[RML] Re: Hybrid ethics-

Bruce Hansen (bhansen at ozemail.com.au)
Mon, 2 Feb 1998 06:54:58 +1000

Watersheds are fascinating things -

In everybody's life, from time to time, comes the occasional watershed and
Rob has come to one !

Making major decisions about one's economic future is very stressful and
riding the roller-coaster afterwards can be stressing too. I guess it needs
a personal "life philosophy" that one is comfortable with and perhaps a few
years under the belt to not get too pessimistic at times.

I was a bit saddened by Rob's posting - but only temporarily because I am
an "optimistic fatalist" by choice ;-) However Rob explains his actions to
himself and to others we each have to examine our own motives and act

However I do agree that we are changing our fishes as we breed them both in
obvious and invisible ways and the history of the hobby is littered with
examples. So we just have to do the best job we can and communication,
co-operation and concern should still be our "tools".

The aquarium fish market and the commercial ornamental fish-breeding
industry here in Australia is something of a rabble. I can understand Rob's
dilemma especially as he struggles to find an economic direction for his
talent's, expertise and investment and I wish him luck in the development
of his strain of livebearers with "overstated colour and large fins, eats a
lot and excretes
> little, has no brain, spawns like praecox, and is as tough as a junk yard
> dog." ;-)

If he chooses to keep Rainbowfish for fun (or not) and to let others breed
them for profit then that is up to him. There are only so many Rainbowfish
breeders that the market here can support and so far no-one seems to be
doing it "properly" as far as a truly professional approach is concerned. I
do hope his own personal disenchantment with the possible commercial future
for Rainbowfish with visions of "long-finned albino doubletailed Praecox"
will not send him in the direction of using his training, contacts and
knowledge to assist the Bureaucrats who are still trying to block us here
in Australia from enjoying the fishes from New Guinea that are officially
denied to us ;-)

The bottom line still remains "survival of the fittest" - the outcome,
including whatever happens beforehans is still evolution in action.

PS Sorry for the philosophising


Bruce Hansen, ANGFA, caring for our aquatic ecosystems.

Please visit us at http://www.ozemail.com.au/~fisher/angfa.htm

> From: Rob Wager <raintree at mail.cth.com.au>
> To: rainbowfish at pcug.org.au
> Subject: Re: Hybrid ethics-was Re: [RML] Melanotaenia marcii
> Date: Monday, 2 February 1998 0:01
> My reason for posing the question of hybrid rainbowfish was to reassure
> myself regarding certain decisions I made w.r.t. the management of my
> companies farm. And I guess I was not just referring to hybrids (that is:
> offspring arising from adults that you define as genetically distinct -
> species, subspecies or tribes, etc), but also to selectively bred animals
> (for example a long finned M. praecox).
> What I am implying is that aquarium bred fish are potentially as untrue
> examples of the "real thing" as are hybrids. It is also the reason that I
> placing greater emphasis in maintaining red-finned blue-eyes in the wild
> than in supporting captive populations.
> Back to our farm. If we breed rainbowfish we would probably select for a
> fish that has an overstated colour and large fins, eats a lot and
> little, has no brain, spawns like praecox, and is as tough as a junk yard
> dog. I'm sure the mug fish keepers would love it, but I'm not yet sure I
> could live with myself if I did so. So we decided to breed colour
> of swordtails (and sometimes hybridise them with other livebearers to
> different traits) because we don't really care about them (Sorry Harro,
> Rhonda and others). We decided not to breed rainbowfish for the aquarium
> trade because we do care about them.