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Re: How many tanks ...species maintenance
Actually, there is a database of what fish exist within the hobby. It will
be published by the AKA this summer - The Species Maintenance Report. It
will also be placed on the AKA Website.
The problem of databasing the Who has What is privacy. After two years as
the head of the SMC for the AKA - I have found many killie-keepers with rare
or difficult fish do not want people to know they are working with a
species. I feel alot of that has to do with unintentional harassment -
people want to obtain a fish that is rare, but the person working with it
does not have the stock to distribute the species - after awhile it becomes
frustrating answering all the mail/email with a "No, I can't help you."
The second problem I have come across is volunteerism. You can have all the
high ideals and desire to start working with a species of fish - after a
year or a little more - if it is not something that excites the person -
he/she lets it slide then it disappears. Generally, it is not the exciting
fish which disappear from the hobby, but instead species which are not
popular or species that never become established after a collection. For
example of the latter - I have noted something like 30 populations of
cameronense/obscurum/halleri and there may be 3-4 populations in the hobby
That is not to say some beautiful fish have not been lost. Over the past
couple of years Gary Elson of Canada and Gunnar Abslom of Sweden worked and
distributed A. zygaima - which was down to maybe 2 pairs in the hobby.
Personally, I worked extremely hard with Epi. barmoiensis and it is now
reestablished in the hobby - but it takes a very serious effort to do this
when there are 800-odd species and hundreds more populations and only 1,000
people keeping killies in the AKA.
Just a few thoughts to consider ...
Chairman - AKA Species Maintenance Committee
> 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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