General Aquaria Discussion • 'Ideal Specimen'.... For all fish 'collectors'

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Postby dwarfpike » Fri May 02, 2008 4:18 pm

A fishy example:

You find an Amphilophus labiatus that doesn't have those uber over developed lips that the species is known (and scientificly described because of) for. Would the fish make a great wet pet despite the lack of enlarged lips? Absolutely. Should you breed it? No.

Even though I would enjoy an example with lessened lips as I see them as ugly, much like nuchal humps ... those lips were evolved for a feeding purpose. One in the wild would never survive becuase it can't eat the prey it evolved for. In the extreme case we ever need to repopulate the species in the wild, this sort of 'deformity' would lead to failed efforts.

Color in fish a lot of time (but not all) serves a specific purpose. Camoflague (sp.?), breeding ... not keeping the colors to the scientificly described standard could lead to problems such as hybrids and again, in extreme cases, lead to a failure to reintroduce the species. The reason female apisto's only color up for breeding is becuase their bright yellow would get them noticed by fishies that would eat them more. So breeding out the dull colors to replace them with yellow species would be just as bad as breeding less colorfull ones that wouldn't color up, the pattern on the colored up fins is how they comminucate with the fry.

Obvious if you aren't breeding fish, it's a mute point and I've been known to take less colored specimens that had more personality. But if breeding a species, I tend to pick the ones that are closest to the described specs of that species, which are usually the prettiest.
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Postby MalawiLover » Fri May 02, 2008 4:26 pm

CichlidWhisperer wrote:There are certain diseases that are caused by genetics, like Down Syndrome or Tay-Sachs.


Technically things like Downs, and Tay-Sachs are officially dissorders (syndrome is a popular synonym) and not diseases. It the layman on the street taht has broadened the term disease to cover all of them.



At what point do we draw the line for what we should select for?


It all depends on what you goal of the mating is. If you want a certain result you are going to select for it in the breeding stock. If you don't have a criteria for the offspring then you don't have to. However, you also can't say that just because you are not interested in a specific trait that is completely ok for you (I am only saying you to make the grammar work not poking my finger at you) that flood the pools of of my potential breeding stock with animlas that no longer meet the standard and expect me to have no problem with it.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion on the issue, but no one has the right to force others to accept it and or to deal with it. People who allow those who may not know any better to perpetuate something that is detrimental to the species in any way (phisical or not) ar doing the same disservice as those how knowing pass off an imperefect specien labled as perfect.

Humans are different when it comes to the height (and many other tratits). We do not have a for specific purpose. Humans did not evolve to do a specific task. There is no heigh requirement to do our jobs. Though we are different heighs, we can still work at a desk just the same. A dog the size of a chihuahua cannot hunt lions and a komondor who is the wrong color and size cannot blend in to a heard of sheep completely unnoticed. You could not use an Alaskan Malamute to bull your sled if he has a short silky coat. He would freeze.
125gMale peacocks/haps
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IS YOUR DECHLORINATOR WORKING??
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Postby Darkside » Fri May 02, 2008 4:46 pm

Beautiful people pick up easier at the bar. Beautiful fish pick up easier as well. When we don't apply selective pressure in our own aquariums, we're not being true to nature. Who wants to own an all brown male peacock? Arguing this is a moot point because some people anthropomorphise their pets and become attached to their "personalities" and others keep them for their physically or behaviorally attractive features. Either you keep your fish as pets, or as specimens and most would like their pets to be excellent specimens (examples) of their given species.
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Postby CichlidWhisperer » Fri May 02, 2008 4:51 pm

Malawilover:
The definiton of disease from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms : sickness, malady

The definition of disease from Stedman's Medical Dictionary:

An interruption, cessation, or disorder of body function, system, or organ. Syn: illness, morbus, sickness
A morbid entity characterized usually by at least two of these criteria: recognized etiologic agent(s), identifiable group of signs and symptoms, or consistent anatomic alterations.

And yes Down Syndrome is a disease and Tay-Sacks Disease is a disease as it's name states!





Dwarfpike, I think you make a good argument with the lips. Where do you draw the line though? I guess it is a matter of what the purpose of the animal is. If they needed to go out in the lake and find a mate there, then breeding to be most attractive to a mate would be important. The fish we breed in captivity are for the most part for peoples fish tanks though (excluding those for food).... I want fish I find attractive and personable. Some people find those parrot fish attractive (I for one do not.)
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Postby dwarfpike » Fri May 02, 2008 5:17 pm

Cichlidwhisperer - it is a very slippery slope as the saying goes. Perhaps it's becuase I'm an old pessimist, but I think we will at some point need to repopulate most of our species becuase of how fubar'd we are making our planet. So I tend to keep fish with this in mind.

parrot cichlid = https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/s ... php?id=518 = pretty, especially the last pic, but not everyone likes green.

fake parrots = icky. But even them, not even everyone agrees they are deformed!! They are popular due to color and their deformity. Which shouldn't be encouraged. But because they are a trispecific fish (made from 3 differant species) that is a whole differant arguement. I agree with you though, in fish their 'personality' (nothing more than awareness of their surroundings really) is more important than color. But like most humans, given two fish with equal personalities, I'll pick the redhead, erm I mean the one I think is prettier. That being said, an ugly fish that amuses me is far superior in my estimation than a dumb, pretty one that just sits there.

But then I keep cichlids for their interesting behaviors.
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Postby CichlidWhisperer » Fri May 02, 2008 6:11 pm

Dwarfpike,

You make me laugh.. you sound like my friend in New Hampshire. But, you have the best argument yet, to repopulate the world...

As far as repopulating the world, I think the theory is that microbes will be the only things to survive, or at least that is what is supposed to have been the case in the past history of the world.... Maybe you should switch to keeping microbes.. Two drawbacks to that though.. Microbes are way less fun and secondly you would have to post on Microbe-Forum instead of Cichlid-Forum and I hear they are kinda nerdy.. LOL

I also keep cichlids for their personality and interesting behavior... Most interesting fish I have found!

Good luck with the Microbe thing... LOL
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Postby dwarfpike » Fri May 02, 2008 6:17 pm

Heh, I'd fit right in then.

But it's not too far in the future though. Take blue eye plecos, twenty years ago you'd trip over them in a LFS and they were cheap.

Now they go for $2000-3000 a piece becuase they just aren't finding them in the wild, and when they do it's only one. This is very sad state of affairs in brazil ... if I had the money, I'd start buying them up and try to breed these beauties. (jet black pleco, golden sparkles over plates, bright blue eyes). I'd hate to see such a pretty species die out.

Then there's lake victoria, if you really want to depress yourself, read up on what happen to the cichlids that lived there.

I'll head back to my bomb shelter/fish room now. 8)
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Postby edburress » Fri May 02, 2008 6:27 pm

dwarfpike wrote:I tend to pick the ones that are closest to the described specs of that species


That is exactly what I look for also, a fish representative of its wild form. Personally, I am no more interested in man-made color variants than I am blood parrots. I understand the immense difference but to me, they are all equally unlikely to be in my tanks.

I think coloration and morphology evolve for a purpose, particular to each species, and I don't want fish that have deviated from their natural form. I suppose I like to think my fish could survive in the wild. Sometimes this means having less colorful F0 fish and forgoing "double red" variants, etc. that are more colorful. But for whatever reason, I am more attracted to wild forms.

I have bred a lot of my fish, but I do not select for anything. If my fish breed then great, if they do not, then great. They are allowed to pair themselves because I trust their mate selection abilities are superior to my own.

I enjoy their color, morphology, behavior and "personality", I just prefer them all them be as natural as possible, so I look for wild forms, and attempt to recreate natural environments so I can observe something reminiscent of their real behaviors, as limited as that may be.

Darkside wrote:Either you keep your fish as pets, or as specimens and most would like their pets to be excellent specimens


Thats how it seems to me as well.
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Postby Toby_H » Fri May 02, 2008 6:36 pm

In nature… the SA/CA Cichlids that I keep have 1,000+ fry up to 7 times per year (this is arguable but a fair ‘average’)…

By design most of these offspring are not meant to live, if they were then overpopulation would choke the species (and environment) almost instantly…

Dogs have litters of under a dozen (again an arguable but fair average)… humans most commonly have one child per spawn…

To not mimic natures removal of the less than perfect specimen can be validly considered irresponsible… I do not advocate this to the extreme (although I believe in culling/killing the weaker portions of a spawn), but it’s a fair argument with valid points…

I’m currently attempting to breed Blue Dempseys which is a fish that has known weaknesses. I believe that by breeding only the strongest fish with unrelated strong fish many of these can be overcome. So by culling/killing the weaker fish and spawning the stronger fish… we can provide you with a healthier and prettier fish to love as your own…

If the philanthropic view of “save every fishâ€
The happier you make your fish the happier they will make you

Minimum requirements means minimum happiness for all
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Postby nimboman » Fri May 02, 2008 7:55 pm

:thumb: I have enjoyed reading this thread , but in my opinion african cichlid standards should not be compared to dog standards. Dogs are man-made and there standards are our standards but african cichlids are 100% natural and if we are to take them from the wild then we need to keep them the way they are. If you have a problem with that then go get you some goldfish. You can compare goldfish to dogs all day long. People like the minor imperfections(GOLD SCALES) in their carp and so they bred the imperfect ones and what do you know they created the goldfish. Just my opinion but if you are not breeding these fish of so called poor quality then enjoy them for what they are PETS!
100 gallon(all male):Nimbochromis venustus, livingstonii, polystigma, Copadichromis borleyi, Protomelas red empress, spilonotus "Mara Rocks", Champsochromis caeruleus, Tyrannochromis nigriventer, and Fossorochromis rostratus all average 5"
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Postby CichlidWhisperer » Sat May 03, 2008 7:22 am

OK.. so I know you just gave a great argument against comparing fish to dogs... But there is another reason not to compare them. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't all domesticated dogs the same species, Canis lupus familiaris. So breeding two dogs of diffent breeds will end up with a mix that is not deformed. In fact there are reasons to get mixed breeds. Many pure breeds have been so inbread that they tend to carry a lot of health problems and by getting mixed breeds you avoid some of those issues. Furthermore as you said, these breeds are man-made (man-designed may be a better way to describe it) and so in their history, there are cross breeds that went into developing the "pure" breeds in the first place.

Fish, on the other hand, Fish are a family(Cyprinidae), under which there is a group and then a species, and various subspecies exist too. [Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Group, Species] So, if you are able to breed two totally different groups within the fish family, you will often get a distorted wierd thing. I totally think this is a bad idea.... It's like comparing the domesticated dog to a Jackal (both of the same family) and I actually think these are probably closer than many fish to one another.

But now, what about breeding fish within a species. I understand the purist (must be identicle to nature) argument, but in nature, some of this is probable to happen too... this should not cause deformities...

Just wondering what you think about this.....

Another interesting concept is that of dogs being man-made/Man-designed versus fish being wild. The concept is that man breed dogs selectively and purposefully to acheive certain goals, while with fish, nature breed them selectively (not sure about purposefully) and acheived certain things, ie. filling various ecological niches. We have two dogs and totally adore them almost as if they were our children, but the fish are different. I enjoy the beauty of the fish, but also their behavior, which in essence is more natural behavior than dogs. With your comment about them being natural (although I don't think once you breed them in captivity or even once you put a wild caught fish in your tank that they are still 100% natural), it occurs to me that these are one fo the few ways of having a little nature in your home... Pretty Cool!
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Postby nimboman » Sat May 03, 2008 8:04 am

I can respect your points because you are correct in the thought that fish of the same species group can breed together in the wild but it is less likely to happen out in the wild then in a cramped little aquarium.The offspring ,how ever little amount survived predation, would not stand a good chance of breeding because the females have higher standards then we do when selecting a suitable male. This new fish would die out with no offspring or years of mating with the correct species would push this accidental crossing out of the bloodlines. If you think about it all cichlids from Malawi are thought to have evolved from I think one fish so you could debate that they are all hybrids.
100 gallon(all male):Nimbochromis venustus, livingstonii, polystigma, Copadichromis borleyi, Protomelas red empress, spilonotus "Mara Rocks", Champsochromis caeruleus, Tyrannochromis nigriventer, and Fossorochromis rostratus all average 5"
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Postby nimboman » Sat May 03, 2008 8:09 am

Did someone say your fish was deformed because they are wrong for that. I know you love your fish as much or more then me and can agree with you on taking up for him.
100 gallon(all male):Nimbochromis venustus, livingstonii, polystigma, Copadichromis borleyi, Protomelas red empress, spilonotus "Mara Rocks", Champsochromis caeruleus, Tyrannochromis nigriventer, and Fossorochromis rostratus all average 5"
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Postby Number6 » Sat May 03, 2008 12:27 pm

I thought about quoting and correcting many of the posts... seems like a lot of work.

All I am going to point out is that you guys need to understand what a species is, what a hybrid is, and what inbreeding actually does vs what outcrossing actually does.

Without truly understanding the above, it is easy to not follow why a genus level hybrid often has more issues than say a intra-species hybrid. It's even easy to misunderstand that a hybrid within the same species is still a hybrid.

Hybrids are the crossing of previously unmixed gene pools... species doesn't enter the accurate definition.

Inbreeding is a species reinforcement tool and moves towards homozygosity.

Outbreeding moves towards heterozygosity and introduces new genes.


There is NO such thing as hybrid vigor, inbreeding CAUSING deformities, or hybridization CAUSING deformities...

So far... I do not see a solid argument why abnormal fish (or at least fish I would label as abnormal) deserve consideration as normals. Is that not what this thread was supposed to be about?
My WC cichlids are gonna be caught on rod n reel!
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Postby Darkside » Sat May 03, 2008 2:29 pm

Number6 wrote:So far... I do not see a solid argument why abnormal fish (or at least fish I would label as abnormal) deserve consideration as normals.


Is that a layer of subjectivity in your argument? This argument will continue forever without a solid ground on which to base "normalcy". lol
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