Why Are Hybrids Controversial?

JGombs99

Member
Pretty straight forward post, I suppose. It seems that hybrid fish are quite controversial, but I don't understand why. Just wondering if anyone could explain; thanks!
 

Aquaphobia

Member
I think it has something to do with the destruction of wild populations to feed the aquarium hobby. Unless there are dedicated breeders keeping the species going there's a real risk of extinction.

Plus some hybrids can show only the traits of one side but carry others so that someone trying to breed what they think is a pure species may accidentally "pollute" their lines with another species.

Then there's the ethical issue of deformities, as with the parrot fish and of making "designer fish" that will have a wide appeal as an object but not as a living being that deserves proper care.
 

Kasshan

Member
It reduces the integrity of a species. Few hybrids look pretty, phenotype expression in genetics is not cut and dry and as simple as 50%/50% from mother father. You get ranges and muddies all the genetics. Behavior and spawning rituals can change or degrade.

But some are intensely bred for beauty and patterns. Flowers horns especially are pro level hybrids that took a lot of effort to achieve
 

Bruxes and Bubbles

Member
I think that the contrioversy really depends on what fish you are hybridizing. If it's something really common like platys and swordtails from Petco, for instance, I don't think people care as long as you're honest when/if you sell them.

But some fish are rare, extinct in the wild, or really hard to get, and this just muddies the genepool and just makes 'purebred' fish of this species even harder to get or closer to becoming extinct.


Now, ones that are unethical to breed together are a completely different story.
 

david1978

Member
Some fish, endlers seem to pop in my mind the quickest. Due to hybridizing it is so hard to find actual endlers.
 

FishFish221

Member
david1978 said:
Some fish, endlers seem to pop in my mind the quickest. Due to hybridizing it is so hard to find actual endlers.
That's not exactly the reason why they are hard to find.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
It is controversial only if you are not just keeping fish as ornaments. If you have non breeding fish and consume fish, go for hybrids.
If you aren't happy with consuming, hybrids pose problems.
Yes, they can be money makers.
But they can also be extinction makers, if badly labelled. If we cross all our captive stocks of a fish and lose it in the wild...
As well, we can learn a lot about fish diversity through our hobby. Hybrids are human-made and adapted to nothing - it cuts down on the learning. I'm weird in that if I see a new fish, I don't just want to look at it. I want t0 learn about it. The habitat, the history, the evolution - cool stuff to me.
Human made fish can be pretty, but they are limited to prettiness.
 

Dave125g

Member
Take rainbow fish for example. You might think if I cross breed a beautiful boesmainI with a new guinea I'd get a beautiful mix of both colors in the same fish. What really happens is the offspring actually looses color.
 

KimberlyG

Member
I have no problem with most hybrids. If it's a fish I want, I'll buy it. I do NOT breed. (Okay, my neolamprologus multifasciatus are an exception but I have not found a way to keep them from breeding.) I have display tanks and I want them to Pop. If that means a flowerhorn, then a flowerhorn is what I buy. I guess I am playing devil's advocate here because I do not own any hybrids. I may have two in my Mbuna tank that were sold to me as red zebras but I have my doubts.
The only thing that I do find disturbing is the over harvesting of species from their natural environment. If they are endangered or threatened in their natural habitat, then it is our moral obligation as an aquarist to try to promote pure strains of these fish. Hopefully this will lead to the reintroduction of the species in the following years. Where habitat has been totally lost, we are their only hope for survival. Some of us take that seriously. It is the only reason I would breed.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Thanks for the replies, guys! Although I know it's silly to compare fish to dogs, this phenomenon seems interesting to me when you do compare the two. The push with animal activists, etc seems to be to adopt mixed breed dogs rather than buying pure breeds. Yet, with fish it seems that people feel the opposite. Just thought I'd ask for opinions since it seems interesting to me.

I have a couple of Blood Parrots, and have been considering a couple of hybrid Syno Cats, but was discouraged by a couple of members on here, which prompted me to ask the question. I have fish just for my own enjoyment, and don't plan to breed or sell them.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
You have to understand the enormous difference between 'breeds' and 'species'. You can't compare this issue to dogs, because dogs are all one species, and breeds are just linebred varieties. Cross them or not, they are all dogs.
But dogs, wolves, coyotes - they are different species.
Cats, tigers, lions,. cheetahs - if we could hybridize them all and have one species, a spotted undersized striped spotted maned orange thing with bad hips, would that be a suitable replacement for all four wonderful creatures?
 

KimberlyG

Member
JGombs99 said:
Thanks for the replies, guys! Although I know it's silly to compare fish to dogs, this phenomenon seems interesting to me when you do compare the two. The push with animal activists, etc seems to be to adopt mixed breed dogs rather than buying pure breeds. Yet, with fish it seems that people feel the opposite. Just thought I'd ask for opinions since it seems interesting to me.

I have a couple of Blood Parrots, and have been considering a couple of hybrid Syno Cats, but was discouraged by a couple of members on here, which prompted me to ask the question. I have fish just for my own enjoyment, and don't plan to breed or sell them.
Well, as long as you opened that can of worms and are "fishing"...lol. I am quite tired of being bullied by the ASPCA, PETA and all of the other institutions surrounding animal rights. I will be the first to come to the defense of animals that are being mistreated, but I will not tolerate them telling me I MUST buy from a shelter or stop by one on the way to pick up my new purebreed puppy in order to put down one of their animals before I do so. (Yes, there was such a campaign). Different breeds have different personalities and abilities. I know which breeds I want and those that would never come into my home. Fostering is a different thing, that is not breed specific for me but it is with the understanding that if they are not adopted, they leave. I do Great Pyrenees and Yorkshire Terriers. That's it.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Thanks again for the info. I wasn't trying to argue for or against pure breed dogs (and I didn't understand the breed vs species thing, so that's good info). I was just trying to draw the parallel, and say that I find it interesting that folks seem to be so against the hybrid fish thing. Of course, I always enjoy learning something new.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Thanks for that clarification , that's an important distinction! There are certain dog breeds that are my favourite but they've been so overbred that it's hard to find a good specimen now. So many are doomed to short lives and ill health thanks to unscrupulous or uneducated breeders who are only in it to make money or to supply "pretty" dogs to the insatiable market. There are still good breeds out there and tbh my own favourite breed is returning to former glory thanks to the dedication of fanciers who have managed to preserve good lines and fight the systems that allowed or even promoted the fiasco in the first place.

You could have the same problem with fish breeders, even ones who breed single species! If they breed for quantity rather than quality you might to run into the same problem but at least you know what you're working with to begin with!

KimberlyG I love Great Pyrenees but from experience I honestly hope the breed never appears in a popular movie
 

KimberlyG

Member
Aquaphobia said:
Thanks for that clarification , that's an important distinction! There are certain dog breeds that are my favourite but they've been so overbred that it's hard to find a good specimen now. So many are doomed to short lives and ill health thanks to unscrupulous or uneducated breeders who are only in it to make money or to supply "pretty" dogs to the insatiable market. There are still good breeds out there and tbh my own favourite breed is returning to former glory thanks to the dedication of fanciers who have managed to preserve good lines and fight the systems that allowed or even promoted the fiasco in the first place.

You could have the same problem with fish breeders, even ones who breed single species! If they breed for quantity rather than quality you might to run into the same problem but at least you know what you're working with to begin with!

KimberlyG I love Great Pyrenees but from experience I honestly hope the breed never appears in a popular movie
Hahaha! I will never be without one. My life was saved on night while walking around the lake by my supposed "Dumber than Rocks" Pyrnesees.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
I've been saved by my German Shepherd but he was the last "good" one with brains and solid hips I saw for years. He was a good man
 

James17

Member
You way toooo funny. I understand exactly what you were saying but it just hit me as funny.

one species, a spotted undersized striped spotted maned orange thing with bad hips, would that be a suitable replacement for all four wonderful creatures?

I know this subject is not funny.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I have a fancy dog, but she's a rescue. She's 9, and we've had her since May, a cream golden retriever. Good hips and elbows - all checked out as she was a breeder when she was younger. I have no problem with breeds or mutts, but they are more like looking at plakat versus halfmoon bettas versus combtails. They become a question of taste and preference.

My dog has tried to save me from various threatening shopping bags, hanging blankets and ferocious chipmunks. She is heroic, if a little lacking in focus.
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
So, bringing the discussion back to fish, and my original question, it seems like the final verdict is somewhat similar as it is with dogs. As long as there's no intent to breed or sell, and the hybrid is meant just to be enjoyed within my tank, no harm no foul. But, breeding, selling, etc would be considered irresponsible. Yes?
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
In my tiny worldview, yeah.
But I also don't like encouraging the production of hybrids. So I go a little farther than your formula. But I don't represent anyone but myself.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Aye there's the rub. Where do you get your personal hybrid fish? There's going to be a market and there will be breeders looking to supply that market. That's great if they sell just to you but who else are they selling to? Will the fish be released? Will they be released into areas where one or both of the parent species are endemic?
 
  • Thread Starter

JGombs99

Member
I get my fish (hybrid or otherwise) from a couple of different LFS. Blood Parrots I like, and, yes, I did go looking for those. The Syno Cats are a different story, though. I have a Featherfin Catfish, and really like him. I checked out some other Syno Cats, and saw that one LFS had some hybrid Synos (Valentiana). I started researching and found out they're a hybrid, then found out how controversial this is. Either way, I haven't gone looking for hybrids (other than Parrots), and figure they're at the store whether I buy them or not.
 

chromedome52

Member
JGombs99 said:
. Either way, I haven't gone looking for hybrids (other than Parrots), and figure they're at the store whether I buy them or not.
Aye, but there's the rub. They are selling them because people are buying them. I am concerned by the fact that people will hybridize two Synodontis species when it is hard enough to actually breed any species in the first place. Even if they are test-tube spawning, why not just go for the actual species? Intentional hybridization does not make sense for any reason other than profit. I'm not into my fishkeeping for profit. My motives are similar to , I want to learn what the species does, how it behaves (even if it is in a glass box). I don't like induced breeding with hormones either, but a lot of our aquarium fish are bred that way because we cannot duplicate their natural habitat easily.
 
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JGombs99

Member
Oh, wow. There really is a lot to this issue it seems.
 

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