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How do you feel about selective breeding for traits/morphs?

  • It doesn't bother me.

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  • I don't think it really harms the fish, so I'm alright with it.

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  • If it's in the genes of the fish, why not?

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  • It should be stopped!

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  • It is disrespectful to nature, but people will be people...

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I like natural fish only.

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Selective breeding...the moral question.

2956 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Sir_BlackhOle
We all know how we feel about dyed fish...but what about something that in some lights can potentially be just as cruel?
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hi error, you are talking about breeding right? not the scientific gene manipulation like those glow in the darks. you are breeding certain fish with other fish to establish color traits, size, or finnage. you are not mutilating, disecting, or pumping him full of chemicals. you are just putting him or her in a tank with the opposite sex to get the color, tail, or finnage that you the breeder think is most desirable.
Not to be too heavy about it, but I believe that's what a dictator from a certain European nation started doing back in the 1930s.

It's interesting how it is only an immoral act when humanity is the victim.
Also, please let us know the reasoning behind your opinion if you vote!
Too heavy.

Comparing Hitler to breeding guppies, dogs, horses are very different things.
I agree with Sue. Too heavy.

We would not have dogs as we know it if they weren't selectively bred.

I believe that choosing fish for finnage or coloration is OK, as long as these manipulations do not distort the fish's basic body plan --meaning, I don't agree with creating balloon mollies, bubble-eyed goldfish, heart shaped parrotfish, and the like.

Albino fish, veil tailed fish, etc are OK... these are the sports you would find naturally in the wild. A lot of wild type zebrafish in my lab produce a couple veil finned offspring in each spawning. They are not common in the wild because they're simply the ones that get picked off by predators first.

Would it be immoral for us to cull these sports? Not to be too heavy, but I believe culling these sports would be comparable to "culling" children with genetic diseases. Playing devil's advocate here.

Bah, I think we put too much effort into "Thinking" about such things. After all - humans breed selectively every day ("I'm gonna nail her, she's hot" etc).

As far as fish are concerned - I see nothing wrong with it. At various times I've bred angels, bolivian rams, raised a spawn of discus, and was working with some HB yellow guppies trying to get some like we used to see in the 80s. (Failed in the end, got some snake skin gene in there somewhere and ended up with junk). I see it as little more than natural selection - albeit we choose their mates for them.

I see nothing wrong with it. I have less of a problem with it than I do with hybridization of many of the cichlids, and all those painted 'terminal fish'.

Breeding certain fish for color, etc.. is ok. Culling the ones that aren't "acceptable" enough is bad.
Wow...I really thought more people on this board would reply in the negative :shock:

I see eugenics of any kind (which essentially is exactly what is practiced in this hobby, at least in this instance) to be within the same ballpark. That is why I did not forgo the reference. Of course, human bias is going to skew that example to include other connotations (which are explicitly applied by the reader).

I feel that the manipulation of fish characteristics in any way in this regard is irresponsible and disrespectful. Of course you're going to get mutations, but that is the very device by which evolution works. Do we mean to apply aesthetic value as a selective stimulus? In my opinion, that goes against the very reason why we keep fish to begin with. Of course, I only know why exactly I myself keep fish, so I can't assume that you all believe in similar values.

I posted this on another board, so I will repost it here:

To begin with, how can you say if a certain fish's physiology "isn't really altered" ["these manipulations do not distort the fish's basic body plan"] after selective breeding? A hobbyist who wishes to perpetuate a given morph selects only fish that appear to exhibit the desirable characteristic for further breeding. He does not typically take a microscope and determine whether or not any other minor or not-so-minor detail has been altered, internally or otherwise.
I have as much a problem with dog breeds and garden-bred flower morphs as I do with selectively-bred fishes. I guess I'm sort of a hippie :D

I believe culling is wrong in any situation. I do not euthanize my Endler's that come out hunchbacked, they typically die on their own. The only instances in which I euthanize a fish is if it is half-eaten or dying of starvation.

Anyway, it's here to stay, so I suppose there's really no point in arguing about it :)
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I do not disagree with it.

One question however, do fish feel pain? dont they have just a central nervous system.
I'm against selective breeding, but I still keep swordtails and a few others.

IMHO, to selectively breed to get bright dazzling colors, long fins that the fish drags around, and weird growths and stuff like that makes the natural beauty of a wild fish cheap. Also, some of the improvements may not be improvements at all. I noticed that if any wild type looking mollies(large sails, green) find there way into a tank full of white lyretails, they will quickly dissapear as customers by them over the lyretails.
I agree with Carlos on this one. I don't like to see fish selectively bred to change their shape or body structure.

I am a big Betta lover, and some of the most beautiful Betta's IMO are selectively bred.
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