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Re: fewer species and more of them
Doug Karpa-Wilson wrote:
> >KI>I feel that too many killie keepers keep too many species and not enough of
> >I would much rather have large, healthy populations
> >of these fish in my tanks than have two of everything. It fits in better
> >with my philosophy of environmental responsibility, too.
> >in cool and cloudy Ohio
> Not to open this kettle of fish, if you'll pardon the expression, but how
> many is a "large healthy population"? 5 breeding pairs in two tanks?
> That number comes to mind as being enough to ensure against accidental
> death wiping the lineage out.
> in equally cool and cloudy Indiana. no, oops, the sun's coming out now :-)
From sweltering CA the view is sometimes different. :-)
The diversity of types is one of the most charming aspects of killy keeping.
I think we should not always push our resources to keep a whole viable
population by ourselves. That's some of where the social aspects of the
hobby can come to the fore.
I've had as many as 46 species at one time, but have to cut back when
working. One way that works is to have friends to share fish with.
Fortunately, there are always breeders with skills as good or better than
mine when I need them.
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to receive from Germany a few very
young "Pairs" of a rare new mouthbrooding Betta, recently collected for the
first time. I immediately divided my young fish between Wayland Lee and
Robert Nhan, as I had too little room and time for them. Wayland got his to
breed, and Robert's had only fights (turns out I had given him a pair of
males). We had great fun teasing Robert about that. :-) I think he
subsequently got a female from Wayland and bred them.
The young F1s I got back from Wayland bred easily for me, and I was able to
redistribute them to the "wild Betta" hobby in the US. Meanwhile, *all* the
folks who originally had them in Europe failed to get offspring so ours were
the only fish of this species left, without a new (probably impossible)
collection. [That part of the world turned really hostile about then.]
No one tried to maintain a "viable breeding population" because these were
tough fish to breed at all. Getting them to our better local breeders
allowed me to move on, though, and keep them going.
Robert, Wayland and I are primarily killy folk, but we all keep other fish
from time to time. Whether the New & Rare is a Betta or a killifish, the
first objective is to spread them out to the most competent breeders to just
get them going. Once they are well established in the hobby, we can start to
count on their continued maintenance to some extent. During that phase, the
need to keep a lot of fish is strictly up to the desires of the individual.
One pair with a few babies? OK. A major hatchery? That's OK too, but more
likely to saturate local demand and kill interest after a while.
Later on, if the native habitat is destroyed (often by the US and the World
Bank forcing their home country to cut down their rain forest), and everyone
in the hobby has "been there done that" it is time for something like the
KCC to step back in and make sure the species isn't lost again (as happened
pretty often in the 70s).
Tom Brady, and his Species Maintenance Committee are our early warning
system that something may need to be done. By keeping track of the
bewildering variety of species and locations, we may be able to avert
disaster, and, through KCC, organize a small species-breeding group to
systematically work to keep a "Core" species in question going.
There's a place in the hobby for the person who wants to concentrate on only
a few species, and the ones who want to have everything for a little while.
I enjoy studying groups of fish, so right now I'm keeping all the species in
the Striatum group I can lay my hands on, and all the Cyprinodons I can
handle. That will change with time, and I'll gradually distribute those fish
and acquire others to study. I may gain some insight into the similarities
and differences in those groups and I may just have fun breeding and raising
The bottom line is that we have an incredibly rich and diverse hobby, and
there is room for a great deal of individual choice as to what constitutes
good husbandry of our fish. Some of that is what makes it fun and an
I think this is a really great thread, particularly if it gets us to think
about and make wise choices to maximize our enjoyment of the hobby and
improve our interactions with our friends in it.
That's my US$0.02.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
There are two rules for success in life:
Rule 1: Don't tell people everything you know.
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