Whats your take on hybrids???

Discussion about cichlid conservation and captive bred programs

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Would you ever keep/create/buy a hybrid???

I am strongly against any form of hybrids, different species or genuses bred together.
49
92%
I dont care. as long as it is pretty i would take pretty much anything!
2
4%
i see no problem with hybrids they are actually healthy for the hobby.
2
4%
 
Total votes: 53

dogofwar
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:18 pm

Depending on whether you're a lumper or a splitter, fancy discus could be hybrids.

Fancy discus - like flowerhorns - were developed to have certain, marketable characteristics (bright color, shape, size, etc.) vs. to be authentic to what's swimming around in the Amazon...so - like the people who produce flowerhorns - the people who produce fancy discus did not hesitate to cross different "species", subspecies, and varients to develop these characteristics.

The question is WHY do people frown upon OB Peacocks, Flowerhorns, etc.? They are what they are...and aren't supposed to be like what's in nature. And a lot of people like them... WHY the attitude?

dogofwar
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:21 pm

[quote="Grummie2"]I have no problem with line bred fish, many very prominent aquarists have made their livelihood by producing beautiful strains of aquarium favourites. I wonder how many stores would be in existence if it wasn't for fancy guppies/swords/angels/discus/barbs etc, etc, etc"

Would you have a problem with them if some of the fish that you mention were technically hybrids? Or does it really matter?

"...Lets not forget what supports this hobby that we love so much...."

Couldn't agree more. Sadly, what keeps most fish stores in business isn't hobbyists (like us)...

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Willem Heijns
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Willem Heijns » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:40 am

I believe it all depends on your own answer to the question: why am I in this hobby?

if you're in it for nice beuatiful fish (your own taste of course) then you will probably have nothing against hybrids, line breeding and all that. as long as it produces nice beautiful fish (your own taste).

if you're in it for the love of nature in general and/or cichlids in particular, it's a different matter. you most likely want to recreate a little part of nature in your home aquarium (decoration) and look at your fish as if you were diving in their natural habitat. those fish will then need to be "pure" species with known provenance.

these two worlds are in conflict at the moment. if you go to your LFS it is hardly ever possible to find out where your fish come from or even which species they are. and do you trust the information they give you? just go and try to find a Paratheraps species. or check the questions and answers on this and other forums about this genus.

so, if yoy want "pure" species you have to rely more and more on people you trust and who have collected their fish in the wild. or go collecting yourself 8) . but getting fish out of their native countries has gotten difficult lately and may even be impossible in the future. then we all have to get our fish from shops and breeding. that's where the danger lies. if shops and breeders can no longer be trusted to produce "pure" species, then we'll end up with only hybrids line breds and the rest. that will be when I quit this hobby.
Slàinte mhath!

Uilleam

Paulo José Alves
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Paulo José Alves » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:53 am

Hi

It´s all a question of comon sense and also of standards. If you just don´t have an ornamental aquarium in the living room for the sake of it and instead have lots of quariums and a knowledge andexperience spanning fordecades, for instance, then the views have to be different.
For the usual "inhabitants" of this forum the standards are quite specific and high and that translates in general for some toleration for color mutations and none for body deformities and for hybrids. And that it´s as it should be and we shouldn´t lower our standards. We know that the existence of blue parrots or baloon rams ot red texas is purely wrong and we know all the arguments for that position. Of course, the vast majority of people that have aquariums are not as purist and most don´t even know or understand our position.Once, when I was the president of a cichlid association, I was aproached by an architect who was very excited because he had fry of a couple constituted by a parrot and a convict, and that the prospect of a "new species" in his own words should interest me and my association and could be monetarily valuable. When I told him that the fry were worthless and should be destroyed and that we was not creating any new species but something nondescript and mongrel he was apalled and acused me of being a "racist"!...
The major problem with hybrids is when they appear disguised as something else and we don´t know better. The fact is that all aquarium stores sell, at least ocasionally, hybrids, either because they also receive them as spmething else or because there is a demand for them. But at breeder´s lvel is even worse, many breeders don´t know that their fish are hybrids or don´t care and on´t see the reason for all the fuss.
We are condemned to dig deeper to find pure strains and when our knowlege is not enough to ask for the savy of fellow breeders to see if we get the real thing.
All The Best
Paulo José

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Alex Odesit » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:32 am

Willem Heijns wrote:I believe it all depends on your own answer to the question: why am I in this hobby?
if you're in it for the love of nature in general and/or cichlids in particular, it's a different matter. you most likely want to recreate a little part of nature in your home aquarium (decoration) and look at your fish as if you were diving in their natural habitat. those fish will then need to be "pure" species with known provenance.
8) exactly

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:36 am

Thank you Willem for your thoughts!

Something that strikes me, though, is that people who keep fish - experienced and inexperienced - don't necessarily fall into a single, mutually exclusive category of why they keep fish... Many people who keep and enjoy conservation, wild-type fish and biotype tanks also keep and enjoy the beauty of aquarium strains of fish and less than natural tank set-ups. Most of my tanks have wild-type fish and (for ease of maintence) less than natural decorations (PVC and flowerpots) :)

Forcing people into a single, mutually exclusive category for why they keep fish also does not recognize the progression that many make in the hobby. Many, many folks start with a tank of high fin swordtails and end up (some years later) with 50 tanks of Tanganyikans (and 10 tanks of all kinds of swordtails). To write off or exclude the vast swaths of the hobby that don't - exclusively - commit themselves to a very narrow definition of the hobby is a formula for obsolesence (for, for example, the ACA and other organizations).

The unreliability of pet shop fish as verifiably "pure" is nothing new (with the advent of flowerhorns and other INTENTIONAL hybrids)... Farms (in Florida and Asia) that produce fish for shops aren't as conscientious as some would like them to be about the provenance of their fish... And their customers (Wal-Mart, chain fish stores, LFS, etc.) and the vast majority of stores' customers (most fish keepers) aren't willing to pay the price for this conscientiousness.

The two things that hobbyists (and LFS) can do to be responsible are to PROPERLY LABEL and to SEGREGATE EASILY CONFUSED FISH. Proper labeling should include not only the correct scientific name, but also the location and distance (F1, F2, etc.) from wild fish. TR (tank raised fish) that don't have a provenance can be great and enjoyable fish to keep and even breed but shouldn't be held up as necessarily "pure." I know that some LFS around me are happy to allow me to provide them with high quality fish of verifiable quality (generally for store credit) instead of buying (and paying shipping costs) for farm fish.

There will always be unscrupulous people who will lie about fish, mix like fish, and pass off (on purpose or not) hybrid fish (or fish from different geographic areas) as "pure". This isn't a good reason to look down on people who enjoy flowerhorns, though.
Willem Heijns wrote:I believe it all depends on your own answer to the question: why am I in this hobby?

if you're in it for nice beuatiful fish (your own taste of course) then you will probably have nothing against hybrids, line breeding and all that. as long as it produces nice beautiful fish (your own taste).

if you're in it for the love of nature in general and/or cichlids in particular, it's a different matter. you most likely want to recreate a little part of nature in your home aquarium (decoration) and look at your fish as if you were diving in their natural habitat. those fish will then need to be "pure" species with known provenance.

these two worlds are in conflict at the moment. if you go to your LFS it is hardly ever possible to find out where your fish come from or even which species they are. and do you trust the information they give you? just go and try to find a Paratheraps species. or check the questions and answers on this and other forums about this genus.

so, if yoy want "pure" species you have to rely more and more on people you trust and who have collected their fish in the wild. or go collecting yourself 8) . but getting fish out of their native countries has gotten difficult lately and may even be impossible in the future. then we all have to get our fish from shops and breeding. that's where the danger lies. if shops and breeders can no longer be trusted to produce "pure" species, then we'll end up with only hybrids line breds and the rest. that will be when I quit this hobby.
Last edited by dogofwar on Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Dan Woodland » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:42 am

Willem Heijns wrote:I believe it all depends on your own answer to the question: why am I in this hobby?

if you're in it for nice beuatiful fish (your own taste of course) then you will probably have nothing against hybrids, line breeding and all that. as long as it produces nice beautiful fish (your own taste).

if you're in it for the love of nature in general and/or cichlids in particular, it's a different matter. you most likely want to recreate a little part of nature in your home aquarium (decoration) and look at your fish as if you were diving in their natural habitat. those fish will then need to be "pure" species with known provenance.

these two worlds are in conflict at the moment. if you go to your LFS it is hardly ever possible to find out where your fish come from or even which species they are. and do you trust the information they give you? just go and try to find a Paratheraps species. or check the questions and answers on this and other forums about this genus.

so, if yoy want "pure" species you have to rely more and more on people you trust and who have collected their fish in the wild. or go collecting yourself 8) . but getting fish out of their native countries has gotten difficult lately and may even be impossible in the future. then we all have to get our fish from shops and breeding. that's where the danger lies. if shops and breeders can no longer be trusted to produce "pure" species, then we'll end up with only hybrids line breds and the rest. that will be when I quit this hobby.
:D :) :D :) Thunderous applause!!!! Excellent post Willem! Exactly why I began traveling outside the US and exactly what I'll do when the pipelines to wild fish are closed (Probably turn my fish room into a woodworking shop!). I will, however, continue to travel to photograph and video them in their natural habitats!

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Willem Heijns
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Willem Heijns » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:28 am

@ dogofwar (whoever you are 8) ):

I am certainly not propagating a narrow definition of the hobby. I believe there should be enough room for hobbyists who want to keep fish for their sheer beauty (hybrids or whatever) and for hobbyists (like me) who want to imagine themselves on site (for me: in Central America) when they stand in front of their tanks. or any mix of both for that matter.

the problem is that the first category is driving out the second, unless we can find some way of telling "pure" species from hybrids/linebreds. I am very pessimistic about the trade being able/willing to do this. simply because they're in it for another reason. you can guess which one.
Slàinte mhath!

Uilleam

dogofwar
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:30 pm

"the problem is that the first category is driving out the second, unless we can find some way of telling "pure" species from hybrids/linebreds."

I think that this is a "red herring" (pun intended) :)

Aquarium hybridization of closely related cichlid species (and geographical varients), mis-labeling them, and their sale and distribution (mis-labeled as "pure"), either through commercial or hobbysist channels are not NEW problems .

In fact, I think that today we're much more knowledgable and conscientious about not crossing even slightly different populations of a particular species than we were back in the day (when "convicts" and "Pseudotropheus zebra"s were each all one species). I know that I kept, bred (got BAP points), and distributed many - what would be now considered - hybrids. We all did.

As I've stated before, I believe that flowerhorns ("fancy cichlids") and hybrids of closely related cichlid species or varients (passed off as one species or another) are two separate issues, the latter much more insidious.

With the exception of trimacs, it's hard to confuse a flowerhorn with a pure anything. Other than the popularity of flowerhorns driving monopolization of "shelf space" in the cichlid sections of fish shops, flowerhorns aren't driving the purity of wild-type species out of the hobby.

The same is not true for hybrids mis-labeled as "pure" species. On the commercial level (farms, stores, etc.), I don't (and I suspect most on this board don't) have the expectation that farm-raised fish purchased from the average LFS are - or ever have been - "pure" (i.e. provenance back to particular source of fish at a particular collection location). When I want "pure" fish, I go to other hobbyists (and folks like Ken Davis, Spencer Jack and Jeff Rapps who cater to hobbysists).

It is up to hobbyists to police ourselves on being honest about the fish we distribute/sell. Flowerhorn breeders and keepers might have different tastes than us in the fish that they keep, but they're - by and large - not the problem. And we shouldn't hold them out as pariahs.

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Kyle May
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Kyle May » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:58 pm

It is up to hobbyists to police ourselves on being honest about the fish we distribute/sell.
A lofty goal to be sure.

The problem I have is buying are fry at an auction.
Many types of cichlids look the same at 1" and it's difficult to police your purchases without the ability to properly ID.
It's not difficult to imagine someone "dumping" unwanted fry for $$ at an auction and mislabeling their fry
as a species they know will bring larger $$. A seasoned hobbyist will right this wrong when the fish color up and mature.
The rookie won't know to check.

This issue of hybrids will be alive as long as we all keep fish. Unscrupulous and unknowing people will always proliferate
hybrids in the hobby. The only remedy as I see it is to buy from someone you trust and to educate all others.
As advanced hobbyists we all understand why hybrid fish are so detrimental to the hobby. I think it's up to us to persuade
all new hobbyist to consider our opinion.

Personally I'm not in the hobby to keep fish that some psuedo-scientist cooked up in his garage. I think nature has done a fine job of creating enough variety to keep me interested for several lifetimes. This is what has kept me in the hobby for almost 30 years.
Kyle May
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Northern Ohio, USA

dogofwar
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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:41 am

"The problem I have is buying are fry at an auction...."
For this reason, I'm a big advocate of requiring name and contact information on fish sold at club auctions.

While I don't question that unscrupulous people pass off both hybrids of similar looking fish as one or the other (or "pure" fish of a common species as a rarer species), the problem is unscrupulous people...not (properly-labeled) hybrids...and certainly not flowerhorns (which are hard to mistake for anything but trimacs).

"Unscrupulous and unknowing people will always proliferate hybrids in the hobby...Personally I'm not in the hobby to keep fish that some psuedo-scientist cooked up in his garage."

I think the flaw in the argument here is that you're not differentiating between the unscrupulous people who mis-represent random hybrids as pure fish (convict x spilurum being sold as a spilrum) and the skilled breeders who produce high quality, show grade flowerhorns. Or differentiating between ethics and personal taste.

Flowerhorns might not be your cup of tea (nor mine, either, by the way), but developing quality flowerhorn strains has taken every bit as much skill, patience and expertise as developing fancy goldfish, koi, discus, angelfish, betta, guppy, variatus, swordtail, etc, etc. strains (some of which are verifiably one species and some of which are hybrids of multiple species). If you're calling these people "unscrupulous" then you're calling the people who developed all of the fancy strains of fish through the history of fishkeeping unscrupulous as well.

"As advanced hobbyists we all understand why hybrid fish are so detrimental to the hobby. I think it's up to us to persuade all new hobbyist to consider our opinion."

I agree with the role of advanced hobbyists and clubs setting out to encourage and educate on "responsible fish keeping", which certainly includes understanding proper labeling, identification of fish, and maintaining the purity of captive populations...but trying to persuade people to change their taste is a whole different thing akin to trying to convince someone who likes long-finned fancy bettas to keep gourami-like wild type bettas...or abandon their interest in fancy guppies for gambusia....not that people can't (and frequently do) like both.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Alex Calder » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:05 pm

One more time I shall wade into this.

To me a line bred fish sits in equal place with a hybrid. I honestly do not care for either. Do I respect the time and care put into developing lines? Honestly no, this care could be better placed else where in my opinion. Is it going to go away? No it will no, there is too much money involved.

The only positive, to me, is that it will attract new people to the hobby which we can then educate and hopefully sway from these fish.

This whole topic created a "can of worms" in my Cichlidbase project as we had to tackle the idea of including line breeds and hybrids. In the end while none of us were very supportive of these fish we realized that they are in the hobby and the fish themselves deserved to have proper care. We are still tackling the methods mind you and it is a conundrum on it's own. I may not like Flowerhorns but I recognize that the fish did not choose to be made.

This may seem rather harsh to some but it is my position and belief.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Bas Pels » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:38 am

An option you could yuse might be the planet catfish (www.plantecatfish.com) solution: Thay do put pics of hybrids on the website, but they also state they are hybrids.

The people behind PC could, however, warn more fiercely against hybrids

Another way to prevent hybrids to spread in the hobby would be to present pics of fish at a saleble size - 1 - 2 inches. If I can find pics of all fishes I'm looking for, at that size, and than get another fish offfered under an interesing name, but looking wrong, I can decide not to take it

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by dogofwar » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:12 am

I think where we're missing each other is that I don't believe that the existence (or popularity) of fish in the hobby that are different from what is found in nature (i.e. flowerhorns and line bred fish of a particular species) is necessarily something that is bad or should be opposed.

Flowerhorns are popular fish among both new and experienced hobbyists... So are ruby red & "Dragon blood" peacocks ... and so on.

Fish that are different from what's found in nature are in the hobby (and have been since 2 AD) because people LIKE them. And they're not going anywhere. So opposition is futile.

So people like us - who don't necessarily like flowerhorns, etc. and care a lot about conservation - have a choice: We can include them and engage them (and those who enjoy BOTH fancy and wild-type fish are among us) to encourage "responsible fishkeeping" (of ALL fish, wild-type and otherwise) and raise awareness of the impacts of irresponsible fishkeeping / unethical behavior...or we can retreat to smaller and more insular organizations and point at those with different tastes than us as pariahs.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Bas Pels » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:02 am

I think people who keeo flowerhorns, or color guppies, or long fin betta's have another hobby

I don't visit forums dedicated to dogs, rabbits, kittens or the above mentioned fishes

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Hudson Ensz » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:07 pm

Bas Pels wrote:I think people who keeo flowerhorns, or color guppies, or long fin betta's have another hobby

I don't visit forums dedicated to dogs, rabbits, kittens or the above mentioned fishes
i agree. actually i breed bettas and guppies.... so i dont need to buy so many cardinals for my fish to eat :) seriously i have probably paid 50+ bucks for a year of cardinals. (thats probably about 1500.)
yeah the domestic animal to me is differant sorry but i am not giving up my guinea pigs rabbit dachsunds hamsters laboratory mice, parakeets etc...
Please visit my cichlid blog at passionate4pikes.wordpress.com
Tanks, 16gal, 8gal, 35gal, 200gal pond, T. candidi hospital tank 1 gal.
A. sp. abacaxi, A. agassizii, A. gibbiceps (2 strains), A. pertensis(?), A. pacisquamis, A. sp, A. hippolytae.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Bas Pels » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:12 am

Hudson,

I think people here call themselves lucky if the get cardinals for 1 dollar each :shock: . However, someties the prize will be more, such as 3 euros (that is over 4 dollars)

TRansport is expensive, you know?

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by PsYcHoTiC_MaDmAn » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:47 am

depends where you buy them from, I knew 1 supplier where I could buy them by the 100+ (he had smaller quantities, but the price went up per fish) but I could get them at 40-60p a fish which'd be about $0.80-1.20 each
Live in the UK?
Interested In Cichlids??
Then join the British Cichlid Association

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by Hudson Ensz » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:04 am

Yeah i know but here it is about 7 fish for a real.
Please visit my cichlid blog at passionate4pikes.wordpress.com
Tanks, 16gal, 8gal, 35gal, 200gal pond, T. candidi hospital tank 1 gal.
A. sp. abacaxi, A. agassizii, A. gibbiceps (2 strains), A. pertensis(?), A. pacisquamis, A. sp, A. hippolytae.

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Re: Whats your take on hybrids???

Post by James Shingler » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:37 am

I have been thinking about arguments put against my favored view. Esp well constructed ones like dogofwar's (I would love to meet you)
I do agree that accidental or careless hybrids are damaging the hobby (more than deliberate hybrid making and selecting) as I enjoy it.

I reckon the insidious nature of man made deliberate hybrid fish on the market is.......................

Its effect on us cichlid keepers/breeders.

I mean by this, the argument that "lots of people in hobby cross breed to produce salable cichlids, why should I care about crossing types and varieties and selling them"
Look at this "cool cichlid" for example :shock:

Just makes the LFS even more of a nightmare to visit if you want a cichlid that is as labeled.

Not much of an argument against these weird and fantastic hybrids?

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