Lake Malawi Species • Color Enhancing Hormones

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Color Enhancing Hormones

Postby tripnbili » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:58 pm

Ok, so the more I read about people winding up with fish from their LFS or Petco etc. which are totally colorful, and then lose color only a few weeks later is astounding. I mean, the other day I walked into my LFS (where I'm on pretty decent terms with the owner) and saw a 55gal tank full of 1-2" mixed peacocks in FULL COLOR! There is no way they just happened to all mature like that, and their physical health/appearance looked somewhat poor. I've been in there several times since then and they just continue to slowly loose color. Apparently he has been selling quite a few of them on a regular basis, but the demand has gone down and he is stuck with a tank full of these fish.

Anyhow, where are these distriubutors getting this #%$& from? I mean it should be illegal!
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Re: Color Enhancing Hormones

Postby Number6 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:10 pm

tripnbili wrote:Anyhow, where are these distriubutors getting this #%$& from? I mean it should be illegal!
I don't want it done to my fish... and I think they should identify when it has been done to fish for sale, but illegal? can't really go there with you. What real harm is done to the fish?
is it any more than other odd things we do to pets like spay and neutering?
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Re: Color Enhancing Hormones

Postby cichlidpastor » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:16 pm

Number6 wrote:
tripnbili wrote:Anyhow, where are these distriubutors getting this #%$& from? I mean it should be illegal!
I don't want it done to my fish... and I think they should identify when it has been done to fish for sale, but illegal? can't really go there with you. What real harm is done to the fish?
is it any more than other odd things we do to pets like spay and neutering?


Number6, i read somewhere (and please correct me if this is wrong) that hormones will sterilize the fish. Is this true?
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Postby Number6 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:26 pm

it can yes. I chose my analogy on purpose :wink:
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Postby 6stang9 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:42 pm

I have bought many juiced fish and gone through the color fade. Once they mature most have colored up again. I think that they start with good strains because they color up more with juice at a smaller size. I have had some that also reproduced with no problems, so I dont think it causes sterility.
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Postby Number6 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:50 pm

6stang9 an overdose is known to cause sterility. It's all about the dosage!

All in all, I'm not a fan of it... but I've yet to find anything actually objectionable about it. Just seems unnecessary to muck with a perfectly good pet out of impatience!
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Postby 6stang9 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:55 pm

Its all about the money, color sells. I'm not a fan of it, but I see they're point.
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Postby CichlidsTank » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:42 am

what do they 'juice' them up with? hormones?
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Postby DJRansome » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:45 am

Yes hormones. I don't know if they are literally steroids, but I think the health impacts are similar.
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Postby tripnbili » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:05 am

I google "color enhacing hormone for fish" and several other similar phrases and can't find much on this. Anyone know where any good and educating articles on this sad subject can be found?

And are these hormones like "black market" for fish distributors like human steroids are? Can't find anything in regards to that either...
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Postby DJRansome » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:30 am

I've seen ads like on aquabid where fish are coming from asia where giving the fish hormones is advertised as a selling point. I believe the hormones are in the foods they feed the fish. The hormones also cause extra growth in fins beyond what is expected for the age of the fish.

I googled this phrase and got a lot of hits: hormones in fish food.
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Postby 24Tropheus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:52 am

Surely it is at least dishonest to sell hormoned fish without telling the customer that is what they are?
Sure it is easy to see with young wild types, they would not be showing the colour and fins at 11/2" etc but on man made fish it can make a fish seem far "better" than it will be in your tanks unless of caurse you know it needs hormones to maintain its looks.
I would avoid shops that sell em except I run out of shops to go to. :(
As said they sell well. :(
As for the LFS getting stuck with em as they run out of colour, well call it Instant Karma!. :wink:

As I disaprove of the practice, I would not post how to do it on an open forum, if I knew. :wink:

I see this on some Aulonocara adverts. Maybe best to get your fish from folk who advertise like this?

"None of these fish are Taiwan hormone fed animals which often make for weak stunted fish."

I would be very surprised if there was no poor health payback for hormone treating cichlids, one rarely gets something (extra finnage extra colour extra growth rate), for nothing. 8)
Last edited by 24Tropheus on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PitBully » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:17 am

I heard Sumo brand pellets carry these type of hormones. Not sure if it is true, just what I've been told.
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Postby tripnbili » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:18 pm

I just think it's sad...all the fish I've seen which have obviously been hormoned look to be in poor health :-?
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Postby 6stang9 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:31 pm

Again, color sells, people that dont know what they are buying are not going to buy a tank full of 2" silver fish. That is why suppliers juice them up. Lfs dont have alot of choice. This is how the fish come. Good lfs also get good fish for the people who know what they want. But to attract some one to the hobby, you need to have colorful fish.
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