Why is hybridization a bad thing?

RandomFishBoi

Member
I see so many articles and sites casually mention that you shouldn't mix very closely related fish species because they may hybridize, but they never say why. Just curious as to why people think hybridization is such a bad thing (other than selling fish).
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
Screws with their genes could cause disease just bad overall.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
NoahLikesFish said:
Screws with their genes could cause disease just bad overall.
I’m going to have to disagree with this hybrid fish can be quiet healthy but if there was never a hybrid mixed before the first generation might be unhealthy but they get better after that. It’s not being a hybrid that makes the fish unhealthy it’s the unnecessary and not responsible breeding that causes them to be unhealthy in the long run. Because breeders tend to inbreed their fish causing issues that can’t be fixed and that makes the common misconception that hybrids aren’t and will never be healthy
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
I don’t like blood parrots or flower horns too much though. They aren’t very ethical. Sure they are cool and have nice personalities but it isn’t ok to make a abomination of 20 different species which never asked to be alive.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
blood parrots and flowerhorn get the most rep for being hybrids so they also get the most hate but realistically there are hundreds of hybrid fish out there
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
There are even hybrids that occur naturally in the wild.
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
I just don’t like seeing fish missing fins or having a massive sac on their head it makes me feel bad for the fish
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
There are even hybrids that occur naturally in the wild.
Yeah a majority are from the wild compared to the amount man made
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Yeah a majority are from the wild compared to the amount man made
I know that

I personally love flower horns and parrots I just don’t like how their made. We should stop making this thread go off topic
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
NoahLikesFish said:
I just don’t like seeing fish missing fins or having a massive sac on their head it makes me feel bad for the fish
Missing fins? And other fish that aren't even hybrids have humps on their heads as well. (Red-Hump Eartheater, Block and Lump head cichlids, Fontosa and some other african cichlids, and many more).

The topic is hybridization, which is what we are talking about.
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
Oh I thought this was the blood parrot the read LOL
 

RayClem

Member
There a lots of different types of hybrids. I had a golden doodle that was a 1st generation hybrid between a standard poodle male and a golden retriever female. At the age of 11, she died as a result of acute liver cancer, a disease common in purebred golden retrievers. However, all dogs, no matter what the breed are the same species Canis Familiaris. However, originally, they may have been derived from the wolf Canis Lupis. Dogs and wolves are so closely related they can be interbred producing viable offspring. However, owning a wolf-dog might pose some challenges.

In the fish world there are similar examples. Various members of the Xiphophorus genus are so closely related that they can interbreed. Thus, swordtails, platys and variatus platys can form viable hybrids. If fact it is said that the Xiphophorus maculatus platy and the Xiphophorus variatus platy variatus have been interbred for so long in the hobby that it is hard to find representatives of a pure species.

Guppies and endlers are both very closely related species of Poecilia and can interbreed. Mollies are also a species of Peocilia, and they can interbreed with guppies. However, in this case, the offspring seldom make it to adulthood and cannot reproduce. There is too much difference between the guppy and molly species, even though they are both from the same genus.

Fish like the flowerhorn and blood parrot are created by breeders as hybrids. Generally, these hybrid fish are infertile, although there have been some successful breeding attempts. This is a lot different than the interbreeding of closely related species whose offspring are fertile. With the infertile hybrids, the gene pool will never be stable. In the case of the Flowerhorn, the breeders are trying to accentuate the deformities of the fish. Those who do not show sufficient deformities may be destroyed.

Then there is the final type of hybrid, the one formed by implanting genes of an entirely different type of animal into the genetic sequence of a fish species in a laboratory environment. GloFish were originally created in a test tube using specific genes from species like anemones and jellyfish who exhibit fluorescence. To me this is the most controversial techniques as you are creating a hybrid of two entirely unrelated species. Although GlowFish are legal in the USA, I understand that they have been banned in the EU.
 

MacZ

Member
Another aspect of hybridisation as a bad thing, and the reason why european breeders keep their african cichlids sorted:
Sometime in the late 20th century some cichlids in a collecting station on the shores of Lake Malawi hybridised. Those hybrids got back in the Lake somehow and displaced the original wild species, with the females of the wild species preferring the hybrid males. I'd have to look up the exact species involved, back then they were counted as species of Pseudotropheus.
Another case is Lake Victoria. The Lake is a disaster thanks to invasive species (fish and plants alike), that were introduced on purpose. Since then many endemic species of Haplochromid cichlids have been lost, others are critically endangered. At the same time new subspecies are developing thanks to the enormous speed with which mouthbrooders can replicate. So keeping these fish separate in captivity is helping somewhat keeping the species alive. Hybridisation has sadly happened a lot already, which makes it really hard to ID some of these species if one comes by them in the hobby.
 

JettsPapa

Member
I believe crossbreeding rainbowfish is also frowned on. I've seen several sources that say the results will be drab and unhealthy. That's one big reason I decided to only get one species in my 65 gallon tank (I wanted boesmanis, but I liked turquoise better . . . and they cost about $2.00 less each).
 

DoubleDutch

Member
RayClem said:
There a lots of different types of hybrids. I had a golden doodle that was a 1st generation hybrid between a standard poodle male and a golden retriever female. At the age of 11, she died as a result of acute liver cancer, a disease common in purebred golden retrievers. However, all dogs, no matter what the breed are the same species Canis Familiaris. However, originally, they may have been derived from the wolf Canis Lupis. Dogs and wolves are so closely related they can be interbred producing viable offspring. However, owning a wolf-dog might pose some challenges.

In the fish world there are similar examples. Various members of the Xiphophorus genus are so closely related that they can interbreed. Thus, swordtails, platys and variatus platys can form viable hybrids. If fact it is said that the Xiphophorus maculatus platy and the Xiphophorus variatus platy variatus have been interbred for so long in the hobby that it is hard to find representatives of a pure species.

Guppies and endlers are both very closely related species of Poecilia and can interbreed. Mollies are also a species of Peocilia, and they can interbreed with guppies. However, in this case, the offspring seldom make it to adulthood and cannot reproduce. There is too much difference between the guppy and molly species, even though they are both from the same genus.

Fish like the flowerhorn and blood parrot are created by breeders as hybrids. Generally, these hybrid fish are infertile, although there have been some successful breeding attempts. This is a lot different than the interbreeding of closely related species whose offspring are fertile. With the infertile hybrids, the gene pool will never be stable. In the case of the Flowerhorn, the breeders are trying to accentuate the deformities of the fish. Those who do not show sufficient deformities may be destroyed.

Then there is the final type of hybrid, the one formed by implanting genes of an entirely different type of animal into the genetic sequence of a fish species in a laboratory environment. GloFish were originally created in a test tube using specific genes from species like anemones and jellyfish who exhibit fluorescence. To me this is the most controversial techniques as you are creating a hybrid of two entirely unrelated species. Although GlowFish are legal in the USA, I understand that they have been banned in the EU.
Are you sure a Golden Doodle is a hybrid?
Those aren't different species but only different breeds of the same species.

Natural hybrids are very rare. Normally if there are enough males/females of the species there will be hardly hybridisation.

Often hybrids are infertile so there is no offsping.

I think it is a shame humans seem to have the need to make hybrids, asbif Mother Nature didn't a great job of herself.
 

MacZ

Member
DoubleDutch said:
Are you sure a Golden Doodle is a hybrid?
Those aren't different species but only different breeds of the same species.
Yes and no. While technically the same species, dogs have been bred into so different forms that biologically the line between species and breed gets blurry. There are biologists that propose the model that dogs are not only a new species as a whole, but counting some breeds as distinct or at least as technically subspecies. DNA specialists say the DNA is not distinct enough, though. But they also say dogs are very much a distinct species from wolves by now.

DoubleDutch said:
Natural hybrids are very rare. Normally if there are enough males/females of the species there will be hardly hybridisation.
True, but they are possible:
Interestingly the North Eastern forms of wolves and coyotes are almost entirely hybrids of wolfs, dogs and coyotes, having intermixed for quite some time.
And well... we as humans are technically hybrids, too. There is Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in our genomes present, who were distinct species.
Most species close enough to one another don't hybridise because of one of two reasons: Either the populations are physically apart (Like, let's say Snow Leopards and Jaguars) or because their breeding behaviour/display forms are very distinct (like birds of paradise) although sharing a habitat.

DoubleDutch said:
Often hybrids are infertile so there is no offsping.
With more research into hybrid animals this is starting to become an outdated view. The likelyhood in known hybrids seems to tip towards a 50:50 ratio of chance and Paleo-DNA research seems to show a lot of hybridisations resulting in some species we see today. I guess the chance of viable AND fertile hybrids is now more linked to the percentage of shared DNA.

DoubleDutch said:
I think it is a shame humans seem to have the need to make hybrids, asbif Mother Nature didn't a great job of herself.
She did a great Job. Though by also mixing about sometimes.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
MacZ said:
Yes and no. While technically the same species, dogs have been bred into so different forms that biologically the line between species and breed gets blurry. There are biologists that propose the model that dogs are not only a new species as a whole, but counting some breeds as distinct or at least as technically subspecies. DNA specialists say the DNA is not distinct enough, though. But they also say dogs are very much a distinct species from wolves by now.



True, but they are possible:
Interestingly the North Eastern forms of wolves and coyotes are almost entirely hybrids of wolfs, dogs and coyotes, having intermixed for quite some time.
And well... we as humans are technically hybrids, too. There is Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in our genomes present, who were distinct species.
Most species close enough to one another don't hybridise because of one of two reasons: Either the populations are physically apart (Like, let's say Snow Leopards and Jaguars) or because their breeding behaviour/display forms are very distinct (like birds of paradise) although sharing a habitat.



With more research into hybrid animals this is starting to become an outdated view. The likelyhood in known hybrids seems to tip towards a 50:50 ratio of chance and Paleo-DNA research seems to show a lot of hybridisations resulting in some species we see today. I guess the chance of viable AND fertile hybrids is now more linked to the percentage of shared DNA.



She did a great Job. Though by also mixing about sometimes.
Then every breed of dogs, cows, horses is a hybrid, whih think is strange. But we hve had this discussion before I think.

The part about being rare in nature and often being.infertile I meand in fish.

As said before I gonna saddle.my Horow (horse x cow) and walk my Liog (Lion x Dog) after I fed my Cakeet (Cat x parakeet) and my Firtle (Fish × turtle).

I disliked it when my son unintentionally crossed CPD's and Emerald.rasboras.
These hybrids are gone by now.

I won't be the one to embarass Mother Nature. Watching the BBC Nature documentaries she has proven to have done an awesone job to we humans don't have to add anyhing ourselvee (no hybrids, no colortypes, no longfins, balloonversions etc....)

But again this is my personal.opinion.
 

aussieJJDude

Member
I think hybirds get a bad wrap, as subsequent generations maybe be crossed back into the parental species, which damages and limits the breeding pool.

For example, say you have a single strain of lake Malawi cichlid and you cross it with another strain. All offspring are now contaminated and do not make good breeding candidates for either parent strain, leading to a potential loss in 'true' individuals.


I do think hybrids get a bad wrap, simply due to extreme examples being referenced. The popular ones (which everyone mentioned) are blood parrots and flowerhorns. However, many discus variants are hybrids, as well as angelfish. Its believed that crossing species of swordtails/platies or mollies lead to new strains being developed, and the strains are hybrids. Bettas are routinely hybridised as well for new novel colour patterns (and improve genetic varience!) and in agriculture, hybrid plants can greatly help yield and production of crops. The common goldfish is believed to be a hybrid as well, I thinking between several species of Asian carp but can't seem to locate said journal.

Nature has its beauty, but at the same time hybrids are here to stay and do form their own charm. Each to their own I guess. ^_^
 

veggieshark

Member
I think hybridization is OK, as long as they are not introduced in to the wild (for ecological reasons), and they are clearly labeled and kept separate from wild types in captivity (so the efforts for protecting an original species in captivity are not damaged). Both of these are very hard to do and a big responsibility.
 

MacZ

Member
DoubleDutch said:
Then every breed of dogs, cows, horses is a hybrid, whih think is strange. But we hve had this discussion before I think.
No, I was strictly referring to dogs in that case.

DoubleDutch said:
The part about being rare in nature and often being.infertile I meand in fish.
Wasn't clear to me.

DoubleDutch said:
As said before I gonna saddle.my Horow (horse x cow) and walk my Liog (Lion x Dog) after I fed my Cakeet (Cat x parakeet) and my Firtle (Fish × turtle).
Now you're being silly.

DoubleDutch said:
I disliked it when my son unintentionally crossed CPD's and Emerald.rasboras.
These hybrids are gone by now.
I would have, too.

DoubleDutch said:
I won't be the one to embarass Mother Nature. Watching the BBC Nature documentaries she has proven to have done an awesone job to we humans don't have to add anyhing ourselvee (no hybrids, no colortypes, no longfins, balloonversions etc....)
I'm with you there. I was at no point advocating FOR hybrids. I just have an interest in the topic and spilled out some stuff I read about.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
MacZ said:
No, I was strictly referring to dogs in that case.



Wasn't clear to me.



Now you're being silly.



I would have, too.



I'm with you there. I was at no point advocating FOR hybrids. I just have an interest in the topic and spilled out some stuff I read about.
I know Mike.

I still think dogs aren't a good example of hybrids but okay.

Of course I am being silly. There was a lot of rumour in our country cause of a soccerplayer / rapper (at least he thinks he is a rapper) performing in a video with a Liger arghhhhhhh
 

MacZ

Member
I agree they are a bad example, thought me pointing out there are two opinions among researchers would support your statement.
 

RayClem

Member
DoubleDutch said:
I know Mike.

I still think dogs aren't a good example of hybrids but okay.

Of course I am being silly. There was a lot of rumour in our country cause of a soccerplayer / rapper (at least he thinks he is a rapper) performing in a video with a Liger arghhhhhhh
When I mentioned my Goldendoodle, I stated that all dogs are the same species. However, breeders of purebred dogs such as those entered into dog shows think that such cross breeds/hybrids are unacceptable. Such "hybrids" do not have a breed standard and so are not allowed to be shown. However, over time, it may be possible to stabilize the gene pool of Goldendoodles such they the will breed true.

Once good example of a hybrid that has existed for some time is the mule. It is a hybrid between the male donkey and female horse. Although the donkey and horse are both from the Equus genus, they do not even have the same number of chromosomes in their genetics. Thus, any offspring are infertile.
 

erinw347

Member
Personally I think that the genetics of fish in the hobby are already so messed with that it doesn’t negatively impact to hybridize (unless said fish has been hybridized to have a bunch of issues)

I mean think about it. Betta splendes for example- no one can tell me that species is genetically the same as their cousins in Thailand. Or livebearers? Corydoras aeneus?

Unless the hybridization brings on a lot of genetic issues, I just don’t think it affects the species much at this point.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
erinw347 said:
Personally I think that the genetics of fish in the hobby are already so messed with that it doesn’t negatively impact to hybridize (unless said fish has been hybridized to have a bunch of issues)

I mean think about it. Betta splendes for example- no one can tell me that species is genetically the same as their cousins in Thailand. Or livebearers? Corydoras aeneus?

Unless the hybridization brings on a lot of genetic issues, I just don’t think it affects the species much at this point.
With what kind of betta-species would that hybridisation have taken place.
 

erinw347

Member
DoubleDutch said:
With what kind of betta-species would that hybridisation have taken place.
I dont mean that different betta species actually bred. I just meant that the betta splendes in thailand vs petco are genetically very different from each other due to all of the overbreeding that we’ve already done.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
erinw347 said:
I dont mean that different betta species actually bred. I just meant that the betta splendes in thailand vs petco are genetically very different from each other due to all of the overbreeding that we’ve already done.
Overbreeding is something completely different than hybridisation. I also doubt they are genetically different than wild ones. Some specific elements like shape, finlength, colors are bred into them by linebreeding but not by mixing gens of two species or by genetically altering.
But maybe an expert can shine a light on this.
 

erinw347

Member
DoubleDutch said:
Overbreeding is something completely different than hybridisation. I also doubt they are genetically different than wild ones. Some specific elements like shape, finlength, colors are bred into them by linebreeding but not by mixing gens of two species or by genetically altering.
But maybe an expert can shine a light on this.
True. I am no expert. I just assumed, with all of the issues domestic bettas have nowadays, that there was likely differences that have evolved in their genes over the years.
 
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RandomFishBoi

Member
I actually find that many wild bettas look quite similar to most of the bettas in the hobby.
 

RayClem

Member
erinw347 said:
Personally I think that the genetics of fish in the hobby are already so messed with that it doesn’t negatively impact to hybridize (unless said fish has been hybridized to have a bunch of issues)

I mean think about it. Betta splendes for example- no one can tell me that species is genetically the same as their cousins in Thailand. Or livebearers? Corydoras aeneus?

Unless the hybridization brings on a lot of genetic issues, I just don’t think it affects the species much at this point.
What is your opinoin on the Flowerhorn where the breeders are specifically trying to produce a fish with a deformity? A Flowerhorn would not last long in a natural environment as other fish would kill the "mutant".
 

erinw347

Member
RayClem said:
What is your opinoin on the Flowerhorn where the breeders are specifically trying to produce a fish with a deformity? A Flowerhorn would not last long in a natural environment as other fish would kill the "mutant".
I don’t know enough about flowerhorns to form an opinion on that.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
RayClem said:
What is your opinoin on the Flowerhorn where the breeders are specifically trying to produce a fish with a deformity? A Flowerhorn would not last long in a natural environment as other fish would kill the "mutant".
It’s not a deformity. It’s just because of the fish that were used to create it. No one really knows what started it but a lot of people think it was a Midas fish which already had a slight bum and over time through breeding it got bigger. And I disagree that they wouldn’t last long in nature. In fact I think they would thrive due to the fact that they are very aggressive and hardy fish. I think one could easily live out in nature but of course they shouldn’t as that’s not where they belong
 

AvalancheDave

Member
Interesting articles on guppy inbreeding and betta genetic diversity.

It seems like there are several types of wild bettas from different environments.
 

chromedome52

Member
First, let me mention that there are places in the far east where Flowerhorns somehow got into the native waters, whether escaped or planted, and they have established populations. Since there are no Cichlids native to that part of Asia, they have no real competitors. But they can most assuredly survive in the wild. They are a very destructive invader where they have established populations.

As for Bettas, some of the more popular varieties these days are the result of hybridization between two species. This is one of the reasons the newer strains are so much harder to breed.

I dislike Frankenhorns because they are big, ugly, and serve no purpose outside of being a "wet pet", which is a concept that I am personally opposed to. I keep fish to study their natural behaviors, or to learn the genetics of domestic strains. Frankenhorns cannot ever have natural behaviors, nor can anyone ever establish any genetic patterns in them. It is a personal dislike, and I would not force my view on others, no matter how misguided I think they are.

I will note that I do like to keep livebearer hybrids, as most of the color varieties in Xiphophorus have come from crossing maculatus and helleri, as well as other species within the genus. But most of the colors and patterns were established and set 70+ years ago. A few new color varieties are more recent, and I had an interest in how they interacted with the older traits. But generally speaking, they tend to follow the rules.

Hybridization in Malawi Cichlids has muddied the populations so badly that the real color and glory of the pure fish is lost in the hobby. I was around when these fish first took hold in the hobby, and we were just learning how to deal with "harem breeders". I never really developed any liking for them because it was like watching a bunch of oversize danios, running all over the place. The absence of pure quality fish doesn't help.

So the hatred of hybrids is usually selective; some people don't like others messing with the natural order of the fish they happen to prefer. Some people take that further, and don't like aquarium bred strains, like Black Angels, or albino catfish. I once saw a magnificent Veil Angel denied first place in a show because the judge for that class hated anything that didn't come from nature. (It was pointed out to the show committee that they had made a poor choice of judge for that class.)

So what it boils down to is, different strokes for different folks. I won't give someone a hard time over their preferences for fish. I just ask for the same type of respect in return.
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Member
meh, if being completely honest on a superficial pure judgement level, the best known hybrids would be flowerhorns and parrots- 1- they're objectively ugly 2- the people that own them seem to have a weird affinity for keeping fish like a narcissist that keeps sports cars, you like it because someone told you its cool and rare or expensive. I dont know why humans have an affinity to make animals uglier and like them more..... seems to be a problem in all aspects of pet ownership.

edit- my most hated fish is the bubble eye goldfish and I will never understand why people keep them.
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
Aprilbeingbasic said:
meh, if being completely honest on a superficial pure judgement level, the best known hybrids would be flowerhorns and parrots- 1- they're objectively ugly 2- the people that own them seem to have a weird affinity for keeping fish like a narcissist that keeps sports cars, you like it because someone told you its cool and rare or expensive. I dont know why humans have an affinity to make animals uglier and like them more..... seems to be a problem in all aspects of pet ownership.
I disagree. Most people keep flower horns because of there personality. They are very accustomed to humans, are usually always visible in the tank, and in my opinion are one of the most personable fish in the hobby. I believe it is similar with parrot cichlids, although I do not no much about them.

They are also not that ugly. While flowerhorns may have a few chins, they are one of the most colorful fish. And If you think the lump on their head is ugly, then I am assuming you think lionhead, midas, eartheater, and hundreds of African cichlid species are also ugly. The face of a parrot cichlid is either "Cute", or "Ugly". Depends on opinion.

Flowerhorns and parrot cichlids are also not that rare, as I usually see a few of them on any normal trip to petco or petsmart. And while they are somewhat pricey, they are typically not expensive enough to be the "Sports Cars" of the fish world.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
chromedome52 said:
First, let me mention that there are places in the far east where Flowerhorns somehow got into the native waters, whether escaped or planted, and they have established populations. Since there are no Cichlids native to that part of Asia, they have no real competitors. But they can most assuredly survive in the wild. They are a very destructive invader where they have established populations.

As for Bettas, some of the more popular varieties these days are the result of hybridization between two species. This is one of the reasons the newer strains are so much harder to breed.

I dislike Frankenhorns because they are big, ugly, and serve no purpose outside of being a "wet pet", which is a concept that I am personally opposed to. I keep fish to study their natural behaviors, or to learn the genetics of domestic strains. Frankenhorns cannot ever have natural behaviors, nor can anyone ever establish any genetic patterns in them. It is a personal dislike, and I would not force my view on others, no matter how misguided I think they are.

I will note that I do like to keep livebearer hybrids, as most of the color varieties in Xiphophorus have come from crossing maculatus and helleri, as well as other species within the genus. But most of the colors and patterns were established and set 70+ years ago. A few new color varieties are more recent, and I had an interest in how they interacted with the older traits. But generally speaking, they tend to follow the rules.

Hybridization in Malawi Cichlids has muddied the populations so badly that the real color and glory of the pure fish is lost in the hobby. I was around when these fish first took hold in the hobby, and we were just learning how to deal with "harem breeders". I never really developed any liking for them because it was like watching a bunch of oversize danios, running all over the place. The absence of pure quality fish doesn't help.

So the hatred of hybrids is usually selective; some people don't like others messing with the natural order of the fish they happen to prefer. Some people take that further, and don't like aquarium bred strains, like Black Angels, or albino catfish. I once saw a magnificent Veil Angel denied first place in a show because the judge for that class hated anything that didn't come from nature. (It was pointed out to the show committee that they had made a poor choice of judge for that class.)

So what it boils down to is, different strokes for different folks. I won't give someone a hard time over their preferences for fish. I just ask for the same type of respect in return.
Albinos are natural phenomen and only linebred (not a real tankbred strain).

Btw Ancistrus cf cirrhosus is another result of hybridisation and is not found in the wild.
 

MacZ

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
I disagree. Most people keep flower horns because of there personality. They are very accustomed to humans, are usually always visible in the tank, and in my opinion are one of the most personable fish in the hobby. I believe it is similar with parrot cichlids, although I do not no much about them.

They are also not that ugly. While flowerhorns may have a few chins, they are one of the most colorful fish. And If you think the lump on their head is ugly, then I am assuming you think lionhead, midas, eartheater, and hundreds of African cichlid species are also ugly. The face of a parrot cichlid is either "Cute", or "Ugly". Depends on opinion.

Flowerhorns and parrot cichlids are also not that rare, as I usually see a few of them on any normal trip to petco or petsmart. And while they are somewhat pricey, they are typically not expensive enough to be the "Sports Cars" of the fish world.
Ever looked at Flowerhorn keeping in Asia? There they are actual status fish and many can reach prices comparable to Arowanas and Koi (we're talking 5-6 digit numbers). Those you get in the West are mostly what they would have culled a few decades ago. It was the exotism and the heir of exclusivity that brought them to the West. And then commerce kicked in and clever marketing made them become a wet pet. What you see at the stores is the cheap surplus of the actual "high quality" fish. Those get to Europe and North America only through collectors and specialised retailers.

In Europe we still almost exclusively discuss if we should keep fish like them at all. People representing the idea of actually keeping them for fun are a minority here and in some countries they're on the list of breeds forbidden due to being "cruelty breeds" (the terms we have are hard to translate). They are in the same category as persian cats, bulldogs, pugs, many fancy goldfish, many bettas and generally domestic breeds that tend to be sick all the time and die early because of the traits they are bred to.

The nucal hump itself is actually not what many people find ugly in flowerhorns, it's the ratio of hump to fish, that many can't stand.
 

BlackOsprey

Member
There's no good reason to create a hybrid that is seriously prone to health problems due to its messed up genes. I mean, there ARE reasons- some people think the result looks neat, or they like the personality- but none of those are really justify purposefully creating something despite the high chance of turning out totally messed up genetically.

I don't think that hybrids as a whole are wrong, and as others have noted, there exist hybrids that are just as hearty and healthful as any other fish. Breeding for certain traits like coloration, body and fin shape, and personality also isn't inherently wrong. These things become a problem when they result in a terrible quality of life for the fish. I can't really abide scoliosis fish, fins so long that the fish struggles to move, and screwing up genes just for the sake of looks or attitude. I don't support certain dog breeds for similar reasons.

There's also the matter of losing natural species to over-hybridizing, and that mostly depends on the value you place on that concept.
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
I disagree. Most people keep flower horns because of there personality. They are very accustomed to humans, are usually always visible in the tank, and in my opinion are one of the most personable fish in the hobby. I believe it is similar with parrot cichlids, although I do not no much about them.

They are also not that ugly. While flowerhorns may have a few chins, they are one of the most colorful fish. And If you think the lump on their head is ugly, then I am assuming you think lionhead, midas, eartheater, and hundreds of African cichlid species are also ugly. The face of a parrot cichlid is either "Cute", or "Ugly". Depends on opinion.

Flowerhorns and parrot cichlids are also not that rare, as I usually see a few of them on any normal trip to petco or petsmart. And while they are somewhat pricey, they are typically not expensive enough to be the "Sports Cars" of the fish world.
Ugly is more than just I dont find something cute. Ugly is unnatural, inhibiting, uncomfortable to look at. Which these fish are. You talk about personalities of flowerhorns but they literally can't have anything in their tank because they attack or hurt themselves, to me that isn't a good personality. You can say you love them till you're blue in the face but the basis of their creation is something mutated against nature for someone to own like a product for its unnatural looks and behaviour. Its not really an admiral position to take.
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
Admittedly, some specimens with ridiculously large humps can be quite disturbing, but remove that and you got a colorful fish with no crazy looks or shapes except maybe a few chins.

As with any other large and aggressive cichlid, flower horns can only be kept with large tank-mates that can fend for themselves. Many of the other large cichlids are kept singly because of the enjoyment their personality brings to the fish keeper. It is the same for flowerhorns.

And once again, no one likes flowerhorns because of their humps or chins. In most cases, they like them because of their color, and/or because of their personality towards humans.

Flowerhorns are usually kept for the same reasons as any other fish, color, personality, etc. Like many other fish species, such as Arowana and Koi, their are some exceptions in south east Asia where they are bred for money and looks to the detriment of the fish, but most flowerhorns live somewhat long and healthy lives, and are kept for all the right reasons.

On a side note, no one it turning blue while looking at flowerhorns. Well, at least if they are looking at your average flowerhorns, and not a deformed and improperly bred fish.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Aprilbeingbasic said:
meh, if being completely honest on a superficial pure judgement level, the best known hybrids would be flowerhorns and parrots- 1- they're objectively ugly 2- the people that own them seem to have a weird affinity for keeping fish like a narcissist that keeps sports cars, you like it because someone told you its cool and rare or expensive. I dont know why humans have an affinity to make animals uglier and like them more..... seems to be a problem in all aspects of pet ownership.

edit- my most hated fish is the bubble eye goldfish and I will never understand why people keep them.
I- I feel personally attacked. I keep them because of their personality and how they interact with me. Believe me when I say I spent months looking for the cheapest flowerhorn I could. But you know we all have our opinions and see things differently like I think flowerhorns are cute while others think they are ugly
Aprilbeingbasic said:
Ugly is more than just I dont find something cute. Ugly is unnatural, inhibiting, uncomfortable to look at. Which these fish are. You talk about personalities of flowerhorns but they literally can't have anything in their tank because they attack or hurt themselves, to me that isn't a good personality. You can say you love them till you're blue in the face but the basis of their creation is something mutated against nature for someone to own like a product for its unnatural looks and behaviour. Its not really an admiral position to take.
Let’s keep our opinions to ourselves. This is also just them being aggressive fish. A lot of natural fish are aggressive so your argument takes you nowhere saying it’s wrong and unnatural that they are aggressive
 

HarrisonAquatics

Member
I think the biggest issue with hybridization is people being snobs. I really, really do. You get people that hate hybrids just because they're that - not pure-bred. A lot of the time, adding new genes to the gene pool with make a species stronger. Not all the time.

By the way, did you know that we're all likely hybrids to some degree? They've found Neanderthal DNA in most people (some more than others), which suggests some interbreeding... meaning we're all (distant) hybrids, likely with more than one Hominid species. Something to think about.

Like JettsPapa said, certain rainbows can't be cross-bred because the fry will be weak, colorless, and generally won't survive to adulthood. No one wants that - it's not desirable to a breeder, it's not humane to the fish, and past maybe some scientific benefit to studying the effects, I can't think of an upside.

However, certain cichlids can be cross-bred to create strong, healthy fish. The way Aprilbeingbasic is describing keeping flowerhorns is how you should probably keep most larger fish... in relatively bare tanks. They're aggressive fish - you don't generally mix things with them. That's how they are. I can totally understand you not liking them (I'm not a big fan of most popular breeds of betta, for instance), but you're getting a bit personal, and your argument doesn't hold much water (pun intended). A lot of natural fish are just as aggressive as hybrids are, and plenty of natural animals have things I'm sure would make you uncomfortable (have you ever seen a bobbit worm? YIKES!).

Like I said, I totally get that they're not your thing. I can even understand you not agreeing with the practice of breeding them. You are 100% entitled to your opinion, as am I, as is everyone else here. But you're getting a little nasty towards those of us that do (or have) kept these guys, and Fishlore really isn't a place for that.

Now, all that said... I do agree that while hybridizing fish (or breeding in general) we should be breeding for desirable characteristics. We shouldn't be breeding flowerhorns with koks (head humps) so large that they droop over their eyes. We shouldn't be breeding short-bodied ones that only live for a fraction of their long-bodied counterparts lifespan. They should be healthy fish - the same goes for fancy goldfish, bettas, and anything else we breed. I hate the "bubble-eyed" goldfish, personally - too many things can go wrong. Give me a nice Ryukin with a thick, robust body and good coloration any day, and I'll be pleased someone bred them. Not a hybrid, per se, but still.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
I think the biggest issue with hybridization is people being snobs. I really, really do. You get people that hate hybrids just because they're that - not pure-bred. A lot of the time, adding new genes to the gene pool with make a species stronger. Not all the time.

By the way, did you know that we're all likely hybrids to some degree? They've found Neanderthal DNA in most people (some more than others), which suggests some interbreeding... meaning we're all (distant) hybrids, likely with more than one Hominid species. Something to think about.

Like JettsPapa said, certain rainbows can't be cross-bred because the fry will be weak, colorless, and generally won't survive to adulthood. No one wants that - it's not desirable to a breeder, it's not humane to the fish, and past maybe some scientific benefit to studying the effects, I can't think of an upside.

However, certain cichlids can be cross-bred to create strong, healthy fish. The way Aprilbeingbasic is describing keeping flowerhorns is how you should probably keep most larger fish... in relatively bare tanks. They're aggressive fish - you don't generally mix things with them. That's how they are. I can totally understand you not liking them (I'm not a big fan of most popular breeds of betta, for instance), but you're getting a bit personal, and your argument doesn't hold much water (pun intended). A lot of natural fish are just as aggressive as hybrids are, and plenty of natural animals have things I'm sure would make you uncomfortable (have you ever seen a bobbit worm? YIKES!).

Like I said, I totally get that they're not your thing. I can even understand you not agreeing with the practice of breeding them. You are 100% entitled to your opinion, as am I, as is everyone else here. But you're getting a little nasty towards those of us that do (or have) kept these guys, and Fishlore really isn't a place for that.

Now, all that said... I do agree that while hybridizing fish (or breeding in general) we should be breeding for desirable characteristics. We shouldn't be breeding flowerhorns with koks (head humps) so large that they droop over their eyes. We shouldn't be breeding short-bodied ones that only live for a fraction of their long-bodied counterparts lifespan. They should be healthy fish - the same goes for fancy goldfish, bettas, and anything else we breed. I hate the "bubble-eyed" goldfish, personally - too many things can go wrong. Give me a nice Ryukin with a thick, robust body and good coloration any day, and I'll be pleased someone bred them. Not a hybrid, per se, but still.
I completely agree with this. Not every fish can be healthy hybrids but those that are healthy and the people that keep them shouldn’t be shamed or told that they aren’t as good as natural fish. I also agree that if your going to add something to this conversation please use facts and not personal opinions like saying they aren’t healthy because they are ugly or something like that
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
Now that I think about it, and even though their are some occasional health problems, flowerhorns are quite a successful fish species. Because of how hardy they are, they have managed to establish wild populations in some parts of the world. Although this is bad for the environment, it is quiet an achievement for a fish that is famed for being "Unhealthy" and "Unnatural".
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
Now that I think about it, and even though their are some occasional health problems, flowerhorns are quite a successful fish species. Because of how hardy they are, they have managed to establish wild populations in some parts of the world. Although this is bad for the environment, it is quiet an achievement for a fish that is famed for being "Unhealthy" and "Unnatural".
Yeah they are very healthy fish. The only thing that they are prone to is digestive issues but you need to be feeding them a Terrible diet for that to happen. And In the grand scheme of things digestive problems are nowhere as bad as for example Oscars and other cichlids be prone to hole in the head
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
Agreed. Flowerhorns are often seen as having many health problems. Especially digestive issues. But you wanna know who else has digestive issue? Literally almost every living thing on Earth! That is just a part of life, but when a hybrid has one of the common health issues that most animals have, it is accused of having said health issues just because it is a hybrid. In reality if any fish isn't given a proper diet it will have digestion problems.
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Member
Well just want to start with im not being nasty guys. I actually don't care that much. And I have never kept these fish so won't act like I know. That's why my first comment was kind of a devils advocate, in a superficial judgemental way, this is my problem with it. I know many good fish keepers have them. But I do stand with I dont understand why, in many pet types, humans like to breed an animal uglier and less functional and people love it.
 

BlackOsprey

Member
Aprilbeingbasic said:
Well just want to start with im not being nasty guys. I actually don't care that much. And I have never kept these fish so won't act like I know. That's why my first comment was kind of a devils advocate, in a superficial judgemental way, this is my problem with it. I know many good fish keepers have them. But I do stand with I dont understand why, in many pet types, humans like to breed an animal uglier and less functional and people love it.
Beauty isn't objective, beauty sometimes isn't prioritized, and people have historically prioritized form over function when the thing's function isn't to efficiently do work or be useful. Never mind pets, have you seen fashion sense over the centuries?

Again, I think the only strong criticism against any of this is when the animal struggles to live as a result of its traits. It's hard to place ugliness as a good reason to reject something, when so many 100% natural species are arguably more unsightly than a flowerhorn or blood parrot. Least those two have vibrant color going for em, what do we say of the fish that are colored like mud and- you know, I'll just show.


I guarantee you there is still someone out there who is fascinated by this fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

RandomFishBoi

Member
I believe that fish is native to deep water, but because it is out of water it is distorted by the pressure. It would probably look a lot cooler in the deep sea. I would be interested in keeping it lol.
Aprilbeingbasic said:
Well just want to start with im not being nasty guys. I actually don't care that much. And I have never kept these fish so won't act like I know. That's why my first comment was kind of a devils advocate, in a superficial judgemental way, this is my problem with it. I know many good fish keepers have them. But I do stand with I dont understand why, in many pet types, humans like to breed an animal uglier and less functional and people love it.
If flowerhorns where less functional than other fish, than why would they be considered "bulletproof" in the fish world? Why would they be establishing populations in the wild when they are have never even seen the wild? If they were so ugly, than why would some specimens be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? While you may think flowerhorns are somewhat ugly (Mainly because of their horn, which isn't even that present in a lot of specimens), I doubt you think they are even near as ugly as the fish posted above, but you are making seem like that. You are also making seem like they can hardly move or barely function enough to stay alive, even though it is quite obvious that that is not so.
 

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