The ideal refugium for maintaining as close to the wild strain of the
origional fish would be a pool or pond in which the fish can subsist off
whatever grows in the pond with little or no supplemental feeding. I
think these tank bred pupfish might just be a little spoiled in contrast
to the spartan lives of their wild bretheren. Like well fed tank bred
guppies that have more idle time to spend on foreplay as opposed to wham
bam thank you ma'am.- or even dispense with the thank you because if
they get flashy and waste too much time something will eat them!
I have noticed in plants that there is a difference within species
brought out by better soil and growing conditions. Many rock garden
plants become more robust - or lanky and weak if you grow them in heavy
, rich soil. It's more desirable to grow them in sand or grit with a
little peat added so they remain compact and longer lived and more
blooms and less vegetative growth. They are actually stronger and
healthier if they have a leaner diet.
Same for turtles which I have raised many- you can get hatchlings to
adult size in as little as 2 - 4 years as opposed to 10 years which is
the norm in wild populations. This sometimes happens with wild turtles,
alligators and fish living near the warm water outlets of power plants.
You can catch some monster bass and catfish in these places!
As for raising plants , fish , turtles or other critters sometimes it is
best to take things slow. Many herp breeders have had problems when they
tried to breed precociously matured turtles and snakes - egg binding was
more frequent than in females that matured more slowly.
Maybe they should try setting up a place in which the pupfish can
subsist without being fed and see how far they diverge from the
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