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Giant gourami

In a message dated 11/12/1999 3:56:37 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

> Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so if you think it's attractive,
>  good for you.  I have certainly not seen any colorful variants, nor do I
>  see why anyone would put the time and effort into developing them. 

giant gouramys (Osphronemus, not Colisa fasciata) are fascinating to look at 
when full grown.  as young, they are drab but as adults, they have gorgeous 
scales, not to mention an interesting shape.  if you are in nyc, you should 
visit the bronx zoo, where the last exhibit includes a southeast asian river 
and lagoon with giant gharial (crocs), flying foxes, tricolored squirrels, 
gibbons, many birds and lots of gorgeous turtles (3 species) swimming with 
the giant gouramys.  you can view them from above and also from the side 
glass of the tank.

incidentally, i have seen babies of a red variety for sale at shops.  i have 
never seen a red adult so i'm not sure if they retain the red color as 

at the brooklyn botanic garden, the keeper of the aquatic plant house made 
the mistake of putting small babies in the lily pond.  within weeks, they had 
grown huge and eaten up all the aquatic plants, including all the nymphaeas.  
i had a great time feeding them flowers that had fallen from the thunbergias 
and vandas.  they didn't seem interested in controlling the paradisefish 
population, so i'm not sure they eat other fish.  but they eventually had to 
drain the pond, catch them all and send them away (i don't know what htey did 
to them).  

>  I already pointed out that killing it was one option.  I have no problem
>  eating cows or fish, though I would prefer not to eat one with whom I was
>  personally acquainted.  But considering how many calls public aquariums get
>  from people who want to pawn off pacu and shovelnosed cats (both of which I
>  can tell you from personal experience are quite tasty) I can tell you that
>  too many people purchase fish that grow too big, then hope they will find
>  someone else who will ease their conscience by taking the creature off
>  their hands.

good point again, karen.  i find it outrageous how people take such cavalier 
attitudes towards animals or pets.  it breaks my heart when i see abandoned 
dogs in nyc, and i see them all the time.  people think nothing of buying 
fish in stores on impulse without doing any research or thinking long term.  
as a matter of fact, i think certain fish should be outlawed from the trade, 
such as the true giant pacus, redtailed cats and other giant catfish, 
arapaima etc.  why not?  piranhas are illegal in many states.

tsuh yang chen, nyc, USA