Hybrid Debate

NavigatorBlack

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I don't keep hybrids in my tanks.
My reasons are that with the destruction of species by our activities, we may end up with a lot of fish that only exist in aquariums. We already have fish whose habitats are gone. If we keep crossing species, we can drive creatures like that to extinction, via hybridization. You can combine two species and make one hybrid, and in the process, lose the two species.
However, if you don't breed fish, keep all the hybrids you want. Fish kept as ornaments aren't going to affect anything.
 

Themaniac19

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I don't keep hybrids in my tanks.
My reasons are that with the destruction of species by our activities, we may end up with a lot of fish that only exist in aquariums. We already have fish whose habitats are gone. If we keep crossing species, we can drive creatures like that to extinction, via hybridization. You can combine two species and make one hybrid, and in the process, lose the two species.
However, if you don't breed fish, keep all the hybrids you want. Fish kept as ornaments aren't going to affect anything.
The vast majority of biologists are against using any captive bred animals that have a questionable genetic history. That means that its very unlikely that the animals we have in the hobby will ever be considered for use in conservation. This is mainly due to the risk of hybridization and excessive inbreeding. If you create hybrids it won't really matter in a conservation sense. That's not to say that hybrids don't happen in nature; they're certainly more common than most people think, but we still have distinct species even if a good portion of their genome didn't originate in their specific species. I personally don't like them because I'm into natural looking fish (with a few exceptions). The only aspect I'm against is the possibility of the extinction of parent species in the hobby, which is pretty common in some hobbies that I'm a part of (ie Brachypelma spp.,).
 

ashenwelt

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Many people argue against hybridization of aquarium fish. As @NavigatorBlack sometimes we really are the last place those fish exist. However it often seems to be a double standard in aquaria... so it really is an individual opinion. Many of us started with live bearers like fancy guppies or Mollies, and those are examples of common hybridized fish. Often times the ones people really worry about are the odd looking ones like Flowerhorns.

At the same time... I would be very cautious because some fish are actually endangered... or extinct in the wild: that we take for granted. There has been many conversations about how some strains of N-Class endlers in the wild are simply gone. And when you see an auction for "rare killifish eggs"... you have a very good chance of finding endangered fish. These should NOT be hybridized in my book. These are the safety valves for the wild.

I am a little on the fence on this... with exceptions.
 

NavigatorBlack

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I keep fish with well defined genetic histories, usually wilds up to F-3.
In the hobby, we have the conservation dream, but the "look at that" history. We may not be part of any formal conservation efforts, but hybridization in the hobby reduces diversity, and gives us a lot less to look at and learn from. By that, I again refer to the breeding of hybrids.

A common fish like the endler's livebearer has been possibly eliminated via hybridization.
I was delighted a few years ago to see a maculatus platy in Belize - I had never seen a non hybrid in 40 years of fishkeeping.

I see our fish as the living dead. They are biological zombies, once removed from the habitats that made them. But their diversity is wonderful to see, and we should value it as it comes from nature. Throwing it into a blender isn't interesting to me.
And hey, I have Trinidad guppies, and won't keep hybrid livebearers of any sort.
 
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