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How many tanks ...species maintenance
KI>I don't have the handout available, but a few years ago the (then current)
KI>AKA conservation committee set up a program wherein a person would dedicate
KI>20 tanks to one strain or species of killie. Four line were to be bred,
KI>raised and after a few generations crossed. Something like 4 twenty gallon
KI>tanks and a bunch of tens and a few smaller ones as breeding tanks were
KI>Possibly some of those interested in species maintenance backed off when
KI>faced with those requirements. That might be something to ask of Shedd or
KI>Steinhart Aquariums, most hobbyists either flat out don't have that much
KI>tank space or if they do, don't want to tie up that much with just one
Good information and comments, Scott.
But--what if we database who has what fish and dedicated aquarists
arrange to trade stock? The individuals could bet by with fewer
dedicated tanks. This is exactly what zoos do to maintain diversity. I
know for a fact that the Columbus Zoo does this--there is no way that
they can house and feed enough of each species to maintain a
genetic/non-inbred base, so they consult a dating service and either
ship their animals to another zoo or bring other animals in. Yes,
creating and maintaining the database would be a lot of work, but
wouldn't it be worth it to keep strains/locations healthy? After all,
there is no guarantee that we can ever go back and get more, for a whole
host of reasons (disasters both natural and manmade, civil wars, etc).
And fish are a whole lot easier to ship than, say, a cheetah.
Another area to look at is our culling procedures. I know, I know, it's
hard to do, but it must be done for the health of the population. We
obviously need to cull fish with deformities (bent spines, etc), but
what about fish that are not fertile (but otherwise physically perfect),
poor doers (compared to their more robust brethren), etc? In a livestock
operation, be it cattle, hogs, or poultry, all of these animals would be
culled as possessing poor breeding potential. Do we cull our fish this
stringently? Undoubtedly, some hobbyists do, and I would not be
surprised if they are the ones with the fish that consistently win
I guess what it comes down to is that I think that we, as hobbyists,
have a responsibility to the fish that involves maintaining viable
breeding populations so that these fish will be around for our children
and grandchildren to enjoy.
Just my 0.02$ worth. I'll get off my soapbox now and go feed the fish.
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