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Re: hybrid fish (a little long)
With all of the interesting discussions surrounding hybrids of fish and
plants, I thought I would throw out a couple of recent trends that I
have witnessed. One of my other hobbies, besides fish and now planted
tanks, is outdoor gardening. Unlike the aquatics, I share this hobby
with my wife, too. We have a fair passion for roses, and in our last
property before recently moving to our new house, we had 22 different
rose varieties, all blooming wonderfully well.
The first trend I really began to see with roses was a reverting back to
hardier varieties. Many of the hybrids created in the last 20-30 years
have been from the tea style of rose, which creates a lovely flower
which has a scent slightly reminiscent of tea (if there is a scent at
all). Trouble is, these roses are as fragile as glass. Too much rain or
too cold a winter and there will be trouble on the way. This usually
meant chemicals to fight off black spot and powdery mildew. Now the
trend is to revert back to more traditional roses, like Rugosas, which
can withstand just about anything, and carry on their merry way.
The second trend is somewhat related to the first. That is, there is a
real growing trend to garden without the use of chemicals, or as little
as possible. This is partly accomplished with plants like Rugosa roses,
which are incredibly hardy and in fact will actually die if exposed to
chemicals which would normally save the life of other plants! Gardening
without the use of nasty chemicals is also partly accomplished by
re-educating people about other options available to cure diseases, and
many of these are things which have been known for centuries, but
What does this have to do with fish and aquatic plants? I also believe
that there is a growing trend to move away from hybrids back to more
natural species. Natural Altum angels are a good example. They are a
truly beautiful fish which is making a comeback in popularity.
My concern, though, is that we do not have enough resources in the wild
to fulfill the need for wildcaught, un-hybridized fish and plants. We
must, therefore, be prepared to breed/propogate some to fill this need.
The difference though, is that we should propogate to maintain the
natural lines, using a natural selection process, not a forced man-made
selection. In other words, we should put a bunch of fish together and
let them choose their own mates so that the lines stay un-altered.
I am also concerned with the growing demand for wild-caught fish, and
that many fish are being labelled as wild-caught which in fact are not.
I once purchased an Angelfish in an LFS which I am not particularly fond
of, but did it anyway because I liked the fish. I personally think the
store has a reputation for mis-information, and I was fairly sure this
fish was not wild-caught because it had rather fancy fins and hints of
yellow/gold in it. I told them that I liked the fish and so I was buying
it, but that I was under no illusion about it being a wild-caught. My
concern is that the label of wild-caught is now being used rather
indiscriminantly, and I think we have a responsibility to point this out
when it is obvious. I also think we have a responsibility to point out
the harsh treatment of fish with things like injected dyes and the like.
We should not be purchasing from stores which support these kind of
treatments of fish.
Thanks for reading a few of my rambling thoughts. Please feel free to