Re: NANFA-- Collecting ethics

Steffen Hellner (
Tue, 13 Jan 2004 13:15:25 +0100

>> From your unrealistic statements, you are either very young or >very
>> inexperienced - or both.
> I have to say here that Nick is neither, but is an internationally
> Public Aquarium professional who has proven himself on many occasions on
> aspects of the delivery of a successful Educational and Zoological
> institution, including innovative husbandry techniques, reproduction and
> long-term maintenance.
This was directed to me as I understood it.

>> An aquarium, a pond or any artificial enclosure is just that - >
>> You cannot maintain
>> specimens in "their native environments" in a tank.

> You can use environmetal enrichment to ensure that the fish concerned are
> exposed to as many of the non-hazardous conditions that they would
> on the wild as possible. If the ultimate aim is conservation this is
> absolutely essential, otherwise what you end up with is a domesticated fish
> that breeds perfectly well in aquaria but would not last the day when
> to the original habitat the broodstock came from. Work like this is very
> difficult for any one individual to carry out, as it requires such a
> multi-disciplinary approach.
Speaking of artificial and natural habitat is nothing but romantic. The only
point is whether the species reproduces and stays healthy or not. Most
species don4t need a copy of their natural habitat but certain triggers to
feel comfortable. A slamander e.g. doesn4t care whether he hides under a
rock, a wood or a plant-pot (made from clay or plastic). He just wants
shelter and darkness. Otherwise there wouldn4t be so many reproduction
successes of so many species - over many generations. Elefants don4t need
the Serengeti. Tigers don4t need the jungle, neons don4t need the Amazone.
But they need proper conditions.

>> Aquarist jump through hoops providing environments as
>> close to nature as possible. EVEN to the point of using muddy > leafy
>> where the fish seem never to be seen.
> As in the Apistogramma I have breeding at home which I only see when they
> displaying or guarding fry.
> But for every one that does, there are dozens more who have crystal rocks
> plastic ships.
And the fish mostly don4t care for this rubbish in the tanks. Anyway to me
this type of decoration hurts my eyes.

And I can show you biotopes in SA and Afrika which to transfer to captive
maintenance would rise protests from all directions. But the fish like it
and are very abundant there.

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