Thoughts On Catching Fish And Keeping Them For Your Aquarium?

Ozzy

Member
I've recently found a few youtube videos of people who go out, catch fish and keep them in their aquarium. I imagine this is quite controversial (maybe not I haven't fallen that deep into the topic)

I know there are fish that can only be caught in the wild and I own otocinclus where this is the case for the most part, it's also a way to get high priced fish practically for free though I'm interested in the ethical qualms many of you may have with this method
 

Catfish12345

Member
I really don't care for freshwater. It brings economic growth to the area where the fish are sourced, and most fishermen are environmentally conscience since overharvesting and destruction of habitat would mean no income. I dislike how saltwater fish are sourced though, they are being decimated, ex. Phillipines,
 

TwoHedWlf

Member
Ozzy said:
I've recently found a few youtube videos of people who go out, catch fish and keep them in their aquarium. I imagine this is quite controversial (maybe not I haven't fallen that deep into the topic)

I know there are fish that can only be caught in the wild and I own otocinclus where this is the case for the most part, it's also a way to get high priced fish practically for free though I'm interested in the ethical qualms many of you may have with this method
I don't have a problem with it, as long as you're not capturing endangered fish. It might not be legal where you are either.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
lots of stress for the fish, I assume. could cross-contaminate badly. I'm not doing it personally. its interesting in a way though, working with local species. but yeah overall not a fan.

*this is about private persons supplying themselves, not to be sold to fish stores.
 

Mojo!

Member
Fish that you catch could carry disease and hurt your other fish, and could be aggressive. I don't agree.
 
  • Thread Starter

Ozzy

Member
How about for invasive species of fish you're supposed to kill upon capture? And if the aquarium is for fish you caught in the wild only wouldn't disease be easy to take care of? I'd never do this myself but I too think it's interesting in theory. Taking an animal out of a giant body of water and keeping it in a little box of water just doesn't sit right with me personally.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
Ozzy said:
Taking an animal out of a giant body of water and keeping it in a little box of water just doesn't sit right with me personally.
that too.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
Ozzy said:
How about for invasive species of fish you're supposed to kill upon capture? .
supposedly australia has a problem with a betta infestation, id love to study the population and pull the fishes out of there. dunno what id do with them though.
 
  • Thread Starter

Ozzy

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
supposedly australia has a problem with a betta infestation, id love to study the population and pull the fishes out of there. dunno what id do with them though.
Poor Australia they get all of the invasive species
 

BeanFish

Member
When I first started fishkeeping I thought wild caught fish was dumb and inmoral. Right now I would be willing to pay a bit more to get wild caught fish. The quality of wild caught fish can't be compared with the captive bred trash we are getting today.
I dislike some methods tho. Shooting cyanide in fish´s faces to capture them is not good.
 
  • Thread Starter

Ozzy

Member
BeanFish said:
When I first started fishkeeping I thought wild caught fish was dumb and inmoral. Right now I would be willing to pay a bit more to get wild caught fish. The quality of wild caught fish can't be compared with the captive bred trash we are getting today.
I dislike some methods tho. Shooting cyanide in fish´s faces to capture them is not good.

Just assume you're a random joe with a fishing pole or net. I definitely agree with the poisoning but that's usually done to catch in bulk and sell off. I can see where you're coming from, the breeding scene in the retail department is very sketchy like most animals being sold in stores unfortunately.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
BeanFish said:
When I first started fishkeeping I thought wild caught fish was dumb and inmoral. Right now I would be willing to pay a bit more to get wild caught fish. The quality of wild caught fish can't be compared with the captive bred trash we are getting today.
I dislike some methods tho. Shooting cyanide in fish´s faces to capture them is not good.
you could buy from hobbyist breeders
 

BeanFish

Member
Hobbyst breeders are non-existant here and If I have the chance I still want the real deal, a wild caught fish. I can't imagine how cool it would be to have a wild Sailfin Molly strain in my hands, or a wild Yucatan Molly strain. Or even a random Poecilia Sphenops wild strain, they all beat the commercial ones in terms of inmunity, hardiness and size.
 

goldface

Member
I don't see a problem with it, especially if it's in North America where fishing is well regulated. It's way better than the thousands of wild fish being captured in South America and elsewhere around the world and then starved and shipped for long distances to be sold. If you buy fish from a lfs or chain store and don't know where it's sourced from, then you're being a hypocrite if you're against people doing it here locally and sustainably for themselves
 
  • Thread Starter

Ozzy

Member
scarface said:
I don't see a problem with it, especially if it's in North America where fishing is well regulated. It's way better than the thousands of wild fish being captured in South America and elsewhere around the world and then starved and shipped for long distances to be sold. If you buy fish from a lfs or chain store and don't know where it's sourced from, then you're being a hypocrite if you're against people doing it here locally and sustainably for themselves
I'm not against it, I just don't have the heart to do it myself haha

You're absolutely right though, It could be a very fun and interesting project. There are a lot of fish that are still wild caught.

Also though, you can look at axolotls (not a fish but basically same hobby) and how they're becoming extinct in their natural habitat due to environmental issues , the only thing keeping them from going extinct is the aquarium hobby. It's safe to assume someone didn't just genetically engineer an axolotl , they had to have been wild caught at first.
 

clk89

Member
It's simply not something I would do.
 

goldface

Member
Ozzy said:
I'm not against it, I just don't have the heart to do it myself haha

You're absolutely right though, It could be a very fun and interesting project. There are a lot of fish that are still wild caught.

Also though, you can look at axolotls (not a fish but basically same hobby) and how they're becoming extinct in their natural habitat due to environmental issues , the only thing keeping them from going extinct is the aquarium hobby. It's safe to assume someone didn't just genetically engineer an axolotl , they had to have been wild caught at first.
I was just giving my opinion on the subject, not at you specifically or anyone else here, as I haven't read any of the comments to be honest. There are actually a couple posters that I know of whom would have a probelm with catching wild fish, here in North America, which I don't get at all. A lot of gamefish are even farmed and released into the wild to be caught by fisherman in most, if not all 50, states in the US. Heck, many of them that are stocked are actually out of their natural range (thus, technically invasive), even, such as the largemouth bass (as one example), which are stocked in every state (except Alaska, I think) because they are a popular sportfish. I can see a problem with doing it with saltwater species, but catching and keeping freshwater fish won't put even a sliver of a problem towards population. And again, if anyone has a specific problem with taking fish out of the wild, many fish at your lfs are wild caught.
 

skix

Member
If it's legal, sure. I love aquariums with local native species, which I've only seen in certain nature conservancy locations.

There are also locations like Florida (Australia was mentioned in the thread but it happens in the US too), where there are invasive tropical species. Would be practically free fish if you have a fishing license.
 

2211Nighthawk

Member
Depending on the fish why not. If I had a big enough tank (like 300g) I love to keep some of the bullhead catfish and various minnows I catch. That being said, it is then my responsibility to take care of them. For the most part, fish need a huge space in the wild for food. If they constant had someone dumping food directly over their hole in the us, I'd be pretty confident saying their territory wouldn't be as big. BUT on the other hand if I felt like keeping the Chanel catfish you can catch that get 3-4 feet long you had better have one heck of a massive tank to house them properly in. Same with the tiny adorable little 6" baby Jack that get to 5' long.

It's when species are being caught to extinction that I have issues. As long as you take care of them, I don't see why not. They are sometimes more fragile then store bought because they are not used to dealing with the joys of tap water and as long as you would quartine them like any other fish there really isn't that big of a difference. Course for predators it might take a while to get them onto pellets or seomthig instead of live.
 

parxs

Member
I've always been torn on this. On the one hand I'd love to catch small wild fish and keep them and since I'm in Florida there are plenty of aquarium fish that you can find wild her. On the other it seems like one of the most incredibly cruel things you could do to an animal-take it out of an area where it has as much room as it could possibly want and put it in a teeny box. I have a bunch of least killis I found in a feeder tank that are living in a 14 gallon tank and they were likely wild fish that got caught up in a guppy pond but they were in a tank being sold for food when I got them so I don't feel bad about it. I think if you went out to catch a least killI or one of the other nano-killis here it would still be cruel to put them in a tank that would be "appropriately" sized had they been tank raised i.e a 10-20 gallon. I think if you went out and caught one of these fish, even the small species that are 1.5" MAX, to keep them happy they should be in a 40 gal. I would like to have a 40 gal breeder "pond" of wild mosquito fish or bluefin killis but I couldn't imagine shoving fish that can travel a very long way without hitting an edge into anything much smaller.
 

chromedome52

Member
I wonder why I didn't see this thread sooner.

I spent a number of my early years collecting fish in my native region of Saltwater Michigan, and while I was in the Navy I started to do some in NW Florida. Found many very interesting species. I always wanted to collect overseas, but never had the right opportunity.

There is an organization for the keeping of US native fishes, the North American Native Fish Association (NANFA). There are a lot of people who collect native fish and keep them. One of my friends specializes in keeping unusual minnows. He has numerous species of highly colorful minnows, such as Notropis chrosomus. We also have a couple of people locally who have bred them, and I know a guy in Detroit area who breeds the Blue Nosed Shiner, Pteronotropis welaka. There are also several killifish, such as the Bluefin Killifish and Florida Flagfish, that even occasionally make it into commercial channels.

There is nothing wrong with catching your own aquarium fish. Just bear in mind that this is a temperate aquarium, not tropical. They are quite easy to keep and will eat commercial fish foods as readily as tropical purchased in a store.
 

FishL:))

Member
I've never tried catching wild fish, but I've always been pretty curious of how they would react in a smaller environment( fish tank)
The only three things that concerns me are:
1. Is it legal where you be planning to take from.
2. Is it an endangered species.
3.Knowing what kind of fish your getting and their care.

Anyways, good luck either way!!
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I have zero qualms about this. If I did, I would not have freshwater aquariums. If I can't provide a proper environment for a fish, I don't try to keep it. That's it, that's all. If I can, then there is no ethical problem catching it.

I don't keep my local native fish because I am north, and can't provide the cold water winter they need in their life cycle.

There are wonderful, small species thoughout North America, and if I lived in the US, I would certainly keep darters, for example. And I would follow regulations, and catch them myself.

I prefer wild fish, as they are healthier and longer lived. I also think it is more ethical to support small local fisheries - I have met African aquarium fishers who support their families and have a very good understanding of what overfishing would mean. They are stewards for the species that help sustain their families and villages. You could be a shareholder in an Indonesian fish farm and not even know what a fish was, or care what they do to them to maximize your return. Somehow, the native fisheries seem more ethical to me.

I would love to be able to catch my own - I have done it in the southern US and Central America. I study the environment as I do, and try to replicate it in my tanks.
 

BettaPonic

Member
I am a big livebearer fan and have always wanted to capture the local mosquito fish.
 

TwoHedWlf

Member
BettaPonic said:
I am a big livebearer fan and have always wanted to capture the local mosquito fish.
Used to be a bit of a joke locally. we called them stream guppies because they kept popping up on auction sites with descriptions alog the lines of "Guppies I caught in the stream behind my house." No, guppies can't survive in the wild here. You've just documented and advertised yourself keeping and attempting to spread an unwanted organism. A crime punishable by up to 5 years jail and $100k fine.
 

Dominus

Member
It depends on the fish honestly. I'm not sure about wild guppies or anything like that but I know a lot of freshwater fish that you can catch (bass, bluegill, pike, etc) are going to be way too big, aggressive, and messy to be kept in anything less than a tank with a couple hundred gallons. Not to mention that those guys usually tend to have a really dull coloration. If you can get past those two issues, I don't see anything wrong with keeping them. You're taking them from an environment where they have to compete for food and putting them into a clean environment where they get to swim around and be fed. I can't see how that can be immoral as long as they're well taken care of!
 

Bruxes and Bubbles

Member
BettaPonic said:
I am a big livebearer fan and have always wanted to capture the local mosquito fish.
I fish and when I catch mosquitofish in my net I check them out to see if there are any special ones (special markings or etc). If there are I put them in my pond. They can be pretty good pets once they're tamed. If they're raised with aquarium fish they tend to have better dispositions. My golden shiner I caught in a pond and he's totally tame now.

Wish I would have been into the fish hobby when I lived in Louisiana - we had mosquitofish or some type of fish that looked like them there with bright, bright red tails!
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view



Top Bottom