fish as well.
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So I guess it comes down to whether you are a purest or like to see variations. There are ways of sustaining species in the wild that still allow for fish to be brought into the aquarium trade. One way is habitat preservation. The biggest key as hobbyists is to not do impulse buying. Research the fish you see before you buy them and create the best possible recreation of their habitat to help them survive. For example, If you are looking at a fish that grows to 6' long, it is just not proper, or in the fish's best interest, to put him into a tank that is only 20" long for any great length of time even tho it is only 3" long at the time. Use a bigger tank from the start and the fish will do much better. Keeping all fish properly will help them stay well
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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I agree, I wish that I new that 100% of the fish I buy are captive bred. But that is not always possible. Arguably the most popular community fish, the neon tetra, is 99% wild caught. Its sad but its a business. I believe that we should try harder to keep all fish tank raised but its not a near future achievement.
i saw a youtube video of some villager in...asia or somewhere, catching neon tetras for sale to the pet trade. it was providing him with a job. as long as all the regulations are followed. im okay with it.

but im also not sure how strict and affective other countries laws are about this.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
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i saw a youtube video of some villager in...asia or somewhere, catching neon tetras for sale to the pet trade. it was providing him with a job. as long as all the regulations are followed. im okay with it.

but im also not sure how strict and affective other countries laws are about this.
I agree, im not against it to the point where I wont buy wild caught fish. I own 10 neons myself.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #19
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i saw a youtube video of some villager in...asia or somewhere, catching neon tetras for sale to the pet trade. it was providing him with a job. as long as all the regulations are followed. im okay with it.

but im also not sure how strict and affective other countries laws are about this.
Wild Neon Tetras originate in S. America however, many Asian fish farms I believe, now breed the fish in outdoor pools and ponds which is what you might have seen. So technically, they are not wild fish ( I know picky, picky, picky ) and not doing any damage to the wild populations.
It is also my understanding that most Neon Tetras available in the trade today do not come from wild S. American stock but from Asian stock.

Hope this makes you feel better
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #20
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I read something last night that made a lot of sense that makes a lot of sense to me, and maybe even turned my opinion on the whole thing.

In captive bred fish, the gene pool is VERY limited (considering most species are WC) and therefore causes deformations very quickly if you don't add WC specimens to it.
Wild fish have a very large genepool, there may be some inbreeding here and there, but overall they have so many different fish to spawn with in the wild that they can go for many generations of inbreeding in captivity without showing deformations. Not that inbreeding is ever a good thing, but it would be much less detrimental to WC's than captive breds if it was done, which I'm sure it is a lot.

After thinking about it, while I'm still not a fan of some of the practices used to catch them, I may actually prefer them. I would like to know my fish are healthy and won't show deformations in their next generation or two because their parents, grandparents, etc., may have shared of the same lineage.

If everything in the hobby became captive bred then it wouldn't be as big of a problem, but as a PP stated, 90% of fish in the trade are WC so you have 10% left of captive bred. If you bought only captive bred the deformation in future spawns would rise quickly.
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