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[Killietalk] "Where Have all the Killies Gone" -- The Reason Why?
Nevin here in St. Louis. The response to my original post has shown that
three people in our sample on the web are keeping my Fp. mirabilis moense Bakebe
HAH98, 1 person is keeping my A. cameronense halleri Ambam HAH 98, and one
person is keeping my A. lugens. I know that other people not currently lurking on
the web or not on the web at all are maintaining some of my
species/locations. Thanks for your responses.
Now I would like to propose a hypothesis why some species/locations become
extinct in the hobby and others don't. First of all, as others have mentioned,
we only have a finite number of tanks distributed among all killiekeepers and
this ultimately limits the number of species/locations that we can maintain.
My Hypothesis: The probability of extinction in the hobby depends upon only
two factors 1) the attractiveness of the fish and 2) the difficulty of
propagating the species.
In terms of factor #1, attractiveness of the fish, the probability of not
becoming extinct in the hobby is much greater if the species is "drop-dead"
In terms of factor #2, difficulty of propagation, the probability of becoming
extinct in the hobby is much greater if the species/location is either very
easy or very difficult. A moderately difficult species to propagate, all other
factors being equal has the greatest probability of remaining in the hobby.
Here's why. A very easy fish becomes so common in the hobby that everyone has
it. It is so common that no one is very proud of it in their fishrooms and
therefore it has no value to them. No one can brag about this species. So, we
flush it. A very difficult species, on the otherhand, can be bred by only a few
killiekeepers and they eventually tire of these difficulties. Also, difficult
fish don't produce very many offspring so there is a good chance that even the
best killiekeeper will have small populations which eventually they lose. They
will also not distribute this species very widely which also increases its
chance of extinction. On the otherhand, a moderately difficult species produces
enough progeny in the right hands to be distibuted broadly in the hobby, but
not so difficult that the typical breeder loses interest in it.
In conclusion, the species/location with the highest probability of not
becoming extinct in the hobby is: drop-dead gorgeous and moderately difficult to
Here's my data:
Aphyosemion australe (gold)- maintained for a long time in the hobby.
Drop-dead gorgeous, and contrary to popular opinion, moderately difficult to breed.
Aphyosemion ogoense ottogartneri- At one time very common in the hobby but
now very rare. Drop-dead gorgeous and very easy to propagate.
Aphyosemion exogoideum - At one time very common in the hobby but now very
Drop-dead goregous and very easy to propagate.
Episemion callipteron- Very rare in the hobby. I collected 9 of these in
Gabon in 2001, reared 30 juveniles, got pissed off at them, gave them to Jack
Heller and Charles Harrison.
Average attractiveness and very difficult to propagate. A perfect candidate
for extinction in the hobby.
Many Notobranchius- Many are drop-dead gorgeous and reasonably easy to
propagate. Good candidates for extinction in the hobby because they are so common.
For such beautiful fishes hard to give away at fish shows and auctions.
Aphyosemion joergenscheeli- Quite rare in the hobby. Drop-dead gorgeous but
difficult to propagate ( males beat up on females, fussy water conditions).
Will need to be continually re-imported into the hobby.
Fundulopanchax gardneri- Long lirved and very common in the hobby. Drop-dead
goregeous but moderately difficult to propagate (some locations).
Aphyosemion mimbon- Quite rare in the hobby. Drop-dead gorgeous but
difficult to propagate (ask Jim Gasior about this). This species may or may not
remain in the hobby. The N'Kinnen population that I brought back from Gabon in 2001
is moderately easy to breed but in some people's aquariums is not so
attractive as the parental generation. So the decision on this species is up in the
Does anybody have any supporting or refuting data for my hypothesis. Nevin in
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