NANFA-L-- OT: Sales of Males

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Sun, 11 Dec 2005 14:51:23 -0600

I am going to risk an off-topic post here because it concerns the aquarium
hobby in general.

Last night, while-in-one of the major pet retailers, I noticed that only
males were available for most of the fancy guppy strains and for the dwarf
gouramies. When I asked an employee about females, I was shown a single tank
of cobra-like female guppies. If a customer wanted to breed guppies they
would have to mix strains (and by the genes of their F1s).

Why are only males being sold ?
A. Simple retailing strategy- most consumers only want a colorful fish and
have no interest in breeding
B. Advanced retailing strategy - unavailability of females means repeated
sales of an "unbreedable" fish
C. Sense of property - breeders do not want hobbyists tampering with their
creations (and possibly underselling them)

Try as I may - none of these seem to be realistic - but I have heard
hobbyists say similar things about the unavailability of female cichlids of
some species.

Does anyone know ?
Do small independent fish stores offer females of the same varieties/species
not offered in the larger chain outlets?
Don't most customers want to have male and female combinations when they buy
fish for their tanks ?

- Jan Hoover
Vicksburg, MS
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